A to Z Challenge – P is for Publishing

Published April 18, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,


Cute-Cats-cats-33440930-500-313The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that there was no post yesterday. O is apparently for oops! This has been a rather crazy busy week and while I had meant to post when I got home from work yesterday I got the chance to go and catch up with a friend instead and it turned into a much later one than I’d expected :) So, please accept my apologies and this cute kitty picture (go on, no one can resist kitties surely?)

Anyway, we shall ignore that wee blip and move on! Today P is for Publishing – yup the big one! I’ve been very lucky to have several works published, and while that still sometimes feels a little surreal to me I thought I would share a few things about the process. The main learning point for me was that while being accepted for publication is one of the most amazing feelings in the world, it is just the tip of the iceberg. When you start writing then being published seems like a shining beacon, something to aim and strive for – which of course it is! But there’s also an implication that when you do reach that point then that’s it – you’ve made it. In actual fact, it’s just the first step in a great deal more hard work.

The first time I got edits back from a publisher, well let’s just say there was a lot of red all over those pages :) A wee bit intimidating to start with, but once you get over the initial shock being able to get professional editing and feedback on your work is absolutely invaluable, and is only going to make you a better writer. Then there’s promotion. Another terrifying process to start with, and something I do sometimes still struggle with today. Perhaps it’s the ‘English’ in me, but I always find it quite hard to ‘big myself up’ – it feels like I’m being vain or arrogant if I’m telling people how great me and my book are :) (well, not that I would say it like that, but you get the general idea!)


There’s also perhaps the slight (and you know it’s slight) hope that your book with magically become an overnight sensation, and let’s face it the rational part of you knows that isn’t going to happen. It takes time and effort to build up a fanbase, to build up your craft, and to make any impact in the market. The best thing to do for that is keep going, the bestselling writers didn’t do it with their first novel. If you are still waiting to be published, hang in there  – when you do get there, enjoy the feeling, but don’t get discouraged if it’s not the be-all and end-all straight away.

Take care x

A to Z Challenge – Day 14: N is for Names

Published April 16, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Today I wanted to talk about something that always gives me trouble as a writer – names! I get quite envious of those who seem to effortlessly just ‘know’ their characters should be called, or even have the name before the character even appears to them. Before now I’ve been sat there three quarters of the way into a manuscript and still not knowing what one of my main characters should be called :) I will usually have a general idea of what it should sound like – and I tend to know it when I hear it/see it. It’s kind of like when you’ve met someone once and you know they introduced themselves, then you meet them again and can you remember their name – can you hell! You know you know it – and it’s an annoying nagging at the back of your brain as you try and try to remember.

nameI will do all sorts to try and ‘find’ it – this can include trailing through baby name books and websites, checking mythological sites, scoring lists of names from certain countries. And don’t get me started on place names, ssecondary characters, companies and world building details :) My WIPs tend to scattered through with ‘xx’ which is where I didn’t want to break the writing flow by having to take half an hour to think of the right name for something.

What do you think, do you find names come to you easily – or do you share my pain? Readers, do you ever think that character names don’t suit the character, or on the other hand that they’re such a perfect fit that you always associate that name with that particular character?

Take care x

A to Z Challenge – Day 13: M is for Magic

Published April 15, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Running a bit late again today – oops, so this will just be a short one! Today, though M is for Magic :)

1507657_10152233646937873_1783413573_nI love the idea of magic, when I was a kid all the stories I loved were about wizards, witches, fairies and other magical creatures – I used to write stories at school where people were sent to magical worlds and met strange creatures. When I got older I moved onto fantasy books, sticking with the theme and I still love them today, along with ‘urban fantasy’. Most of the books I write have some element of magic or the paranormal, though usually set in the modern world. After all, there’s something very appealing about the idea that there might really be so much more to this world than we realise :)

I think that’s probably one of the things that attracts me to romance writing as well – the fact that a love-story has it’s own kind of magic. It’s two people fighting their own battles and their own inner demons in order to be able to find their ‘happy-after-after’. If we can’t find fairies at the bottom of the garden then we can find our own magic in the world around us.

If nothing else there’s surely magic in the opening of a book, the ability to be transported to another place, another time, another world. The chance to hear words from someone who we have never met, or who may be long gone, but still feel a connection to them purely from the words they’ve left written down. It’s a wonderful thing :)

Take care x


A to Z Challenge – Day 12: L is for Love

Published April 14, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Well, it’s Monday again – they do seem to come round quick, don’t they? Hope you all had a fun weekend? It’s back to the blog challenge today, and being a romance writer you may not be surprised to see that my L is for Love.

I’m always a little surprised when some people seem to think romance writing isn’t as exciting/interesting/in-depth as some other genres because it’s only writing about ‘love’. Even if you completely ignore the fact that different styles of romance can also contain crime, action, suspense, paranormal etc. then even if it just about the love story then what could be more interesting and in-depth than that?

Love is fascinating, it underpins most of life as we know it – it affects every aspect of what we do. There are more kinds of love than anyone could ever describe – and although there might be a tendency to focus on the fairy-tale ‘at-first-sight’ type of love then there so many different versions. The sweet and sensitive love, like many ‘teen’ novels, the gradually building love, like ‘friends to lovers’, the passionate, all-consuming type, the re-discovered type – let’s face it I could go on for ever here!


Even within one story there can be different types of love. By building up your characters and their relationships with each other then you will inevitably end up finding some of these. Does your main character love their parents, their siblings, their friends, their child, their job, their mission. Even self-love can be an important character trait. It can often seem like we’re calling a character vain or arrogant to say they love themselves, but often it can be a vital part of their own development. Really it’s just another way of saying they can accept themselves, faults and all. If a character is unable to love themselves then can they really and truly fall in love with someone else, or will their insecurities just drive a wedge into any relationship? So, while some people might think that a characters problems and their past issues can be solved by having someone love them, then I think perhaps all the other person can do is try and help them to see themselves.

Would love to hear what you think – feel free to share! :)


A to Z Challenge – Day 11: K is for Kiss

Published April 12, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Well, it’s finally weekend – hope you have some fun plans! Today K is for Kiss – being a romance writer a couple’s first kiss is a huge focal point in their story. It’s when they take the first step into a physical relationship, when the sexual tension that you’ve (hopefully!) been building spills over.

kissEach first kiss is different, just as each couple is different and it should say a lot about both the characters and their relationship/story. Is it soft and sweet or hot and hungry, is it mutual or does one of them ‘surprise’ the other – does it lead to more straight away, or is just an isolated incident. How does it change the relationship and the dynamics between them (because how can it not?) How do the characters feel about it afterwards – are they desperate to kiss again or wishing it had never happen (or a wee bit of both lol).

I thought I would share a first kiss from one of my WIPs – please bear in mind this is unedited so apologies for any spelling/grammar mistakes! Hope you enjoy – and have a good weekend x


He took a step closer, she felt the heat from his body and it seemed to spread out over her in glowing tingles of warmth. “You don’t think I feel anything?”

Shannon felt her mouth dry up. She swallowed, before her tongue unconsciously slipped out to moisten her lips. His eyes followed every movement, like a predator about to pounce. She ought to be running, the self-preservation part of her brain was shouting that out very loudly. Instead she stood frozen as his hand lifted, lightly stroking down her cheek, before tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. The movement was innocent, light, and yet the look in his eyes wasn’t and she felt like her skin was burning up where he’d touched her.

She swayed slightly, desire hanging in the air like a visible presence. His hand slipped to the nape of her neck, tilting her head upwards. Her lips parted, almost against her will and she was helpless to resist as he leaned towards her. Since the moment she’d seen him she’d imagined what his kiss would be like. The build up had almost had her convinced in her own mind that it could never live up to her expectations. Instead the moment their lips touched she realised her imagination just wasn’t good enough.

She expected him to be hard, possessive, yet his lips were feather light. The soft brush against hers reverberated through her whole body, so her nipples hardened and moisture pooled between her legs. Her arms went around his neck, her body pressing against his and her lips parting, urging his entry. His tongue slipped past them, plundering her wet warmth and she whimpered.

The sensations were at once addicting and terrifying. She felt his hands roaming down her back, cupping her ass and pressing it against his rising hardness. Her hands tangled in his hair, as she rose on tiptoe, crushing herself closer when she knew it would never be close enough, not until he was buried deep inside her where he belonged. She froze suddenly.
He didn’t belong with her, and she didn’t belong with him. Okay, this was more explosive than anything she’d ever imagined, but hadn’t she been thinking not five minutes ago how different they were. This could never be anything but a fling and a complication. He pulled back slightly, sensing her withdrawal.

“Shannon? Are you okay?”

She drew in a shaky breath. “I’m sorry. I can’t do this.”


kissing quotes

A to Z Challenge – Day 10: J is for Journey

Published April 11, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Has been a busy week and unfortunately have to be up at 6am for a 12hour shift tomorrow, so this will just be a quickie :) J is for Journey – just like life, writing a novel involves taking a  journey. There will be highs and lows, points when you love where you are, and points when you wonder why the heck you started in the first place. The people will surprise you (sometimes in good ways, sometimes not so good) and it’s highly doubtful that you will end up anywhere near where you thought you would – but surely that’s half the fun of it?


Take care x

A to Z Challenge – Day 9 – I is for Inspiration

Published April 10, 2014 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Apologies, I’m a wee bit late with the post today. I was going to schedule it beforehand but inspiration didn’t want to come – but at least it gave me my word for the day :) Other writers will no doubt be aware that when people find out what you do one of the main questions you get asked (and pretty much a staple of author interview questions) is ‘where do you get your inspiration from?’ I always end up wishing I had a much better answer -  maybe I was visited by my main characters in a dream, or little elves left me magic post-it notes with story ideas on.

The slightly more boring answer is – from everywhere and everything. I was recently reading a rather good article on the ‘habits of creative people’ and the one that really struck a note was that they notice everything. They pay attention to the birds outside the window, they overhear little snippets of conversation on the bus, they notice the exact way the sun shines through the trees and the weird patterns it makes on the ground. As some of you know, I take photos as well, so I always thought it was a simply a habit ingrained from that – but it comes in very handy for the writing as well.


Another thing I find fascinating is ‘what if’ – if you see a newspaper headline, or a person on the street, if you hear a story from your childhood or some local history then ask yourself questions about it. Where are they going, what are they doing, how do they feel, if the story is an old one (especially if it’s a myth or a fairy story) then do you think it’s accurate – were the people telling it biased, after all history is often one-sided – what if there was a totally different story hidden in those bare facts. Often when I start on this path it can be hard to stop – this could be why I always have a notepad overflowing with ideas and only a handful of novels actually finished! But it is one of the most fun and interesting parts of the process – and maybe an excuse to buy more pretty notebooks. *coughs* I don’t really have a stationary problem!

I would love to hear about other people’s experiences. Feel free to share below x




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