NEW WEBSITE NOW LAUNCHED!!

27 May

THE SPIDER IN THE CORNER OFTHE ROOM.inddNEW WEBSITE NOW LAUNCHED!!

Hey there folks! Long time, no natter. How the devil are you?

I bring you good news today: I have a new website. Yup, as promised, a new, spooky, sparkly website has been created by the fine folk at Square One, and the site rocks. It pre-empts the launch in the UK, on 4th June, of my debut psychological conspiracy thriller, The Spider in the Corner of the Room, and it’s where I’ll be blogging from now on.

So, if you fancy it, hot foot it to the new site at nikkiowenauthor.com and, if you sign up to the updates box, you could be in with a chance of winning a signed first edition copy of Spider. Whoop!

Thanks again for following the blog – and hope you LOVE the new one.

Nikki x

PS Spider and the Project trilogy have been bought in book deals around the world, so look out for a launch near you.

PPS Look out for the acknowledgements in Spider for a mention to my blog buddies…

 

BLOG MOVE NEWS: Catch me over on Goodreads #amwriting

27 May

THE SPIDER IN THE CORNER OFTHE ROOM.inddNEW WEBSITE NOW LAUNCHED!!

Hey there folks! Long time, no natter. How the devil are you?

I bring you good news today: I have a new website. Yup, as promised, a new, spooky, sparkly website has been created by the fine folk at Square One, and the site rocks. It pre-empts the launch in the UK, on 4th June, of my debut psychological conspiracy thriller, The Spider in the Corner of the Room, and it’s where I’ll be blogging from now on.

So, if you fancy it, hot foot it to the new site at nikkiowenauthor.com and, if you sign up to the updates box, you could be in with a chance of winning a signed first edition copy of Spider. Whoop!

Thanks again for following the blog – and hope you LOVE the new one.

Nikki x

PS Spider and the Project trilogy have been bought in book deals around the world, so look out for a launch near you.

PPS Look out for the acknowledgements in Spider for a mention to my blog buddies…

 

BLOG MOVE NEWS: Catch me over on Goodreads #amwriting

11 Feb

I’m now on Goodreads while my website is being built

I know, right? Get me and my new website on the go. The reason I’m popping you this post is to say that my blog is moving now to Goodreads and the blog post here that you’ve been reading will soon be changing to a website on all things about me and my new books (God help us all).

What I really must say is a HUGE thank you for following and reading my blog. Truly. When I started out the blog, I didn’t have a clue what was ahead. I just typed out what was happening in the wee hours of the morning as I tried to develop a book concept I had. Two years later and I have multiple books deals around the world and the first in a trilogy due out world wide from 4th June. But I couldn’t have done it without being on here, without starting out online, sharing my writing woes with bloggers, all of us propping each other up. Sometimes literally. Wine, anyone?

To say thanks, there’s a book Giveaway now on on my Goodreads page (link below). You just have to enter to be in the pot for the chance to get your hands on a rare signed copy of the pre-publicity version of The Spider in the Corner of the Room.

I hope you’ll follow the new Goodreads blog and the website, and that we’ll all continue to look out for each other’s writing backs.

Have a cracking week and, once again, a mahoosive thank you :-)

PS If you get your hands on a copy of The Spider in the Corner of the Room when it comes out on 4th June, you might want to flip to the Acknowledgements page. That’s all I’m saying…

To enter the Goodreads giveaway click here

 

BREAKING: I’m an #AmazonRisingStar for 2015. Pre-order now on!

14 Jan

Spider-in-the-Corner-of-the-Room-CoverBig news this week: Amazon have selected me as one of there Rising Stars for 2015. I know – who knew?

So, naturally, had to share the news on the blog with you guys. The selection is for my new book – The Spider in the Corner of the Room – out worldwide in all good bookshops on 4th June.

Not plugging this or anything (plugging it), but you can pre-order now. The link’s below. Spider is the first in a trilogy about Dr Maria Martinez, a plastic surgeon with Asperger’s who find herself in prison for the murder of a Catholic priest, only she has no memory of the murder.

So, thank you, great blogger, for following me all this time. We are all #teamspider. Hell yeah.

Pre-order Spider here

 

Top five writing tips: How to create great characters #amwriting

14 Jan

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This week: Writing great characters

I’m right in the sticky depths of book two of the Spider trilogy. 68k words in and I am flagging. But fear not! The characters, you see, to me, to my mind – it is all about the characters. And when you get them right, the whole book comes alive and suddenly, tapping on that computer becomes a tad easier.

So here you go. Top five tips for writing great characters:

1. Know ’em. By creating a full biography. I mean FULL. Just like you know your best mate or your spouse, you need to now your characters. Every detail, every nook and cranny. This makes them rounded, real – and easer to write. No bio = no character.

2. Imagine what they’d look like. I have pictures ripped from magazines & printed from websites of faces I imagine my characters would look like. This works especially well for the protagonist.

3. Empathy. You need to have an identification with your characters, not just from you, but, of course, ultimately, from the reader, too. For this you need to create empathy. Empathy is recognising a tad of yourself in the character. Once we can do that, the writing – and reading – flows.

4. Sympathy. This means ensuring that, in some way, your protagonist is human. We have to like what we see in at least a small amount, even if you don’t like other bits of the character. Amy from Gone Girl? She is a total psycho, but I like her ‘don’t care what you think’ attitude. See?

5. Be authentic. The reader is real and, therefore, so must be your character. Reader’s aren’t daft – heck, you are not daft. So why fudge a character or try to pretend on the page that this person is a certain way when that cannot actually be the case? Just tell it as it (really) is and you’re on to a winner.

 

Any top tips on writing great characters? Great! Share them with the group!

 

 

Gazette column: We need to quit thinking of ourselves this Christmas and start thinking of others

4 Dec

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about Christmas and how, this year with all the shopping and the excitement, we need to stop for a moment and think of others before ourselves. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Top 5 writing tips: PD James tips for writing novels #amwriting

3 Dec

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This week: PD James’ novel writing tips

The author PD James sadly passed away last month. She was an amazing woman. After having her first novel published in her forties, she never looked back, writing over 20 crime novels, many of which were adapted for film and TV.

Crime author PD James

Crime author PD James

She was a hard worker, the type of writer to simply get on with it. I discovered her novels through my father in law, and so when I heard of her passing, I looked up her works and found a web page interview where she talks of her top tips for writing novels.

Below, I have chosen my favourite five, ones that, to me, really resonate. To get a full list of PD James’ top ten, I’ve popped a link below. Read, enjoy. And write.

Top 5 PD James writing tips:

1. Find your own routine. Are you a morning person or evening? A lark or an owl? Figure out what time of the day you work best at and stick to it – you’ll be at your most productive. Works like a charm.

2. Read, write and don’t daydream. This one speaks for itself, although, don’t let the ‘don’t daydream’ bit put you off. This, to me, simply means don’t procrastinate. Daydreaming in its actual form can, in fact, help the creative process, aid the flow of ideas when, say, you are stuck on a tricky scene. Basically, just get on with it.

3. Never go anywhere without a notebook. Yup, deffo. Ditto iPhone with notepad function – works equally well.

4. Never talk about a book before it’s finished. Agree. Because it may change, you may edit it to within an inch of its life. Until you are certain you’re 100% happy (until an editor gets hold of it…) keep shtum.

5. Be aware that the business is changing. Publishing is different even from when I was a kid. To me, change is a good thing, something to be embraced and capitalised on. No moaning about e-books or self-publishing. Nope. Instead, simply say, ‘Oh, okay. Great.’ Then adapt and crack right on. The results may surprise you.

 

For the link to the interview with PD James for her full top ten tips, click here

 

Any top tips on cracking your writer’s style? Great! Share them with the group!

**Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**

Gazette column: Girls’ school sport needs better provision. Now.

27 Nov

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about sport for girls in schools and how, if we want them to participate given the dire recent participation statistics, better proven needs to be made. Now. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Because of the Philae robot, school science must inspire

20 Nov

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about school science and how, following the Rosetta satellite landing and its Philae robot probe, its time science inspired a new generation. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Top five writing tips: How to make scenes real #amwriting #NaNoWriMo2014

19 Nov

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This week: How to make scenes real

Writing fiction, ironically, is all about keeping it real. And by this, I mean making stuff up. Confused? Let me explain. When we think of a room, we don’t recall it as a building or a space or a room. Nope. We remember the room as warm or with white walls, with leather seats or flowery curtains. If we reflect on past events in our lives and look closer, we come to understand that what makes them real in our mind are the sounds, sights and feel of things. So to make your scenes real in your book, this is what you have to do. You have to paint the real picture.

And so to the top 5 of keeping it real…

1. Show don’t tell. You want to recreate a scene, not describe it. Show us what the character can see in that room or countryside or beach setting. So, instead of “I arrived nervously at the old house near the sea” (telling), say “I arrived at the cottage, white washed walls, flowers in broken pots by the door. I stood at the end of the path, hand on the peeling gate, waiting, shaking. I inhaled, tried to steady myself, the faint lap of the waves, the squall of the seagulls all singing like a lullaby in my ears.” (showing).

2. Practice describing colours. Sounds nuts, but it works. Imagine you are describing the colour red, for example, to a blind person. How would you do that? Hot, scorching etc.

3. Give details not judgements. An author’s job is to give the facts then know when to step back so the readers can reach their own conclusions.

4. Names are everything. Its sounds minor, a name, but it means a heck of a lot. In real life, so much is attached to our names. On the page, a name connected to a character, a well thought through name, anchors the writer to the page. If the name is not well considered, the reader can sense that because the character does not, ultimately, feel real.

5. Visualise. Try to imagine what is in a scene. Close you eyes, picture the scene you are trying to write about. Now open your eyes. What details did you pick up on? What was the weather? The temperature? etc. Write it down as accurately as you can. I use this technique a lot when I feel a scene slipping away from me.

 

Any top tips on keeping your writing real? Great. Share them with the group.

 

**Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**

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