The book I am ghostwriting for a client is with an editor. It will be published by Easter. I'm so lucky to have been able to do this project and I'm grateful to my RNA friends for passing this client to me. I will be signing up for a ghostwriting online course to top up what I've learned from this project. I loved it. I learned so much. I want to do more of it.
I received my certificate for my MA in creative writing. I'm so pleased that after so long talking about studying creative writing, I finally knuckled down and did it. I received a *commendation* which is great. I can't work out how that fits in terms of grading, but it sounds nice! If anyone can shed any light onto it, do let me know.
Real People Write Books has our second workshop in London on 1 April about characters and conflict. The last workshop on 21 January received an average rating of 9.4/10 and some wonderful comments. I'll write a separate post about that day. There's a early bird discount available at the moment and you can pay in two installments. We take cheque, paypal button and bank transfer for payments. Any questions comment here or email me.
I blogged the feedback from UK Meet 2016, which overall was very positive. Looking forward to working with the team on the 2018 event, but also enjoying having a sabbatical from it this year.
I will be blogging a story in weekly installments, having picked up this idea from @FictionFox author, Catherine Fox at the RNA conference in 2016. It will be on a separate blog from this one - specifically for blogging the story. I'll link it back to here of course. The story is called, The Trouble With Rent Boys and it's a sort of gay Jackie Collins bonk buster about how a rent boy affects the lives of a cast of others living in Chelsea and Essex. It has romantic elements in it but it's not really a pure romance. Readers will either enjoy it or they'll hate it. Whichever way it'll have shared it because it's hiding on my hard drive at the moment and I think it's a fun story so I want to share it. To paraphrase a French and Saunders rip off of Jackie Collins: it has sex, it has lipstick, it has more sex, it has more lipstick, it has rent boys...
I've organised a second budget writing retreat for me and 4 authors. This time we're off to Kent and I'm sure there will be wine, writing and laughter just like last time. It's always so lovely to talk writing with others who really understand what it's like to write a book. I'm pleased that a deluxe caravan between the 4 of us for 3 nights works out at just over £40 per person in total. Of course there's food and transport on top, but for 3 nights of away from the internet writing time with other authors, I think that's very reasonable. My idea for the original budget writing retreat came from a desire to spend time with other authors but not wanting to spend the costs usually associated with a whole week, plus the fact that a whole week would use up some of my annual leave from my day job.
I ran a session at West Essex Writers - the local writing group I now run with Virginia Heath - about dialogue and all the other elements you need around it to make an emotional, engaging story. I used a Penny Jordan book from the eighties. I know some people are very snobby about Mills and Boon books, but when you've only got 50,000 words to play with, you can't have great long descriptions of people musing and staring at the moors, or where the moors would be if you had moors. (That's a Father Ted joke btw.) Like everything to do with writing, I think it's best learned through doing, and examples of real fiction is a good way to learn concepts, rather than making it too academic. (Says he with his MA certificate *rolls eyes*)
I'm working on Ibiza Story at the moment after I received feedback for how it could be made better to suit the publisher I submitted it to. There's a wide range of responses when you submit a book, as I've learned.
- No response - literally nothing, except a 'thanks for your submission)
- No thanks - standard, it wasn't for us response. No feedback on why. This is particularly disheartening.
- Revise and resubmit - thanks for your submission but we don't think it's right for us and this is how we think it could be changed so it stands a better chance of being right for us. It's the nicest 'no' you can get really.
- Acceptance - yay you, we liked what you sent us and would like to offer you a contract.
My male/female romance novel is with beta readers, ready to have another edit in March for submission shortly afterwards. I've had one set of comments back and it's encouraging. Still work to do, but I don't think I've got the female main character *completely* wrong. More later, as the other beta readers come back to me.
Love and light,
Liam Livings xx