Sunday, May 30, 2010
With edits of my novel The Hating Game well underway, I've also added the book on Goodreads -- and it's now available for pre-order on Amazon! I don't know how this happened, but people must be pre-ordering because earlier today it was at 22,000 (better than it sounds!) in the salesrank! Roll on 2011!
Now I need to really get my head down and focus on my novel edits. I'm about one-third of the way through and doing some major rewrites, but it's much stronger already and I'm starting to get really excited (and nervous) about releasing it to the general public. There's something so anxiety-inducing about knowing your work will be seen and judged (hopefully in a good way!).
Happy Bank Holiday weekend, everyone!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The ceremony, held in Kensington Town Hall, was lovely and surprisingly ceremonial.
I've been to one or two of such ceremonies back in Canada, and (although it may be slightly unpatriotic to say this), I have to say this one was better.
Maybe it's because I was taking an active part, but the individual oaths that we had to take, the Alderman in his ceremonial dress and the music that played throughout the ceremony certainly put a tear in my slightly jaded eye.
Afterwards, we had tea and biscuits with the ceremony officials, where we learned that Kensingon is one of three Royal Boroughs in the country (the other two are Kingston and Windsor).
And then The Man and I took off to the nearby pub for a celebratory Pimms in the sun.
What better way to celebrate being British?
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
So here's England's most patriotic anthem, based on Blake's poem Jerusalem:
And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green and pleasant Land.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Isolated graveyard on the Gospel Pass, Black Mountains.
On top of the Black Mountains.
The Wye River, Hay-on-Wye.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
And here's where we'll be staying...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
À l'âge de 37,
j'avais enfin plaisir à Paris,
parce que j'ai gagné livre de Marsha
sur le site de bouche grande fantastique...
Donc je laisse le téléphone sonne de la conserver,
comme je sat y twittering doucement à tous mes amis à la maison,
debout sur les fours électriques...
Head over to the comments section on her blog to see the translation! Thanks, Niamh!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
After the wedding ceremony at Dali Universe.
The Millennium Bridge from our boat on the Thames.
The latest cover design for my new novel, under pen-name Talli Roland.
So... here's to six years in London! I hope the next six will be as brilliant.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
And now for the winners of 24 Hours Paris and 24 Hours London!
24 Hours London goes to... Gemma Noon, who prefers London! Here's her reason:
Paris has effortless chic and is, I think, the more refined and grown up of the two cities. London is the more daring. It gets things wrong. it also gets them oh so right. Culturally it is more willing to embrace those that give it a go than its posh neighbour.Paris is chic. London is cool.Hell, I'm still in my twenties. I vote for cool :-)
24 Hours Paris goes to... Virtual Onion, who prefers Paris! Here's the reason:
Hard choice but I'd have to say Paris. It is a city of romance, beauty, 1920s writers and existential debates in little cafes. It inspires and refreshes. It feeds the body and the soul.
If you could both please email me your postal addresses (marshawrites AT gmail.com), I'll get the books out to you! Congratulations!
If you haven't won, don't worry! You can still win a copy of 24 Hours Paris on Me and My Big Mouth. All you need to do is write something in French (hello, Google Translator!) in the comments section and he'll choose the winners on the weekend!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Lots of exciting stuff going on! The 24-Hour Tweetathon is in full swing -- starting from this morning at 12 a.m., every hour for 24 hours, I'm tweeting top tips from 24 Hours Paris. You can follow along here.
On his brilliant book blog Me and My Big Mouth, Scott Pack will be giving away 5 copies of the book. All you need to do is write something in French (hello, Google Translator!) in the comments section and he'll choose the winners on the weekend.
And you can still enter to win a copy of 24 Hours Paris or 24 Hours London. Just click here and write in the comments section which city you prefer: London or Paris. You don't need to have been to either; just use your imagination! I will make the draw tomorrow and post the results then.
Oh, yes, and to buy the book you can go here or to Prospera Publishing. Thank you all for putting up with my plethora of Paris posts and if you do read the book, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
And for anyone with some spare time on their hands, here's the link to my BlogTalk interview with Sean Barry of Casting Couch.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Tonight, the wonderful Sean Berry of BlogTalk Radio's The Casting Couch will be interviewing me about my Paris book; you can listen along at 6 p.m. EST, or I'll post the link tomorrow. Having spoken with Sean back in November, I'm less nervous this time around. I just hope I can stay awake until 11 p.m. my time!
And you can still enter to win a copy of 24 Hours Paris or 24 Hours London. Just click here and write in the comments section which city you prefer: London or Paris. You don't have to have been to either; just use your imagination!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Although I'm not yet quite a British citizen (two more weeks!), as a member of the Commonwealth I am allowed to cast my vote. So bright and early, I trotted down to the nearby library to have a go at exercising my civic duty. The polling station was quite small compared to the one at home, but manned by four smiling faces who located me on the voter registry and handed me two papers: one white, one green. Gah?
Pretending I knew what I was doing, I was pointed to a nearby cubicle where I learned that green was for council elections and white was for the general election. Scanning the lengthy list for the general election, I had to giggle: where else on earth would you have a 'Lady Catherine' running (for the UKIP, naturally)? I made my X (oddly, there was no box to make the X in -- and I can assure you the X was not made by a Conservative name), then put my ballot in the box.
Will a change be coming? Either way, I've done my part for the politics of my adopted nation!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Time has flown and 24 Hours Paris launches one week from today! We have a snazzy new cover and some great reviews. To get a taste of the book and to see how to win free copies, head over to the 24 Hours Paris blog. But wait!
Because you can win your very own 24 Hours Paris book right here (gosh, I sound like a TV advert) or a copy of 24 Hours London. All you need to do is either write in the comments section or email marshawrites AT gmail.com with the answer to this question:
Which city do you like more -- London or Paris -- and why?
(Note: nation bashing does not count as a reason!).
Let's see if we can reignite the great English-French battles, shall we? I'll be giving away one copy of 24 Hours Paris and one copy of 24 Hours London to the two best (or most interesting) answers.
The contest is open until launch day -- May 12, 2010. I'll post the winners on that day. Also on launch day, I'll be doing a 24 Hour Tweetathon on Twitter, where every hour from 12 a.m. on May 12th until 11 p.m. that same day, I'll be posting tips from the book. Follow along here.
Right. Now where's my coffee? I need more caffeine...
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Everything we’ve ever done had a ‘first time’. Think of an activity (either of your own or something you observe of someone else) and write about the first time of that experience, and perhaps even compare it to subsequent experiences. Maybe even pick a moment that might have looked mundane from the outside, but made a significant change to the person experiencing it. Not a lot of rules, as usual… just let your imagination flow!
My eyes bulged and I gasped, mouth open like a panting dog. I flapped my hands in the air, trying to summon the Arctic winds to quell the volcano erupting inside of me. Streams of lava seared my throat and flowed through to my stomach, bubbling gleefully inside me. My tongue darted out to wet my lips, setting them on fire. The was one thought, and one thought only my frantic brain could form. I would never, ever eat Scotch Bonnet peppers again.
Here's what others have posted:
How to Join the Writing Adventure Group
Caroline Dickie (Follow Caroline on Twitter)
Melanie Trevelyan (Follow Melanie on Twitter)
Kate McIntire (Follow Kate on Twitter)
Marsha Moore (Follow Marsha on Twitter)
Miss G (Follow Miss G on Twitter)
JM Strother (Follow JM on Twitter)
India Drummond (Follow India on Twitter)
The Writing Adventure Group is on Facebook. Join us there too, and get weekly reminders so you never miss an adventure.
There is now a Writing Adventure Group list on Twitter! Follow the list and never miss a WAGger tweet! I’m working on adding some past WAGgers too… if I’ve missed you, please drop me an @mention and I’ll add you!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Lucy Luck, April 2010
- The publishing industry has always been tough; it hasn't really got any tougher
- Writers generally sign with the agent, not the agency
- Translation rights, American rights and film rights are the most important things for writers to hang onto, to maximise later
- There is a real disparity between the 'branded' authors and new authors in terms of what publishers are prepared to take risks on
- What makes her commit to a book? If she reads the first bit, then puts it away and still remembers it after a few weeks and wants to read more, then she'll take another look. For her, it's all about cadence and voice
- She works closely with authors to edit their MS but will usually only do three rounds of MS edits with them
- DON'T begin your MS with a character waking up from a hang-over -- clichéd and she sees this loads of times
- First person and present tense are incredibly hard to pull off
- You have to practise writing. You wouldn't expect a concert pianist etc to be great right away. You must write because you enjoy it, not just to get published.
- Personalise your approach to agents. Do research on their websites.
- Online presence and promotional skills are good (like the icing on the cake), but what's really important is the writing!
For more notes from the session, click here (if you scroll down, you can also read my guest post on organising your writing day).
Juliet Pickering, January 2010
- It's better to approach in hard copy than email (for her, anyway), as email is easily dismissed.
- As more editors are taking on more and more work (due to cuts etc), agents are increasingly acting as editors
- Agents in the UK typically take 15% commission
- Advances are usually split in three instalments: first instalment after the contract signed; second instalment upon delivery of MS; third instalment upon publication
- Ultimately, promotion is the publisher's responsibility, not the agent's
- Book launches happening less frequently now due to economic conditions
- Royalties generally paid twice a year
- If your book sold averagely, you can expect to see a return on sales within 12 to 18 months (must earn out your advance first)
- Most books are not published in hardback anymore: published first in trade paperback then paperback
- Publishing is changing rapidly due to eBooks - uncertainty as to how publishers are dealing with electronic rights
Lorella Belli, February 2009
- There are now more than 120,000 new titles published a year.
- Choosing to become a professional writer is a bit like starting a business and should be approached the same way.
- There are over 150 literary agents in the UK.
- Commission charges are pretty standard in the industry: 15% (UK sales); 20% (US sales)
- Lorella Belli Agency is interested in non fiction, women's fiction - strong memorable characters, original storyline, pace and good story-telling.
- Reading a novel is like watching a film: when you start watching it, if you think it's boring, you change the channel. That's what agents and publishers do if your work isn't strong enough to engage them