filed under A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, For Writers: Writing Tips, Her Mother's Secret.

What a difference a year makes! I remember vividly, during the school holidays last summer, sitting at my kitchen bench, furiously working away on something on my laptop, and being interrupted by one of my three lovely children for the millionth time. I remember shutting the lid of the laptop, (I can’t remember if I answered my child’s question or not though!) and putting my head in my hands and wondering what the hell I was doing. My Mini Crisis of Confidence Why was I working so damn hard during the holidays – when my kids wanted my undivided attention…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, The Paris Seamstress.

2017 was a big year. A year of ups and downs. A year of a lot of work. A year of decisions and changes. And, of course, a year of writing lots of words. Here are the highlights, and the lowlights. A Huge Case of Nerves It’s safe to say that I have never in my life been more nervous about a book coming out than I was about Her Mother’s Secret. Why? Because, as some of you may have heard me say in my author talks, when A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald came out in 2016, I had almost…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, Her Mother's Secret, The French Photographer, The Paris Seamstress.

I taught a Plotting Masterclass on the weekend and we talked about plotting versus pantsing, and how much of my first draft would incorporate the key plot points, or whether I would incorporate those points once the first draft was finished. I get asked similar questions at each course I teach—whether the similes in my books just come out in the first draft or whether they’re something I work on later, whether the plot twists in my books are known to me in advance or whether they unravel themselves in  the writing process. So I thought it might be useful…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, Her Mother's Secret.

On Facebook last week, I saw someone asking the question: how do you define success as a writer? It came on the back of a Twitter update, from someone attending a writing seminar, where UWA Press publisher Terri-Ann White said that the average sales of a book in Australia were just 800 copies per year. Does that then mean if you sell 800 copies in one year you’re a success? 800 copies might earn an author just over $2,000—for something that’s taken about 5 years of their life to write. Maybe for some that is success. For others, perhaps not.…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, Her Mother's Secret.

Last year I wrote a post about deleted scenes in A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. I got so much feedback about it that I’ve decided to write a post about the deleted scenes in Her Mother’s Secret. Apparently writers don’t often share their deleted scenes but I think it’s really important to understand that nobody begins with the perfect novel; a first draft is an exploration of what the story is and, to truly explore, you have to be prepared to try some things that don’t work. Which is why I’ve decided to open up my Trash in Scrivener and pull…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret.

You might have seen that I’ve recently been away in Melbourne and Sydney promoting Her Mother’s Secret and that I’ve been doing a few events here in Perth too. So I thought I’d share with you what I got up to, as well as the ins and outs of what an author does on a book tour. Meeting Readers This is the number reason why I like to go over east and do events there and also here in Perth. Meeting readers really is the best. I spend so much of my life stuck in front of my computer, lost…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, Her Mother's Secret.

I have a fascination for the clothes the characters in my books wear. Fashion and character is something I spend a substantial amount of time researching. Why do I bother? I could easily use that time to do some other more “serious” research; after all, clothes are thought to be fairly trivial items. But they’re not. For me, they’re an essential part of getting the character onto the page. How Clothes Get Character Onto the Page? As a writer, I have four main methods of getting the character to come to life in the reader’s mind: dialogue, action, thought and description. If you’ve…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, Her Mother's Secret.

Last week, in Part 3 of my blog series about Her Mother’s Secret , I talked about the process of actually writing the book. I finished at the point at which I was about to send it to my editor, thinking it was amazing and wouldn’t need much work in the way of structural editing. Ha! I was very deluded. 19 Pages of Notes I received back from my publisher 19 pages of single-spaced notes for the structural edit. 19 pages! Can I tell you how daunting it is, when you think your book is fabulous, to receive an email…

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filed under For Writers: Writing Tips, Her Mother's Secret.

Welcome to Part 3 of my blog series taking you behind the covers of Her Mother’s Secret. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Today’s post is all about the writing process, what I actually did when I sat down to write the book and how easy (or hard!) it really was. Her Mother’s Secret was my fourth book and my second historical novel. I knew what I was doing right? Wrong! In the Beginning … The book covers twenty years, two seperate timeframes and has two different female protagonists. One of those is Leo, who’s trying…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, Writing Historical Fiction.

I’ve said it before, but I love the research. I think, to write historical fiction, you have to. And the research I did for Her Mother’s Secret was fun and fascinating so I thought I’d share with you what I did to make the book come to life, as well as give you an insight into how an author goes about researching historical fiction. This is Part 2 in my series taking you behind the covers of Her Mother’s Secret. You can find Part 1 here. The Cosmetics Industry As the book is about the birth of the cosmetics industry…

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