Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Right Write

As we are approach the end of the cruel month of January, I’m looking back and reflecting.  You see this month taught me quite a valuable lesson.

I hit the ground running with BOOK SIX and before I knew it I was almost 20k words in (that’s about a quarter of a book).  Then the unthinkable happened - we fell out.  Yep, me and my work in progress just stopped seeing eye to eye.  It’s only ever happened to me once before, and that was at a much earlier stage in development.

I figured I was tired, that I’d been trying to do too much.  So I put my work aside and hoped for the best.

When I returned to it, I still liked it and so did hubbie but something just didn’t feel right.  When I write, I start each day eager to get back to my characters and ready to plough forward with the plot.  But this wasn’t happening with this book and I found that I was finding any excuse to be doing something else.

But not only was I not writing, I also wasn’t thinking.  That was another reason why I began to suspect something was wrong.  You see, as any writer knows, when you’re mid-book your mind is constantly drifting, seeking out your characters and testing snippets of dialogue or possible sub-plots.  None of this was happening.

So I did what I do best.  I sulked for a while and told myself I’d never write another book again - I’d clearly lost the knack.  All my bragging about not getting writer’s block was coming back to bite me on the bum and it served me right.  My writer’s days were over.

Then a little voice popped into my head and, not only did it tell me that I was writing the wrong book at the wrong time, it also gave me the tiniest seed of a new plot.

I went to bed that night and considered what had happened.  Could I really ditch all the hard work I’d put in and start on another project? - what if that failed too?

But the following morning saw me feeling brighter and more positive than I had all month.  I had to listen to my gut feeling and go with the flow.

And that’s exactly what happened - I began to flow again.  The words were flying out of me with no blockages or hiccups and hubbie was delighted to see me drifting off again with what he calls ‘plot face’.

I’m not looking at the hours I spent on ‘The Other Book Six’ as wasted.  I’m seeing it as a lesson, a very valuable one.  If something’s not working, you know it instinctively and no amount of sitting looking at a screen or notebook will get it moving forward.

I’m now 12k words into my new work and each day starts with that old familiar fizz of excitement.

Not only am I back on track but I’ll be ready for a blip like that if it ever happens again - it’s no crime to cut your losses and I don’t think it makes you less of a writer.  I actually think it makes you more of one.

Now, excuse me but I have a book to write.  The right book.

PS:  There were two winners of the competition I ran last week.  One chose 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' and one chose 'Stilettos and Stubble'.  Congratulations and thanks to all those who entered.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


As the London snow starts to melt and 'Blue Monday' has passed us by, I've decided to spread a little happiness on the blog this week.

January is a cruel and long month.  I personally like nothing better than curling up with a cup of tea, some chocolate biscuits and a good book.  Now I can't provide you with the tea and biscuits but I might be able to help you with your own reading material.

Would you like to win a Kindle compatible copy of one of my books to help pass some chilly hours?

I'll be running this competition until Tuesday 29th January 8pm (UK) and my son will pick the winner based on the answer he thinks is the best.

SO ... take a look at my books below and then tell me which one you'd like and why you feel you should win the prize.  You can leave your answers here, on Facebook, Twitter or by email.

The winner will be announced on next week's blog - and don't forget you don't need a Kindle.  You can read on  PCs, Smartphones or iPads with a free app from Amazon.


Ever felt like you don't belong?

When Libby Marchant and husband Ned made the monumental decision to sacrifice luxuries and holidays to see their only son Max through private education, they hadn’t expected to meet so many unsavoury and dislikeable personalities along the way.

Happily, the cruel jibes of the pompous ‘Meemies’ are made more tolerable by the lasting and loyal friendship they strike up with the affluent Fenella & Josh.

Follow Libby’s journey as she discovers the chasm between the Haves and the Have-Nots in her mad new world of school committees, designer handbags, bitching and botox.

With Fenella by her side, Libby is able to maintain her sanity. But what happens when the credit crunch bites, you’re desperate for another baby and your Asian neighbour is trying to match-make you with her infatuated son?

Think you knew Mummy Misfit?

Well, you might be in for a surprise.

After a year of struggling with school fees, trying to become pregnant and feeling like she didn’t belong amongst the prep-school ‘Meemies’, Libby is back.

Only this time, she’s got it all.

But how long can it last and will she ever be truly happy?

Join Libby on her hilarious, yet sensitive journey as
loyalty, friendships and values are tested in
‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’.  

Middle aged and middle-of-the-road, Fee Crawford has been drifting through life in a passionless marriage and hurtling towards the menopause.

With her twin boys grown up and needing her less, why does she still feel incomplete?

Coping with her elderly dad, increasingly distant husband and flighty best friend, Cordelia, her life seems to be spiralling out of control.

Will a chance meeting with a handsome vet be the missing link to make everything fall into place? A tale of families, love and mid-life crisis. 
All her life Persephone’s been branded a ‘Big Girl’.

Criticised by her outwardly perfect mother, dearly loved by her father, she’s the
‘Queen of Low Self-Esteem’.

Finding herself suddenly immersed in a world of glitz and glamour, where nothing is quite as it seems, will she finally realise ...

... ‘It’s what’s inside that counts’? 


It’s that time of year again and the Willoughby family think they’ve got everything wrapped up.

Each concealing their own issues, they return to widowed mum Maggie to play at happy families.

But an unexpected delivery challenges their perceptions of one other - and of themselves.

Grab a mulled wine, snuggle up by the fire and share a family Christmas with a difference.

Because Christmas doesn’t always deliver what you want - but sometimes it might be just what you need.


‘Gems like this speak to your heart head and funny bone’
(The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit)

‘A good, well-written slice of British chicklit’
(Diary of a Mummy Misfit)

‘Essential reading for any mother at any stage of motherhood’
(Diary of a Mummy Misfit)

‘A superb knack of putting vivid images in your head with her fabulous writing style’
(Completing the Puzzle)

‘I feel her pain, I laugh when she laughs and I cry when she cries’
(The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit)

‘A story which is not only laugh-out-loud funny, it's also touching’
(Diary of a Mummy Misfit)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Misfit and Mr Wilfred

Today I’m being interviewed by Twitter friend, Ian Wilfred.  Ian is well worth a follow as he’ll always cheer you up and give you a giggle.  He’s also one of a very select group of males who choose to write chicklit and his debut novel ‘Putting Right the Past’ will be published in April. Watch this space.  I can't wait to read it.

Over to Ian …

So Amanda, can you remember the first thing you ever wrote that you were proud of?

Oh yes, I most definitely can, Ian!  I was about seven and we were told to write an essay about fireworks. Well, let me tell you, I became those fireworks!  I wrote it from their perspective as they all waited in the box before the big event.  I think it was about six pages long and I was so unbelievably proud of myself.  The icing on the cake was when I was sent to the Headmaster to get a star stamped on my forehead for good work - I swear I worked harder on the days the star survived on my unwashed face.  Now there’s a thought … I might get hubbie to start whacking a gold star on me at the end of a good day’s writing!

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t want to tempt fate here, so I’ll whisper it … I don’t really ever get it, shush!  I sit down to write in the morning and I always know where I need to be taking the story on that day.  Most nights will see me planning in my head as I lie in bed - it beats worrying about everyday life and stuff you can’t change!  So by the time I’m at my desk, I’m ready to go.  My characters always tell me where they need to go next and I simply follow them along their path.  On the days that I’m woolly-headed or slow, I get up, make coffee, put some washing on, pluck an eyebrow or two and suddenly I find I’m good to go again.

Why do you avoid sex scenes?

As most of my books contain a certain amount of humour, I don’t feel they are suited to explicit scenes so the act is alluded to and left at the bedroom door.  I’m certainly no prude, and am quite partial to a little smutty read on occasions, but it’s not my writing style and I don’t believe my readers expect it or feel shafted (pardon the pun) that it’s not there.

A reader of ‘Stilettos & Stubble’ was a little miffed that there was no real reference to the gays’ sex lives.  What’s your take on this?

I have to say that review left me a little confused.  As I mentioned before, all sex is left at the bedroom door so it would have been a little odd to start writing graphic gay scenes.  I feel that the love between various drag queens in the book is written fully and with sensitivity - I hope I made the reader feel their commitment and loyalty and realise that, through that, a little more than hand holding takes place!  In any event the main action focuses on Persephone and Luke and, as with most books, the shenanigans of others remain on the periphery.

If a publisher offered you a book deal now, would you bite their hand off?

I’d have to be totally mercenary here and say, ‘How much?’  Working as an Indie suits me just fine at the moment and I know that, aside from the small cut that goes to Amazon and Lulu, all the profits are mine.  OK that also means that I have to do all my own promoting and general flogging but I’m my own boss, working at my own pace.  Aside from my writing, I have a husband, teenage son and elderly mother to think about - which means I’m not always in a position to drop everything and go to a book signing in Outer Mongolia.  Saying that though, I’m an excellent juggler and could easily manage a few extra balls if a six figure offer was thrown into the mix.

What are your hopes and dreams for 2013?

I plan to release two new novels - June and December - and a Christmas novella in October.  ‘Christmas Deliverance’ was very well received but I regret not bringing it out earlier last year - you live and learn.

I’d like to earn enough to get our leaky roof fixed and redecorate the house - I LOVE painting so this will be a huge pleasure.  In reality, I’ll be happy to earn enough to just keep the leaky roof over our heads.

I’d like to have a short break - just a couple of days by the sea.  Unlikely, but I can dream.

I hope my son finishes his final year at school with A level results that he’s pleased with and a rough idea of where he’s heading in life.  I just want him to be happy.

I want all my family and friends to be happy, healthy and safe.

Thanks for the interview, Ian, it’s been fun and I fully intend to return the favour when your novel hits the shelves.  I can’t wait to delve into your head a little further and find out what makes a guy write chicklit!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Awards of 2012

Many thanks to my friend and fellow writer/blogger, Jamie Tucker Dougan for tagging me this week in his Awards of 2012 blog.

Jamie wanted to sum up the year with a few quick-fire questions.  So here goes with my answers:

One word to sum up 2012.


Song of the year.

Olly Murs and ‘Troublemaker’ - I love this song and it never hurts to see Olly in action, does it?

Album of the year.

Ok so it’s a couple of years after its release date but this album first came onto my radar last year so I think it counts.  It’s the fab Caro Emerald and ‘Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor’  It’s a little bit quirky, raunchy and Burlesque and always has me singing along and ready for a shimmy.

Highlight of the year.

Seeing my book at #1 free in Kindle and then the subsequent sales on the back of that.

Hero of the year.

My lovely husband.  I know, reach for the puke bucket but I do mean it. Even in the most dire of times he stays upbeat and positive and I welcome every new day and challenge we share together.  I wouldn’t be a published author without him and I love him for his support and the constant laughter.

Sports star of the year.

I’m not a sporty person but I fell in love with Mo Farah this year.  That open smile just melts my heart and when he so effortlessly beat The Cube and won £250,000 for charity, I cried buckets.  Yes, I’m a soppy cow!

Movie of the year.

It’s an oldie but a goodie and one we finally got to share with our son so I’d have to say, ‘Rainman’ -  OK it’s not a 2012 movie but it was part of our year and I defy anyone to watch this film without laughing and crying.

TV show of the year.

Sorry, you either love it or hate it but it has to be Miranda - the inspiration behind my latest novel Stilettos & Stubble’

Also ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ and ‘Come Dine With Me.’

Crush of the year.

Whenever I write I have Gold TV playing British sitcom reruns constantly in the background and I have a super soft spot for Geoffrey Palmer  in ‘As Time Goes By.  Craggy, lived-in and cosy with a dry sense of humour but an underlying sexiness!

On the other side of the coin, I have the hots for Olly Murs - way too young, way too wrong!

So what would your answers be?  How would you rate your 2012? Please feel free to post your own blog or leave your comments here.

You can purchase all 4 of my books or my Christmas novella at Amazon for Kindle or at Lulu in paperback. Thank you and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A Good Face for Radio!

Happy 2013 to all my readers!  How’s it been going for you so far?  Good, I hope, because we don’t want it any other way, do we?

A short but sweet blog this week as I wanted to keep you up to date with happenings here at Misfit House.

My year has certainly started in the right way and long may it continue.  Our New Year’s Eve was spent in the company of close friends, drinking champers, eating and taking part in a quiz.  Oh, and teaching a puppy to dance Pudsey-style but that’s a whole different story and no, there are no pictures!

And on the back of my Daily Mail article, I was offered two radio interviews.  The first was for Talk Radio Europe and it was recorded today ready to go on air tomorrow (Thursday 3rd January) at 6pm and repeated on Sunday 6th January at 9pm - you can eventually listen to it here.  

The second will be going out LIVE at 3pm (eek!) on BBC Radio London 94.9 this coming Friday 5th on the Jo Good show.  The producer has told me that I’ll also be taking calls from listeners, so I fully expect to be ripped to shreds, but I welcome the chance to defend myself and my son.  Bring it on!  I’m also looking forward to a visit to the BBC studios - exciting times!  You can tune in on the radio or online here.

So, all in all, a positive start to my new year.  BOOK SIX is planned and ready to be started next week. I’m thoroughly looking forward to getting back to some sort of routine and knuckling down to get that first draft out.  The characters are ready and the stage is set - all that’s needed is for me to say ‘Curtain Up!’  And that may give you a slight clue to the book’s content.  ‘Nuff said!

So, New Year’s resolutions?  Nah!  I never bother because I don’t believe in them.  Although I've kind of been forced into one.  My goddaughter reminded me that we’d made a vow (three years ago) to have our hair permed on my 50th birthday (February 2014) so this year’s challenge is to grow my hair!  Hubbie is NOT happy - he likes the bob too much but a godmother never goes back on a promise.

Wish me luck as I head off to my interview and, if any of you fancy ringing in, it would be great to hear a friendly voice.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013