amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Sunday, April 21st, 2013 10:44 pm
I've got a new story coming out tomorrow, in Dreamspinner's Closet Capers anthology, a collection of light-hearted mysteries. It looks like it's going to be a really fun book, with the emphasis on romance as much as intrigue. The picture will take you through to the Dreamspinner's site to read some of the blurbs.

PhilipCollyervstheColaThief_FBbanner_DSP

My own contribution 'Philip Collyer vs. the Cola Thief' is a light office romance. Phil, like his author, is a bit of a caffeine fiend, and when someone starts stealing his lunchtime can of cola out of the office fridge, this normally easy-going manager is determined to find and stop the culprit. With the help of his crush, Kester the cute IT guy, Phil sets out to catch a thief...

I'm one of those people who chain-drinks tea at work and swills cola (whichever brand is on offer as I go through it too fast to be fussy) when I'm writing. When I was thinking about ideas for this one, I cast my mind back to my office drone days, and tried to think of the most irritating thing I could possibly imagine. This one topped the list. To be honest, if anyone messed with my caffeine supply, I wouldn't be anywhere near as nice about it as Phil is. I also probably wouldn't be quite as creative, though Phil's increasingly creative approaches have nothing on some folks on the internet (some of these made me chuckle, and there are many, many similar posts out there. Pretty much that anything involving actual poison or excrement is illegal, though, folks, tempting as it might be).

[mirrored from http://amyraenbow.wordpress.com/]
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Saturday, April 20th, 2013 03:08 pm
So, I've been on my travels for the last couple of weeks. I tend to take off for two weeks every Easter and just explore an area of the UK, spending a night or two in one place before I wander onwards somewhere else. This year I explored Lincolnshire and the Yorkshire coast, two areas which were completely strange to me. I've been to York once, and never set foot in Lincolnshire before, so I was clearly overdue a visit. I always come back not only relaxed but brimming with story ideas (I want to write about shipwrecks and lifeboatmen now, because the RNLI museum in Whitby moved me to tears).  Later this weekend, I'll post again to talk about the impending release of the Closet Capers anthology, which contains a rather sweet and daft story of mine, but for the time being I'm going to blather about my trip.

I'm a crazed photographer on these trips, because you never know what might come in useful as a reference photo. I've selected some of the quirkier shots to share here, under the cut because this will be a bit photo-heavy, including the aforementioned prognosticator, a leech barometer (no, really).

Read more... )

[mirrored from http://amyraenbow.wordpress.com]
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Sunday, February 10th, 2013 10:32 pm
I started my first book when I was twelve. It was terrible, as most first novels are, but I can still remember the excitement of writing 'Chapter One' at the top of the first page, underlining it twice, and then plunging into the story. As a teenager I wrote at every opportunity: in lessons (oh, the heartache of having my notebook confiscated by unsympathetic teachers), on trains and buses, under the covers at night, in the dark because my torch batteries had died and my parents had demanded lights out even though I was almost at the end of a chapter! I felt, then and now, ill and tired if I went a day without writing.

Read more... )

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amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Sunday, January 27th, 2013 07:05 pm
Goodness, where does time go. I've had a wonderfully busy winter, although only recently has it got cold enough for proper snow. We've had a week of white-washed rooftops and snowball fights, but now two days of heavy showers and sunshine have washed it all away and the world seems very green all of a sudden. There's just a hint of spring in the air, enough to lift the heart.

And I've got a couple of a stories coming out this spring. Firstly, my story "Granddad's Cup of Tea" will be in Dreamspinner's Snow on the Roof anthology which comes out on February 11th (did you see that super-smooth segue, did you, huh?). This story is rather precious to me, because it was the very first m/m romance story I wrote, and the first story of any kind I've finished in a very long time. The theme of the anthology is older couples, and mine is a story about two widowers in a Sussex village who slowly fall in love. I really enjoyed writing about Ewan and Alex and their families and I hope you all enjoy meeting them in a couple of weeks time. Click on the banner to find out more.

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I've also had a piece accepted for the Closet Capers Anthology which is due out in April - I'll post more about that one closer to the time.


I've also been pleased with the response to The Ghost of Mistletoe Lock. The reviews on Goodreads were mixed, which I gather is par for the course, but all the review sites gave it 4/5, which is good going for a debut novella, at least in my humble opinion ;) I was also thrilled to bits to discover it had been assigned to Christmas Day in the Advent Calendar. I didn't know in advance and my shriek of excitement on Christmas morning woke up my poor brother, who was staying in my spare room for the holiday. Sadly it didn't snow at Christmas here, merely before and after, and though I considered wandering down the river last weekend to take photos of locks in the snow, it didn't happen. I was at the stage in a bout of flu where every breath hurt and it's a good forty minute walk from the station to the first lock. Unlike Ryan, I've got more sense to take off into the snowy countryside when I'm not ready for it, so I stayed at home in bed and wrote about a disgruntled dragon instead.


I'm now busy finishing off my Nano novel, ReawakeningIt's fun to be working on a full-length project again after all these short stories recently, and Tarn and Gard keep making me snicker. Tarn is so laconic and controlled and Gard is such a fast-talking git, and that dynamic just lets me run with every scene. The problem's going to be editing out the swathes of banter which doesn't add anything to the plot.


I've also been busy this week putting together a wordpress site - there's a new free read, When Life Gives You Lemons up there. It's adult-rated, so consider yourself warned ;)

amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 04:41 pm
...which, this being southern England, means it's raining. Nonetheless, my tree is up and my Christmas shopping mostly done. Mum and I got the bus down to Winchester yesterday and went to the Christmas market. We did this last year, and I'm quite a fan. I like supporting small businesses, and they have a nice range of quirky stuff to suit my very quirky family. I've even got the first tickle of a Christmas story idea about a couple of lads whose paths only cross at Christmas time (cathedrals, Christmas markets and ex-choirboys - why, yes, I am from the Home Counties).

We also took the chance to go on a tour of the Cathedral, which neither of us have done before, despite many visits to the town. You really learn so much more if someone is there to point out the little things (I would never even have noticed the frescos or the crazy carved animals in the screens). One place the guide took us was the crypt, which I'd always assumed just got sealed whenever it flooded, which is often). Actually they have a little viewing platform about a foot above the floor so you can see it as long as the water doesn't rise that high.

A statue gazes down at its cupped hands. It is reflected in the low surrounding water

That's Antony Gormley's Sound II, which I'd seen pictures of but is incredibly compelling in real life. You can't stop staring at it.
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Saturday, December 1st, 2012 09:19 pm
And here it is, my little Christmas story, which is being released as part of Dreamspinner's Evergreen Advent Calendar. Isn't Catt Ford's cover art gorgeous? I fell in love with it at first sight.




(At All Romance | At Amazon)

After lonely divorcé Isaac leaves his job as a banker to work as a conservationist on a country river, he gives up on finding the love he always wanted. Then he meets flirty jeweler Ryan and assumes Ryan's out of his league, but Ryan's just as lonely as Isaac. Ryan also has the housemates from hell, and when he storms out of the riotous Christmas party they forgot to warn him about, he soon finds himself lost in the snow.

It's up to the ghost of Mistletoe Lock to bring the two men together and ensure they give love a chance.
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Friday, November 30th, 2012 10:36 pm


I still can't quite believe that I managed that. Two weeks ago I was 10k behind and just trying to get as much written as I could, but a couple of serious writing weekends and a last minute realisation that it was possible after all got me there.

This is actually two stories - one contemporary of about 11000 words and one still-growing chunk of fantasy. A wee bit from the second under the cut, just for the fun of it.

Here be dragons... )

How have your Novembers been?
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Looking at the sea)
Saturday, October 6th, 2012 05:15 pm
It feels very good to be back online. I moved house back at the end of August and I'm still waiting for my new phone line to be connected (snarl, grump, mutter, etc). I'm currently mooching off my parents' connection and getting caught up on everything that I've missed in the last month and a bit.

And it's been a very exciting month. Not just because of my lovely new flat, but because I've made my first sale. The Ghost of Mistletoe Lock will be part of Dreamspinner Press' Advent Calendar package this December. I'll be updating more about it nearer the time, but I wanted to share the excitement (for a hint about the story, you could look back at my post on location which is where the idea started).

In the meantime, to celebrate new beginnings of all types, I thought I'd share a freebie, inspired by my recent move. There's nothing explicit in this one, those it does feature a villanous ex (or four), a removal man in shining armour, and a hot air balloon....

Moving On )
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Saturday, June 30th, 2012 02:40 pm
And another first draft finished! I could get addicted to this sense of satisfaction. This one was more serious than the last, with a my main character having to deal with an injury that ended his sports career and his regrets over the way his previous relationship ended. Then last night, in one giddy burst, I wrote the climax of the story. It was one of those moments which reminds you why you write, because the words just pour out and the prose sings through you and you want to jump up and dance, but can't because you can't bear to stop writing.

Then, this morning, going in to write the final scene, I read back through that section and, to my relief, it reached out and grabbed me so hard I had tears in my eyes (and, yes, it was meant to be moving).

It's strange sometimes, how huge the difference can be between the way you feel as you write and the emotions on the page. Then the difference between how a scene makes you feel and how readers react is another gulf again. I love that scene (and, no, I have no qualms about taking pride in the good bits, because I'm tough on the crappy bits too), but it might leave someone else untouched. In the past I've had readers cry at lines I put in as a passing comments, or laugh at things I meant to be bitterly tragic. I had what was supposed to be a light-hearted piece rejected from a magazine once, and as I read through the comments I realised that the reader hadn't realised it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek and so hated it for being wordy, implausible and unoriginal ><

I'm going to hope that doesn't happen with this piece, but whether it finds a place in the world or not, I'll always prize this one, just for that sudden bit of magic it brought me last night.
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Sunday, June 17th, 2012 04:31 pm
I finished a story! I finished a story! I finished a story!

Okay, so it's less than 5500 words of drunken antics and shagging, but it's a whole, entire, completely finished story! The first thing I've finished since, er, um...

I had such good intentions when I started this journal, and then real life came along with a double-helping of overtime and flu (three versions, in a row). But I have finished a story, a military band just marched down my road, and the sun is shining. ^___^ (Easily pleased, me?)

And for my next trick... )
amy_raenbow: A shirtless young man, with his back to the artist, is sitting on the edge of a rock, looking down at the sea. (Default)
Saturday, April 14th, 2012 10:44 pm
There's something about an empty journal that's even more unnerving and exhilarating than the usual thrill of a blank piece of paper. A new journal means, to a certain extent, a new identity, one that will be created here as I write. So, as this is a writing journal, I'll christen it by writing about the point where stories begin: the initial idea.

Ideas come in many forms - most of mine start as little tattered story bits which have to be collected and stitched together before they're strong enough to carry a whole story, its ideas and people and passions. Although the process varies from story to story, I have a road I tend to follow, especially for one off stories set in the real world.

Location, location, location )
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