Tag Archive | Girl’s Night In

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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#ROW80 Check in – Sunday 12th June

My bedroom clock says 0.00 Monday, but my mobile says 11.57, so I’m not late, ha ha!

I’m not doing great, but I’m not doing too badly. Although that’s only because of today. This morning I managed 540 words – almost double my daily goal. However I’d done nothing since my last check in on Wednesday – the check where I realised if I hit my target of 300 words a day I’ll get 4k+ by the end of this round of ROW80.

Although on this mini goal I’m now 700 words behind, I’m determined I’m going to do it. I started a story for Fiction Friday last week, and I worked more on it earlier today, and I’m feeling quite into it, so I’m going to keep at it for a while. I don’t think it will go anywhere as there’s not really a good enough story line, but it’s an experiment in creating sexual tension, and a couple getting together for the first time. I know I need more of this in Italian Infatuation so I think this is really useful to do.

I also had a bit of a realisation today – I want to work more on ‘Holiday.’ ‘Holiday’ is another novel I’m working on, that I actually started writing well over 2 years ago – it’s just slow going. Having said that, I have high hopes for it, I love the story idea and think it will make a brilliant novel. When I get finish it. Oh, and change the title to something I actually like – ‘Holiday’ is definitely a working title!

The thing that has been putting me off it is that I’ve got so many bitty bits of it that I don’t know what to write, when. When I did Italian Infatuation and The Dating Project for NaNoWriMo 2009 and 2010 respectively I did them chronologically so I knew where I was at all times. ‘Holiday’ scares me because I don’t have a clue.

I really didn’t think this was a good way of writing, but at the time I was writing things as they came in my head, or later on when I knew how the story would shape up, as they interested me. When I met Chrissie Manby a few weeks ago at the Girl’s Night In at Brixton Library she said that she writes like that – in a random order. There’s something comforting knowing that someone has had success writing this way – it’s inspiring.

So, at some point in the very near future, I’m going to get out my old laptop and look at ‘Holiday,’ see where it is and where I need to go, and work on it a little more. I’m determined I’m going to get a pattern together in my life where I write and edit, oh, and work on my writing course.

It won’t be tomorrow though, tomorrow I’m going to make an appearance at the writing group I joined a few months ago, but that I have only been to twice. Go me!

Not Much Writing, But Lots of Excitement (#ROW80 Check-in)

I was just trying to work out why I’ve done no writing or editing this week… but then I realised it’s only Wednesday – and I am about to do some for today. Yesterday I HAD to go shopping (for a dress for a wedding – see essential stuff!) and Monday, I… Well to be honest I can’t rememeber why I didn’t do anything. It possibly had something to do with Gavin and Stacy being on TV and me having not watched any TV for ages.

Today though, I’m going to do some. Just as soon as I’ve finished this. And maybe that other blog I’m working on. And possibly a book review. Then, I promise I’ll do some. Honest.

The reason I’ve got lots of excitement going on is two fold – first I went to an author event on Friday (and you know how excited I get about them) and secondly… are you ready? I started editing Italian Infatuation on Friday. Like actually got a pen out and started scribbling on it. Like proper editing! I only did about half an hour, but that’s half an hour more than I’ve done editing it since I wrote it.

Oh, another really exciting thing, at the author event ‘Girls Night In,’ (I’ll link the blog about it here when I do it) was that Chris (Chrissie) Manby told me she LOVED the name Italian Infatuation. Woop! I really like it too, but to have someone as experienced as Chrissie say she likes it… wow!

The main reason I really wanted to blog today, was that I wanted to share with you my belief that things happen for a reason. Stylist is a free weekly magazine in London for women. I used to get it every Wednesday, and love it. But in October we moved offices and since then I don’t really get it. I don’t know if they don’t give them out at London Bridge or Moorgate (whichever I decide getting off at that day) or if they’ve all been given out by the time I get there, but I never usually get one, and never usually see anyone who has handed them out.

Today, that changed. Today, as soon as I stepped out the station and saw a florescent jacket, I knew. Hopefully the Stylist people have decided Moorgate is a good station to hand them out (mental note to tell @stylistmagazine on Twitter!). I didn’t get a chance to read it until I sat down tonight for dinner, and when I did, imagine how delighted I was when the cover story was about my favourite subject: BOOKS!

Children’s books to be exact. There was an article on ‘The Books We Never Outgrow,’ then a top 10 children’s books countdown. They chose so many good books, some of which I’d forgotten existed (Malory Towers, The Worst Witch anyone?) ,  and some I’d remembered (Anne of Green Gables, The BFG). Anne of Green Gables is actually still on my TBR list now. When I was younger I was addicted to the series, but now, I can’t rememeber it, and I want to be able to remember it. Reading the list made me want to add all the other books to my TBR list too. You know, I may!

The final thing in the article was a 9 point plan of ‘How To Get Your Children’s Book Published,’ which is actually something I’d like to do (you know, once I’ve written it, and published my romance and YA novels!) Seriously, it’s like the magazine was specifically for me today – and totally goes back to what I was saying in the begining – things happen for a reason and I believe someone somewhere wanted me to get a Stylist today for a reason!

Right, I think that’s enough jibba-jabba for today. I was going to say I’ll go and edit (or write another blog, or even just do some writing), but I flicked very quickly onto Twitter and have just seen The Apprentice is on. This will be a will power test!

ROW80 so far: 8,830 w0rds; 30 mins writing course; 30 mins EDITING! Woop!