Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Be Happy

I meant to post this last Monday, 21st January - supposedly the most depressing day of the year (in the northern hemisphere anyway) -  but I guess I was feeling too down to do any blogging.

Anyway, if late January is making you miserable, why not take a look at this book, published last Monday by Harper Collins, which teaches you How To Do Everything And Be Happy, which is exactly what we all need, isn't it? The author, Peter Jones, decided a while ago that what would make him really happy was if he could earn his income from writing alone, so he set out to achieve just that. So if you need help achieving your life time goals, or just want to know the secret of happiness, then I can certainly recommend this book.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Nowhere To Hide

Readers of Writers' Forum might remember an interview by Helen Hunt with author Alex Walters, a couple of issues ago. To celebrate publication of his thriller, Nowhere To Hide, he's embarked on a blog tour and I'm delighted to be hosting a leg of it. 

Welcome to the ‘Nowhere To Hide’ blog tour, in which you’ll get to read exclusive interviews with the characters from the book. In this post we’re talking to Lizzie and finding out how she gets embroiled in the story.

Name: Lizzie Carter

Rank/Job title/Occupation: Personal Assistant

Why are you so important to the story of ‘Nowhere To Hide’?

Well, I’m not, really.  Not at all.  I’m just a PA to a small-time businessman, Andy McGrath.  Well, I say PA.  To be honest, I’m pretty much the only thing that holds the business together.  Andy’s a lovely guy.  Gets on with anyone.  Natural-born salesman, as well.  But can’t manage a business to save his life.    He wouldn’t admit it but I keep the place ticking over.  Andy gets involved in one or two things that are not quite legit, so one day he’s going to need me to bail him out.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had in your life so far?

Well, it’s not been easy.  My mum’s divorced.  My dad was a copper and carried all the baggage that went with that.  We’ve struggled, and Andy was the one who bailed me out.  That’s why I’ve still got a soft spot for him. 

What’s the worst thing about your job?

Working with Andy, I suppose.  Though in some ways that’s also the best thing about it.  His heart’s in the right place, but you know he’s always just about to screw things up.  If the cops aren’t sniffing round him now, they will be soon.  And there are others out there who are likely to cause him even more problems. 

Which other character from the book would you turn to if you had a problem and needed help?

Well, it depends, I suppose.  Andy’s always been there for me, but I wouldn’t like to have to rely on him.  Then there’s this new woman we’ve got working in the business, Maggie Yates.  She seems straightforward, someone who’d listen to you, though there’s something about her I can’t quite put my finger on.  I think in the end you maybe have to just look out for yourself. 

Who would you like to play you in the screen adaptation of ‘Nowhere To Hide’?

Good question. People sometimes say I look a bit ditzy, but I’m not, you know. So maybe someone like Lacey Turner who could show what I’m really like.

What music do you like to listen to when you’re not at work?

I don’t really listen to music. I mean, it’s just something to have on in the background while you’re doing more important stuff, isn’t it?

What is your favourite leisure activity?

Don’t know, really.  I go out on the town with my flatmate sometimes.  Other than that, I’m on the computer, really.  That’s one of my skills, you know.  It’s surprising what it’s possible to do. 

About the book:

‘On the North Wales coast two people traffickers are brutally murdered; a drug dealer is mown down in inner-city Stockport and in a remote Pennine cottage a police informant is shot dead. Seemingly random, these murders are the work of one professional hitman.

Reluctantly, Marie Donovan takes on another undercover role and finds herself working with DI Jack Brennan, a high-flying detective with a tarnished career. Soon, mistrustful of each other and their superiors, both begin to suspect that they are mere pawns in a complex game of criminal rivalry and police corruption.

As Marie struggles to uncover the truth, she realises that nothing is as it seems. With every move, she draws the threat ever closer until ultimately the killer is watching Marie herself. Out on her own, she finds herself with no friends, no-one to trust and nowhere to hide.’

‘Nowhere To Hide’ is published by Avon HarperCollins, and you can buy it here.  

The first post in the blog tour, an interview with Marie Donovan, can be found on Leigh Russell's blog here.

The second post in the blog tour, an interview with Jack Brennan, can be found on Sally Quilford's blog, here

Sounds fab, doesn't it? I've just been and gone and bought it, not that my TBR pile really needed adding to! 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Critiques and proof-reading

Two of my writing friends, whose skills and knowledge of writing I can personally vouch for, have set up new services for writers this year.

Sally Quilford, who regular readers of this blog will probably know pretty well by now, is offering in-depth critiques of stories up to 2500 words. Prices start at £15 so this is very reasonable. For full details see her new-look website, here.

If you write longer pieces, novellas, pocket novels, or full-length novels, you might be interested in another friend's services as a copy-editor and proof-reader. Antonia Bloom will do both of these, and also offers critiques for anything from short articles to full-length novels. Contact her via her website for a quote.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Well, here we are in 2013, and the day has begun bright and sunny down here in Dorset. Here's hoping that's a taste of what's to come this year.

I must apologise for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks, and especially for the lack of a Merry Christmas post. I hope you all had a lovely time and that Santa brought you everything you had wished for. (I got lots of cuddly fleecy things and chocolate, so am very happy.) We were away skiing for Christmas week as usual, and had a brilliant holiday.

Last year I made some resolutions and put them on the blog here. Now it's January 1st, it's time to see how well I did, and set some new goals for this year:

- lose 10kg. Well I lost 8kg so not bad. Aim this year is to keep that weight off.

- swim, run, zumba. Did all that, fell in love with zumba! Aim this year is to build up running distances to half-marathon length, keep up the zumba and try open-water swimming in the summer.

- do up the living room. Um....that's now our aim for 2013.

- write & submit short stories. Yes, did that for a couple of months before getting stuck into my new novel.

- be half way through 1st draft of novel by end of the year. Yes, actually much further (just a chapter to write). Aim for 2013 is to complete it by end of February, edit it by end of June and submit to agents.

How well did you do with your 2012 goals? Have you made resolutions for 2013? Good luck with them, what ever they are!