Monday, June 26, 2006

All those snarks. Should I feel patronised?

I write. I've always written. If I do it for myself, as I did for a long time, then I have nobody to please but myself. If I write for publication, I'm expecting someone to shell out their hard-earned to read my book.
That's when I have to care what people think. I'm not providing a service, I'm providing a product.
If my product is below par, ie badly spelled, grammatically wrong, unsatisfactory plot, badly produced and so on, then the reader has a right to criticise. Some (like the spelling etc) is fact - sort of - some is opinion (plot etc). But whatever.
If the criticism is constructive - ie tells me what is wrong, then if I agree with you, I have a chance to fix it in my next book. If it's destructive, ie just tearing the book down because of the reader's private opinions, then that's not much use to me unless lots of other people share the opinion, too. I don't write for one person, unless that one person is myself.
I will not write what the reader wants, and instructs me to write. I will write what I love, and hope you love it too.
Read the book. If you don't like it, say so, and say why, if possible, without nastiness. If you like it, say so, and why. I appreciate it.
I'll take your opinions on board, and I'll make my own mind up. Otherwise, I'll turn into a cardboard cutout writer, trying to please everyone but pleasing no-one.
But can't we be civilised about this? Or is that too much to ask?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Twists and Turns

Plotting, what a mystery!
It's where the imagination first starts to tick. Since I write tight plots, I need an outline before I start. But sometimes, it just won't come. It took a long time for the plot to resolve itself for ETERNAL BEAUTY, ETERNAL DARKNESS, for example, and now it's taking a long time for the third Department 57 book.
It's my second vampire book, after THE HAUNTING, and writing vampires is a bit daunting, after the great books put out by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan. But like those ladies, I have my own take on the legend, and my vampires are less superhero, more secret agent.
Oh yes, my vampire is a CIA agent, and in this book he's working deep undercover. Of course, when he meets the woman he's meant for, it's at the least convenient time, and place.
This time the characters came quite easily. Andreas features in the last two Department 57 books, so I already know him a bit. And his lady had to be strong enough for him, so she was a joy to write.
But I couldn't make all the little threads I wanted to write about tuck away, until I realised that Andreas was his own man, and I had to let him find his own way out out of the situation, not force him to do something he didn't want to do.
Just to add to the tension, I understand that the first book is doing really well, so I need to keep it up!
But I have to say this is the best job I've ever had, if not the best paying!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Football crazy

Well, the football is taking over. England had their match against Sweden today, and drew. Through to the next round, top of the group, the next match is with Ecuador. Pundits are going nuts, fans are having their best holiday for four years.

It seems strange that a big sector of one continent doesn't care, and the another sector has elevated football to what amounts to a religion.

The USA doesn't care, or most of it doesn't, and South America is rabid about it.

Me? Somewhere in between. I have to be, England are second favourites this time, next to the astounding Brazil, but that doesn't mean a lot. Let's just hope they peak, now the group stages are over and they're through to the last 16.

The USA team is making a great showing, though they're in quite a tough group. I've been watching with great interest.

But the burning question is - if England fail at the next stage, what are we going to do with the light-up footballs, the Cross of St George car flags, banners and team strips? What about the T-shirts with "Three Lions" and "Come on England" on them?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I fought it tooth and nail, but I had to give in. It's just too much fun.
Yet another displacement activity to keep me from writing! I don't plan any structure to this blog, except that I'll publish news and other activities to it when I have the time and when I have something to say. I already have a newsletter and website, but I can't resist!
A few comments about living this side of the pond, reviews, news about my books and the occasional doll's house post. I hope you enjoy.