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Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Big Contest

Check out this totally fab contest, being run by my publisher Flux:

The Big Contest is a contest where readers respond to the following:

Flux and the books we publish are generally about change, particularly the changes that happen when you're a teenager. Now, we're not just talking about "changes" in that blush-inducing 8th-grade health class way. We're interested in all kinds of change, sudden and gradual, physical and emotional, hilarious or tragic.

In 500 words or less, tell us about how change has affected your life.That's a broad topic and it's supposed to be. There aren't any wrong answers, but winning essays will probably be insightful or passionate or ironic or sarcastic or all of the above. Or maybe they'll be something we haven't even anticipated. Extra points if you can explain why it's always the football coach who teaches 8th-grade health class. Contest is open to anyone ages 11-19, one entry per person.

Essays should be pasted into body of an e-mail (no attachments, please) and sent to Please note that by entering the contest, you are granting Flux the right to post your entry on our Web site. Five winners will be selected to win a complete set of signed Flux books. Entry deadline is October 11. Winners announced October 23.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fantasy World

Suspend disbelief for a few minutes, and think about this............

There's no such thing as writing or being an author or getting pubbed. What will you do with your life? What are your goals?

I've been thinking about this a lot today, and decided that I want to be a Broadway/West End musical star. As for my voice...... well it's pretty fab when I'm in the shower, if I say so myself. Anyway, I'd definitely want to do something creative/musical.

One thing's for sure, I wouldn't have an academic career again.....or management.... in fact, I love that we work for ourselves - even if motel life is pretty full on and I do have a panic attack everytime I look at the bank balance!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

RWNZ Conference (Part 2)

Here are a few more pics:

This is Emily, Ellie and Giovanna at one of the workshops.

Peter Clendon who, along with his wife Barbara, owns NZs best independent bookstore, specialising in romance. Any book you want, Barbara will get. I've never come across such a totally fab bookshop!!! The Clendon's also sponsor NZs top contest - The Clendon aka Finish The Damn Book. Loads of Clendon finalists have gone on to be pubbed.

With Peter is Cassandra (who goes to the Wellington meetings) and I can't remember the name of the guy she's with (sorry). This was taken at the Tickled Pink Cocktail party - did the outfits give you a clue?

Emily and Barb

Joanne and Viv (editor of the NZ mag Heart to Heart)

Giovanna talking to Lisa (one of this year's Clendon finalists). I don't know what Giovanna was saying, but it looks like Lisa's dropped off. LISA WAKE UP!

Here we are again - you can see the effort I went to with the Pink thing - I borrowed a scarf from Em - I did think that my shirt was pink (I still do) until Ellie decided it was beige!

The rest of my photos are too dark. This was meant to be of Ellie as she collected her Founders Award, but I pressed the button just as Yvonne (Yvonne Lindsey - Desire author) moved! To the right of Yvonne is Trish Morey (hi Trish).

Blog Experiment

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.
$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.
SLAVE TO SENSATIONNalini Singh Berkley / September 2006
Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.
Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.
Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

Monday, August 21, 2006

RWNZ Conference

I've made it home - a good bit heavier, totally exhausted but motivated.....

The highlights were:

1. Meeting Nalini Singh, who is New Zealand's hottest author. I've been reliably informed her latest book Slave to Sensation totally rocks, and I can't wait to read it. When one of the conference speakers couldn't make it Nalini stepped in and did a fab workshop on writing paranormal. Here we are together:

2. The workshop with Debbie Macomber which was about building your own community. Do you know, she has 50,000 fans on her email list and a staff of three to help her? WOW!!! I picked up loads of tips for promotion.

3. Partying (I mean networking!). Here are some pics:

My roomies, Emily Gee (totally fab author, watch out for her fantasy being pubbed next year by Solaris) and Ellie Huse, who won the prestigious Founders Award for service to the Association - yay, Ellie you so deserved this award for all your hard work.

Deb Challinor, New Zealand's best selling author (and my friend, who always makes me laugh she's so funny - despite looking so serious in this pic) with Aaron. Check out the pink necklace and ear-rings borrowed for the Tickled Pink Cocktail Party.

The girls from Blenheim - looking terribly dignified, but remember this was before the Awards Dinner!!!!

4. Meeting the agent Erin Cartwright Niumata. I wouldn't swap my agent Sara Crowe for the world. But if I was agent hunting at the moment, Erin would definitely be an agent I'd love to have.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

So long, Farewell, Auf Weidersehn........

I'm off to the RWNZ conference. Can't wait. It's a great time to gossip, drink, eat, learn about writing, gossip, drink, eat, network, gossip, get the picture.

And this year I'll be going as a pubbed author... I've dreamed of this moment. Sad, I know. But don't we all like to feel special? You don't? You mean it's just me????

And not only have I sold; this year has been unprecedented for the NZ girlies. My roomie has sold her fantasy (yay, Emily Gee.... look out for her, she's a class act when it comes to writing). And there have been so many newbie category sales... I'm going to attempt to name them and hope I don't forget anyone (sorry if I do): Adele, Karina, Tessa, Maxine, Anne...

I will return on Sunday evening and report back.

Btw the 3 pages a day is really working. It's even broken my internet addiction. I still go online, but not quite so obsessively. AND..... I have my new computer

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hot Bond

I've just been reading Drunk Writers and the discussion is about the new Bond. So I thought I'd post a pic of him....

What do you reckon, Hot Bond or what??

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Idea, Idea, My Kingdom for an Idea...

So, here's the deal. In the grand plan I decided to write both YA and adult books. I thought maybe 2 YAs and 1 adult book a year would be an achieveable target, and still leave time for other things like checking page proofs, promotion, life, blah blah.

But..... I've been reading about how, for the purpose of your career, it's better for a newly pubbed author to concentrate on one genre. Fair enough, I see the sense in that, and as I want to be in the game for the long haul I'm happy to wait a while before doing adult books.

That means I'll be aiming at writing 3 or even 4 YAs a year. Which leads me to the main focus of this blog. 3 or 4 books, means 3 or 4 workable ideas. HELP!

I have an idea for the one after the one I'm currently writing.... and possibily one other. But that's it. In the past ideas have usually popped into my mind when I need them, but that isn't at the rate of 4 a year.

So, any suggestions........

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A lesson well learnt

Once upon a time, in the land of Make Believe, there never existed such things as computer problems. Viruses were just the product of a vivid imagination; the mouse would always work; and the memory was never sated.

Until, one day, there loomed on the horizon Mr I'll Stuff Up Your Computer Quicker Than Look At You. The poor people of Make Believe ran as fast as their legs would carry them. But to no avail. Mr Stuff Up was too quick for them.

Soon broadband wasn't working; the Anti Virus wanted action taking but no-one was able to decipher exactly what needed doing; the memory wouldn't allow important manuscripts to be saved; and all the computer operators went into total meltdown.

The only thing left for the people of Make Believe to do was buy a new computer. So, they pooled all their money, resigned themselves to eating cornflakes at every meal for the next month, and approached the local Computer Guy, hoping for a deal they couldn't refuse.

True to his reputation Mr Computer Guy, came up with the goods. He placated the good people of Make Believe, sent in an emergency order to the fairies in Auckland who make the computers, and promised to set it all up in a week - just in time for the Make Believe writers conference.

And the moral of this story......... when your subscription to Norton runs out and they won't allow you to continue with the product you have because it's out of date, and insist you upgrade, IGNORE them, especially if you have a computer coming up to 5 years old.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

All about me

Yesterday at my writing chapter's meeting we had a lunch to celebrate my sale. Although I don't live in the Wellington area any more I still go to the meetings whenever I can - 3 hour drive each way - because we have such fun and it's great to see my friends; especially Kate, Ellie and Giovanna. The four of us, along with Emily, who no longer goes to Welly meetings, regularly go away for girly writing weekends - lots of goss, drinking, eating and a little bit of writing.

At Wellington, we have a new tradition whereby anyone who has something to celebrate has to wear a tiara. Unfortunately, Kate couldn't find the tiara so decided to bring her wedding veil (from her first wedding, which usually resides in her daughters dressing up box). So here I am complete with veil and Kate.

Here are some more pics. In the first one there's Diane, Kate and Giovanna. The second, it may look like a serious discussion on writing, but checkout the empty bottles on the table. And the third it's Ellie, me and Kate (Ellie looks good, Kate and I look like it's the morning after the night before!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


AARRGGGHHHH - okay now I've got that out my system.......

I have a website, but it's not geared to writing YA, more chick-lit. Plus, as much as I love pinks and purples (which it is), I'm sort of over it.

So, I've been looking at websites and website designers. But there is so much to consider, that my head hurts. Do I want to update it myself? Do I want my blog to link? Do I want a custom made site, or one off the shelf? Do I want to sell books or just promote myself? Do I want funky and hip? Colours, layout...... the list is endless.

And let's not forget the author photo.... so, now I've got to get some professional ones done. Which means finding a photographer who isn't too expensive but at the same time has access to good air brushing facilities and can make me look slim, young, wrinkle free and hip - no mean feat!

And if that isn't enough, I've now found a new addiction.... myspace......I love it.

Instead of checking blogs and loops once I've done my 3 pages (yes, I'm still doing it and it's really working out well) I play on myspace... finding songs, backgrounds and stuff.

Any tips on websites before I commit myself?

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