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Making Readers Care: 9 Tips on Crafting Compelling Characters

This month’s authors’ Round Robin is all about character, and the inspiration for the topic comes from author Connie Vines. Jane Eyre, James Bond, Harry Potter, Fagin, Bridget Jones and Anne of Green Gables – human beings are always interested in the story of other human beings, and we remember the characters in a story…… Continue reading Making Readers Care: 9 Tips on Crafting Compelling Characters

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8 books for romantic fiction writers for pleasure and research

Another month, another authors’ Round Robin! And this month our topic is set by author Rhobin Courtright… How much reading do you do, both for pleasure and for a work in progress? The answer is… a lot! Like nearly all writers I know, I have at least one book on the go all the time.…… Continue reading 8 books for romantic fiction writers for pleasure and research

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The positive messages of romance novels

Another month of the year has gone by, and a terrible month it’s been, both for the world, and for me personally. So I’m especially glad this month to welcome the topic of our authors’ Round Robin, set by author Rhobin Lee Courtright. What messages do your books hold for your readers? I write –…… Continue reading The positive messages of romance novels

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Fiction writers and covid, plus 8 recommended pandemic novels

It’s the very first authors’ Round Robin of the year, and it’s another thought-provoking topic… …this month set by author Connie Vines: How are you dealing with the COVID pandemic in your contemporary novels/short stories? I try to be an optimist but have to admit I find it very depressing that at the start of…… Continue reading Fiction writers and covid, plus 8 recommended pandemic novels

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#Respectromfic! In praise of romance, with ten of my favourite romantic novels of the year

It’s time for another post in praise of romantic fiction. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you might say, ‘Not another article explaining why romance novels are worthy of respect. Do we really need one?’ Sadly, it seems we still do! :( At the end of November, Andrew Holgate, literary editor of…… Continue reading #Respectromfic! In praise of romance, with ten of my favourite romantic novels of the year

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Formatting your manuscript made easy: some great tips on using Word styles

In my work as a freelance fiction editor for self-publishing authors, and as a reader for the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme, I sometimes receive manuscripts that aren’t as professionally formatted as they could be. (This is understandable, as no one knows there’s a ‘best way to format a manuscript’ until they’re told!) Image…… Continue reading Formatting your manuscript made easy: some great tips on using Word styles

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6 ways to avoid repeating the same old words and phrases in your writing

It’s August, and time for another authors’ Round Robin. This month the topic has been set by author Rhobin Courtright. Do you have any character habits or favourite words that always crop up in your writing? The short and simple answer: yes! The difficulty is, spotting this repetition when it happens. My husband always reads…… Continue reading 6 ways to avoid repeating the same old words and phrases in your writing

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Girls Succeed – a book to inspire, entertain and empower girls

Little Sable Point, one of Michigan’s many lighthouses My first ever novel, The Silk Romance, was published by a small independent publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, in Canada. Through MIU I made some great friends across the pond, including Marsha West, a romantic suspense writer from Texas; Susan Bernhardt, who writes cosy mysteries and lives in Wisconsin;…… Continue reading Girls Succeed – a book to inspire, entertain and empower girls

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Classics, crime and romance: 14 books set in Norfolk and Suffolk

This has been a year of covid restrictions and lots of us are holidaying at home in the UK. Later this year I’m going to Suffolk – a county I’ve hardly explored at all. There’s so much to explore here, I’m not bothered at all about not being able to go abroad. I started to…… Continue reading Classics, crime and romance: 14 books set in Norfolk and Suffolk

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Kill your darlings: 5 tips for cutting and editing scenes you love

Another month, and another of our authors’ Round Robins. This month we have another thought-provoking topic, this time set by author Marci Baun Deleting scenes: Do you ever delete scenes? When and why do you delete them? And what do you do with them? Do you save them? Or just toss them?  When I first…… Continue reading Kill your darlings: 5 tips for cutting and editing scenes you love