Writing — The Craft

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Well, after a fairly long dry spell, I seem to have regained my mojo. I can’t really call it writer’s block because for some reason I couldn’t get motivated to even sit down and try to write, but recently I’ve returned to writing the third book in the Verado series – Blood Moon, and remembered why I loved writing so much.

As a writer, the characters we create become like family. You know them inside out and as they develop you come to love them more and more. In fact when the book/series ends it’s almost impossible to let them go completely.

One of the main things I love writing is conversation. Before I start I usually have a set image in my mind of the characters, where they are, what they are doing etc before commencing their conversation. I don’t, however, have much of an idea about where the conversation is going. I guess it’s just like life. I can know roughly what my characters are going to talk about and then they end up having an argument which changes the whole scene. Hopefully this makes for a better, more realistic story. After all, the worlds we create are designed to ignite the imagination and inspire the reader.

It’s been said that writing is like exercising a muscle. To be the best you can be, you need to write a little everyday and keep that muscle toned.

Happy writing 🙂

The age of self-absorption.

Lately it’s become increasingly apparent to me how incredibly self-absorbed we are all becoming. It’s not that we mean to be—it’s simply the way society and social media direct our thinking. For example, when was the last time you saw a post on Facebook saying, ‘how is everyone today?’ In an age where everyone seems desperate for everyone to know how wonderful their lives are, I expect you are more likely to come across a post about what someone had for lunch, or pictures of their latest amazing night out.

Recently I was speaking to a friend of mine who is training to become a councilor. She told me that the main reason why so many people opt for counseling these days is simply because no one listens anymore. It seems easier to share your problems with a complete stranger who is being paid to listen to you, than your closest friends who aren’t.

Personally, I have a very good network of friends, all of whom I can confidently confide in and vice-versa, but there are people out there who are too busy with the superficial things going on in their own lives to realize when their friends may really need them.

As a wise man (Ferris Bueller) once said ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’

So take a look around, there may be someone out there who really needs you.

Page 2, Chapter 1, of the 365 page book that will be 2014

Let me start by wishing everyone a belated Happy New Year. The name of the year is beyond futuristic now, it’s simply not a valid name at all.

As I glanced back over the past twelve months, I wouldn’t have said it’d been the most memorable year. In fact I would describe it as a bit of a blahh year. The macaroni cheese of main courses or the tapioca of deserts. But if I look a little closer and really recall the good things that happened then I can only describe it as a fantastic year.

After all I had two books published. Now that doesn’t happen everyday. Okay so they are not best sellers (yet) but I’m working on it. I also spent a week in my beloved Spain, and a fortnight in Cyprus, which is a place completely new to me. I remember staring at the warm ocean with the sun glistening off the surface and knew I’d be able to recall that image when ever I needed a lift. And it works, too.

Also, I started running this year. Okay, so I’m no marathon runner, but on a good day I can just about wheeze and splutter my way around 5k.

In September my husband treated me to the most wonderful day out for my (ahem) milestone birthday, with lunch on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower gazing down upon the sun-drenched city of London, followed by a stroll along the Thames and coffee on the riverbank. Bliss.

In fact I started dating again– my husband that is 🙂 We decided that as we have such busy lives, that one night a week we should go out for a drink on our own. Much as we adore our kids, we always look forward to that particular evening each week.

And finally I ended the year marking 30 years of a very strong friendship with my best friend. I am now sporting a brand new tattoo (never too old eh).

So before you glance back and think what a blahh year you had, recall the good things, I bet there were a few 🙂

Review: A Darker Blood by Jennifer Lawrence

Thank you for your lovely review Kristina

Never Never Land Reviews

17873611Title: A Darker Blood

Series: Véradó #1

Author: Jennifer Lawrence

Genre: Paranormal

Number of pages: 318

Time it took me to read: 7 days

Goodreads Synopsis:

Nicole has a passion for the paranormal, and it’s that passion that prompts a stay in the wild party resort of Malia.

In her quest to gain information and make new friends, she falls in with several of the town’s bar-staff and night-workers. After witnessing the gruesome death of two strangers, Nicole becomes unwittingly initiated into the secret society that her new friends tried to spare her from. She becomes a Véradó —a mortal, willing to sustain a coven of vampires with her blood.Within the spellbinding walls of an ancient courtyard bar named Zeus Xenia.

Marshall is the vampire dominating a coven of four. He is strong, proud, respected, and feared. His motives are never questioned and his loyalties are fathomless. Nicole becomes…

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10 Great places to visit at Halloween (UK)

If you’re looking for some ideas on where to go this Halloween, here is a list of places worth visiting:

Chillingham Castle dungeon (Ok, so I’ve not actually been here, but it’s high on my to-do list)

Hellfire Caves, West Wycombe (Spooky…great for the kids)

The real Mary Kings Close & Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh (Spooky as hell)

Highgate Cemetery (Serene rather than spooky)

Leeds Castle (Not in Leeds)

Brighton Ghost Walk

Haunted house, York (A bit cheesy but at least there’s a shop!)

Oxford Castle

Chester Ghost Walk

Warwick Castle (Quite commercial) & Kenilworth Castle (Ruin)

For more great spooky ideas, visit: mumsnet

The Vampire Katya – Second in the Véradó Series, available from today.

The Vampire Katya

 

Set against a modern Venetian backdrop, a beautiful vampire recounts details of her turbulent past to a mortal by the name of Alessandro.

Alessandro Knight is a Véradó–a mortal willing to part with his blood to sustain a coven of vampires. With his dreams haunted by her beauty, he has crossed the continent in search of the Hungarian vampire known simply as Katya.

With her rich history unfolding through a series of dreams and discussions, Alessandro finds himself impulsively drawn to her and longs to be the one to sustain her. But Katya is a hunter, cold and impassive, and Alessandro soon realises that to win her heart it will take more than just blood.

The Vampire Katya is Available now from:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

MuseItUp Publishing

And for a limited time only Véradó – A Darker Blood is offered free of charge on MuseItUp Publishing with every purchase of The Vampire Katya.

Highgate Cemetery…

a journey into the unknown. This is exactly what the architects of the magnificent Highgate Cemetery were aiming for when landscaping the enormous site, and they certainly achieved it.

Highgate Cemetery

Built in the 1830’s Highgate was one of seven sites across London allocated for one of the new style cemeteries. The seven, which came to be known as the magnificent seven, also included Kensal Green and Tower Hamlets but Highgate soon became THE place to be buried.

Highgate Cemetery

The West cemetery is only accessible via one of the many guided tours, and much as the idea of being led around by a grouchy tour guide didn’t really appeal to me, it soon became clear that without a guide, we wouldn’t have appreciated anywhere near as much about the rich history of the site. And far from the grumpy guide I was expecting (thanks to tripadvisor) we were lucky enough to be taken around by John Waite. His passion and knowledge were enlightening and we couldn’t have asked for a better guide.

Victorian Coffin

Victorian Coffin

Our journey began in the courtyard, where a set of stone steps led us up to the labyrinth of grave lined pathways that ran in all directions beneath a dense canopy of trees. We were told that within more than 50,000 graves lay over 150,000 bodies, so you can appreciate the size and scale of the place. Laid to rest within that vast site are all the most important people of their day, and although most of their names mean little to us now, we still benefit from their achievements today. 

Highgate Cemetery

The highlights of the cemetery have to be the Egyptian Avenue, and the catacombs. Unfortunately, of the thousand coffins that once rested within those vaults, only a couple of hundred remain. The rest fell victim to grave robbers and vandals.

Highgate Cemetery

Because of the Victorian gothic architecture, the location proved to be the perfect setting for 1970’s horror movies. Taste the blood of Dracula and Tales from the Crypt are just a couple of the films they shot here.

Highgate Cemetery

The cemetery fell into decline and was locked away for over fifty years. It was taken over by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery, a group of volunteers set on restoring and preserving the site. Although the restoration is an ongoing project, more and more of the cemetery is opening to the public, giving a new experience each and every time you visit.

Ok, who dropped a house on the graveyard?

Ok, who dropped a house on the graveyard?

This place is truly fascinating and well worth a visit. For more information visit: Highgate Cemetery