My favourite books on Writing…

So, what do I want to tell you about Books on Writing?  Well, I find it really difficult to get motivated to write on days like today.  It’s a grey, mild, January, Sunday evening and my brain doesn’t want to come out to play.  I took it out to the cinema this afternoon, so you’d think it would be a bit grateful and meet me half way. But no… it’s decided to stay full of cotton wool.  So, I’m going to read about writing instead as at least that’s moving forward, albeit not in quite the direction I should be if  I’m going to keep on schedule to get book number 3 finished (well, started… oops). Continue reading “My favourite books on Writing…”

Hoping to finally write that book in 2016?

Is writing a novel one of your New Years Resolutions? For as long as I can remember, every New Year’s Eve I would vow to write a book by the following year. But, 12 months later, the book was nowhere to be seen.   Sure, there would be a few paragraphs, scribbled notes, index cards with a ‘sort of’ plot. But a book?  Nope. And so I’d have a little moan and then vow to do the same thing again. Continue reading “Hoping to finally write that book in 2016?”

Busy, busy, busy…

My feet have really not touched the ground over the last week.  The release date of ‘Bringing Billie Back’ is just over a week away and so it’s been crazy.  So much to do:  ebooks to upload, printing files to proof, marketing posts and much nail biting.  And, I’m told that Christmas is just around the corner which I’m a little anxious about as  I’d put the holidays on a back burner whilst getting the book ready.  So, it now means that:

a) I need to write lots of cards

b) I need to buy presents

c) I need to buy a very large bottle of Bailey’s and drink it quickly <Note:  other makes are also available, and I would drink those too>

One of the things I’m most looking forward to, once the book is released and out there, is that I will have a few weeks over Christmas and into the New Year to work on my 2016 writing plan.  There’s so much I want to do next year, and I’ve no idea when I’ll get the time with other commitments,  like work (I still work full time and write whenever I get a spare minute, which can include in the toilet – yes, too much information, or TMI as the yoof would say…)  I need to record ‘Bringing Billie Back’ as an audio book, write another novel, write my non-fiction book and then blog properly, and not randomly, like I seem to do at the moment…   BBB_main_image

2015 has really given me the chance to learn so much about being an Indie author, and I love it.  I’ve met some great people, made lots of new friends, and have so many ideas (they literally chase themselves around in my brain 24/7).  So, here’s to 2016, starting off with a bang due to the new release.  Which, if you’re planning on getting on the Kindle, you can find on the Amazon Store already as a pre-order (due out 13th Dec).  So, please do visit the page if you’d like to take a peek!

Penny

 

Bringing Billie Back

BBC Northampton Radio – What a week!  My crazy editing has come to an end until the final proof edits are suggested and put right.  I’ve released the date that ‘Bringing Billie Back’ is being set free (the 13th December).  And today I was lucky to be invited as a guest on the John Griff show, BBC Radio Northampton.

What a lovely guy.  He had researched ‘Friendship, Love and Apple Tea’, knew everything about it and asked some great questions.  And I loved it.  Am kinda hoping Miranda Hart was listening as there’s an offer of a leading role in a film for her, she only has to ask…

image of puglet wanting a walk
Puglet doesn’t like edits

In other news, well, it’s all been about editing, editing and more editing whilst ignoring the housework, the need for Christmas shopping and the fact our house is upside down whilst having some building work done.   Puglet has sat and watched, silently pleading for more doggie walks…

So now, I need to focus everything on getting the book out on the 13th as promised…  if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my mailing list through my website.  I’ll be sending out an email on the release date to all that join, to give you links to the different ways of getting hold of the book.  Click here to find the very large Subscribe button.

Thanks everyone, for your support, and please urge my final edits to be as quick and as painless as possible!

 

Penny

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Posting from Madrid…

Well, I thought I ought to send a post from Madrid, a beautiful city.   We’re only here for a few days, we fly home on Friday.  But it’s been so hectic recently that I’m now all chilled out, having had tapas and visited beautiful squares and streets, so it’s only right that I take a few minutes to have a type on my little keyboard that connects to my phone.  To be honest, I’ve missed writing these last few days…

So, what’s going on for me?   Well, my second novel is almost finished and I’m hoping it will be released by the second week of December.   To be honest, the hardest bit has been the title – it took me weeks and weeks to decide on it and I’m still not 100% sure.  With my first novel it just came to me, and I knew there and then it was right.  But this one?  Umm… I think iit is ok but will wait another week or so to release it.  

My ‘illustrator’, (aka Wendy my bestie friend) is struggling a little with the cover. But, I know she’ll do a fab job and I can’t wait to see it.   She’s reading the second draft for me too, as is my lovely husband Roger, and they’re both quite happy so far.  

The excitement at having a book almost ready to release is just, oooh, I can’t even describe it.  I watched Dawn French this weekend on Saturday Kitchen and she described it in a similar way to having a baby – it grows in you for so many months and then it’s there, and you want everyone to be kind to it.  Along with the general excitement is also the knowledge that I’ll soon be free to start my next project, which is so excillerating.  

So, here I am, sat in the restaurant of our Madrid hotel after walking in the rain after eating tapas and drinking a glass of wine.  And, I’m about to start making some notes for my next novel.  But first, my project list:

1.  Non-fiction book – yep, my next one is a self-development book which has been in my head for years and I’m hoping it’s going to be ok to write… bit scary, but am looking forward to it.

2. Recording the audio for novel 1 & 2 – so, I’ve got the kit and am ready to go… not sure how it will work out but I’m mega excited.  I hope I don’t forget myself and think I’m back on the police radios and talk in the phonetic alphabet… plus, my voice could curdle milk so I’m going to have to come up with a plan to make it sound a bit more, well, normal…

3. Third novel, set in Spain somewhere, possibly Madrid…

4. Podcast – am aiming to do a monthly one, with creative friends being guests for me.  Can’t wait. 

5.  Childrens novel… yes, I’ve got the idea I want to expand on, as it’s something that our daughter and I have been talking about for years.  

So, that’s my project list.  On top of this I have a meal to plan for my father (and mum too, and husband) as I promised that, if I sold 2000 copies of my first novel, I’d take him to Marco Pierre White’s.  And, I reached that target, which is unbelievable!!!  So, we need to book it up and it’s going to be fab.  My Dad is the best story teller I’ve ever known, and so I owe everything to him. 

Right, off to bed soon as we’ve a full day ahead tomorrow in sunny Madrid.  Until then, I’ve some notes to make and a coffee or tea to drink before bed.  Night everyone,  wherever you are.  Or, should I say, ‘beunos nochas’ – absolutely no idea if this is correct or not, so I apoloise to all Spanish speakers everywhere. 

Penny

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Sail away with me in September…

I love travelling.  Always have and always will.  I haven’t been anywhere massively far away, like Australia or New Zealand, but I’ve still been lucky enough to get away and, for that, I’m very grateful.

A couple of years ago we lost a lovely elderly auntie.  Auntie Vi was a real character; 90 years old, a joy to be with, full of fun and mischief.  And when she passed away we found out she had left a little bit of money to us.  To most people it wasn’t enough to have made a huge difference.  But, to us, it was massive as it meant we could book a holiday we’d dreamt of so many times – a cruise.   DSC_6080

We had no idea what to expect.  We worried we’d be sea sick and I’m not gonna lie… images of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio did enter my head every now and again, clinging onto that debris in the sea.  But, it was fantastic.  Two weeks of pure joy and adventure.   We sailed from Marmaris on the Thomson Celebration, a beautiful and fun ship, and didn’t want to leave.  I was literally clinging onto the Captain’s legs when our two weeks were up.  (Slight exaggeration, but I did do my grumpy face and scowled lots).

So, there was never any question on where my 2nd book was to be set – on a cruise around the Med.   And this weekend, 17k words in, I’ve been in Mykonos and Lesbos (all in my head, obviously, but based on the research from our cruise). DSC_6587

So if you’d like to cruise, but might not be able to just yet, there’ll be a ship waiting for you, leaving my head in September to arrive in the Kindle bookstore, Amazon and lots of other places too.  That’s if I get the words onto the paper and stop procrastinating by looking at cruise brochures and the holiday snaps….

‘A day at the Circus’, by Penny Canvin aged 8…

My parents have had a rough couple of weeks.  They had a flood in their lounge caused by a burst pipe under the floor, resulting in the whole carpet being lifted up and no heating since it happened.  They still won’t have any warmth in the house for at least two more weeks as they’re waiting for the system to be replaced.   So my Dad has been up in the loft to clear it ready for the work to commence and one of the things he retrieved was a cardboard box which contains old school books that my brother and I had brought home a long, long time ago.

Excitedly, my daughter and I went through it to see what I was like at that young age.  What type of pictures did I draw?  How was my spelling?  But, more importantly for me, what was my storytelling like then?  Would I find signs that I’d one day be a writer?   Well, there was never any doubt that my imagination has always been vivid, and my books proved that.  And I’ll admit that I can over-exaggerate things sometimes…  But I never knew quite how much.

So, here it is… the proof.  Penny Canvin aged 8 was asked, along with her classmates, to write about what she did at the weekend.  My best friend Wendy and I had both gone to a travelling circus which had come to our village. In those days, a circus had clowns and trapeze artists but also live, wild animals performing (yes, i know, but it was ‘normal’ back in those days).  So, we both wrote about our day at the circus.

Wendy’s version:  Wendy wrote about how we went to the circus, queued for 55 minutes and watched the ringmaster and the lions.  A nice story, full of truth, and most probably in her beautiful neat handwriting accompanied with a brill illustration (not that I’m jealous or anything).

Here’s my actual written account of the day.  What the teacher must have thought I have no idea…:

One day I heard my mum and dad say ‘We shall take Penny to the circus’.  So I asked if Wendy could come and they said yes.  We went to my friend’s but her mum said ‘no, you dare take Wendy to the circus, she is mental’. (Now, this is the first untruth as Wendy is most definitely not, or ever has been, ‘mental’.)

‘No she’s not’, I said.  

‘Ok’, said her mum Liz and we went to the car holding hands.  But my parents and brother had been sick so they went home and we went by ourselves to the circus.  

We went inside the tent and got a seat.  The circus began.  The Ringmaster said ‘Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, we shall now have the clowns.’  The funny clowns came on and we started to laugh.  They threw apple pies (I’m pretty sure these would have been custard pies, but let’s not get picky) at each other and went off.  The Ringmaster came in and said ‘A dreadful thing has happened.  A man has put some stuff in the drinks and people have fainted.’  All the people let out a big scream and ran out of the tent expect for me and Wendy.  

‘I think I know who it is that put stuff into the drinks’, I said.  

‘Who?’ asked Wendy.  

‘Listen,’ I said, ‘if the clowns were in the ring and the other people were getting ready, it was the Ringmaster who must have done it’.  We shouted at the Ringmaster, ‘Come here!  You killed the people.’  (Not quite sure how it went from people fainting to being killed)

‘OK, I give up’, he said, ‘I killed them.’ Then I heard Wendy let out a big scream.  The lions were out and we ran out of the tent and became heroes (?) but the Ringmaster was killed.  We put the lions into the cages.  

The end.

Turkey attracts such a lovely bunch of people

I’ve had the most lovely week – complete strangers, who I already now think of as friends, have sent me such touching messages about my book and it’s been a little overwhelming.

It would be true to say that, when I first wrote the book (Friendship, Love and Apple Tea) I didn’t envisage anyone buying it other than my husband, parents and a few faithful friends.  When the sales started to come in I became a little excited and started to believe in myself.  And now?  Well, it’s beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

What has surprised me the most is the amount of lovely people that have found out about my book through the Facebook pages dedicated to all things Turkey… and it’s made me miss the lovely country very much.

We’ve visited Turkey many times over the years.  We’ve seen Marmaris grow (a lot), we’ve visited with friends and we’ve made lots of friends too. We’ve celebrated very special occasions there, including our honeymoon and birthdays and anniversaries.  We took our daughter there when she was 7 months old in my tummy, and returned with her a few months later when she was 11 weeks old.

Tonight I posted a photo on a Turkey related Facebook page and was blown away by how many people responded to tell me they’ve read my book!  I never expected it.  So, thank you to everyone, it means a lot.

Here’s the photo I posted along with another which, for me, sums up the wonderful sense of humour and personality of so many Turkish people.

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‘Bring your own Book’ at Newport Pagnell Library

Had a lovely time tonight at the Newport Pagnell Library (in Buckinghamshire, for those that don’t know it…).  I was asked to pop along to their first ‘Bring your own Book’ club and talk about ‘Friendship, Love and Apple Tea’.

Now, before I tell you how fab the group was, I must share with you my rather disastrous journey there.  I was zipping along, fighting my way through rush hour traffic and becoming a little disorientated by the drizzly rain, bright lights and rather boppy music on the radio.  And I was panicking a little, as it was getting closer and closer to 5:30.  And I suddenly became aware that I was contravening the Road Traffic Act a little.  Well, a lot.  I’m not going to say what or how, as I’m not sure if this could be used against me in a court of law.  So, if anyone asks, I will deny everything.  But, I can say that it was not speeding, or driving dangerously.  It was just a bit daft.  It was so daft that, if I don’t end up with points on my licence, I’ll be almost disappointed.

Right, back to the story.  I was greeted by coffee and biscuits and lots of smiles, which calmed me down from my near death experience in the car (slight exaggeration), and I spoke to some lovely ladies about my book, and how I wrote it, and what I’d do differently next time.  Which is lots.

The best bit of the evening was the ‘Bring your own Book’ part.  The group is all about having a book that you’d love to share with others, having a chat and drinking tea and dunking biscuits.  And, the great thing about it is that you learn about other authors and genres – I am definitely downloading a book onto my Kindle that was recommended tonight by the author Diane Chamberlain.

They meet once a month at the library with the next session on the 10th February.  So if you love reading books and can pop along, please do.  I can guarantee a warm welcome and a fun evening.

Now, when I’ve got my scanner on, I’m going to share a flyer on here called ‘2015 Reading Challenge’.  Basically, it’s a list of different types of book and you tick the ones that you’ve tried and then challenge yourself to read genres that may not be familiar to you.  What a great idea!

And… I’m hopefully going to have a ‘download my book for free’ day through Kindle… more details to follow.

Off to bed

Penny

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