Friday, February 23

Flump: Dance Champion Extraordinaire

Didn't get much sleep last night. A small person inside me decided to launch a solo breakdancing/cartwheeling contest at 2am and the "event" didn't die down until 3am. It was pretty cool but after twenty minutes or so I was thinking, "Yes, okay, I know you're there... Can we sleep now?"


Just finished reading: Step On It, Cupid by Lorelei Mathias

Monday, February 19

Plans in Place

My weekend was spent working wholly on my character sketches and plans for You Don't Know Jack. It was hard work at times (as writing can sometimes be) but my usual trick of leaving the laptop and going to have a bath worked a treat. This time the tub wasn't even half-full before I got the lightbulb moment I'd been waiting for! Luckily I had taken a notepad and pen into the room with me, just in case. I just have to flesh out a little bit more of Jack's family history and get another proofreading job done and then I'll be ready to start writing.

This morning I took my sister to a medical appointment. The waiting room had those horrid plasticky chairs and a general 1970's-Portakabin atmosphere -- why so depressing all the time?! Things looked up when I saw a "books for sale" corner, however, with all benefits going to the medical unit. I found two backlist books by Kate Hoffmann (one of my favourite romance authors) and two Mira thrillers from a few years back, so that made things better :)

Just finished reading: A Baby of Her Own by Brenda Novak

Thursday, February 15

I Don't Know Jack... Yet.

I now have a title for my new WIP -- see my fresh new word-count meter to the right to see it! I came up with lots of different ideas for titles and this was one of my favourites, and after getting a second opinion I decided to settle on it.

I've got a rough plan of how I can see the storyline going but the direction of the plot will depend on who my characters turn out to be. At the moment they just have basic "skeleton" personalities, and therefore my next task is to start putting some flesh on their bones.

So I'll know Jack quite soon. Hopefully one day you will, too!

Wednesday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day one and all!

Mmm, how good do those look? *Homer Simpson-style drool* Where did I put my multi-pack of Cadbury's Flake? Ah, yes...

(Gets Flake. Opens Flake. Devours Flake. Pours large glass of fruit juice to make up for eating Flake.)

So. I am now on the precipice of starting a new project and for me, this is something that always gives me a funny mix of feelings. They consist of the following:

1. Excitement. A brand new story, waiting to be told. New characters, new challenges, new settings, new plot twists, new dialogue... A blank canvas that nobody else knows is there and which I, to all intents and purposes, am going to invent and then unleash upon the world. Bwah ha ha!

2. Nervousness. Otherwise known as The "What If I've Used Up All My Writing Credits?" Frets and other such sayings of self-doubt. I felt like this before I started One Shore Thing -- that what I'd already written and had published was "my lot", that I'd used up whatever writing talent I'd been given and that it was the end of the line. This could be something that improves as an author moves onwards and upwards in their writing career, but I suspect it isn't, since most authors I know or have heard speak seem, in the main, the complete opposite of big-headed. Perhaps it is a feeling that is just always there, hovering, in the backs of the minds of people who "create" for a living.

3. Itchy feet. Getting something off the ground is one of my biggest troubles. I can plan, make lists, bold-up important points, insert bulleted and numbered lists, and bookmark relevant research websites until the cows come home, but it often takes me a great deal of effort to BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard) and start writing the damn thing. Even when all my plans are ready, when I've opened a new file, typed "Chapter One" and inserted my headers and footers, I will stare at the flashing cursor and then decide I need to walk the dog/put the laundry on/do the dusting/have a bath/get the chicken out the freezer and so on and so forth. Sometimes these ridiculous (though often beneficial for the state of our house) diversionary tactics can last a number of days. However, with the new pressures of being self-employed and having a large metaphorical roadblock coming up in mid-June that will stop my writing for a little while (BIRTH), I know I need to be productive and stay productive.

How do you feel when you're starting a new project? The same mix of things? Less? More? Better? Worse? Let me know!

Just finished reading: My Best Friend's Girl by Dorothy Koomson

Tuesday, February 13

Three Pieces of News

Firstly, Haunted Hearts has received another wonderful review, this time from Janet at Once Upon a Romance. Among other things, Janet says:

Haunted Hearts is about closure and bringing peace to the dead and promise to the living. I liked the theme of friendly forces at the Grange pushing Beth and Sam together. I also liked that you never really know until well into the novel what broke the two lovers up. Beth and Sam’s story is told interwoven with the characters of the past. And yes, there is a villain, and I liked the way he got his comeuppance.The slow burning sexual tension between them keeps the story ticking along nicely ... I am a big fan of anything paranormal. Haunted Hearts is spooky and romantic and definitely worth reading.
The book scored a wonderful 4 out of 5! You can read the full review here.

Secondly, it's come to my notice (thanks, Mel!) that yesterday the Get in Touch feature of my website wasn't fully functional, and therefore those of you who may have wanted to enter my mini-contest couldn't get your comments through to me. I've taken a look at it and all now seems to be working, so you may want to head back over there and re-enter your comments for a place in the prize pool.

Thirdly, I'm also now aware that not only is Haunted Hearts featured in Fictionwise's 20%-off Valentine's Romance Promotion, but Fall in Love: An Anthology is too, which you can now purchase as a multiformat e-book download for $2.40 (instead of $3.00)! Click here to purchase Haunted Hearts, or here to purchase Fall in Love: An Anthology.

Monday, February 12

The Brand New Jessica Raymond dot com!

At last, it is completed!

As you may know I have spent the last couple of weeks revamping my website. I picked a new design, customised it, shuffled my pages and added new ones, and have included bonus features and extra information. I had to wait on a couple of things before I could upload the new version of the site but it's now online for all to see. Just click here to visit.

I'd love to hear what you think of my new site, and especially the new information I've put on there, such as trivia facts about my books, more links, and greater detail in my writer biography. If you drop me a note through the Get in Touch section of the site, I'll enter you into a prize pool to win a PDF copy of one of my books -- you're free to choose which one! I'll leave this mini-contest open until the last day of the month: Wednesday 28th February.

Good luck, and happy surfing! :)

Sunday, February 11

Haunted Hearts: A Valentine's Offer

I'm finally back into the swing of things now. It's been a busy week! One Shore Thing is almost through its final edits and will then be on its way to the publisher, and the new version of my website is virtually completed and will be online very soon -- watch for a new post here to find out when it's up.

In other news, if you are interested in purchasing an e-book download of Haunted Hearts, it is currently part of Fictionwise's special 20%-off Valentine's promotion on romance books! Until 18th February, you can get a multiformat download of HH for $3.20 instead of $4.00: click here for more details.

Just finished reading: Sweet Suspicion by Nina Bruhns

Tuesday, February 6

Yes, I'm Still Here

Just realized that I haven't posted on here for about a week when, since the New Year started, I've been posting almost every day (or every other day).

Since I finished the first draft of One Shore Thing I've been busy with proofreading work. I finished the job yesterday and afterwards I *finally* got around to tying up all the loose ends with my filing (hurrah!). I was planning to get on with my OST revisions today, but I've now got another proofreading job to get on with, and hence OST is put off again until later on this week.

Still, I can't complain! Hope you've all been having an equally productive time of it.

Just finished reading: The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier