Romance with a Twist-Sue Barnard

Tessa Robertson

Happy Wednesday, lovelies! I have a very special author visiting my blog today. She is a fellow Crooked Cat and an incredible writer. Be sure to give her plenty of love around SM and the web.

Let’s find out more, shall we?

Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

A lot of people probably have skeletons in their cupboards – but I wonder how many people know how it feels to BE one of those skeletons?  That was me, for more than forty years.

What made you want to become a writer?

It happened almost by accident, when I came across one of those lists of Things You Must Do Before You Die.  Most of them were fairly unappealing, but the one which leapt out was Write The Book You Want To Read.  I’ve always loved the story of Romeo & Juliet but…

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Distancing Ourselves from Our Fiction

Find out about Finding Nina, the new novel by Sue Barnard.

An' de walls came tumblin' down

(The reason for this title will become apparent at the end of this post.)

I’m delighted to welcome back to the blog my friend, colleague and brilliant author. It’s Sue Barnard! Sue’s next book, Finding Nina, will be published in just a week and I decided to ask her a few questions about the writing process.

Finding Nina is ‘part-prequel, part-sequel to the bestselling Nice Girls Don’t.’ Did you write Nice Girls Don’t knowing there would be a prequel/sequel or did the idea for Finding Nina come later?

Nice Girls Don’t was originally written as a stand-alone story, with no plans for a prequel or sequel.  Only after it was published did I realise that a loose end had been unintentionally left dangling.  Thankfully it didn’t affect the outcome of Nice Girls Don’t, but it did leave open the possibility of a spin-off. Finding Nina is…

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I’m a Naughty Girl

An' de walls came tumblin' down

I'm a Naughty Girl

It’s time to admit it. I broke three rules. Yes, three rules of writing, possibly more. And all in one book: Cultivating a Fuji, out tomorrow. Here are the rules:

  • Minor characters don’t have backstories.
  • Always begin with something exciting that draws in the reader.
  • No head-hopping.

BUT rules can be broken, as long as the writer understands the rules and breaks them knowingly. What do I mean?

Minor characters don’t have backstories

In this story, it was important to me for readers to understand these characters. I didn’t want readers to view them simply as villains who mistreat Martin. They are all people with lives of their own. Like most of us, their minds are mostly occupied by their own problems. When they encounter Martin, we need to remember that they don’t have the emotional space to handle such an alien character. And sometimes, something in a minor…

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Swizzle Stick

A short tale from Crooked Cat author Tom Halford

Tim's Blog

Today I feature a short tale from Canadian author Tom Halford. I warn you, it’s not for those of a queasy disposition! This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Huddersfield ….

Swizzle Stick

for James Fletcher

by Tom Halford

Orson shot, skinned, and gutted the bear. The bones of the animal were crumpled in a hug, and the intestines looked like swollen sausage links. He left that and everything else he didn’t plan on using next to a pine tree.

Three days later, he got a
phone-call from his brother-in-law. The brother-in-law wanted the bear’s penis. He asked Orson to boil it down to the bone so he
could use it as a swizzle stick.

The brother-in-law planned to mix
rum & cokes for his buddies. As they were drinking, he would tell them that
the swizzle stick he’d used to stir their drinks was
actually a bear’s cock.


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Word Tip 3: That’s Not What I Wrote

An' de walls came tumblin' down

Microsoft Word Tips for AuthorsWelcome to the next in a series of tips on using Microsoft Word, geared towards authors.
Most Word advice is rather complicated and full of things you’ll never need to know.
I shall do my best to keep it simple, because you’re not stupid… just busy.
Please note: 
– Not all versions of Word are the same, but most are near enough.
– There are different ways of doing the same thing. I shall demonstrate just one (or two).

Sometimes the text in your Word document doesn’t look the same as what you typed.

I’m not talking about typos. We all make those occasionally. I’m talking about words that Word changes off its own bat. Microsoft calls this AutoCorrect. The idea is that it can change some of your typos and spelling mistakes automatically, because it knows better than you what you meant to write, or it thinks it…

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