Tag Archive | Canada Water Library

Girls’ Night In with Adele Parks, Carmen Reid, Katie Fforde and Lesley Pearse

Meet the ‘Girls’ Night In’ panel – bestselling authors Adele Parks, Lesley Pearse, Carmen Reid and Katie Fforde.

Adele, Lesley, Carmen and Katie will start by discussing the joys of a night in with a good book and throughout the evening the audience can ask the panel about their lives and works.

Discover who inspired them to become writers, what projects they are currently working on, which current authors they love, which books they have never quite got round to reading and much, much more!

There will be an opportunity for book signings at the end of the night. The event is free but booking is essential.

Last night Canada Water library held its first (I hope first) Girls’ Night In. I randomly heard about it on a newsletter or something, then again on the day the library opened when they were handing out fliers. Adele Parks – enough said, I booked a place.

As you may have heard by now (I keep going on and on about it) I love the new library. I hadn’t been in the theatre until last night though. It’s really nice. It holds 150 people, but manages to do it while still feeling intimate. There were only about 40 of us last night, but it didn’t feel that empty. The room is a deep red colour which is really nice (it matched my bag!) with really nice comfy seats – with lots of leg room, not something I usually worry about being 5’2” but something I know other people care about.

Adele, Lesley, Katie and Carmen came along and answered questions mainly about what influenced them to write and what they love reading. No one asked any questions about how they got published, or they journey to publication – very different to the other Girls’ Night In evenings that I’ve been to.

They opened by introducing themselves and a bit about their writing. A couple of answers were really interesting. Katie said that she’d like to be classed as chick-lit, but feels she’s too old. Carmen says she loves to hate the title ‘chick-lit’ so instead called her new book ‘Romantic Crimedy.’ With all the hype about ‘chick lit’ it’s interesting to see what authors classify themselves as. Adele used the ‘Romantic Novels’ title. Lesley writes harder and grittier novels.

The ladies talked about novels they think they should read, and ones they didn’t enjoy, so I thought I’d ask what their favourite novel of all time is. Glad I did, because Lesley said Gone with the Wind. By amazing coincidence I’ve just put that on my ‘TBR Novel Challenge for 2012,’ I can’t wait to read it now! It’s also given me ideas of other novels to read – The World According to Garp by John Irving (Carmen) and a book that I didn’t write down properly (Katie), I thought it was Diary of a Bored Housewife, but I can’t find that on amazon. I’ll ask her that.

I took away a couple of things from the night – other than a really enjoyable evening obviously.

The first I think I’m going to find hard to explain – or I did last night anyway (but then I’d had half a bottle of champagne, so maybe it was the alcohol that made it hard!). The authors were asked if they write for the love of it, or money, or both. Adele said that if she won the lottery she’d carry on writing. I totally feel the same – only more.

At the moment I write after work, at weekends, during holidays etc. If I won the lottery I wouldn’t have to work, so I just know I’d spend more time writing! I WISH I could win the lottery so I could spend more time writing, that would be awesome.

Why did that stick with me so much? I guess it proves that I love writing, and I’m not doing it in the hope of making money from him. Of course I’m going to submit my book next year (it’s going to be a goal for the new year) so it’s not like I don’t want to make money from it, but I’m realistic. I know that even if I get published I’m probably not going to make much money from it, and will have to carry on working. I would love to be able to give everything else up though, and just write! That would be a dream come true. I think it’s good to remember sometimes that I do actually love it. Especially after NaNo and during December when I have this other writing challenge, I do writing challenges BECAUSE I love it, not just for a challenge. I don’t think I’d thought about that for a while!

Kind of totally different to that, the other thing I thought was REALLY interesting is that Katie puts her husband’s bad traits into characters in her novels. I love that idea – ranting about a trait of a character, not directly at your partner… Ingenious! Not that my boyfriend has any annoying habits, of course… 😉

At the end of the evening, the ladies signed books. I went and introduced myself to Adele (who’s commented on here a couple of times, and replied to tweets of mine!) and got her to sign Men I’ve Loved Before. She was so so nice. I spent ages chatting to her and Katie (who’s also lovely) and also had a brief chat to Carmen and Lesley. Again I was reminded that the people who do this novel publishing thing, are real people, just like you and me!

I had such a good night. How nice it must be to be an author at an event like that – spending an hour with like-minded people chatting about your favourite subject (well mine anyway) books and writing.

Maybe I should go write more of my book – I’ll never know if I don’t finish (and edit) one!!

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A Little Bit of Monday Rambling

Way back, earlier this year, in the days before NaNoWriMo and ROW80, I used to just have random blogs where I just rambled on about this and that. ROW80 may still be going strong, but seeing as 1 of my goals for the month is to blog everyday, I guess I’m going back to the rambling blogs!

I guess my old blogs were the same as my ROW80 and NaNo check in blogs are/were – a general catch up on what’s going on, and chat about anything else going on. I can’t really remember. They must have been.

Well. 1,000 words a day is still so manageable. I can’t believe I keep saying that after I sulked my way through 250 words a day back in the summer. It’s amazing how a couple of 3,000/4,000 word days put things into perspective.

What the problem with this writing thing, is that I keep leaving it until last thing at night. Not so much of a problem, as I think I write better, and am more alert at night (I believe that thing about if you were born at night you’re a night person vs being a morning person if born during the day – I was born 11.35 at night), but it means I’m going to bed late, which in turn is making me tired – all the time.

Today hasn’t been too bad, but last week was HARD! I’m going to try to write as soon as I get home tonight, or, if not straight away after dinner. I’m not going to let myself get sucked into the normal watching a movie then chatting, then suddenly remembering I need to write when I should be going to bed trap again. Nope. Not tonight.

On the subject of movies, I watched Up last night. Boyfriend told me I was going to cry in the first 10 minutes, so I was so on edge. Then the sad thing happened, and oh my god, did I cry. Like so much. uncontrollable sobs! Other than that (or maybe because of that?) I thought it was an amazing film. If you’ve not seen it, go see it.

There’s just 16 days of the month left. That means 26 days (thanks Em for noticing my terrible mathematics attempt) to finish my 2 reading challenges for this year. I have no idea how far away from that goal I am for the Mystery & Suspense Challenge, but know I need to read the one I’m on and another for the A-Z Challenge. I also want to read The Gift for the Novelkicks reading group this month. I had wanted to read my new Adele Parks one before Wed, but that’s totally not happening.

Why Wednesday? Have you not heard? Adele Parks, Carmen Reid and others are talking at the Canada Water library. How excited am I!? Adele said on Twitter I should go and introduce myself to her – MEGA EXCITED! And I’ve got my new book for her to sign.

What’s that? You think I should also talk to Carmen Reid? And get her to sign my book? Oh, but I don’t have any of her books! Oh, maybe I should buy one there? What a great idea! Oh, and while I’m there maybe I should buy Adele’s new one – About Last Night (I really really, really want to read it, so that’s not going to be a chore) too? He he! 

Fingers crossed boyfriend’s work sort their wages mistake by Wednesday then eh!

NaNoWriMo – The Last Three Days

Possibly more exciting than NaNo (only possibly though), I’m currently sat in the new Canada Water (suburb of London) Library. It’s so nice. Well, so far, I’ve only really registered and then sat at a computer. I’ve heard there are 40,000 books here. 40,000. That’s awesome. It’s obviously new and clean and just exciting. Except for the constant noise of childern crying and stuff. Ha.

As we still don’t have the internet at home (I know, we will sort it sometime soon – I’m told anyway), I’ve been set a challenge by the boyfriend of coming here after work a few days a week and blogging. He tells me I don’t blog enough (like writing 1,667 words a day gives me that much free time to blog), which I kind of know. It’s an idea. I used to sometimes stay behind at work and blog, but work’s been so terrible recently that at 5.30 I’m outta there. So maybe his idea is a good one.

Boyfriend may not be getting anything he wants in the near future – he’s just pointed out a book on the nearest shelf to us (implying I could get it) ‘Creative Writing for Dummies.’ Hmmmm. Yes, a little insulted! Although if there’s other writing books on the same shelf… Funny how without looking I found a computer right next to the writing books 😉

Ok, back to the task in hand – NaNo.

Remember last week, I had all these great plans for writing in the last week? The plan was 3k on Thursday, 5k on Friday then 2k today (having the weekend off for boyfriend’s birthday). That would take me to a win TODAY.

Yeah, um. That didn’t happen. On Thursday instead of going home after work, I went for work drinks. And got, well lets just say drunk. Not sure if it describes it well enough, but it’s what we’ll go with. I went home and tried to write… but the red squiggle under at least half of the 100 words changed my mind. Friday I was really hungover and didn’t even turn the laptop on. Damn.

I’d always planned to have the weekend off, but woke up on Sunday just feeling tired. At 2pm I put on Twitter that it would be good to get a 5k day in, and enough people told me I could do it that I decided to give it a go. Until the hangover kicked in an hour or so later. I got 1k in like 2 1/2 hours. Not great. But I persisted on and off, then at about 11pm I got a proper ‘second wind’ which took my total for the day to 3057. I am so ridiculously proud of that.

My plan for today is another 5k, then 2 tomorrow. That means I will win tomorrow. The problem with that is that it’s now 5.30pm an I’ve done nothing. Oops. Still, all I need is a good  run and I can do that in no time… Uh… At the end of the day though, I only really NEED to do 2.5k for the next 3 days and I win. I can’t believe I’m saying this but 2.5k is pretty easy to get in (as long as I don’t do anything after work other than cook and write).

Do you remember the beginning of October, when ROW80 Round 4 began? I planned for 500 words a day and was worried about getting it. 2 months later I’m saying another 2,000 on top of that is doable. How things change.

I’ve also decided on my plan for the next few months.

Usually after NaNo, I stop writing in December. I think I need the break after the 50,000 the month before. It then takes me another 6 odd months to properly get back into it – not great for getting novels finished! This year is going to be different. In December I’m going finish ‘The Man of My Dreams.’ I’m then going to give it a month’s break in January, but not stop writing then. I’m going to write short stories and stuff. I think I’ll probably go back and use a load of old Fiction Friday prompts or random word generators to give me ideas (prompts work pretty well for me).

In February I’m going to pick ‘The Man of My Dreams’ back up and edit the first three chapters in 6 ish weeks. Then… At the end of March… I’m going to try to find an agent. Yep, I’m going to start submitting it to agents. Eek. Agh! MAAAHHHH!

I’m scared. But, if I’m going to do it… I need to make a start. I think 2012 is the right year.

It shows how much I like ‘The Man of My Dreams,’ doesn’t it. I’m confident about it, and do think (having not read any back though) it’s the best thing I’ve written. I guess if you constantly improve, something I’m writing now is bound to be better than something I wrote 2 years ago.

Anyway, if I’m going to get 5,000 words in tonight, I need to crack on with it. Plus, we all know I NEED to go and look at books. I’m surprised I’ve survived half an hour in a library and NOT looked at them already.

How’s everyone else’s NaNo/ROW80/other project going?