Saturday, 26 March 2011


I know it sounds weird but I was glad you bawled me out. Do you know how annoying it is to have everyone walk on egg shells around me? I hate being treated as if I am some basket case and it’s patronising. And then you arrived and I thought, finally, someone who doesn’t know about the ‘accident’ and probably wouldn’t care anyway.”
” Did I come across as so heartless?”
“,” She shrugged her shoulders, “Thing is, I respected you for your honest treatment of me and then

They say you never get over your first love. I think this applies to our writing also. My first attempt at a novel, begun in the spring of 2004 and finished by Septemeber. It was a great summer that year. Greece won the Euro soccer 2004 turnament, Athens hosted a wonderful Olympic games, I discovered the wonderful talent of one singer/song-writer extraordinaire, Darren Hayes and I fell in love with my novel's hero - a one Mr. Max Jackson. Of course, my 170,000 word ms was unpolished, rife with first time author hideous mistakes and consequently did not find a home. Since then, I have completed five novels, four published and one on the submission trail but I keep coming back to Max. I want him back in my life. I want us to share that joyous, heady relationship we once had so....I a giving him a second chance. This time, after many failed attempts at ironing out the glitches in our 7 year relationship, I want to make it work. I will make it work. We share too much history to give up on him. I leave you with a small, raw excerpt from Class Act {working title.} Enjoy....

She ran; ran so hard the sound of her own breathing hammered against her skull. Her heart raced. A tight band clawed at her chest, the pain excruciating but she couldn’t stop. To do so would be to die. Low-hung branches scratched and whipped at her face. She wiped at her cheeks, feeling the warm stickiness, knowing it was blood; her blood. Feet tangled in hidden roots and she tumbled to her knees. Panic caused bile to rise into her dry, raw throat. “No,” she moaned. “I have to keep going.” Drawing on every last vestige of strength left in her battered body, she stumbled to her feet. He drew closer; she heard his heavy lop-sided gait as he crashed through the trees. His foul, enraged curses carried through the still of the night, searing her ears and chilling her to the core. “No, please, Daddy. Where are you?” Her dry sobs were futile, she knew. She was on her own. No one was coming to save her. He was closing in. His acrid stench filled her nostrils and she whimpered. Down she went again, knees connecting with a sharp stone, cutting into already too abused flesh. Her skin crawled as her pursuer curled a calloused hand around her neck. “Not so fast, you bitch.....”

Rebecca shot up in bed. Hand shaking, she found the bedside lamp switch and the room flooded with welcome, warm apricot. Whimpering his own fears, Wally shuffled on to her lap and licked the tears from her cheeks. “It’s ok, Wally,” she whispered, fondling her loyal friend’s silk ears. “He didn’t get me. He didn’t get me.” Clutching the dog to her damp, sweat soaked body, she wept into his coat. “You won’t tell, will you? No, I know you won’t. You understand. Best they believe what they want. I don’t have to remember, do I?” She turned off the light and she lay, mentally exhausted, back down against the pillows. She was safe. She only dreamt the dream once a night. For now, it was over. She closed her eyes.

She couldn’t run anymore. Her legs held no strength, her lungs empty of oxygen. Blood covered her hands, smeared her torn and dirty t-shirt. Head bent to her knees, she curled into a foetal ball. She cried again but this time her tears were for her father. He wasn’t coming. No one was.
Head raised, she squinted through the threatening dark. A silhouette, tall, upright, stepped out from the shadows, whispers of ethereal moonlight dancing on his smooth, strong face. He held out a hand. “Rebecca, it’s ok. I have come for you. You’re safe now.” Warmth thawed her frozen soul. She believed him. She trusted him. His gentle tone held compassion; love. He would protect her – with his own life, if need be.
“Daddy...” Tentatively she reached for his out stretched fingers. They entwined with hers. His touch calmed her. Everything was going to be alright. “Daddy...hold me.”
Strong warm arms scooped her up and held her close in their protective folds. “Shh...Don’t cry, honey. I am here. I will always be here. No one will ever hurt you again. I would rather die than let that happen.”
Breathing in the warm scent of him, Rebecca closed her eyes and let his words lull her to sleep. Cool lips brushed against her cheek. Her eyes flew open. Raising her head, she stared into eyes the colour of sea-green.......

Rebecca woke with a start. Fingers twisted in sheet folds, she pulled it over her head. My god – what was wrong with her?
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Thursday, 24 March 2011


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) Bill Shakespeare.

Are names important? You bet. A name is often our first connection to someone and, as we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, we often sum people by their name - until we get to know them a little better, of course.
Elmer - sorry for any Elmers out there but conjures up an image of a Louisiana moonshine swamp boy.

Rupert: A Lord Byron wannabee popinjay with Robert Pattison hair {quite nice image. actually}

John: Strong, dependable, hardworking family man. Think The Walton’s and you’ll get my drift.

Henry: Hurrah – speaks for itself. Green wellies and fox-hunting.

And on to the ladies
Drizella: ugly – as in sister. Heaving bosom and as string of pearls. Probably gives singing lessons in a Victorian parlor.

Fiona: A wee Scottish lady in a tweed shirt and walking stick, a basket of heather and oatcakes in her hand. Probably secretly yearns for a good rutting session on the moors with her secret love, Jamie

Cassandra: Ooooh cool ice-queen. Poised, super-intelligent and most likely possessing the gift of foreseeing the future. I can see her in cool ivory linen, a cloche hat on a precision cut Nordic blonde bob.

When I choose names for my heroes, I like to go for the short and snappy and traditional but also a name that will command attention; a name that will conjure up sexy but dependable, intelligent. Daniel, David, James, Michael. For my ladies, again I tend to go for the old-fashioned. Rachel, Sarah, Rebecca. I love names that end in ‘a’, that can be shortened. Isabella – Izzie. Elysianna – Ellie. Cassandra – Cassie.
A name must trip lightly from a readers lips, a sensual caress to the inner ear.

As for book titles, sometimes they come to me in a flash. Other times, I will lie awake all night long, fretting that I will never find anything to make me happy. I usually try to have a title tie in with one line form my story.
Written in Stone “Stranger things have happened. Nothing is written in stone, Jamie.”
So, folks, just remember; a writer's life is not an easy one. Decisions, decisions and please - choose your childrens'names wisely....