Category Archives: making money from your writing

A story for the weekend

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This is the story that won Eddie Walsh’s final Emerald competition. Theme: – Nobody will ever know. I came first from 65 entries, so I was thrilled as you can imagine. It’s been a while ago, but it’s a story I’m proud of and thought you might like to read it.
When the cheque for £65.00 arrived it was a real treat especially as it came on my birthday as well. Eddie, told me that he read so many stories with bodies under the patio, that it was good to read something different. So, remember, when entering any competition, write about the most way out thing you can. It will get you noticed, if nothing else.

It’s a shame about Cliff and Binky, I think they would have had some good adventures as the house-sitters with Herbert, and even done a bit of sleuthing. I’m now going to work on a series of stories with the two of them.

They met at university in the sixties. Cliff was a vegetarian, that’s why Binkie was always with him. He loved animals, and did a lot for animal welfare, so it was a sad ending for him. Hope you enjoy the story, I wrote it while on holiday in Brixham. So, I think we should have another holiday so that I can write another winning story:

One of my summer projects is to publish a collection of my short stories to keep them all together and so that I can have a clean up with my files and get rid of lots of folders that are gathering dust but ones I don’t like to part with. Title will be The House-Sitters and other stories.

 

 

The House-Sitters

“Hey Cliff, I’ve let the canary out of the cage for a bit of a fly around the conservatory.”

“I wish you’d said, then I could have shut the Jack Russell out.” A flash of white fur dived onto the back of the rattan settee, and in one gulp, swallowed a mouthful of yellow feathers. Herbert and Cliff watched in horror as Binkie coughed and spluttered before smacking his lips in appreciation.

“My God Herbert, I can’t believe that. He’s eaten the canary!”

“We’ll have to cover this up Cliff. Nobody will ever know. We’ll say we left a window open, then the bird flew out.” Herbert bit on his lower lip as if to convince himself it could pass for the reason the cage was empty of canary.
“Blasted dog.”

Cliff turned, “I’ll go and feed Monty his rats. When the instructions said, three of them, did it mean daily or weekly do you think?” Herbert frowned, then ruffled his thick mop of white hair.

“Not sure, I threw him one in yesterday. I haven’t much idea on the diet of a python.”

“Me neither. We haven’t had one of those before have we?” Cliff made his way to the shed where a cage of live rats with pink piercing eyes darted with fear, or maybe anger, Cliff wasn’t sure. He made a grab for one of them by its tail. Binkie gnashed his teeth, trying to grab the wriggling rat from Cliff’s grasp.

“Blast you Binkie.” He tried kicking the dog to one side. “You’ve caused enough trouble for today. Move away.” Cliff opened the door to the spare room where Monty the enormous python languished across the top of a dusty bookcase. Hurling the screeching rat across the room towards the snake, Binkie flew like chalk dust onto the big grey rodent. Cliff just happened to see the rat clasped in the jaws of the dog when an even swifter move was made by the snake. For a few seconds he froze in time; to see Binkie’s head, body, then legs disappearing down the jaws of Monty.

“Herbert, come quick!” Cliff grasped Binkie’s back legs and tugged as hard as he could on the only remaining part of the dog that hung out of those elongated poisonous, fang sucking lips that opened even wider to pull in dog, hands, arms then head of Cliff.

Hebert entered the room just in time to see his friend being swallowed alive with one last gulp. With that final suck, Monty had feasted on canary in dog, with rat in jaw, followed by one slightly tough, though tasty all the same, human being.
As he shivered uncontrollably, Herbert could see the shape of Cliff lying inside the snake. Slowly closing the door on the horrific scene, he whispered to himself.

“Nobody will ever know.” The Peterson’s were due back in the morning. Herbert needed to act fast. They never left true contact details, always best to give false ones. He picked up the phone and booked a flight. “Thank you, first class travel to South Africa will be perfect.”

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Photo by Osmar Vasques on Pexels.com

Her Own Robinson Crusoe

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This is what I’m off to read in the garden under the umbrella of course. It’s still hot here in Warwickshire, but before long I’ll be taking the plane journey with Serena off to the Caribbean. Better get a cool drink to go with it. It’s in the shops today.

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Sophie had good news today as well, she got her first swimming certificate. Well done, little swimmer and  hope it’s the first of many.

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She looks as proud as Grandma with her books doesn’t she? Well done, Sophie.

 

 

 

More promoting

I’m getting into this promoting lark now. So I’ve been working on my website as it’s been neglected for a while. No excuses not as I have more news to tell you, and I think there might be an option to sign up to a newsletter on the front page of the website. Still working it out, so if you sign up and hear nothing, fear not, it’s just me working it out.

Following on from last post, there’s been a review in prices of the Writers’ key rings. Talking to the boss it turns out that I got the prices wrong, not the only thing this week, but that’s another story. Details will be on a Facebook page where you can see the more generous offer. Now I’m busy making up key rings with my own book covers and watch out for some fab giveaways on here very soon.

It’s football fever around here and well done to England with that great win over Panama earlier, but not sure Panama knew the rules. Did you see all that dancing and hugging going on?

Her Own Robinson Crusoe will be in the shops on 12th July, but I’m sure I’ll be reminding you before then as I’m so excited and can’t wait to see it on the shelves in Asda. The cover is really lovely and just how I imagine the heroine Serena to look.

Have a great week and enjoy the lasting sunshine but don’t forget the hats and sun cream.

 

Promoting your books

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Promoting your books is essential if you want to sell them, and of course we do. Thanks to my Australian readers who have bought Redington on kindle lately by the way.

What better way to advertise than having a key ring attached to the zip on your bag, or to give as gifts when readers enter competitions on your blog or website.

I’m busy making key rings and fridge magnets, and as well as having family photos, vintage black and white pictures and pets in the picture, writer’s book covers came to mind.

Looking at those pictures really does make you want to read the book doesn’t it? And do you recognise any of the names and titles on there?

Prices for key rings and fridge magnets are £5.00 each

5 or more items = £20.00

10 or more items = £30.00 then £3.00 each thereafter.

Postage will be added depending on the amount ordered.

Tote bags and mugs to follow.

Find me on Facebook here, where you can contact me via private message with details of anything you might want. Please allow a week for the order to be processed.

https://www.facebook.com/suzydoodling

I’ve been making up hanging baskets today as well. Along with preparing for the Romantic Novelist’s Association Conference in Leeds next month. Looking forward to speaking with special people. More news on that later. Have a good week, whatever you’re up to. Isn’t this sunny weather bliss?

Catch up with Rosemary

New York Orphan                  Rosemary                       Swanwick Rosemary

It’s my great pleasure to welcome another of my writing buddies onto the blog today. Rosemary Kind is editor of Alfie dog fiction site, where you will find lots of lovely short stories and books for download. Rosemary is also co-author with Patsy Collins of From Story idea to Reader. Looking forward to hearing about Swanwick as well.

First of all, I’d like to hear more about New York Orphan. I am lucky as I got to read this when it was an idea… Maybe you need to write, from novel idea to reader. Now look at me, I haven’t even offered you a cup of tea. Let’s put the kettle on, and get you one of my Caribbean nutty cakes and tell me how Daniel and his friends are going on…

cakes 2coffee-amp-biscuitHelp yourself to a cake or two.

New York Orphan is proving wonderfully successful for me. It’s far from being my first book, but all of a sudden readers are starting to find my work and it’s been very exciting. I was used to my books selling steadily but in relatively low numbers. Starting to find them selling in hundreds and dare I say it thousands rather than tens, is just an amazing feeling. I keep having to pinch myself.
I put my heart and soul into the book and even editing it was moved by the story I’d written. Having readers on both sides of the Atlantic feel the same way is very special.

It’s brilliant and I’m so proud to have read it early on, and I have heard a rumour that there will be a follow up. The cover image is a credit to the artist as well. And what’s going on at Swanwick? I’ve heard lots of people say it’s a great place to go. Can you tell us a bit more please? Go on, have another cake, they’re practically sugar free.

I’m very much looking forward to the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in August. I went for the first time two years ago, in some trepidation. I’m never at my most comfortable with large groups of people and the thought of a whole week terrified me. What I had not thought about was the sort of people that would make up that group. As many other writers are very similar in character to me, it turned out to be the easiest company and very enjoyable. The creative energy is amazing, and I came away not only energised but making very clear to my husband that I would be going back the following year… and the next one…
So, here I am on year three and it is one of the highlights of my year. I’m running a workshop on Publishing this year so I can share what I’ve learned over the years with other writers.

That’s really good news, and makes me think I should be going there, if it weren’t for so much editing and writing to get on with I would definitely be joining you. Maybe one year soon. Thank you so much for popping in, and good luck with the workshop. Toodles for now, and talk again soon. xx

You can find out more about Rosemary and her writing here.

http://www.rjkind.co.uk

http://www.alfiedog.me.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/rjkind

 

 

 

 

 

Pocket Novels

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I’m a pocket novelist for My Weekly, and proud to say another one will be published soon. It’s set in the Caribbean, will let you know as soon as it’s here.

Great to see family members today, Ann and Sophie called, then our Son and his dog bounded in, and lovely to see them all.

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Knitting is another pastime that I find helps with relaxing, not that I need an excuse to sit down and watch something funny on t.v. Rising Damp is on, and for me good comedy doesn’t date. Same as Larry Grayson who was on the night before. He was a local celebrity in our area, coming from local town of Nuneaton.

My day job is now making badges and key rings, also putting words on tee shirts. Can’t wait to put book covers on key rings, and more news on that coming soon. Have a great week, however you’re spending it.

 

 

 

Latest news

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Here’s what’s coming soon, and there will be a giveaway on the blog, so watch out for that.

Looking forward to the RNA conference in July, and meeting up with other pocket novelists and romatic authors.

I’m busy writing my next story, which hopefully should be finished before long. I’m on chapter 10 of 15, and if you’d like a taster… of course you would, then here it is…

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“I don’t feel guilty for keeping you here; you should be working, but I’m selfish and you wanted to know more about life in the Caribbean, so let’s compromise.” Broderick took her hand and smiled. “How about if I show you some of the more interesting parts of the island, and then later on, I’ll cook while you relax.” He pulled her towards him. “You’re fun to have around.” He laughed, “That’s when you’re not crowning my friends over the head with breakfast plates or spiralling yourself over the edge of my hammock and landing in heap on the grass.” Broderick stifled a laugh and offered his arm.

Serena forced her thoughts away from the beach, and linked her arm through his. “Don’t fret too much, you’re hardly keeping me prisoner. I could have gone back over to Neptune, and maybe I should have, because the longer I stay here, it’s as if…” She didn’t want to say it, but the island of a thousand shells was beginning to grow on her enormously and now that Agwe had taken the children back to the small-holding for a salad lunch with Daniel, she was all alone, with her own Robinson Crusoe.

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Hope that makes you want to know more. It does me, so I’d better get on and finish it.

The garden is looking fab, and we have lettuce quite often, but a bowl of chips pops in with it now and again. There’s flowers on the tomato plants and mini cucumbers on the mini-munch variety. Our little grandaughter loves to help water them and is our number one tester of strawberries. She has to eat at least six or seven to see if they’re suitable for the rest of us.

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Enjoy the sunshine and more garden photos when the sunflowers are out.

Why have a subscription?

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First of all, you will have these pocket novels delivered to your door every month. I had the bottom two today and can’t wait to read them.

Second, if you’re aiming to write a pocket novel and get it published, the only way to know what the editor wants is to read what she is accepting and publishing.

Thirdly, the stories are exciting, romantic, good fun and enormously entertaining and don’t take up a huge space in your handbag.

An added bonus is the collection of puzzles at the back of the book to keep your mind sharp after enjoying the story. And you’ll get the books at less than half price.

So if you want to have a supply of great reads, puzzles and never have to worry if there’s going to be one left in the shops. Subscribe today.

One more… You get a free gift. It changes quite often, but I had the tea caddy holding a pack of English Breakfast tea bags and they’re lovely.

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How great to spend a cosy night by the fire reading the latest pocket novel, while thinking up ideas for another one. My latest pocket novel will be four books away from these. Not long…

Have a happy Sunday, and a good week ahead.

Into the New Year

Hope the weather isn’t too bad where you are. It’s cold and a bit bleak in the midlands, but we’re still able to go to work. And I’ve been to the gym three times last week. How is it that you can take months to get fit and then after two weeks of mince pies, chocolates and other food, you’re almost a stone heavier? So it’s back to the green tea for a while. Good job I like it.green tea

Do you want to be a pocket novelist? If so, the only way to know exactly what the editor is looking for is to read some. Or preferably, subscribe. I’ve recently become a subscriber, so now I get those lovely handbag novels delivered to my door. The stories are really good, if you like a longer story where you stay with great and exciting characters. Look out for a follow up to Country Matters coming towards the end of March/early April. You can see the opening chapters on my website if you’re interested. Though I’ve edited it a bit since then so it won’t be exactly the same. Another bonus to being a subscriber is getting these wonderful books at half price, and you don’t have to go driving round to find one.

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It’s time now to clear out your wardrobe. That’s me talking to myself. To say it’s a bit messy would be an understatement. But seeing as I had some new clothes for Christmas, it’s about time to sort and chuck out, or send to the charity shop. But if I’m anything like my mum, she recently tried to have a clear out, and ended up getting rid of one dress, which she gave to me. It was actually mine about twenty years ago and I gave it to her. A red velvet classic. I may do pictures of before and after the closet clearance, but please prepare yourselves as it’s not a site for the squeamish among you.

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This grey and white jumper is one I’ll keep because I knitted it myself and it’s good with a thin jumper underneath and goes with jeans, trousers or a skirt.

Have a great weekend, and more on the wardrobe clearance soon.

Redington on kindle

Thanks to the lovely people who’re buying Redington on kindle, hope you enjoy the stories, and don’t be shy to leave a review if it’s going to be a good one.

My mum in law phoned to wish us Happy New Year and she was full of excitement. She’d found a copy of the paperback book Redington in my brother in law’s house over Christmas.

I found a book with your name on! She told me, and now her sister who’s staying with her for a while is reading it as well. Glad to say they’re enjoying it, and said it’s really cheery and good. Not sure what they expected it to be:) as long as it’s making them smile, that’s a good thing.

They’re taking turns to read it and Alan’s aunt was hurrying along with it because she’s only staying for a week. I told her not to worry, and I’ll send her a copy of her own, seeing as it’s cheered her up no end. That was my intention, to make people feel better after paying a visit to my make believe village in mid-Norfolk. Not sure what they made of the Halloween story, but they were laughing on the phone to Alan.

It makes me happy to know that my story collection cheers people up. Now I’ll have to put them on the list for a copy of the next book which will be out soon.

I’m hoping to keep up to date a bit more with the blog. I’ve neglected it a bit and been faffing around on facebook, and seeing as this links to facebook anyway, I’d rather keep the blog going. Have a great week, whatever you may be doing… more news on the blog soon.