Going places

Hello to my blog followers and all the new ones. One in North Wales in particular, hope you enjoy the blog posts.pony on snowdon

 

I won a book

going places

This lovely anthology from Gill James at Bridgehouse publishing arrived in the post today. And full of many of my favourite authors. Teresa Ashby, Sally Quilford to name but two. Looking forward to reading those.

At Bridgehouse publishing, they’re looking for stories. Have a look here

Also, look at all these submission slots on Gill’s newsletter. I’ll be having a go at some of those.

As if I haven’t got enough to be doing, I’m trying to transfer my writing website to be in the same place as my blog. It’s been a bit of a headache to say the least and lots of helpful live chats. I hope it will be working soon, so if you tried to click onto my website and couldn’t, that’s why.

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For anyone who’s still following,here’s chapter one of the next Redington book. I can only post the first chapter, then the whole lot will be a surprise for you later on in the year.

It may change by time it’s finished, but that’s the gist of the beginning. Thanks for reading, if you did:))

 

 

Fancy a good story?

I started back at the gym this week. On Wednesday morning and again this morning, I went on the rowing machine, treadmill, bike and then the cross-trainer. After that mat excercises and stretches to cool down. I’m lucky to have a personal trainer, who says, no do those planks for a bit longer, and no, not like that, like this. Next week I might swim to mix it up a bit.

gym pictureThat’s not the story. I came home to find out that I’d won Morgen Bailey’s challenge to give the words for a story prompt. What she did with the words is lovely. Exactly the kind of story I had in mind. Details are here.

You can read all three stories here… How lovely to have a prize of 5,000 words edited.

Now I’m working on chapter 3 of Another Year in Redington. Being in Norfolk, they’re talking about the whales and how tragic it is that they’ve been washed up on the coast.

Have a great weekend, and if you want to read the opening of Redington, you can find it here on Amazon.

Thanks to all who have already downloaded or bought it.

 

Glam gran’s blog

Are you a glam Gran?

Most of my blog followers will know that Glam gran is all in fun. I’m more of a muddy boots and mop and bucket gran really. The building site is cleaned up as the job is close to finishing now. They still need me so I keep turning up.

Here’s our little gem in her boat. She’s cruising the med, and going by first class travel as you can see.

Sophie in her boat

 

Thanks to all the lovely people who are downloading and buying my books. Here they are on goodreads if you’re interested.

Sue in kitchenCOFFEE

I’m in the kitchen, brewing a proper cup of coffee. We live near the midland’s best market according to the media. In Nuneaton there’s a lady who grinds the beans and you can choose whichever blend takes your fancy. All glam gran’s know it tastes the best and seeing as it’s winter we need a piece of cake to go with it. Promise I’m back swimming or gyming soon. My cleaning job keeps me fairly fit at the moment.

You may or may not notice that I’m leaving off the hair colour for a while. Over colouring made it go brittle and broken. Normally I have shiny hair and when I looked at the roots it made me realise that my own colour goes better with my skin and eyes. That’s the plan for now. In a few months I may have a completely different idea. I’ll let you know. I may be Granny Grey by the summertime, or not.

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For anyone interested in the next part of chapter 1 of Redington book 2, here it follows.

Janice is in the shop and talking to Ivy about the rumors of a royal coming to Redington.

 

“I think there might be something in it, Ivy. I heard on the radio just before Christmas that he was going to be attending Nursery in mid-Norfolk.” Janice was marking the boxes of mince pies at half price. Nobody would want them now, and the sell by date was the end of the month.

Ivy picked up two boxes of the special offer cakes, and popped them in her basket, she frowned. “From what Edna Bailey was telling me last night after choir practise there are already quite a few names down, and they’ve appointed a new teacher there. She’s moving in about now I think. She’s bought one of the new flats on the edge of the village.”

“Flipping heck, Ivy, you know all the gossip.” Janice patted her arm as she noticed the look of alarm on the old lady’s face. “In a good way, don’t take it to heart. That’s what’s good about having a village shop. We exchange news, better than in here really,” Janice patted her fingers and glanced at the Gazette as she passed it across the counter. “Oh my God, Ivy…” Janice put her hand to her mouth and gripped Ivy’s hand. “Just when I was saying we only gossip in a nice way.”

The headline in the paper showed a picture of the new building site where some flats and houses were finished and others were still being built. Ivy dropped her basket as she read the headline out loud… “Body found on a building site…”

Janice pushed her purple glasses up onto the bridge of her nose. “There’s no news of who it is.” She clasped her hand over her mouth again. “I didn’t even notice this morning when I bagged up the papers. Oh, Ivy, let’s get us a cup of tea. I don’t want to send you off up the street after a shock like that. Here, sit down.” She pulled out another chair from under the counter, and returned her specs to the place she usually kept them; on top of her head.

They were still sitting chatting and not wanting to contemplate who or what was behind the tragic discovery, when Betty stuck her head through the door. “You’ve heard the news?”

“Only just now, I can’t believe it.” Janice got up and walked towards the door. “Who told you?”

Betty put her hands into her pinafore, and pulled a tissue from the front pocket. “One of the gang of builders; he comes in for a pasty most mornings. They were about to lay some cement, and one of them spotted that the earth had been disturbed. Ugh.” She shivered and screwed her face up. “What is this village coming to? A body buried under the foundations of the new houses. Imagine if they hadn’t been alert to the soil being tampered with, that poor person would have been buried forever.”

“Have they any idea who it might be?” ventured Ivy. “It sounds like something from a mafia film; not something that goes on in our back yard. It’s made me feel quite sick.”

Janice put an arm around Ivy’s shoulder. “Come on, I’ll get Richie to drop you off in the van. He’s going out in a minute anyway with the deliveries. It’s been a shock for us all but I’m sure they’ll find out more when they’ve done tests and things.” She called to the delivery boy, who had almost finished loading up. As Ivy settled into the van, Janice whispered to Richie, “Make sure you see her into the house, and then tell her to lock the door.”

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More news from Redington soon. I may set up a newsletter where you can read the first chapter in full rather than bits. Word count is 4,740 and I’m on chapter 2.

 

 

Welcome, Amanda Brittany

People’s Friend Author Interview – Welcome Amanda Brittany.

Amanda storyAmanda BrittanyAmanda interview

It’s a pleasure to welcome Amanda Brittany on to my blog today.
Hello, Amanda, thanks for agreeing to be my blog guest for January. I always enjoy your stories so it’s a real pleasure to chat to you about your writing.

It’s lovely to be here, Susan. Thank you for inviting me.

Q1/ Do you remember the first story that was accepted by People’s Friend, and how many submissions did you send them before they said, ‘Yes.’

A/ I sold my first story to The Friend in May 2012. It was called ‘Holly’s Harvest’ and I drew on memories of being a Brownie when I was a little girl. I’d only sent in three stories prior to that. But don’t be fooled. I’ve had lots of rejections from them since, and lots of rejections from other magazines too.

Q2/ I really enjoyed your recent serial, the one set in Weymouth. The newlyweds from the fifties were great sleuths. Is this an idea you’ve had for a while, and will there be more from the couple?

Mystery of room 4

A/ I absolutely love cosy crime, so I think the story was drawn from years of enjoying those kinds of books. I knew The Friend was looking for longer reads, particular murder mysteries, so gave it a go. Yes, I think I might be tempted to write more with the couple, as I enjoyed writing those characters, and felt they had more stories to tell. Although writing a murder mystery was very challenging.

Q3/ You write lovely period stories with great characters. Have you ever been tempted to elaborate on a short story for a novel length story?

A/ I have written a few stories that I’ve been tempted to expand, but have never done so. The novels I’ve written recently: Shadow Sisters (written with Karen Clarke) and Phototime, weren’t originally short stories.

Q4/ I’ve read your stories in several of the Annuals. How far in advance do you submit these to editors?

A/ Holly’s Harvest appeared in the 2014 Annual. So you don’t really submit for the annual, as such. The Friend’s editors buy your story, and then decide if they will use it for the annual.

Q5/ How does your writing day go? Is there a set routine you follow, or is it something you get down to when you feel in the mood?

A/ I write better in the mornings. On good days, I will write a story or a chapter of my novel. Frustratingly, there are a lot of bad days, where ideas won’t come, or I’m getting in a muddle with the plot, or I finish a story and decide it’s awful. But I refuse to let those days beat me, and find reading magazines or novels really helps. Or just taking myself out and about, doing something different, or listening to people. I’ve written many short stories that have been triggered by a single sentence I’ve overheard. On days when the writing doesn’t flow, I will edit or rewrite old stories, so I feel I’m being sort-of productive. It’s SO easy to procrastinate.

Q6/ / what advice would you give to writers who submit stories and keep getting rejections? Apart from stop doing it)

A/ Ooh, NEVER EVER stop doing it! I read somewhere that the only writers who don’t succeed are those who give up trying. And never forget when those horrid envelopes drop on your mat, that the most prolific writers get rejections too.
There are ways of upping your chances of success, although I’m sure they are all pretty obvious really:-

Read the magazines you hope to sell to (or the style of novel you are writing)
Attend magazine writing workshops.
Find a fabulous writing buddy, or writing group. It doesn’t matter how good your writing is, another pair of eyes is so helpful. Sometimes we are too close to our own writing to spot the the most most obvious errors. Did you see what I did there?
Read books on writing for women’s magazines, and books on writing generally.
Follow helpful blogs on writing.
Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. (Develop a thick skin!)
Keep up to date with magazine requirements.
Attending a writing course really helped me, but I don’t think everyone needs one.
Write from the heart, and really get to know your characters.
And obviously – Never give up!

Thanks for sharing your writing life with us, Amanda, and good luck with the books.

To follow Amanda and her writing, click on the links below.

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Mandymand

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/amandatimoney2

BLOG SPOT: http://www.writingallsorts.blogspot.com

A Touch of Snow

Walking in the snow before it melts.

It was such a miniscule amount that I took a picture to prove it. And we went a walk round the block to blow away a few cobwebs.

Here’s our local postbox where I pop in all my submissions and ideas to editors. Doesn’t it look good with a snow hat on.

Post box

Here’s the next paragraphs of chapter 1 of book 2 in the Redington Series.

 

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We left off where Stanly the milkman was chatting to Janice in the grocery shop in the village about the new houses, flats and bungalows being built on the other side of the town.

 

“Not many around here think like you do; and not sure how long I’ll be able to keep going with my rounds. Mind you, saying that, a couple of young wives stopped and asked if I’d call twice a week with bread and milk, so you never know. Their hubby’s work on the roads over in Peterborough; tricky for them to get out early, especially if the babies are sleeping and them without transport. That’s what they were telling me. And with the shop being over this end of the village, makes it easier if I drop milk off.”
“That’s good news. It wouldn’t be the same without you and your deliveries. On the downside, there’s a new row of shops going up on that estate as well, so that might affect us in the long run.” Janice took a deep breath, and ran her tongue along her lip. “According to Jack, he’ll keep on doing the same as he’s always done, he doesn’t seem worried. I’ve spoken to him about expanding. I’m sure it could work.”
The door to the back of the shop banged open. The thin youth with ragged jeans and red and white sweatshirt made his way behind the counter, and picked up the delivery book. He glanced up, “Hi, Stanley, fancy taking a couple of small boxes for me. I’ve got the fruit and veg deliveries today. You know how they’d rather have you bringing them their jammy dodgers than me,” he grinned. “Sorry, did I interrupt something?”
Richie had dark brownish hair that sometimes hung lankly around his ears. On other occasions it stuck up, having a complete life of its own. His hazel eyes were enquiring and always darting from left to right, keeping an eye on every inch of the shop at the same time, Jack was teaching him to become shop manager, only everyone knew Janice held the fort more often than not.
“I was telling Stanley about Jack taking on a shop unit on the new estate. They’re not that big, and we’ve got all the stock and that new delivery van. It makes sense to me, only Jack doesn’t like changes, does he, Richie?”
“Not much. Let’s face it; took him three years to get me a van. He had me going round on that flipping great bike while I was the apprentice, with the basket on the front like an offspring of Granville.”
Janice chuckled, “Mm, I did hear you being called that once or twice. You have to admit it’s an idea though eh?”
“I’m sure you’d manage it between you. Anyway, if the young Royal is going to be attending that new nursery school in Redington, more people might want to come over here to live. We’ll have the television cameras here, Janice; better get your roots done.” Stanley put his cup down and made for the door swiftly managing to duck the pack of crumpets Janice hurled his way. He reached up and caught them in his left hand, then threw her a wink at the door and he was gone.

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Wordcount is 3,127 and I’m at the end of chapter 1 and got titles for the other chapters and a basic outline worked out. It may change from this, but it’s getting the skeleton story down at the moment. I’m aiming to get another chapter done during next week. More paragraphs of chapter one posted next weekend.

Watchout for People’s Friend author interview, coming soon. Amanda Brittany will be here to tell us more about her writing. Something to look forward to so check back here soon. Have a great week…

The Holt Bookshop

Redington is now in a real bookshop – in Norfolk.

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Proud to say that Redington is now available to buy in a Norfolk Book Shop.

If you live anywhere near Holt in North Norfolk, you can pop in and have a browse. Independent bookshops are a rare find, and I’m so happy that my characters have found their way onto the shelves in there. Hope they behave themselves.

My Mum is on Chapter 5 – The Ghost of Windmill Walk, and she tells me she’s enjoying the stories.

Another delivery of books is due soon, so then I hope to add to the list of independent bookshops to stock my little gem.

 

 

Special guest

This week I have a special guest appearance on the blog. Sophie is busy pressing buttons on her favourite toy and making lots of animal noises appear.

Sophie

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Writing News…

Early chapters of Redington book 2 are getting underway, and the locals in the village are speculating about the new nursery school that’s been built at the end of the village by the new houses.

Here’s the first few paragraphs.

 

Janice pushed a mug of hot chocolate across the counter for the milkman as she sorted out early morning papers and magazines for delivery.
“You’re not telling me they’ve rushed that new school through for only a handful of Redington nippers!” Stanley delivered milk along with orange juice and other essentials like digestive biscuits and bread, yoghurts or cakes to elderly residents in the village. He took a huge swallow of his drink and raised his bushy eyebrows in Janice’s direction. “I mean, fair enough, the old school was in a state of ruin, but the way they’ve gone to town. Makes you wonder.”
Janice took a deep breath, and wiggled her shoulders when she’d bagged up two sacks full of papers ready for delivery, she’d done the job for so long she could have done it with her eyes closed. “Mm, I wouldn’t be sure. There’s all those new houses going up on the estate remember. People are already moving in over there now. The way it’s going, Redington will be double in size before long. It’s only from being in the shop that I get to know the new ones. It’s a good thing, building that new estate; you have to go with changes. I know a lot don’t agree though.”

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word count is now around 2,500 so almost at the beginning of chapter 1. Details are being published on the blog to keep me motivated. That’s the plan anyway.

Have a great week, and watch this space for the wordcount next weekend.