Monday, 17 February 2014

Woohoo, welcome, Catherine Miller!

Shhh… while her twin baby girls are having a nap, new mummy,
Catherine Miller, AKA Katy Little Lady and one eighth of my lovely Romaniacs Group is making the most of a few moments to herself. She's going to have a little well-deserved time out and some tea and cake so why don’t you join us?

Catherine, thank you for not joining the twins and catching up on your own sleep! (I knew the lemon drizzle cake would work) It’s good to see you here. We’ve met in quite a few places and chat most days in cyber space but never interviewed each other. Let’s start at the beginning with how you started writing …

Where did your interest in writing come from and what inspired you to start writing?
I've loved it since my teen years. I was an avid reader and started my first novel attempt at about age 14. I also wrote terrible poems at that age.

What (or who) brought you to the RNA and the NWS?
I joined a local writing group - Southampton Writing Buddies - and the founder of the group, Penny Legg, told me about the RNA NWS and encouraged me to join. I'm very glad she did.

I never have enough time in the day and I don’t have twin baby girls. How on earth do you manage to brush your hair and teeth in a day, let alone manage any writing?
I've become the queen of multi-tasking! I don't think there are many times in the day when I'm doing only one thing. I've found returning to pen and paper a great way to write. When I find myself with a spare few minutes I scribble and type up in the evenings when I have the energy.

In the Romaniacs anthology, ‘Shorts,’ I really enjoyed, ’Flights of Fancy.’ Where did you get the idea?
It's based on a real shop nearby. The shop is vacant and one day I noticed there were only pigeons on that one roof, none of the other shops. I instantly thought there was a story in it.

How do you find writing shorts as opposed to a novel?
Some ideas don't have the legs to be a novel so I try and turn them into short stories. I think I'm stronger at novels, although have less of them published at the moment!

The Romaniacs are donating half the money raised from their, 'Shorts Anthology' to go to the Dyslexia Institute. I know it’s a cause close to your heart as I understand you have Dyslexia. When did you discover you were dyslexic?
I was diagnosed when I was young. It was classed as brain damage associated dyslexia caused by a complicated breech delivery when I was born. Thankfully there were no other problems.

Can you give us an insight into the kind of difficulties writing poses to you?
I had excellent one on one teaching when I was young which helped me overcome most of my problems. I was taught everything by sound so these days words that are similar in sound cause the most difficulty. Things like brought/bought, except/accept. The more I write, the more aware I've become of the things that trip me up.

Well, there are several famous writers with dyslexia such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie and Lynda La Plante so you’re in good company. It didn’t stop them and I’m sure it won’t affect you in achieving your writing goals. What advice do you have for a wannabe writer who may have dyslexia or another learning difficulty?
I'd say go with my motto: Nothing is easy, everything is possible. I think the things that are most worthwhile are the things you work hardest for.

Since Baby Number Two was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award in 2013, what have you done with it?
Not as much as I'd like given the amount of time the twins need but I think cuddles are more important for now. I hope to complete the full first draft this year and have started making headway.

Aside from a good night’s sleep, what would you most desire/want at this moment in time?
My life is pretty complete at the moment. The only thing that would really be the icing in the cake would be to get an agent/publishing contract by the end of the year. Any year. I'm not specifying which one ;)

Well, somehow I see that happening sooner rather than later. It's been lovely to spend a few moments with you, my lovely friend. I wish you well with all your writing, and that you might get a good nights sleep before too long.

You can follow Catherine on her blog HERE and read her stories in the Romaniacs Anthology, 'Romaniac Shorts,' available to download as an e-book from Amazon HERE for just £1.00!

Until another day

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Bluestocking Mum - Published Author!

No, you’re not seeing things. I’ve dusted off the knick-knacks, removed the dust sheet from my sofa and desk and shaken the cobwebs off this poor neglected blog. And what’s brought about this phenomenon I hear you ask? Well, in case you haven’t heard, I’m celebrating becoming a published author! Yes, you heard right. To mark the two year anniversary of our blog, those splendiferous Romaniac girls and I have put together an anthology of short stories and flash fictions, aptly named,‘Romaniac Shorts.’

For anyone who hasn’t heard of The Romaniacs we are a … errm … how do I describe us? … a once seen, never forgotten bunch of writers and members of the Romantic Novelist's Association New Writers Scheme We met at the Festival of Romance and RNA Winter party in 2011 and instantly clicked. As individually different as a tin of Quality Street, common values and goals have united us and helped create our tight bond and unit. We laugh together, we cry together, but most of all we support one another and are even known to kick each others butts if the need arises!
Several of our group are now published authors in their own right and have found agent representation so it shows the ‘power of eight,’ and that anything can happen if you believe, work hard and never give in. Dreams can come true.

Thanks to the girls I’m still plugging away with the novel and my non-fiction book proposals and until such time as I secure myself an agent and publication, I’m thrilled to be able to see two of my stories published in Romaniac Shorts. So, why not grab yourself a cuppa and a couple of digestive biscuits? Or cake(We Romaniacs are rather partial to cake)Take an hour or two out to pick and mix your way through the range of different styles, viewpoints and moods that reflect our inimitable characters. Laugh and cry with us. And help us raise money for two good causes close to our hearts. We're pleased to tell you that ALL money raised will be shared between Dyslexia Action and the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme fund. If you'd like to support us and download our E-book for just £1.00, click HERE for the Amazon link.

In the meantime, I’ll be back again in a few days when one of my lovely Romaniac friends,
Catherine Miller, AKA Katy Little Lady will be joining me here on the sofa.

Until another day

Thursday, 13 February 2014

I'm Celebrating!

See why over on the Romaniacs blog.

I'll be back here tomorrow with more details.

Until then