Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Covers

Well, twice now in less than a week I've seen covers from two of my books used for someone else's books. (Not the first time) Not against the law - well assuming all encompassing rights weren't bought by the first publisher. And for all I know, I wasn't the first with my cover either but it is disconcerting. All the blather about covers selling books and how important they are and how publishers know best and the author should just suck it up if they don't like what they're given - sort of falls apart for me if I then see the same cover used elsewhere. Now it might have a bit of a tweak - different colour hair on the heroine or the background is changed but the essential feature - the hero and heroine - are the same - same pose, same clothes. I have to put my hand up and say I don't like it. It doesn't happen with the big publishers so I suppose it's economics but if my son - who's not a graphic designer - can come up with 4 book covers for a friend - all original albeit using items he's sourced on line, is it too much to ask that I have a cover that's all mine?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weak heroines

What makes a heroine weak in a reader's eyes? When she doesn't stand up for herself against the hero? When she doesn't walk away from her mother when she's being picked on? When she lets the hero hurt her emotionally and still goes back to him? When she's hurt by a friend she trusted? I've had all those situations in my stories and while some readers love them, others hate them - with a passion. I wonder if they realize how lucky they are, that they feel strong and confident and in control in their relationships that they despise women who aren't. Most women do put up with more than they should. My heroine in Doing the Right Thing is very down trodden. I was like that. She was based on what it's like to be the one left out, the one others make fun of, the one with no friends, the one boys never pick so when you find one that seems to like you, you hang on as tight as you can and forgive maybe more than you should. I don't think that's being weak, I think it's being realistic. We can't all be alphas.
My heroines are all flawed characters. I think that makes them more interesting. If you want perfect Alpha Queens, I'm not for you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Digging Deeper - out in print!

There's been a cover change on Digging Deeper. Which do you like best? I have to admit. I like the e-version more - the one on the right. The ebook is VERY cheap. Only 99 cents. The paperback isn't cheap sadly!!

Archaeologist Beck isn’t expecting much to come out of this summer’s dig. While his colleague spends the summer in Italy, Beck draws the short straw supervising a group of archaeology students excavating on the grounds of Hartington Hall in Yorkshire. Little does Beck realize when he saves a redhead from the attentions of an amorous ram, that this accident-prone female will throw his ordered life into chaos.

The last thing Flick needs in her life is a digger, because some secrets are meant to stay buried. Very deep. But Beck is irresistible. She’d love to get him into bed, though after the incident at the swimming pool, the collapsing wall, the snake bite and the unexploded bomb—a hospital bed looks more likely. As their relationship lurches from one disaster to another, Beck has to delve deep to get to the bottom of this irrepressible redhead.

One thing is clear—you never know quite what you’re going to find when you start digging

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Minds Playing Tricks

One of the threads of my suspense story ‘Chosen’ is about Capgras Syndrome, where a sufferer believes a close family member, in this case my character’s husband and daughter have been replaced by imposters who look like them. The mother of my heroine, Kate, develops the syndrome after a car accident and refuses to acknowledge her husband or daughter. (Strikes me as a good way to dismiss family members you’re fed up of- as long as you can keep it up)
I have to admit, I’m completely fascinated by these quirky medical conditions. 
Stendhal syndrome – causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness and confusion to an individual if they are confronted by something incredibly beautiful. (Not the reason my husband made my heart beat fast last night then)
Cotard Delusion – where a person believes they are dead or don’t actually exist or they’re putrefying. (wow- idea for a paranormal novel there, Cotard Delusion and the Zombies)
Diogenes Syndrome – common in the elderly – they don’t look after themselves and compulsively hoard, sometimes hoarding animals or body waste. (Oh yuk – but hoarding books doesn’t count, does it? And I did take my twice yearly bath a few days ago)
Paris Syndrome – one of my favorites – where every year a handful of Japanese tourists have to be repatriated from the French capital when they are shocked by the difference between reality and their expectations. (I was shocked at the cost of everything. I ought to write a blog about how to live on bread and water in Paris)
Reduplicative Paramnesia – bit of a mouthful. It’s a belief that a place has been duplicated so there are two of them. Two cities of Paris (sorry Japanese tourists). (Brilliant idea for movie coming to me now…)
Finally – Fregoli Delusion – opposite of the Capgras syndrome – where a person believes different people are in fact all the same in disguise. (There is only me in the world, everyone else is the same person – I’m worried now)

I know malfunctioning brains aren’t something to laugh about but the mind is a fabulous as well as a treacherous thing. Most of us are lucky enough to know the difference between appearance and reality. Those of us who are writers try to draw readers into the world of our imagination and hope they have fun there. I hope I cling to my imagination until I’m old and gray. (less of the - you already are - husband!)

Monday, June 18, 2012


This is the headquarters of MI6 - James Bond territory. The story I've just finished writing has a character who works for MI6 and not surprisingly it was very tricky to find out much about the building. It's nickname is Babylon-on-Thames because it resembles a ziggurat. It's also called Legoland because it looks like a lot of bricks slotted together. It seems so strange to see it sitting there by the side of the Thames in full view. Though I expect to hear a knock on the door from the security service who no doubt took photos of me taking photos of them! Well, not them, just the building. It has razor wire around it, loads of cameras, plenty of jamming equipment and extra strong doors. Not that I'm thinking of breaking in!! I did wonder if there were tunnels leading to buildings around to allow staff to enter and leave without being seen. Guess I'll never know. Er - I mean - I hope I never find out.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Out of the hole

The photo is of Winnie - who thought a little stretch of water on the beach was a shallow puddle. It wasn't and he went under. He's only a little chap.
I thought my story was quite straightforward too - not shallow!! - but not too tricky plot-wise. Of course, I do tend to think that until I get stuck part way through because I haven't planned anything out. But success!! I've emerged from the deep hole and written my way to the last chapter. Well, penultimate chapter. The bad guys will get their comeuppance and my heroes will get their HEA - after they've done apologising.
The only thing left to do is NAME THAT BOOK.  I either have the name at the start or it comes later. Much later in this case. I think I'm going with Coming Undone.
Any thoughts?

Coming Undone
Come Undone
Life Lessons
A Better Man