Tuesday, 5 June 2012


It is my pleasure to introduce guest blogger JANE LOVERING, who recently won the Romantic Novel of the Year 2012 with "Please Don't Stop the Music" which was also shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award. Here are Jane's 5 top tips for writers:


1.        Don’t be too hard on yourself.  All right, there are some writers who knock out 5,000 words a day – there are just as many who write 50 and then go and have an ice cream.  Setting yourself goals is good, but make sure they are achievable for you.

2.        Don’t tell everyone you are writing a novel.  Pretend you are shut up in that room learning Sanskrit or playing Scrabble (learning a few words of Sanskrit may be advisable, just in case they ask...).  Otherwise you will be subjected to cries of ‘haven’t you finished that book yet?’ when you’ve only been at it for three weeks.  And ‘no’ isn’t an acceptable answer...
3.       Do it.  Go on, just write.  Don’t spend all your time talking about writing, thinking about writing, going to writing classes and reading ‘how to’ books on writing (although these are fabulously good, obviously).  There is sometimes a tendency for writers who are just starting out on the writing journey to become so absorbed in trying to ‘learn’ writing, that they forget that the best way to learn any skill is simply to do it.

4.        Read, read, read.  Every spare moment you have (when you’re not writing, obviously), read.  You might think that you don’t have time, but it is possible to wash dishes and read and read whilst walking the dog.  I have the bruises to prove it.

5.        Enjoy it!  Life is full of miserable, horrible tasks – writing is not one of them.  Write with a smile on your face – you are actually doing what so many people dream of...WRITING!

How much can you hide?Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail - until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts. But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse?And the curiosity is mutual - which means that her own secret is no longer safe ...

Link to Jane's website


  1. Fantastic post! I literally snarfed coffee on my screen at the 'bruises to prove it' part. Me, too.

    Must borrow the Sanskrit idea...but for now, off for some ice cream!

  2. Yes! Sound advice - and I especially like #2. I really wish I'd not told anyone what I was doing until I actually have a blooming book out. Maybe audiobooks would be better for walks with the dog rather than trying to read a real book, Jane? ;)

  3. Good idea Kath! Audio books! Plus, you can listen while you iron (if anyone irons... that being another tip, don't do housework. Ever. Anyone who complains can do it themselves - you are WRITING, which is more important. Until the anthrax outbreak, that is.)

  4. I'd also add to 5 that reading while driving isn't preferable. Otherwise, I agree with it all!

  5. Keeping it quiet is a good wheeze, if you can manage it. Once you're published, though, it gets harder.

    After my first book came out, I used to have Sunday lunch with my parents every 3 weeks or so. Bear in mind, I still had the day job, too, which was quite busy. My father's greeting, every damn time:'Written another book?'

    My mother could have sold her conflict resolution skills to the UN.

  6. Quite agree on housework - only one surface to keep clear and that's the keyboard

  7. A girl after my own heart, Jane. I read whilst walking the dog too! Just make sure it's far away from traffic, over land you know well enough to know when to glance up (I, too, take the odd tumble, but hey ho). Never read and washed up though. Soggy books?

  8. Thanks to all for your comments and for visiting. Jenny, I might have brained your father! Totally agree about housework - forget it. Not so sure about the reading while walking bit, though... Thanks to Jane for her tips.