Wednesday, October 12, 2011


So, here's the thing - I've just completed a mammoth task of writing 37,500 words in 23 days.


Good question. Great. I have no idea. My deadline is 1st February. I must be mad. The house wasn't cleaned. The kids barely fed. Although a great deal of 'research' was done while watching those lovely boys playing in the Rugby World Cup!

I guess the story flowed. But how do we know whether the story we're writing is good? Or great? or gold? (Or just plain dull?). Answers on a postcard please! All I know is that I enjoyed writing this story and seeing where the characters wanted to go. I hope readers (and my editor) like it too!

I'm now tinkering with it and am at the point where I'm wondering if I need to continue tinkering or whether I will tinker the life out of it.

So here's a question for all you writers out there - how do you know when your story is truly 'finished'??

Until next time,
Louisa xx

Monday, September 12, 2011

RWNZ conference Part Two

Having spent the previous weekend at Melbourne RWAus conference I was getting the hang of Bob Mayer's Warrior Workshop - aka Write it Forward. If any of you don't know Bob or haven't attended his lectures he's a must-see guy! Have a peek at his website here:

He has invaluable information about self publishing, the digital world and writing in general. Once again, I reiterate, the most important thing I learnt from him was that I am responsible for my writing career, no-one else.

Armed with these thoughts I attacked the rest of the conference with me and my weaknesses in mind. I have a blank when it comes to conflict. Conflict between my characters, that is. So I tried to counter this blind spot by attending as many talks as I could on this subject, and on craft in general. Superromance author Molly O'Keefe had some wonderful informative points on hooking and plotting and putting conflict on every page; crime thriller writer Tess Gerritsen gave us her tips on how she begins a story - looking for the emotional jumping off points. Editor Lucy Gilmour and the very lovely Medical Romance author Sue Mackay gave us some invaluable insights into what M&B are looking for in a Medical Romance. (I concentrated very hard in this one!).

All in all it was a very informative and interesting conference with lots of food for thought. Hopefully my writing will be stronger for it!!

I can't reiterate enough how important it is to attend events such as these to help develop a writing career. Not only is it a great chance to mix and mingle, but there is a sense of kinship, of renewal and commitment to our goals. Take every opportunity, make your writing better, focus on your dream.

Until next time,

Louisa xx

Monday, September 5, 2011

RWNZ conference

So, there were just three crazy days of unpacking, washing, shopping and re-packing between RWAus conference and RWNZ!

Whilst Melbourne was exciting and new and large, there was something comforting about being in Auckland, in my own backyard with writing friends I've 'grown-up' with (ie who have followed my wobbly steps from dipping my toe in right through to contracting with M&B).

Both conferences attracted some fabulous speakers, both international and homegrown, and both conferences were warm welcoming events.

Sadly we lost one of our own during the RWNZ conference. The lovely Sandra Hyatt (Harlequin author) was taken ill on the Friday night and died on Sunday. She was a gorgeous talented author, and dedicated mother and wife. Her passing has left a hole in the lives of those who knew her that will never be filled.

So we tackled our conference with a mixture of excitement, vigour and, later, fortitude and grace. There was a real feeling that Sandra would not have wanted us to cancel, that the show very definitely should go on. But even though the room was full of wordsmiths, there didn't seem adequate words to express our sorrow.

This doesn't seem an appropriate time to talk of the amazing speakers and the wonderful lightbulb moments, so I'll pop back in a day or two to tell you my highlights!

In the meantime, don't waste a precious second of your life, hold your loved ones closer and don't be afraid to say how much you love them.

In the over-used but very apt words of William W Purkey:

You've got to dance like nobody's watching
Love like you'll never be hurt
Sing like there's nobody listening
And live like it's heaven on earth,

Keep safe,
until next time,
Louisa xx

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

RWAustralia Conference 2011 update!

WOW! It's been a busy August! I was lucky enough to go to not one but two great conferences dedicated solely to Romance writing. What a treat!

Aside from all the fantastic lectures and plenaries it was a fabulous opportunity to network and get together with old friends, and make new ones.

This year's conferences were particularly special as I was attending as a newly contracted author - on the 'other' side of the fence so as to speak.

Was it different being there? You bet! Not least because of all the lovely warm welcoming hugs and smiles, but also because this is now my job. I have to get it 'right', I had to concentrate on my weaknesses and try to find solutions. It was a huge learning experience and I can't wait to go again next year!

Bob Mayer's Warrior Writer workshop - so much knowledge and experience crammed into a few hours. If you don't have the chance to see him 'live' I strongly recommend his books on writing. Goal setting is crucial, know why you want to write, find a place to do it, then DO IT! The only thing standing between you and publication is YOU!

Fiona Lowe's Understanding Men had many lightbulb moments for me. And the tv clips were hysterical. (If you ever get a chance to watch the tv programme Coupling it's a MUST). I realised I write my men from a woman's standpoint and need to make them more alpha, more rational and logical and less emotional.

Susan Wigg's Plotting from the Inside Out was sensational - not least because she ratified my own process but also because she starts with an emotion and fits her character around it. Now that's emotion driven writing! Read her books and you'll see a master of emotion at work! I loved her idea of finding 'white space' somewhere in your life, be it a long walk or a quiet room, and then mulling over your characters and their problems.

Gosh, there were so many more moments where jigsaw pieces slotted into my brain, I just wish I could share them all. But I'm running out of space and time and must get back to my 'job'!!!

Pop back soon for a recap of the RWNZ conference and maybe, if I get the chance, I'll tell you my call story!

Cheers for now,
Louisa x

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Big news....but I'm in such a hurry, my plane to RWAustralia conference in Melbourne leaves in a couple of hours.

However, just had to share...I GOT THE CALL!

My lovely editor from Mills and Boon central, London rang me last week and offered to buy two books. My first release

One Month to Become a Mum

Is due out in UK bookstores in Mar/April 2012. Can't tell you how thrilled and excited (and just a little bit scared!) I am.

Pop back soon for more news. Right now I have to run...Aussie here I come!