I love writing. And stationery. And the smell of new books. I sometimes sing, but mostly, I write. I am a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and my local writing group, Off The Cuff, and I'm one ninth of The Romaniacs. It's all about the passion.

I love writing. And stationery. And the smell of new books. I sometimes sing, but mostly, I write. I am a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and my local writing group, Off The Cuff, and I'm one ninth of The Romaniacs. It's all about the passion.

I Have a Date on Valentine’s Day …

Littoralis Pinned Post

This Sunday, 14th February, 2016, I’m appearing at the Purbeck Literary Festival with two of my Littoralis buddies, Kate Kelly and Kathy Sharp. Our books are published by well-respected, independent publishers, and we are bringing our experiences to the festival and holding a discussion on choosing the independent publisher route.

It is free entry to our talk, but please check out the Festival website for further information. There will be books for sale, writerly chat and events for all ages over the two weeks.

We would love to see you there.

Littoralis Purbeck Lit Fest

 

Taking The Small Publisher Route

The small publisher option for your fiction.

In an informative and lively ninety-minute discussion, Littoralis, a group of Dorset authors, share their diverse experiences in achieving publication with small, independent publishers.

 

Topics include:

The advantages of being an author with a small publisher.

Knowing your audience and choosing a publisher.

Preparing to submit your manuscript.

Building your online profile.

Marketing and promotion.

The importance of support networks.

Finishing with a question and answer session, we aim to encourage writers looking to achieve publication to consider the small publisher option as the first step of an exciting journey.

 

Laura

Monday Monday …

It’s Monday and it’s back to school and work for the James family.

It’s time for me to make headway with my work-in-progress, which has been left untouched for a couple of months. I have been writing – I wrote two Treats for my publisher, Choc Lit, and I wrote out my Christmas cards. I have been creative, designing social media adverts for my books using Canva, an excellent and easy-to-use tool, and baking a cake for my son’s birthday, and I’ve been inspired by films I’ve watched, games I’ve played, and books I’ve read during the holidays.

One of my new adverts, designed using Canva.
One of my new adverts, designed using Canva.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my break, but I have so many ideas and ways forward for the WIP, I’m raring to go.

I just need to sort out my to do list.

Speaking of which, The Romaniacs, a writing support group of which I am a member, has introduced its new schedule for 2016, kicking off with Motivation Monday. It’s a chance to list our weekly goals so we can work toward achieving them by Friday. We’re asking you all to join in, so we can encourage and support one another, and celebrate everyone’s successes, major and minor. Please hop over to find out more. Click here.

I hope you’ve all had a fab start to the year, and I look forward to hearing about your successes.

Take care.

Laura.

What Doesn’t Kill You – It’s Here!

What Doesn’t Kill You – It’s Here!

The day has arrived! My third novel for Choc Lit is live!

WDKY_FRONT_300dpi

 

What Doesn’t Kill You is the third in the Chesil Beach series, and follows the stormy lives of Griff, Evie, Tess and Logan.

Set in and around Weymouth and Portland, the story starts with Griff wondering where his life went wrong. It was but a short journey from happily married family man, secure and comfortable in his village cottage, to living alone in a rented one-bedroom flat in the town centre. And he doesn’t understand how it happened.

Published under Choc Lit’s new Dark imprint, What Doesn’t Kill You isn’t a typical romance. As Choc Lit state, their new imprint is for ‘… compelling, emotional, hard-hitting novels.’

Here is my teaser trailer.

I had difficulty choosing the music. Although lovely, some tunes were too happy, too sad, too busy … Then I found three I loved! This is the first version. For the more dramatic trailer, please pop over to The Romaniacs blog. I also have a seasonal version to put out in the next couple of weeks.

Hogan & Gajitman
Hogan & Gajitman

My husband valiantly stood in as Griff for the photos used in the trailer, borrowing a friend’s dog – gorgeous Hogan – to stand in as Ozzy, Griff’s faithful pal.

As you can see, Hogan is a German Shepherd. Ozzy is an Old English Sheepdog. I think Hogan did an excellent job on a blustery, chilly day at The Bill. My children were very taken with him. Such a lovely boy. Thank you to our friends for loaning us Hogan for the morning. What wonderful, varied and fun experiences we have as writers. It truly is a joy.

The adapted version used in the trailer.
The adapted version used in the trailer.

I really hope you enjoy the read and thank you for popping by today.

Have a great weekend.

Take care.

Laura x

Celebrate Good Times! Presenting the Award-winning Romaniacs!

Celebrate Good Times! Presenting the Award-winning Romaniacs!

The Media Star Award 2015 goes to ... The Romaniacs!
The Media Star Award 2015 goes to … The Romaniacs!

It’s been a busy week in the James household, preparing for next week’s launch of my third novel, What Doesn’t Kill You, working on the book trailer, and attending the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party.

The big news is that my writing sisters, The Romaniacs, won an industry award!

Both the RNA and The Bookseller reported on the awards. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up, who gave brilliant and heartfelt speeches.

Six of the eight Romaniacs - Sue Fortin, Catherine Miller, Jan Brigden, Laura James, Debbie Fuller-White & Vanessa Savage. Celia J Anderson & Lucie White couldn't be at the award ceremony, but were most definitely with us in spirit.
Six of the eight Romaniacs – Sue Fortin, Catherine Miller, Jan Brigden, Laura James, Debbie Fuller-White & Vanessa Savage. Celia J Anderson & Lucie Wheeler couldn’t be at the award ceremony, but were most definitely with us in spirit.

Please click here to go to the Romaniacs page to find out what we would have said on Wednesday evening, having been presented with our certificate and star, had we not lost the power of speech … :D.

Finally, thank you to my wonderful, always supportive local radio station, Wessex FM who not only shared the story online, but aired it in the six o’clock news last night. Thank you so much, Wessex FM.

We (The Romaniacs) are working on the logistics of sharing the beautiful glass star between eight of us, but it will be on show at our upcoming Sparkle weekend, when we will be getting together to plan for the year ahead.

Have a great weekend and take care.

Laura x

Forthcoming Event: Saturday 14th 2015. Dorset Network Writers.

Forthcoming Event.

This Little World

This coming Saturday, November 14th, 2015, I, along with an entire coastline of Dorset writers, will be at Dorchester Library and Learning Centre, for the Dorset Writers Network launch of their eBook, This Little World.

There will be publishing, writing and poetry workshops, and in the afternoon, Kate Kelly, Kathy Sharp and I, three members of Littoralis – local authors whose books are inspired by the sea -will be taking part in a discussion panel. I am looking forward to this immensely and have already sorted out my outfit … It may involve red.

Bookings for the day are being taken, and it’s a great opportunity for writers to get together, whether you’re thinking about putting pen to paper and are not sure where to start, you’re looking to refresh your current skills, or you’d like to spend the day in the company of other writers. It’s excellent value. Please see the poster below for the details.

We would love to see you there.

IMG_0845
Contact details and me!

Books will be available for purchase, and I always have my signing pen ready, just in case …

Please do come and say hello.

Laura x

What Doesn’t Kill You.

What Doesn’t Kill You.

 

I am thrilled, delighted and honoured to bring you the news that my third book, What Doesn’t Kill You, is the first to be published under Choc Lit’s newest imprint!

Dark Choc Lit is the new imprint for ‘… compelling, emotional, hard-hitting novels. Not your typical romance story.’

My author tag is ‘romance without the soft edges’, and with Truth or Dare? being quoted on Amazon as ‘hard-hitting‘ (wood_beez48), ‘romance but so much more‘ (Happy reader), and ‘For those who like their romance/love stories a bit tougher, then Truth or Dare? is it.‘ (Book reviews), and Follow Me Follow You, being ‘very emotionally affecting‘ (Welsh Annie) and ‘a mature romance with it’s feet set firmly in reality‘ (Shani), I feel very at home with Dark Choc Lit.

It is most definitely the home for the third in the Chesil Series, What Doesn’t Kill You, and I’d like to take this time to thank my amazing publisher for this opportunity.

So … are you ready to see the beautiful Berni Stevens cover? I have no idea how Berni does it, but she captures the essence of the entire story with her stunning covers.

Scroll down …

 

It’s a beauty …

 

 

 

 

 

WDKY_FRONT_300dpi

The Blurb:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – but how strong can one person be?
Griff Hendry knows what it is to be strong. After a turbulent past, he’s dedicated himself to saving lives, working as a coastguard along the breath-taking shores of Dorset. It’s Griff’s belief that everyone is worth saving – which is why he can’t forgive his father, Logan, for what he did.
Griff’s future is plunged into uncertainty when his wife, Evie, tells him she wants a separation. The revelation is a shock and leads Griff to question what Evie could possibly be hiding – and she isn’t the only one holding back. Griff’s troubled stepdaughter, Tess, also harbours a dark secret.
As the truth is uncovered, Griff is forced to accept that perhaps he’s never understood what real strength is.

From Dark Choc Lit – compelling, emotional, hard-hitting novels. Not your typical romance story.

Available for pre-order from Amazon.

I am so excited!

Set for publication on the 26th November.

I really hope you enjoy the read.

Take care.

Laura x

Emergence …

Emergence …

Confession: Not all of the editing took place in the cave ..
Confession: Not all of the editing took place in the cave ..

Emergence … It sounds like the final part in a Veronica Roth series. It’s not, as far as I’m aware. It’s a reference to the time I’ve spent in the edits cave with my third novel, What Doesn’t Kill You, and the fact I’m out and enjoying the October sunshine.

I’m hoping to have more information about the book soon and will let you know the minute I hear. In the meantime, I’m taking full advantage of my time outside by attending a number of writing-related events, starting with the Bridport Story Slam this Tuesday 13th October 2015, at the Beach and Barnicott in Bridport. I was honoured to be a judge last year, and this time I’m returning as the MC. It’s a fantastic evening and I urge you to come along.

Each contestant has a five-minute slot in which to read aloud their short story. If the story exceeds the time limit, the reader is dinged out. I’m not in charge of the bell.

It’s not only about writing, but the performance, too.

I will be there with copies of Follow Me Follow You for sale and would be delighted to talk books and writing during the breaks. It starts at 19:30.

On Saturday 24th October 2015, I shall be at the Redbridge Central Library, Ilford, with three of my fellow ChocLiteers, talking about writing romance. It’s excellent value at £3, and here are the details.

And make a note in your diary for the Dorset Writers Network day on Saturday 14th November.

IMG_0845

Along with two of my Littoralis friends, Kathy Sharp and Kate Kelly, I will be presenting a panel on the advantages of being with an independent publisher. There are many events planned for that day, including writing workshops. Really worth checking out and booking in advance.

For further updates about my trips out, please go to my News and Events page.

I look forward to seeing you.

Take care,

Laura x

Website Jail

Website Jail.

I’ve been in website jail. It’s taken a little while to sort out, but I am once again free to blog!

I was victim to over a thousand spam or non-existent subscribers, and as my last blog went out, so did three thousand emails, of which hundreds pinged back. This action put my website host on alert, and quite rightly, they put the site on lock-down.

In order to gain back control, I had to delete the dead or spam email addresses and install a captcha code box to prevent robot subscribers. I spent a lot of hours copying, pasting and deleting these addresses in order to remove them from my database, and once I let my provider know I’d complied with their request, my site was unblocked.

So, lesson learned. On the off-chance my code box doesn’t pick up all the spammers, I will delete the addresses that ping back as and when they occur. The reason I didn’t do this before? Fear of the unknown. Well, now I know, and despite being a lengthy process, it turned out to be reasonably simple thing to fix.

Summer Sale 2015

What I wanted to tell you, whilst I was in website jail, was that both my Choc Lit novels, Truth or Dare?, and Follow Me Follow You, are in the Amazon summer sale, each 99p to download, here. If you’ve read and enjoyed them, please do recommend them to a fellow reader. Thanks.

Ahhhh. Life on the outside … Oh. It’s raining.

Time to curl up with a good book, then.

Laura x