Browsing Tag


If Mr Darcy was a wrestler

You can find anything on Amazon! I’m sure I have room for a life-size cut-out CM Punk…

You can find anything on Amazon! I’m sure I have room for a life-size cut-out CM Punk…

I have a new interest.

It’s not something I would have chosen for myself. In fact, it’s fair to say I’ve had it forced upon me. But after a reluctant start, I find myself becoming quite the expert on the ‘WWE Universe’. Yes, I have boys! And yes, I do have a favourite wrestler, thanks for asking. I started out with Randy Orton – dazzled by the thighs, I’m not ashamed to say. But my love for The Viper was fleeting, and now I’m a CM Punk girl all the way. Turns out that when you’re surrounded by it day in, day out, almost anything can become interesting. Of course in this case, there are compensations… *fans self*

Anyway, it made me think about how this relates to writing. (It does, I promise!) One of the most important traits for a writer is being interested. The world is full of things you might be tempted to dismiss at first glance. But for a writer, everything under the sun is fair game, no matter how unlikely or unrelated.

Alongside my involuntary WWE indoctrination, I recently saw something on YouTube that rekindled my interest in historical fiction. Now I admit, it’s quite a step from this:

Yes. This DVD is in my house.

Yes. This DVD is in my house.

mto this:

Oh, Mr Darcy!

Oh, Mr Darcy!

But bear with me. I’m going to make a (very tenuous!) connection.

Heaven knows what Jane Austen would have made of Hell in a Cell, the Anaconda Vise, and John Cena with biceps as big as his head. But I’d like to think that if she was with us now, her enquiring author mind would take all our modern-day mores and craziness, and turn them into wonderful, timely stories. Granted, even modern-day Jane’s tastes would probably be more high-brow than WWE. But everything that makes up a writer’s world – now, or two hundred years ago – goes into the lively, mysterious book soup that is an author’s brain. I don’t know when or how wrestlers will make it into my writing, but I’m willing to bet they will, eventually. (If only as thigh inspiration!)

While I love the classics, I mostly read contemporary these days, because that’s what I write. However, this gorgeous video with its swoon-worthy (if not über-ripped) men made me think I should get more familiar with the historicals being written now.

But I’ll be keeping up to date with WrestleMania too. It’s important to be well-rounded, after all. 😉


Tom Petty was right

There’s a lot of waiting going on at the moment. Everyone here in New Zealand has been waiting for the long, hot summer holidays. The kids are waiting for Christmas Day, resisting the temptation of the presents under the tree. Some people are waiting for the fresh start that the new year brings. And me? I’m nervously waiting to see what the designer will come up with for the cover of my first ever book, All Over the Place. And, of course, I’m counting down to February 18 – release day!

Sometimes the waiting really is the hardest part.

The answer is to keep busy, and make the time go faster. So that’s what I’ve been doing, and the result is one amazing early Christmas present – this gorgeous website! Thanks to Lewis, my super-talented (and very patient) web expert, who has worked so hard to help me get it up and running.

Now that All Over the Place is so close to publication, I realise what an incredible amount I’ve learned so far. In years past, writers only had to do just that – write. There was no blogging, tweeting, Facebooking or worrying about search engine optimisation. No one had to teach themselves the ins and outs of Amazon, Draft2Digital, widgets and plugins. Anne Tyler (one of my favourite authors) had until recently only granted two interviews in the fifty-something years of her career.

So times have changed – but maybe for the good. If they’re able to embrace the new possibilities, authors have the power to shape a career on their own terms. ‘Hybrid’ authors like New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh, from here in New Zealand, are enjoying the best of all worlds, combining traditional publishing and self-publishing.

And the people! I’ve had so much fun meeting other writers and book addicts, both in person and online. And I’ve been amazed and heartened by the way other writers all over the world – published and unpublished – generously share support, advice and encouragement. Sue, Kristine, LaVerne, the RNA authors, Kristy, Nicole, Toni, Lisa, Kari, Cait, all the Ladies in Red, and so many others – I can’t wait to see what success you have next!

Merry Christmas everyone, and may you receive everything you’ve been waiting for in 2013.



What if…?

Most of my childhood memories involve sitting high up in trees, keeping company with the bees. Holding on to swaying branches, I gazed out towards the horizon, looking for…something. I remember each house (and there were many) by the trees in the yard, or in the neighbourhood, and how far you could see from the top.

IMG_2654I was a daydreamer, and a worrier. What if…[insert problem here]? All the same, my childhood was happy – I learned piano and had horse-riding lessons, played with my sisters and roller-skated with my friends. It just seemed like there was a lot to think about.

As I got older, I worked, travelled, and was lucky and unlucky in love. I didn’t climb trees any more, but I was still constantly looking towards the horizon. Then – at last! – I found myself in the right place at the right time, and I met The Right Guy. When we started our little family, I had to spend less time with my head in the clouds. But the daydreaming had to go somewhere. Every time I took our two little boys to the library, I looked at the fiction shelves, full of books of all kinds. And the thought crept in: Someone has to write all those books…if they can do it, maybe I could too. What if I tried?

So after years of editing and proofreading other people’s work, and writing corporate, no-nonsense articles, I took the plunge. It was scary and daunting and I kept it very secret. I mean, who did I think I was, trying to be a writer? I snuck away to writers’ group meetings, conferences and workshops. And at one, an encouraging author said: “Writing is work, whether you are published or not.”

So I kept at it. Oh, it was agonising. The editor in me fussed over words and phrases and drove me mad. I struggled to wrestle the plot into shape. I missed fun family outings and stayed up too late night after night. But at the same time, it was utterly magical. Where did these people come from, with their opinions and jokes and flaws? They constantly surprised me with the things they decided to do and say. When the story got stuck, I wondered, well, what if…? And sooner or later, the answers came.

Finally, I finished. Well, I thought it was finished. It went for critique, then there was rewriting, and editing, and polishing. Then – miracle! I really had finished a book. I could do it!

It seems to me now that the things that make life more difficult day to day – overthinking, second-guessing, being uncomfortably aware of every little nuance – are the very things that give writers an advantage.

What if…?

If that little girl in the treetops had known what an excellent question it is, she might have worried a little less.