books · original plot · Spain · The Nasrid Charm · writing

Going full circle

Sometimes, all it takes is time. While hammering away at my keyboard for NaNoWriMo, a momentary lapse in concentration had me hunting through old files for my very first Nano effort.

Granted, it doesn’t take much to distract me, but this story – The Nasrid Charm – just won’t lie in the shadows.

I think it comes to mind at least once a month, and especially during Nano prep or writing.

There  has to be a reason for this, don’t you think?

I’ve never been one for muses, and am rather envious of those who suffer at the hands of an attention-grabbing muse. So, why will this story not just sit back and let me get on with my writing? Maybe, this is its time to shine.

I’ve restructured  this story a gazillion times, taking it from a single novel to a series of novellas, but nothing has ever felt right. When I wrote this back in 2011/12, it drew me into the world of fiction as a writer, rather than the avid reader I was and still am.

Problem was, I was rubbish at it. I had no idea about POVs, or voice, or exposition – I was a victim of my reading material and spewed out some particularly purple prose. in my mind it was a case of putting words onto the screen and telling a story.

Okay, so shoot me. I made the ultimate error, assuming anyone could write a book. (Although, that is true, anyone can write, but whether they should is a different matter. I shouldn’t have … then)

Hopefully, I’ve learnt a thing or two since then. So with that in mind, I am bringing The Nasrid Charm back out of the darkness, blowing away the cobwebs and re-writing it as it was originally meant to be – but with a tad more knowledge and – fingers crossed – a little more skill than I had back then.

I know I’ve said this before – in fact, only a few months ago (or was it only weeks?) I posted that I was rekindling the story in series format.

But, hey, a girl (ahem – artistic licence, ok?) can change her mind, can’t she?

I recall being so excited about this story back in the day, I even got a local artist to design this cover.

I loved his style – still do – and admired his interpretation of those white-washed Spanish villages. (I’ve learnt a bit about what makes a good cover too!! – heck, we all make mistakes, don’t we?)

Can you tell the genre from this? Ha ha! I have to laugh myself – it’s pretty dire, isn’t it? Oh well, things can only get better, right?

Bubbling with enthusiasm, I posted excerpts for critique and … hmm, you can guess the rest. Suffice to say, I discovered there’s more to writing a good story than just putting words on paper.

This time, I’ll do the story justice – while maintaining the essence of the original story though – and it’ll likely involve a complete re-write – but I reckon I can do it now.

In the meantime, I’ll get back to my Nano draft which, I’m pleased to report, is looking quite healthy.

Like I said, sometimes it just takes time … and work, lots of work.

Look out for more news on my progress with The Nasrid Charm in 2018.

Thanks for reading 🙂


cover reveal · Granada · Nasrid · The Nasrid Charm

The best news ….

I have just discovered a very talented artist locally who is going to design the cover for The Nasrid Charm.


Until now, this has borne the shabby cloak of a Photoshop accident and will soon be transformed into an image of Picasso-style excellence.

Using these images, the cover will be reborn:

Loja  sorayaring

Now, I have to get cracking on the revisions.

Cover reveal in due course!

Determined · New start · writing

This time, I’m serious!


I mean it!

After way too much procrastination, I am finally serious about getting my book published. TRULY, I AM!

I have been dilly-dallying for far too long and it has dawned on me that the only way this thing is going to happen is if I knuckle down and make it so.

corgi stick

Therefore, as my beloved doggy friend (WARNING: there will be many doggy references ahead!) so aptly defines my problem, I am back on the path to authordom.

Re-energised, determined and unwavering – this time – I AM SERIOUS!





A to Z challenge · Author · books · NaNo · NetGalley · reading · writing

N is for …NaNo & NetGalley

NThese topics pose a dilemma for me, as they both fight for my attention. Each day I am in a quandary – do I write or do I read? Until 2012, this choice never even existed. I’d loved reading since my early years and hadn’t contemplated writing myself. I had always thought that maybe I would like to write a book, but we all do that, don’t we? Everyone supposedly ‘has a book in them’, ‘a story to tell’. But just because we can, doesn’t always mean that we should.

When I saw the NaNoWriMo challenge back in November 2012, I thought maybe this was the push I needed. Would I be able to write 50,000 words in  30 days? Would it be pure drivel or could I actually create something that others might want to read? I entered the challenge with only a few days to spare before it commenced. leaving me very little time to plan or research anything. I pondered what I should write about and kept seeing the comment, ‘write about what you know’. But, what did I know? Was there something lurking in the depths of my mind that might make an interesting tale? I decided at that point that I would write something that, as a reader, I might choose to read. And so, my mystery/ fantasy novel was hatched. Set in Spain (of course!), my main character is caught up in a tale of revenge after tracing her family tree. She uncovers some unpleasant secrets about her grandfather that take her on a quest to solve an ancient robbery and to clear his name. In doing so, she encounters a special ring that magically allows her to connect with her ancestors and discover a new branch to her family. Her own life is also beset with trouble too, an act of fraud forces her to exact her own form of vengeance on the culprits, with the help of the ring. All of a sudden, I was taking actual events and turning them into a piece of fiction. I amazed myself at how easily the words came, the plot took on a life of its own and somehow I managed to hit the target and complete the challenge. It was a real eye-opener to me and the possibility that I could actually write a book became more of a reality than I had ever expected. Eighteen months, the story has doubled in size; the plot has taken yet more turns and it is now at the editing stage, with publishing due to happen later this year. Feedback, from those who have read parts of it, has been encouraging and positive, spurring me on to get it finished – at long last. Since then, I have participated in further NaNo challenges and have four other stories under development.

Now, you’ll recall that before 2012 reading was more my thing than writing. I soon learned that the two go together, hand in hand. To be a successful writer, you have to read – a lot. But, these days, I read with a different attitude. I am not just reading for escapism, now I read to learn how to be a better storyteller. I am more critical of the books I read, I demand more from them and my high expectations frequently leave me disappointed. I joined NetGalley last year and now receive advance copies of books, prior to publication. Sometimes, publishers will invite me to read a book, following my review of one of their authors. I have been able to build up a rapport with other writers and publishers as a result. Currently I have six books on the go, all of which I will review once completed. And herein lies my problem, which has been particularly exaggerated this month. Not only am I fortunate to have an abundance of reading material, it is also Camp NaNo time (for which I am penning another tale of retribution of approx 25,000 words). Already, the aforementioned predicament looms large over my head. However, as if this were not enough, I am also battling with the A to Z  challenge of blogging daily throughout April. So far, I’m juggling everything fairly well; nothing has yet fallen to the wayside and, if I’m honest, I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m lucky that I have such a problem, it could be so much worse and, for that, I am thankful.

Life is pretty good and with the added bonus of the sunshine, I can read outside and get a tan too!

🙂 🙂