Friday, 30 October 2015

Life Before the Internet vs Now

I've been writing lots of guest posts this week and answering Q&As in preparation for the launch of the #PleaseRetweet paperback. (Psst... it's free to download here!)

One of the questions I was asked was: 

"Is life better now we have social media 
or was it better before?"

It got me thinking.  Life is definitely noisier now, isn't it?

For instance, take what happened with Eric and Joanna. 


"Joanna wasn't my cup of tea," said Eric.


"Joanna wasn't my cup of tea," said Eric.

...which prompts this alarming international announcement

...accompanied with moving, public displays of emotion

...which arouses sympathy across the globe

and leads to sensational trending topics...

 (which of course is a fantastic opportunity 
for bloggers and content creators 
to get their message out there...) 

...and random strangers taking sides 
with other random strangers over an event between two other random strangers...

...and the creation of memes

Sorry... I meant animal memes...

...and of course Inspirational Quotes. #PeaceandLove

I have a feeling I may have got carried away with my answer. 

Can you repeat the question?


For all the lovers and haters and addicts of social media, you can try out my book completely risk-free... 
because it's free!

(Free in UK only, I'm so so so so sorry lovely readers from all around the world who aren't in the UK, but if it was my choice I'd have included you ALL!)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Why I'm finally attempting the Nanowrimo challenge...

Lately I've been feeling restless. I feel like I should be happier. 

My friend sends me a video of a snoring door mouse.

I reply with a baby hamster.

A photo posted by Animals (@animaladdicts) on

It cheers me up for a while.

The trouble always starts when I'm not working on a new novel. I was, but I've had to pause it, to promote #PleaseRetweet. I waste a lot of time worrying that my book isn't going to sell. 

(It's free to download at the moment but it still has to hit the top 100 free should have by now, shouldn't it? Why hasn't it? The same thoughts go round and round in my head).   

The cure to this anxiety must be to create. I don't want to think about the point of it all. I just want to bash out words until they start writing themselves.

That's why I'm going to attempt Nanowrimo, the 50,000 words in a month challenge. I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't complete it. If I write 30,000 words, I'll be pleased. I just need to get back into the rhythm.

This is my strategy:

1. Get up one hour earlier
2. Write using a timer (45 minute stints)
3. Stay off social media until I've completed the first 1000 words a day

I reckon this simple strategy would work for achieving a lot of goals, don't you? (Just substitute 'write' for whatever it is you want to be doing!) 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Calling All Book Lovers! I've got a present for you...

Yesterday I caught a glimpse of the  #PleaseRetweet paperback on book blogger's, Becca's Boooks, Instagram feed. As you can imagine, it completely ruined my day.

Well I was so excited I couldn't concentrate, could I?

I haven't even seen a copy yet, but from afar, it looks so good I could eat it. Oh, what a lovely Christmas present it would make WINK WINK. It's out on the 5th November but you can preorder it today, plenty of time for Santa to wrap it up and shove it down a pair of tights! (Did anyone else use tights as stockings when they were little?)

And now for a special announcement!

I'm getting married

I'm having a baby

I'm gay

Ah, here it is!

From 23rd October - 1st November, #PleaseRetweet will be absolutely FREE to download.

Tell all your friends!

I won't be making a penny from this, so all I ask is that, if you enjoy it, please leave a review! Thank you!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Is it a girl? Is it a boy? Is it a book? - said no midwife ever.

"Your book is your baby!"

"Getting your book published is like giving birth!"

I've never given birth but I'm guessing these statements are a bit far fetched. 

Writing a book is a lot of work but at least it doesn't cry. The only person crying is you because it's taking so long.  

Your book doesn't give you mastitis. At the most it gives you a headache. Possibly a bit of repetitive strain injury. If you prefer vintage methods and are using pen and paper, there's the danger of paper cuts.

Your book does not poo. Although that doesn't mean it isn't crap. The first draft will definitely stink, even though it took you the best part of nine months to create. Ten years if you've had a stab at 'literary fiction*'.

(*Literary fiction is the one where not much happens, but it makes you cry because it's so beautiful and profound. Although you might also be crying because you've just finished reading 400 pages and you don't know what's happened.)

You don't feel unconditional love for your book. If you look too closely, you still see bits you could improve. I don't think you give birth and immediately think, Not bad! But I could have made its ears a bit rounder!  

The biggest difference I guess is, after you give birth you don't usually want to sell your baby, whereas every author wants to sell their freshly born book. The fact that this is actually quite difficult leads to what I'm calling Post Publication Blues. The post natal depression of the book publishing experience.  

There are so many posts on dealing with rejections from agents and publishers, but not so much advice for the writers who have managed to get books published, and still feel they have a long way to go until they 'make it'. How do you keep your morale up when it feels like you're getting nowhere fast?

Well, I've just opened Eckhart Tolle's book Stillness Speaks and read this: 

"Doing one thing at a time", is how one Zen Master defined the essence of Zen. Doing one thing at a time means to be total in what you do, to give it your complete attention. This is surrendered action - empowered action.

I think this translates as TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. This probably applies to babies and books. 

Reasons to buy my baby #PleaseRetweet

1. It is potty trained and doesn't dribble.
2. It sleeps all through the night.
3. It is well-behaved on planes
5. It's only £2.99

The paperback is available for preorder and will be out on 5th November!

Monday, 5 October 2015

When Moving to Mallorca: Expect Visitors

We didn't have a leaving party when we moved to Mallorca. We didn't want to make a fuss. After all, what if it didn't work out? 

Instead, we just packed up our things and left quietly, promising  to stay in touch, wondering to ourselves how long before we saw our friends and family...

It turns out when you move to a place like Mallorca, people come to visit you!

In four month, we've had 16 visitors. Unlike in pricey old London, we've been able to offer them the spare bedroom, as oppose to the sofa in the living room. The extra space has meant each visit has gone very smoothly, because everyone has had privacy.  My advice on the visitor front is, only say YES if:

When moving to a beautiful island,  people will inevitably want to take advantage and stay with you to avoid hotel costs.  Be firm. Or if not firm, inventive with your excuses. Only say yes to people you genuinely like, otherwise you'll feel resentful.

You don't want to be traipsing around restaurants for hours because your guest only eats food cooked in avocado oil. If they are going to spend more time picking tomatoes out of their salad than talking to you, think twice about inviting them. The ideal visitor thinks everything is DELICIOSO, like my mother-in-law. Ten points to her.  

Your home isn't a hotel, even though you jokingly call it one. You must pluck up the courage to tell your guest if they take the proverbial wee wee.

I'm not writing from experience, it just seems like common sense. All our visitors have been much-loved, easy-going and generous. 
There have been so many highlights. Having my brother over for 9 whole days was amazing. Getting to know my husband's childhood friend from Colombia via Australia was also special.
Only yesterday my mother and father -in-law left after a month's stay in which we popped over to the mainland. In Jerez we breathed in air sweetened with sherry, in Seville we caught a rare glimpse of spontaneous street Flamenco. My own lovely parents, auntie and uncle, and incredibly, my 92 year old Gramma, also came over for a week on the island to coincide with my in-laws visit.    
To be honest, I find myself quite bewildered to be suddenly sitting alone in such a quiet flat, which is probably why I'm scribbling this down.   
Surely I must be relieved to have some alone time?
Certainly for my writing's sake, I do need to close the hotel for a couple of months. It has been tricky trying to squeeze in a thousand words here and there and it's quite likely I take on the Nanowrimo challenge in November (50,000 words in one month) to make up for it.

It's also been wonderful to have so many visitors, and it makes us feel like we haven't left everyone far behind. In fact, every time I go to the airport to pick someone up or drop them off, and not be leaving myself, it makes Mallorca feel a little bit more like home.