Brainwave!

So I’m writing my next book and I’m about half way through and I still have a major problem with my hero. I just can’t seem to fall in love with him. Usually by this stage into a manuscript, I’m just as in love with my hero as my heroine is, if not more. Sadly, this time I was just not getting it… or her for that matter. In fact, if she were my girlfriend the advice I’d be giving her would be, “Honey, you can do better.” After extensive chats with all my critique partners, my husband and my sister, I spiralled into depression.
What am I going to do! I’m halfway through this book and I just can’t get the main attraction right! So I did what I had to do whenever I get blocked. I stopped writing. Not exactly an ideal solution considering I’m actually on a time frame here and I can’t afford to take extensive breaks to feed the muse. Even if the kids are sick, the family is over from the eastern states and I have a zillion other things I could possibly occupy myself with. Eg. This morning, I fed the muse by sorting my daughter’s clothes into two piles. “Fit” and “Don’t Fit.” 🙂
Finally, after 6 days of waiting and thinking, and not writing, it came to me. A Brainwave. I was sitting on the couch at 8.45pm tonight watching “The Voice” of all the things when an idea I hadn’t even realised I’d been thinking about popped into my head. It has put me in such a good mood. The first thing I did was write it all down so I wouldn’t forget it. The next thing I did was write this blog! Of course, I can’t share my idea. You’ll just have to read the book but the muse is back in business baby and tomorrow is going to be a writing day. Can’t wait!

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On Wed 18th April I’ll be talking at Koorliny Arts Centre

Hi everyone!

Just a reminder that tommorrow I’ll be talking at Koorliny Arts Centre about my journey to becoming a published writer. I’m really looking forward to meeting some of my readers or people who are just interested in writing in general. When I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about it was actually rather fun re-living my own trials and tribulations along this road we call, “getting published” but should really be called, “getting smacked down more times then you can count.” 🙂 Please join me as I pass on the things I wish someone had told me when I first got in the game.

It’s your last chance to make a booking on 9467 7118. Tickets are $12.

The event goes from 7pm to 9pm including refreshments and booksales. The Venue address is Koorliny Art Centre. Sulphur Road, Kwinana. Hope to see you there….

Loretta
xo

Mad Men and Writing

In our very limited free time together, my husband and I like to chose a television series, buy the box set and then work our way through it at our own pace. With three kids, and decreasing access to babysitters, this is an easy, low commitment, relaxing way to spend time together.
We have just started on a very interesting American show set in the 60s called Mad Men. It’s one of those great shows, that after every episode, you just have to talk about it. The story gets under your skin and bites.
So what has all this got to do with writing. Well, I think every writer wants to write a book that gets people thinking and talking, myself included. Readers want to be transported to another world. A world they’ve never been before to be entertained and amazed. It’s all about escapism. In the case of Mad Men- Why not get away to the 60s for 40 minutes and just immerse yourself in the issues and problems of the characters of that time without actually facing any of the consequences yourself at all. Marvellous.
I love a good romance because I get to experience all the highs and lows of falling in love again and again and again from the comfort of my own couch. However, I also love the learning and exploration experience of reading and just the plain fantasy of it all. This is why I am so lucky that romance goes so well with so many other genres such as historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, suspense, comedy… you name it. It’s been married to romance before and I read them all, depending on mood and inclination.
I think writers can learn a lot from what they read and look for in books themselves. Whenever, I find myself enjoying a new story I always ask why. When you’re always breaking up stories into technique and mechanics, I guess it does take the fun out of it a bit. But I suppose that’s just an occupational hazard. 
Let the escapism begin!

How does an Engineer Become a Writer?

With engineering being such a science and maths oriented calling, I often get asked how on earth did you get interested in writing.
Well, I’d just like to set the record straight once and for all. I was a writer before I was an engineer. I’ve been writing since I could read. I decided I wanted to be an author way back when I was like… I don’t know… nine…. maybe even earlier. I wrote my first novels, in 96 page exercise books. You know… the ones your mum used to buy you for school. I wrote my first novel on my dad’s computer, when I was eleven. He let me because it was for a legit competition run by the Australian Book Council. The story was about an eleven year old girl who had a genie. I still have it somewhere. It didn’t place but was highly commended.
After that, I graduated to 128 page exercise books. I started writing books that would probably resemble the Australian version of Sweet Valley High. My sister loved those books. At seventeen, my father decided he needed a new computer and gave me his dinosaur of a laptop. This thing was huge and weighed a tonne. But it was a turning point in my life. My own computer. Spell check, thesaurus and formatting on tap. No internet of course. It wasn’t quite in the average home just yet. But still! WOW!

So I guess the real question I’m leading to here is, why does a person who has always, ALWAYS been so passionate about writing turn to engineering?

The reason is quite simply that I needed a plan B to please my parents. I had good grades at school. So my father being the man of logic and reason (an engineer himself) who God Bless him has never picked up a novel in his life, not even one of mine, could not see a future for his precious daughter in the unstable, risky, unreliable world of novel writing. To him, it was like me saying I wanted to be a rock star. So I thought, what the heck, I’ll do engineering to please him. I’ll probably be published before I finish this degree anyway. It doesn’t really matter what I pick. I’ll just chuck it in when I’m done with it right? WRONG!

My father was right about one thing, writing is risky, unstable, unreliable and well… it’s bloody hard! I’ve lost count of the number of rejection letters I’ve received. The truth about writing is that to be a writer, sometimes you need to live first. How can you comment on what people go through in life when you haven’t been doled out at least some amount of pain and success yourself.

Engineering was not my first choice but there are many things about it I have grown to love. It does have it’s own creative side. It allows me to use that side of my brain that would otherwise stay dormant. It’s logical, straight forward, A leads to B with no fancy business in between which is sometimes exactly what I need. It’s taken me places I would never go on a whim. It’s tested me as a person. Introduced me to people I never would have otherwise met. It’s paid for my house, my car and a good deal of what I ate for many years. And after all that, it gave me my first novel. So I have a lot to thank it for.

Sometimes I think life leads you down strange pathways and it’s only upon looking back that you can see why.