I am over the moon because That Certain Something has been short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award!
The awards are among the most prestigious for LGBT literature and That Certain Something is listed in very good company in the Lesbian Romance category. You can find the full listing here.
Winners are announced in June. In the meantime, I’m going to stay a little bit giddy from being shortlisted.
I’ve been wanting to do a reading from The Dildo in the Kitchen Drawer ever since writing it, and the Polari night in Birmingham seemed a great place to take it out for a spin.
It was a great night, packed theatre and lovely audience, and the readings from VG Lee, Kiki Archer, Frances Gapper and Gerry Potter were all top notch. I can’t recommend catching a Polari night enough!
Here’s my reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp79iK02jcI&feature=youtu.be
And an excuse to talk about beautiful women…
The classy and beautiful Cate in That Certain Something is inspired (in part) by Rosamund Pike. Let me know who your favourite elegant and irresistible actress is in a comment at the end of my blog on Women and Words and I’ll add you into the draw.
I was very kindly tagged by V.G. Lee and Sandra Moran for the Writing Process Blog Tour. Authors answer four standard questions about their work in progress and their writing process in general, and then they nominate two more authors to answer the questions the following week.
V.G. Lee has long been one of my favourite authors. Her Diary of A Provincial Lesbian from 2006 was a very refreshing comic and poignant story of an ordinary British someone at a time when there was very little like it (I would still like more). It is a much treasured book. Her last novel, Always You Edina, shows what an accomplished writer she is; it’s a beautifully observed and written novel. Please check out her work and her answers to the blog tour. Sandra Moran is a very interesting author. Her debut, Letters Never Sent, is one of the highest rated lesbian novels on Amazon and won The Rainbow Award for historical fiction. Not one to write to a formula, not even her own, she followed this up with a story of an advertising exec commissioned by God to write and market a supplement for the Bible. Have a look here to see what she’s working on now.
Now, on to the questions.
What am I working on?
When V.G. nominated me I was checking the last version of my romcom, That Certain Something, which was published last Monday. It is still my current love so I will be talking about that.
It’s quite a change from my other novels, Pennance and After Mrs Hamilton, which have been dark, twisting intrigue romances with a few surprises and uncompromising differences. Continue reading
I’m over the moon to announce that my new romantic comedy That Certain Something is now available as an ebook on Amazon (com and co.uk) and Smashwords. It’s a summery novel that has kept me engrossed and entertained this winter. I hope you enjoy it. Here’s the blurb:
Love or money? Follow the head or heart? Pia and Cate seem to be flip sides of a coin. But when they meet, they definitely have that certain something, and these questions aren’t so simple after a night like theirs.
Pia Benitez-Smith has her head in the clouds of ideals and romance. She’s a photojournalist out to prove herself with her compassionate eye and although not exactly accident prone, most days trouble seems to find her. On one such day, she literally falls into the arms of the beautiful Cate. Elegant, intriguing and classy, Cate is Pia’s polar opposite. When the two dispute the importance of love versus money, Cate is adamant that her perfect night will always be an expensive one. Working class Pia can’t resist the challenge and with the assistance of a beguiling summer night in London, she begins to enchant her new friend.
An irresistible couple, a charismatic city, a priceless supporting cast – That Certain Something is a sparkling romcom from Goldie award winner Clare Ashton.
I’m beginning to get like a kid before Christmas with my latest novel. I’m on my final edit, reading aloud and polishing before it goes to copy-edit, and I just want people to read it.
I’ve been muttering about writing a light romance for a while and it’s been very pleasant this winter being able to nip out to a romantic summer London with quirky characters and funny scenes.
Here’s chapter 1 of That Certain Something for a taster. I hope to publish it in May.
Pia walked around the edge of the quiet London square affecting an air of nonchalance. She kicked out her boots and hummed a song but, underneath her arm, she kept a tight grip on her camera and long zoom lens. She peered over her sunglasses. No-one walked outside the tall Georgian terraces. No-one sat underneath the trees of the large private garden in the centre of Kensington Square. She wriggled her shoulders underneath her rucksack and, with one last peek around, attempted a nimble jump over the black railings into the garden.
I talked to a group of new authors at L Festive at the weekend, and went through some tips that I’ve found useful for editing and polishing manuscripts after the first draft. I’ve had a few requests for notes on the session so I’ve posted them here for wider use. They’re intended for authors preparing their manuscript for submitting to publishers or self-publishing.
You’ve written your novel – now what?
(1) Get feedback
If you are self-publishing, beta-readers take the place of a development editor. If you are submitting to a publisher, feedback will only help your chances.
- Get a mix of people to read your story, ideally including other authors and people who read your genre
- Ideally cultivate a mix of beta-readers who will both pounce on every issue and pat you on the back where you’ve done well (usually different people!)
- Be brave and listen very carefully to issues – if beta-readers find an issue so will a paying reader or submissions editor