Monday, November 30, 2009


I've mentioned on several occasions that I get many of my ideas/titles/first lines/characters in that half drowsy/half awake state just before dropping off to sleep.
In fact, if I need to ponder a plot point or a conflict that isn't quite working, I'll take to bed, close my eyes and let my mind wander.
It's a great technique and often works. (Drifting off to nap is a bonus!)
Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered there's a technical term for this.
There is a naturally occurring sleep state called the HYPNOLOGIC STATE.
As I've already described, it is the phase of sleep right before you drift off and right before you wake up, and is a state of altered consciousness.
Apparently it's a highly fertile time for creative people!
The trick is to utilise this phase.
Ask yourself a question before you lie down. eg. What is the main obstacle keeping my characters apart?
Close your eyes.
Let your mind drift...doze...
But you must remember what happens in this state.
I've heard a recommendation to hold one arm up in the air, as the tension required to hold the arm up will keep you on the verge of that sleep/awake state, and as the ideas/concepts/connections come, you immediately write them down.
For me, I close my eyes, let the ideas flow, and jot them as soon as they arrive.
It's a tried and trusty plotting method for me.
Writers out there, have you tried it?
Does it work for you?

Saturday, November 14, 2009


You know about me and no, I'm not talking about sprints of the running variety.
Lately, I've been seeing the term sprinting springing up everywhere in relation to writing.
I happened to be on Twitter 2 weeks ago on a Friday night, about to start writing, when I noticed RWAus and a few Aussie authors were doing a 15 minute sprint.
Basically, it involves writing as fast as you can in that time frame, non stop.
Similar to pacing yourself against an egg timer, I'd say, which I heard recommended by Stephanie Bond once.
The interesting thing is, I've been doing natural sprints for the last fortnight.
I have a short deadline.
I have loads of words to write.
So I write: early morning, toddler nap time, late at night.
The result?
Huge increase in productivity. Not just from the actual time spent writing, but sprinting increases your speed. Truly!
Go ahead, try it.
I've written 14000 words last week, over 10000 the week before.
It has been a long time since I've done that, because I'd slowed my writing, aiming for 4-8 pages a day. Now, I'm doing 6-8 in one sitting.
Along with faster fingers, I think your mind loosens, gets in tune with your story, knowing you need to pour the words out to meet your self-imposed time limit.
Practice your sprinting.
You'll be pleased with the results.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New digital publisher

In case you haven't heard the news, Harlequin has entered the digital publishing arena with a new company, CARINA PRESS.

Carina Press are actively taking submissions so check them out here.

The move has resulted in loads of discussion from both new and established authors.

Personally, I love their catch cry: WHERE NO GREAT STORY GOES UNTOLD.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From across the ocean

It's always lovely to meet people you've heard about, especially fellow writers, so it was great for me to have lunch with author Kaye Kelly last Sunday.
Kaye hails from across the ocean, in New Zealand, and has published 2 books with Random House over there. Love the sound of this one.
(And before you say, I'm not jaundiced, just the sun reflecting off the paint. And yes, my face is rounder than usual.
15kg rounder to be precise.
Courtesy of the bung foot and operation this year, I've stacked on the weight. Never been this big. Don't like it. Haven't had to diet before. Not too keen now.
Any miraculous ways to shift the kilos? Apart from the obvious like exercise & don't eat chocolate?)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Single titles

I use the fabulous CataRomance for reviews and now, one of their sites has had a facelift. has a whole new look.

They have hundreds of book reviews, interviews, and lots of great excerpts.
Plus, they’re now featuring thrillers and mysteries.

Check them out at

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

THE WRITE WHISPER: Stellar settings

Last month, I wrote an article for RWAustralia's monthly journal, 'Hearts Talk', on Stellar Settings.

The article is now live on my website so if you want to make your next setting come alive, go check it out here!