Cover models

So as I was thinking about releasing one of my stories it will need a cover right?  It’s got a little bit of sexiness in it, lots of forbidden sighs and longing looks and just a hint of the type of attraction that has you panting for more.

Sound good?

Why is it then, that all the cover models I’ve seen just don’t match up to my hero or heroine? Having read a number of stories and receiving any number of author’s newsletters I know there are a bunch of hot men and women out there adorning the covers of books.

But they are too hot.

Of course, a guy with a perfect six-pack looks amazing and the female counterpart has gorgeous hair and perfect legs (amongst other perfect attributes) but they just aren’t realistic.

My characters are from the real world, sure he goes to the gym and likes to run but other than that he leads a pretty sedate life.  Stuck to his desk, for the most part, he left the rippling muscle-bound body of a 20-year-old in the past.  Now touching 40, he’s still attractive but in a whole new way.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m tired of seeing the same type of model on the cover of books.  Tatts and muscles.  Shirt open. Jeans pushed low on the hips.  Do we seriously all fantasise about the same kind of men?  If so, what am I missing?


Okay, hands up, I’m guilty!

I have been neglecting my blog.  I’ve been behind with my writing.  I haven’t drafted a poem for the longest time.

There’s this thing, it’s called ‘Real Life’ and unfortunately, once you get it there is no cure.

In the UK we’ve had the Referendum, Brexit, and finally, an Election.  When you are campaigning it’s very hard not to let things fall away and get neglected.  My blog is a case in point and the other, my writing.

All of these is in conjunction with my personal circumstances.  I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say I’ve been completely swamped with negativity.  I want to write, I’ve re-engaged with my Rola characters but actually sitting at the keyboard and getting it done is a different matter.

Now that I’ve taken a step back from the political stuff I want to get more time writing again.  I’m also behind on posting on the various sites where my stories are.  It feels like I’ve got a giant game of catch-up to play… watch this space!

Have finally…

written something!


It’s been a while, I’ve had a number of things going on.  This blog got neglected just because I was busy with so many other things and then, after a long absence my characters started talking to me again.

I’d put my main character into a coma.  I wasn’t even aware that I was going to do it but there she was lying on a hospital bed and….. then came the problem of how I did it, how was she going to recover, what was going to happen next…!

But then sitting down at the laptop I started plotting out the next chapter.  Once I started working it the words flowed, albeit slowly, on to the page.

So finally, Chapter 42 of my Rola story ‘Ghost Sight’ has been posted.

Who knows the way this is going I just might start on Chapter 43!

Writing Woes!

What do you do when you have half a dozen story ideas but cannot sit down and start writing?

It isn’t exactly writer’s block because woah, am I used to that.  No this is just finding the peace in my own head to focus on the story.

Or in this case stories.

I have one plotted, thought I was going to get some of it written for NanoWriMo, but I found I was doing anything except sitting at the laptop and writing and so the tale of the three brothers languishes inside my head waiting on my fingers to get typing.

I wish there was a way of downloading my brain to the page.  I’d have about a dozen manuscripts ready to go.

In the faint hope that I can get something written by the end of the month I’m setting out some goals here.

  1.  Luke’s story from Three Brothers.
  2. Finish Ghost Story (A Rola fic).
  3. Finish my manuscript of poetry.

Check back with me at the start of April to see if I’ve accomplished anything!



Listening to Music


Some people can’t write without listening to music. Others need complete silence. For me, it very much depends on my mood.

When I get into a scene  I can be transported into the moment with my characters and suddenly after frantic typing, of course, only then notice that my music had stopped.

It’s not just music, I also will have the TV on, or a show playing on my laptop, almost like I can’t bear the quiet surrounding me.

I’ve got playlists and artists that are my favourite to listen too.

Big dramatic scene – rock and roll, heavy metal.

Fight between hero and heroine – definitely, play me some Anastasia or country.

If it’s an action scene involving my soldiering hero then I might listen to a lot of sixties tunes, in particular, those that were played as a soundtrack for the soldiers in Vietnam.

You Tube is brilliant for random tune selection. Click on a song and it will have connections to random fan videos or other artists who have released the same song.  It becomes this rabbit hole of distraction when you really aren’t in a writing mood but the rest of the time you can click on a song in there and type away.



I’ve recently downloaded the free version of Grammarly, the website that checks your posts for grammar and spelling mistakes.   It was annoying at first, constantly having to stop and include extra commas where I didn’t realise commas should go but now it’s kind of okay. kind of less intrusive.

The most annoying thing, though, is its reliance on American spelling.  There are instances where the ‘Z’ should go but not in the half the words it keeps suggesting!

There is a drawback, the version I have is not compatible with my edition of  Microsoft Word.  That’s right I downloaded it to help my writing and all it’s done is improve my arguments on FB!

Still, I’m learning. As a writer no matter how clever you are with words you are always learning about how to actually write.  Grammarly is showing me simple things that I overlook or don’t know.

A perk of having it is the weekly emails of my progress.  Here is this week’s activity graph:


5018 ▲ 65% words written
You wrote more words
than 92% of Grammarly users did.

95 ▲ 14% corrections made
You were more accurate than 53%of Grammarly users.

1156 unique words used
You have a larger vocabulary than95% of Grammarly users.

Flash Fiction

“Hey!” she murmured feeling as though any second she was going to throw up, “Remember the time there was you, me, and that enormous bottle of Tequila Silver?” She finally asked him, her best friend of X-number of years, Rafe.
He shot her a grin looking both astoundingly handsome and ridiculously happy as he smiled at her. His blond hair was pushed back behind his ears, still, too long, she thought randomly before meeting the blue eyes staring back at her.
“Wow,” he said with a shake of his head. “That was some night,” he added.”Happy times, eh Jess?”
“The best,” she confirmed loosing herself in the memory of that night. Her boyfriend had become her ex and in the space of days he’d taken just about everything he could from their place and left her with a spot available on the romantic break in Spain they’d booked. Unable to get her money back Rafe had suggested he go with her instead. Sun, fun, and laughter had filled the days and in the evenings, wine, good food, and this wonderful man had filled the nights. All very celibate, though.
“I have something to tell you,” he said the words she was thinking at that very second and she sucked in a breath ready to speak.
“I’m…” They both said at the same time. “Go ahead,” she murmured putting off the moment again.
“I’m getting married,” Rafe announced. “Her name is Rebecca , she’s a doctor and…!”
She felt it then, a sharp pain inside at his words as she cut out the flowing praise he was uttering as he spoke about the woman he was going to marry. She had to be happy for him, didn’t she? She nodded, bobbing her head a number of times as she absorbed his words. “Congratulations,” she finally mustered.
“Thank you,” he reached for her hand and held it within his own. “It doesn’t change us, we’re still best friends aren’t we Jess?”
“No, of course…” little did he know that had been part of the speech that she’d had planned in her head when she’d arranged this lunch.
‘Hey, remember the tequila,’ she’d planned to say, and then follow it with, well that night when we got a little carried away it seems that now I’m pregnant,’ she was going to say to him, ‘your the father.’. Only she couldn’t say any of that now. She couldn’t spoil his happiness.
“Here she is now, I really want you to like her Jess,” Rafe murmured.
Looking up Jess groaned as she recognised the woman coming towards them. Doctor. Right. She groaned again because of course, it was the locum doctor who’d confirmed her pregnancy just a few days ago. What were the chances.
She was so never drinking tequila again…


X is for the unknown.

As a writer my favourite viewpoint is Third Person Omniscience. It means that I know everything about my characters from thoughts to feelings and am able to swap from one character to another (avoiding Head Hopping).

There is also Third Person Limited Narrative. This is when you tell the story from the vantage point of one character but they do not know the thoughts and feelings of other characters.

First Person relies on what your character knows and sees.  They are unable to look into people’s heads and find out what they are thinking or feeling, and in addition they cannot know people’s backstories or life histories unless they have been told them.

I labelled this X the Unknown because even writing from Third Person Omniscience there are still unknown factors to your character or storytelling.   When you are writing it from a certain viewpoint for example your character won’t know they are blushing unless they are looking in a mirror.  They can feel heat radiating from their chest, feel it travelling into their cheeks and know they feel hot but without seeing a reflection how can they tell if their cheeks are red and flushed?

X the unknown is also for the vast array of things in the universe we simply don’t have an explanation for.  All the unsolved mysteries.  We are naturally curious and while we strive to have answers for everything there are things we just don’t know.  Why did the dinosaurs become extinct? Was there a meteor that changed the Earth’s climate?  What happened aboard the Mary Celeste? Why did they build the pyramids? What happened to the Mayans?

I admit to skipping ahead in a book to finding out the ending.   The big reveal where the murderer is announced because I just couldn’t wait another moment to find out.  Are you like that?


N is for New Idea

This is a very specific thing in writing.

You have four stories on the go.  Several poems in draft.  You’ve promised some people that you are going to help them with writing projects.   You are editing for some other people.

Then it hits you.


It’s a fantastic story. The character’s voices are buzzing in your head.  It’s such a sweet story that you know it’s practically going to write itself.  You can see the settings, down to the merest detail.  Heck, you’ve practically decorated their living rooms a dozen times as it is.

BUT you ignore it.  The excited little feeling in the pit of you stomach. The urge to start doing research. The choosing of the right names for your characters.

You repeatedly push it aside.

Because you have enough to do.

Until that moment in the middle of the night you just can’t hold it back anymore and you frantically start typing.  You tell yourself that it will only be a chapter or two.   That you’ll soon have the story mapped out and once you do this then you can get back to your other stories.



That doesn’t happen because now you have a fifth story on the go.

You are stretched between all your commitments.  You know that you are juggling everything to try and get them all done.  You are up half the night doing that editing you promised and mainlining coffee throughout the day to do the normal everyday stuff.   Your RSI is playing up because of all the time you are spending on the laptop.  You’ve given up on Social Media because you can’t afford the time it will take away from your writing life.

And then…


Along comes…..