Friday, December 29, 2006

Looking forward to 2007!

I'm looking forward to next year, writing and publishing wise, that is. I will have three books out:
IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER and RETURN TO WINTER will be published by The Wild Rose Press. I received a signed copy of the contract for the latter this morning and a lovely letter from them. IHOS was accepted for publication by them a few days ago. A TASTE OF HONEY will be published by Samhain Publishing in e-book format in April and later in print format.

It's also my aim to polish off BLACK DIAMONDS, my historical romance that was written for this year's Nanowrimo, and send that off somewhere.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Getting into the Christmas Spirit!

Well my Internet shopping turned up yesterday and I was very pleased. I ordered a stack of goodies from using their 3 for the price of 2 offers and saved loads of money. There was no postage to pay if you order over £45.00 worth of stuff.

The other order was from The Book People, I saved loads of money there as well, some books were as much as a third of the original price!

I've made a start wrapping the presents incase naughty people start peeping in this household!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Two great pieces of news!

What a great day! I have gone over the 50,000 word mark of the NaNoWrimo Challenge, so I am officially a winner! Whoo! Hoo! I have loved writing this book and am not finished with it yet. I hope to get up to the 75-80 K mark and submit it to Random House.

Another great piece of news is that The Wild Rose Press have offered me a contract for Return to Winter.

I am thrilled to bits.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NaNoWrimo is going well!

Despite starting the NaNoWrimo Challenge a few days late, I have almost got up to the 25,000 word [half way] mark, half way through the month.

My book is a Historical Romance set around the back drop of 19th century Abercanaid/Merthyr Tydfil. The inciting incident is an explosion at The Gethin Pit.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the research and putting what I've learned into my novel, without hopefully, turning it into too much of a history book.

I've named the book, "Black Diamonds" because as well as liking that term, it refers to coal!

So let's hope I can get the next 25,00 words down by the end of November!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My Kind of Hero

In an ideal world, my favourite kind of hero would be powerful, magnetic, comfortable in his own skin, unique, brave, compassionate without being wimpy, kind without being sugary, passionate, etc.

In the movies, the type of actor I'm talking about is Steve McQueen. He doesn't conform, he's a bit of a bad boy, you know he wouldn't wimp out of something. The king of cool.

I can't find anyone to compare with him nowadays but other actors I love to watch on the big screen are Matthew McConnaughey and Colin farrell.

There's just something about these three that really 'do it' for me.

What's your kind of hero like?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Flown away from my publisher!

Well I've done something I thought I would never do, I have pulled both my books from my publisher. I asked to be released from both contracts, from IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER [only published in May of this year] and from forthcoming, RETURN TO WINTER. The last book was due out in November. Of course I am disappointed, but I had to think of the welfare of the charity that I'm donating the proceeds from both books to.

I finally received the 100 copies of IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER two days ago on the 6th of September, they should have been with me at the end of July. I know that it isn't always the publisher/printer's fault, but I had other issues I just wasn't happy with. My main concern was the lack of response to my e-mails when I had a query or request, I felt as though I was shouting out into a deep, black void and no one was listening.

So time will tell whether I will be fortunate to have both books picked up by another publisher or if I will have to go down the self publishing route.

All the reviews for IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER can be found here:

I asked numerous times for some of my reviews be published on my author page at the publisher's website, like others are. The person concerned, who was supposed to be the Author Liaison person as well as the computer techie [notice the irony here], never once answered my e-mails, even when I asked on the message board.

Communication is an important aspect within many walks of life. If a couple aren't talking properly and there are misunderstandings, then relationships crumble, so it was with myself and the publisher.

As a counsellor, I find that the two main things a client wants from the counselling relationship are to be listened to and understood, why couldn't my publisher have done that for me?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Writing Milestone!

Now I'm feeling a lot better about my work in progress, I'm almost a third of the way through, just over 19,000 words. I always feel miles better when I come up to the 20,000 word mark, it feels more achievable.

I'm getting a little worried that the 100 copies of IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER that I ordered from my publisher for the charity, have not turned up as yet. I ordered them on the 21st of July and was told they should be with me in just over one week as this time they were being sent airmail. My only hope is that perhaps they were sent the same method as last time and will turn up within four weeks of ordering as opposed to the one week.

I want them to arrive soon as the book has a seasonal title, summer will be over soon enough.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Making good progress with my latest W.I.P

I'm about a third of a way through writing my latest novel, which I've renamed: HEART OF A STRANGER.

The past few days I've been getting so many plot ideas for it that it's hard to rein them all in. I don't intend to go off at a tangent.

The story so far is that Angeline Hamilton is devasted to discover during the reading of her father's will that not only has she lost her inheritance, but she has lost her family home too -- Tarrington Manor. She approaches the new owner, Sebastian Tremaine, under the pretence that she has applied for a job at the house.

Now there have been a few twists and turns along the way and Sebastian initially is not all he appears to be, causing Angeline to mistrust him. However, she gets on really well with Sebastian's sister, Marsha, who turns up at the house and is able to find out more about her mysterious boss via their friendship.

Sebastian Tremaine realises that something is wrong and that someone had been conning Angeline's sick father out of thousands of pounds. When Angeline realises who that person could be, she is in for a shock. Not only that, the person in question is out there at large and could be a threat to Angeline's life.

The up coming Masked Ball, Sebastian intends to hold at the house, maybe just the time when secrets will unfold to reveal exactly what this ghost from the past wants from Angeline.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Two great things this week!


Whoo hoo! I have my cover sorted for my follow up book to IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER. See left.


When Stephanie Baynham comes home to Wales, the lover she ran out on nine months ago, Dylan Pryce-Jones, is waiting at the airport for her. Will he understand why she left him without warning, during the afternoon of Matt and Sandy's wedding celebration? Later, she returns to her apartment and finds the threatening message scrawled on her mirror: "You're Dead!" Could her life really be in danger?”

The other good bit of news is that I have had my romantic comedy, TAKING THE BAIT, accepted for publication at Samhain Publishing! So I'm doing the happy dance!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Picture Board

Heroine: Angeline Hamilton

Hero: Sebastian Tremaine

Sebastian's sister: Marsha

Angeline's cousin: William

Housekeeper: Daisy White

Tarrington Manor House

These are the characters from my latest work in progress, working title: Almost A Stranger. Sometimes it helps to put a 'picture board' of characters and settings together!


Angeline Hamilton is devastated to discover upon the reading of her father's will that not only has she lost her inheritance, but she has lost her family home too -- Tarrington Manor. She approaches the new owner, Sebastian Tremaine, under the pretence that she has applied for a job at the house. What transpires is a tale of secrets, seduction and a simmering love affair that is further complicated by the losses in the lives of both lovers.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Setting as Character

Have you ever considered that the setting you choose for your novel or short story becomes one of its characters?

Think of the home where the character, Norman Bates lives, in the 1960 film, Psycho. The dark, brooding house very soon takes on a life of its own with its creaking doors and dark passage ways.

Or how the setting for the 1945 film, Brief Encounter, filmed in a real railway station during the days of the steam train, transmits a certain something, that was evocative of that era in both tone and ambiance.

In the case of the first film, who could forget that infamous shower scene?

Or how in Brief Encounter, the couple who are having an affair, rush breathlessly for their prospective trains, whilst their shadows are reflected on the walls behind them showing their embrace?

Taking my own books as examples, in IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER, the castle where Matt and Sandy spend the night, Castell Mynydd, reflects a romantic tone, which falls into line with how both feel about one another.

In the follow up book, RETURN TO WINTER, the wine cellar at the same castle takes on an eerie, sinister feel as Stephanie is trapped down there in the dark. Even the odd cobweb frightens her to death during her temporary blindness!

Allow the setting you use to reflect the tone and mood of the situation. For example, in the case of a horror story, you are not going to want to show the forest as a beautiful, serene place, rather as somewhere sinister where anything might happen. This will be reflected in the shadow, the sounds e.g. the sound of an owl hooting, a twig breaking, the moon shining through the rustling leaves of the trees. The same forest might appear innocuous in daylight and may provide the backdrop for a romantic walk in summer.

Next time you write a story, think how the setting can reflect the tone and mood. If it’s a romance, what smells can you induce, for example, or how can you best describe your setting in the way a lover might do? If it’s a horror story, what could you use to take on a life of its own? A house? A mountain? The river?

If you have difficulty imagining how you can do this, watch a few films in your chosen genre. How has the writer/director chosen to film the shots? What tools has he or she chosen? Did they use the weather in some way to predict the mood of the characters? [Prophetic fallacy.]

You are the writer, director and producer of your own stories. Think like a collective production team and use your chosen setting as one of your characters. I promise, it works.

Great review for It Happened One Summer

I had a great review for It Happened One Summer yesterday from The Romance Studio. Here's what the reviewer said [it made my day!]:

It Happened One Summer
Lynette Rees
Romantic suspense
Available from Wings ePress
ISBN: 1-59088-521-X
May 2006

Sandy Perkins is manageress with a local charity shop where all the proceeds go to the Cancer Concern, a local charity. When Matt enters the store, her life changes considerably.

Matthew Walker is the new area manager of the charity shop and has been sent to check out the business but finds Sandy sitting down on the job. This does not sit too well with Matt as he quickly informs.

Sandy isn’t pleased when a customer enters the store giving it the once over. When he announces he is her new boss, Sandy could scream. Things certainly didn’t get off on the right footing. He knows nothing about her and shouldn’t be quickly judging. When Matt hears the reason for Sandy’s break, he is apologetic and sends her flowers. To help raise more money for the charity, Sandy decides to have a fashion show. But in the midst of everything, someone is trying to sabotage her work and it is up to Matt to help find the culprit. They have a difficult past that bothers them and are trying to understand the situation while reaching out to the other. Now they must find out who wants to hurt Sandy while trying to heal the hurt in their hearts.

It Happened One Summer is a fascinating read that immediately draws in the reader. The characters of Matt and Sandy are really genuine in all their emotions. This reader could practically feel all the feelings that were vibrant in the pages. With some touches of envy, hatred, and disloyalty this gripping story blends great creativity. Ms. Rees instills characters that leave a lasting impression with wonderful dialogue that enhances the story. The secondary characters are a welcome addition to the storyline. Ms. Rees knows how to hook the reader and fascinate in this compelling page-turner. It Happened One Summer is a phenomenal read that should not be missed.

Overall rating: [5 Hearts]
Sensuality rating: Mildly sensual

Reviewer: Linda L.
June 16, 2006

Hidden Away in Writing Never-Never Land

Do you know I feel sorry for all those fearful writers out there, the ones who are perfectly good writers, but who are afraid to let others read their work, in case they pass judgement on it.

What would happen then?

They would possibly have their beautiful creations torn to pieces perhaps? Or some well meaning person might tell them that they just don't have what it takes to become a writer.


To be a writer you have to get over the fear, and believe me there are many fears for you to overcome:

* Fear of rejection

* Fear of failure

* Fear of success

* Fear of critiques

* Fear of harsh words

* Fear of never getting published

* Fear of not completing your work

Plus much, much, more!

Rarely, have I come across a craft or occupation where there are so many fears. And rarely have I come across one where people experience so much self-doubt and self-conciousness that they often give up at the first hurdle and shove their manuscript away in the back of the drawer, never to see the light of day again!

What an absolute waste of writing time and talent!

I have learned so much by facing up to my own writing fears. Every rejection has taught me something new. Every success has made me realize that I am learning my craft as a writer. And every critique has made me face up to my writing blind spots.

There is rarely a successful author in the world who has not had his or her fair share of rejection and critical scorn thrown upon their work. What would have happened if Stephen King or J.K. Rowling had just thrown all their work into the back of the drawer? We'd never have seen any of their books published or films watched and enjoyed by so many people, that's what.

I say if you are one of those writers who fears just about everything -- then get over it! All writers have fears, even the top names in the business. The key is to face those fears and realize that success is built on the foundations of failure. Every writing failure you endure is a building block for writing success!

How to Make Your Characters Leap Off the Page!

Have you ever read a book where the characters seem so real that it's almost as if they are in the room with you?

Hopefully, you have. That's the sign of a writer who can create well rounded 3-dimensional characters.

So how do you bring your characters to life?

Well, I usually find out as much about them that I can beforehand and a little more along the way as my stories and novels are very character orientated, in so much, as they dictate the plot.
For example, in one of my books, I was determined that the characters would not go to bed with one another, but they had other ideas! So, I stopped fighting it and let them get on with it!

My reluctance in letting them do what they wanted to do was more to do with my own standards and morals and not theirs. We are not our characters, so we can let them do whatever they want to do. That can include using bad language, if it's right for that character, murder, or anything else for that matter.

Although, we are not our characters, you will find as a writer, that quite often our subconscious will come through in our work and you will find elements of yourself in every story you create.

Try interviewing your characters beforehand, and/or fill in a character profile chart for each one:

1. What’s your name?

2. Where do you live?

3. How old are you?

4. What’s the biggest problem you have in your life right now?

5. Who are the most important people in your life?

6. What are your aims and ambitions?

7. Where do you work?

8. Do you enjoy your job?

9. Where do you spend your social time?

10. Who with?

11. What food do you like?

12. What is your favorite song?

13. What is your favorite film?

14. Where do you go on holiday/vacation?

15. How much money do you have in the bank right now?

16. What are your hobbies and interests?

17. What sort of a car do you drive?

18. Who or what do you hate most?

19. Who or what do you like most?

20. What is your favorite saying/quotation?

21. What do you regret not doing?

22. What would it say on your headstone?

These are just some ideas for you to try; you can probably come up with many more.

Don't forget to show your characters as living, breathing beings by making use of all five senses and demonstrating their little quirks and habits.

Good characterization is vital in a short story or novel as character drives plot.

Writing Voice

What is writing voice?

It's the voice you use as a writer that determines the tone of an article, story, or poem, etc.

For example, a few years ago when I attended a local writer's group, I was in awe of one elderly lady who used to be a headmistress. She has such a refined voice and had won several writing competitions. I really admired her work.

One week, when I read out my story to the class, the tutor stopped me and asked me why I had written my story in that way. It did not sound like me at all. Of course, she was perfectly correct, I had tried to sound like the elderly lady.

My tutor said: "Lynette, you have such a natural sounding voice, stick to it!"

She was right and I never tried to mimic another author's voice since. That's not say that over the years I haven't been influenced by other writers. The authors I have been most influenced by have been people like: Jackie Collins, Virginia Andrews and Edna O'Brien.

Whilst I have not made any effort to copy them, I have learned a lot about pacing, characterisation and writing in first person/third person, etc.

In WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, Donald Maass says about voice:

"You can facilitate voice by giving yourself the freedom to say things in your own unique way. You do not talk exactly like anyone else, right? Why should you write like everyone else?"

Maass is spot on there.

We are all influenced to some degree by our backgrounds: cultural differences, schooling, socially, etc. So someone born to the royal family is not going to sound like someone say from the East end of London, even though they are not a million miles away in distance, they are a world away in culture.

Be true to your own author's voice, write how you think and don't force your voice to sound like anyone else's.

You are a unique writer with a unique voice!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Seize the day...

This year, for the first time, I'm starting to see the sense of living in the present moment. It follows on from the death of an old friend at Christmas. I attended her funeral on my birthday 22nd of December.

Trish was diagnosed with cancer around 10 years ago, but had appeared to be over it and was one of those people I often thought about as 'conquering the disease'.

Around April of last year, I bumped into her in the supermarket. She looked fantastic, though uncharacteristically for her, her normal sleek dark-haired bob, was now curly. Her hair looked nice, so I commented on it.

"I haven't had my hair done," she replied, "it's the chemo. The cancer has come back."

By the end of the year she was dead at just forty two years old.

I'll never be able to hear the songs: "Time to Say Goodbye" or "Silent Night" again without thinking of her funeral.

And then, a couple of weeks later, I happened to ask Sian, someone I worked with as a nurse more than twenty years ago, how Huw, a male nurse was getting on. "Didn't you know? He died a couple of years ago," she said.

I didn't even know. He was only about forty years of age.

The coincidental thing about this is the last time I spoke to him was when I was out at a local nightclub for Trish's hen night about 20 years ago. He happened to be out with his friends that night.

Trish and Huw were two people who I felt a bond with many years ago.

It's made me realise that I need to seize the day. Putting things off is no good. I need to do what I want right now, reaching for the stars and grabbing hold of them. Tomorrow might not come. All I have is the here and now.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ooops I did it again...

Each and every time I start a blog or a diary, I end up leaving it for months and finally giving up. So this time I am going to buck the trend and carry on writing in this one to break the habit.

I've been having some trouble getting back into writing this past few months, but hopefully, if I start another blog year, it will keep the ideas coming and my focus fresh.

Happy New year 2006!