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I'm consciously making time and space in my life to be a writer now... it's been a long time coming! Unfortunately, the day job means I am only really able to focus intensively on writing in fits and starts, with August and December (school holiday months) being the only real times I have a sustained block of time. It means it's currently taking me YEARS to finish a book :-(. Consequently, I am trying hard right now to learn more about the craft of novel-writing, in order to be able to minimise rookie errors that slow my progress. I am in awe of writers that can bang out a slick MS at pretty much the first attempt, and those who write an entire book every month. HOW??? Clearly, there's a way, so I'm on a mission to find it.

I would say that I write women's fiction: the sort of stories that explore "What If..." questions and dilemmas. I'm on story No2 right now.

I'm originally from Dorset, but am currently living and working in KL, Malaysia.

emmaloo Discussions
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Saw a recommendation for this podcast for anyone self-pubbing looking to go 'wide'.https://www.thecr…
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  •  ·  Her book on self publishing is currently free in Kindle!
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So, the Lucy Cavendish Prize deadline is looming. I think my entry is ready to go, but I really need…
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  •  · Hi Cassandra,I've just submitted my entry, but would nonetheless definitely be more than happy for a…
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An email from this new website called "Bay Tales" just landed in my inbox. https://baytales.com/It d…
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  •  · Thanks for sharing Emma. I'll take a look
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Hello lovely people,I just saw that The Blue Pencil Agency are running a 'Pitch Prize' (https://blue…
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  •  · My mention of How to Stop Time wasn't intended to say 'someone's written a book like this before so …
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Hey everyone,So, there's a scene in my current WIP in which the MC (the narrator, who happens to be …
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  •  · I watched that film.  No idea what it was called now but I think it starred Michael Caine, Bob Hoski…
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Here's an idea:If we are self-publishing (which I'm not yet, but probably will at some point), one o…
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  •  · Sounds like a great idea! :-)
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Saw a recommendation for this podcast for anyone self-pubbing looking to go 'wide'.


This page explains self-publishing a print book: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/how-to-self-publish-a-print-book/

and this page explains self-publishing an e-book:  https://www.thecreativepenn.com/how-to-self-publish-an-ebook/ 

Easy info for total newbies!

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So, the Lucy Cavendish Prize deadline is looming. I think my entry is ready to go, but I really need someone to slap me round the head with some reality checks first. Anyone else entering, in need of some feedback on their entry, too?

Oh look, I'm levitating :-D

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An email from this new website called "Bay Tales" just landed in my inbox. https://baytales.com/

It describes itself as, "The place for crime and mystery writers, readers and anyone else who loves some wrong-doing in their writing!" and promises it will be, "Featuring the best and biggest names in fiction as well as the brightest up-and-coming stars... bringing you interviews, panel discussions and debates, workshops and much, much more." 

It's not really my bag, but I thought I'd pass it on as I'm sure there will some of you or other people you know who might be interested.

For the crime and mystery writers among you, they're hosting a series of live interviews and features with different crime authors. I'm not sure if they'd be willing to feature newbies, but it could be a good place for you to seek some exposure....????

Enjoy! :-)

Happy New Year, everyone! Catching up with your posts in my 'writing space'

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Hello lovely people,

I just saw that The Blue Pencil Agency are running a 'Pitch Prize' (https://bluepencilagency.com/bpa-pitch-prize-2020/), but the deadline for entries is this Sunday!

I've thrown this synopsis of my current WIP together, and would love some feedback if any of you have the time and inclination (NB. The synopsis must be a max of 300 words; this one's 277, so I only have a weeny bit of wriggle room).

Thank you in advance! 


Sadie is 52 years and 4mths old - the same age she’s been for the last 65 years, thanks to her unprecedented reaction to the anti-ageing treatment she took in the past.

Sadie lives on as some kind of matriarchal relic from her own past. Her 35 yr old great-grand-daughter Kasia is the closest thing she has to a friend these days. Sadie has a more difficult relationship with Kasia’s mother, Odette: 53, divorced, menopausal and embittered by the cruel blows life has dealt her, Odette resents Sadie’s enduring presence in their lives, seeing her as some kind of usurper to her own crown.

Sadie’s last-surviving child Ebony (Odette’s mother) is dying of cancer. In her final months, she urges Sadie to add someone new to her life before she outlives everyone who knows and loves her. 

Sadie begins dating 56-year-old Zander, who is unperturbed by the age gap between them and the truth about her bizarre genetic condition. Zander offers her the opportunity to reinvent who she is at last.

But Sadie is finding it harder to throw herself whole-heartedly into a relationship than she’d thought; up until now, staying single had always been an agonising but conscious choice: People I love can’t leave me if I don’t let them in to begin with.

Meanwhile, it becomes horrifyingly obvious that Odette is attracted to Zander as well, and that they would make a perfect match. If she really wants her grand-daughter to find lasting happiness, Sadie needs to step out of their way.

The plan succeeds in bringing them together, but leaves Sadie desolate, and once again convinced of the inevitability of the fate she most dreads.

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Hey everyone,

So, there's a scene in my current WIP in which the MC (the narrator, who happens to be 117 years old and not ageing, but that's not important here) is participating in a private ceremony along with her 51-yr-old grand-daughter Odette and 35-yr-old great-grand-daughter Kasia to scatter the ashes of her recently-passed 84-yr-old daughter Ebony. The plan is to scatter her ashes, as Ebony had requested, upon a nearby hillside spot. 

I have never seen human ashes; I've had to make some presumptions about what the contents of a cremated person's urn would look like, and what quantity of ash there would be. I have also had to imagine the logistics of the scattering.

Would any of you be kind enough to tell me if this excerpt sounds authentic, plausible and - well - any good?

Huge thanks in advance.


“Are you alright with that?” I say to Odette, indicating the urn. “Would you like one of us to carry it for a while?”

I’m expecting her to refuse. For a moment, I think she intends to. But then she looks at me and nods. “Why not,” she says, and holds the urn out towards me like a peace offering. I take it from her gingerly, deliberately letting my fingers brush over hers. 

“Thank you,” I say, holding her gaze for as long as she lets me.

“Let’s get going before this weather turns, shall we?” She starts to head off up the footpath, Kasia and I walking side by side behind her. It’s a ten minute hike to the top, and we complete it without any further words. All I can think about is my precious cargo. With every footstep, I know I am closer to having to let it go.

By the time we crest the lip of the hill, we are all panting. 

Odette looks back round at us. “Okay?”


She leads us towards one of the only two benches - one on the city side, the other on the coastal side. We are heading for the latter. I am relieved to see that no one else is up here, so we have the hilltop to ourselves. It is almost eerily quiet, no sound but our own collective heavy breathing.

We sit in a row: me in the middle. Ebony’s urn is on my lap. Without any of us needing to say anything, we all instinctively know what comes next. From either side of me, an arm reaches around my shoulders. I am pulled into a huddle of shared grief. To my left, I can feel Kasia shuddering as she starts to sob. To my right, Odette feels rigid, but she’s gasping out tears. I say my own goodbyes silently, biting down on my own lips that are quivering hard.

Eventually, we’re ready. I take the lid off and peer inside with a mixture of dread and longing. There she is! Oh god, there she is!

“How do you want to do this?” I say to Odette, dragging my eyes away from the urn’s contents.

From her coat pocket, Odette produces three medium-sized metal scoops. “I thought we could each use one of these,” she says hoarsely. “We can go to different points, if you like. Scatter her simultaneously in different directions, into the wind.”

This seems like the right thing to do. With the urn standing on the bench now, we apportion out the fine silvery-beige powder. The breeze, coming up from the sea, swirls at the mound on my scoop, and I have to cup my hand around it to protect it as I walk towards the spot I have chosen: the far end of the footpath, where it seems to melt over the edge of the grass into the expanse of sky. 

“Fly free, my darling girl,” I murmur, and I hold my trowel at arm’s length, sideways to the wind, and let it take her. A ribbon of glistening, shimmering dust takes off, and at once evaporates like smoke into the air. I stare after it, stunned and broken.

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Here's an idea:

If we are self-publishing (which I'm not yet, but probably will at some point), one of the obstacles is finding ways to connect your wonderful book with the sort of people who would want to buy it.

Each of us here must have their own personal network of friends, family members, colleagues, etc etc - and will be connected to those people via various channels: email, social media platforms, Linked In, our own websites, etc. Think about all of those potential readers collectively, already amassed into readymade mailing lists! 😁 

What if, once a week/month/whatever, we each committed to sharing details of one or two other JW members' currently self-published work via our own networks? Something like, "An associate of mine recently published this book about ____ . I've agreed to give him/her a helping hand with the promotion, so here's the link to it on Amazon (or wherever). Take a look and see if it interests you. If not, feel free to pass the info on."

A little step like this from enough of us could potentially transform sales figures for the members we help.

Who's in? 

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