Friday, 13 June 2014

Honeybee Chatter

Hi Everyone 

I have a new blog about Plus size fashion, beauty, accessories and life. Please go check it out, follow and comment. It's called Honeybee Chatter. Honeybee Chatter Blog 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Another agent bites the dust

I received a rejection from LAW today. It's a nice letter though with some kind comments; it reads as follows.

"Dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for giving us the chance to consider your material but I am sorry to say that I do not think we are the right agency to represent your work. You write movingly, and it's clear that your own experiences have helped you develop a thought- provoking and authentic character in Megan. Unfortunately we feel that your work is not quite right for us.

Please do not be too discouraged and we wish you the very best of luck as you go forward with your writing."

I'd love it if just one agency asked to see the rest of my manuscript as I feel three chapters is not enough to base an opinion on. Eight more agents to go.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

More Rejection

This time Judith Murdoch has rejected me :(. She sent a nice email (my novel was not returned with a letter because of insufficient postage. surely if sent I'd pay for it.) saying she is a small agency and didn't feel enthusiastic enough about Megan, to take me on. She also wished me luck; which is kind. I wanted to keep my rejection letters in a file so I might print the email off. Two down nine more to go.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Rejection again for Megan

Just received an email rejection from Diane Banks associates, boooooooooooooooo. I got just a two line rejection. Oh well 10 more agents to go lets hope one of them see my potential.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Eleanor Prescott Review- Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating

Looking for love? Call in the expert. Alice Brown is a matchmaker, and as far as she's concerned, she has the best job in the world. What could be better than helping others find love? Even if she herself remains single... Her latest client is Kate. She's already five years behind in her life plan and she knows exactly what she wants, but that might be the problem. Will anyone measure up to her standards? Then there's Audrey, Alice's misguided boss from hell, who has somehow managed to bag herself the perfect husband. But all is not as it seems. And when her love life and work life collide, will she be able to take her own advice?

Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating is Eleanor Prescott's Debut novel. I discovered Eleanor through and looked her up on Facebook. Graciously she excepted my friend request, we got chatting and she offered to send me a copy of Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating and i'm pleased she did.

Alice Brown, is interestingly set out; each chapter is set out under the characters name. The story is told in the third person but it concentrates on a character at a time. I found it hard to get into this book to start with, if I'm honest, it took about 100 pages or so. I wasn't really sure where the story was going, there seemed to be more than one protagonist with Alice, Audrey and Kate. 

I liked Alice as a character with her positive romantic outlook on life. Sometimes though she seemed a bit of a wet lettuce which I'm not fond of in a female character; but she was a good character none the less. I also liked Audrey she's a bit of a harsh character but you come to sympathise with her throughout the book. Especially having to deal with Sheryl her business arch enemy. John the love interest was a nice character i liked how his job linked him Alice and Audrey together. I didn't think much of kate to start with but she grew on me as she discovered that you never find your perfect man or what you think is perfect.  Kate was supposed to be nearly 35 but she always seemed a lot older than that as she was written. Kate's friend Lou seemed like an unnecessary character; there didn't seem to be a reason for her in the storyline. If anything my favourite character was Johns daughter Emily who didn't really have much of a part.

I thought the flower sending from John to Alice was a lovely touch a lot nicer than red roses and very romantic. The funniest part was Audrey getting her own back on Alice's bike that really made me laugh.

Overall this is a good read and I'm sure a lot of chick lit/Women's fiction readers will enjoy it.

I give Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating 3.5/5

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Novelicious- Just a dream

 Well, I didn't get picked for the top 20 which is very disappointing. Good luck to the lucky 20.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Novelicious competition

Following my previous blog post; the Novelicious competition has now closed. They have had over 200 entrants; which is a lot of stiff competition for me. Now, the judging team has to go through the entrants work and narrow it down to 20 entrants by 24th April.. It's going to be a lottery whether I get picked or not; I just have to hope that, most of ,the other entrants stories are rubbish, lol (no offence my fellow competitors),

Friday, 30 March 2012

A year too long

Wow! I haven't written on here for a whole year; where has the time gone? The worse thing about it being a year is i haven't made any progress in that time. I started writing Megan's Thirty four years ago and I really can't believe it has been that long. In that time, considering I want to get published, I have only sent out my manuscript to one literacy agency. I know, I hear you! you're thinking what an idiot I am; well no more. It's time to get my arse in gear. I've entered a competition on Novelicious  called Novelicious undiscovered. Details can be found here:

I'm really hoping they like my first 3000 words and pick me for the top 20 to be show-cased, fingers crossed. I just don't know how I can cope waiting to see who they pick.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Clodagh Murphy Book Review: Girl In A Spin

Jenny Hannigan might be a good-time party girl, but all she secretly craves is a life of domestic bliss and solid respectability - worlds away from her troubled upbringing back in Ireland.  So when she crashes into the arms of Richard Allam -- the young, handsome, recently separated politician hotly tipped to lead his party to victory in the upcoming election -- she thinks she's found her perfect match. Richard's spin doctor, charismatic publicist Dev Tennant, thinks otherwise.  Charged with putting a positive spin on the relationship, Dev soon discovers that Jenny has more than one skeleton in her closet - and as the election gathers momentum, he is working overtime trying to keep them there. And as Jenny's life starts to spiral out of control, suddenly she isn't sure what she wants anymore.

Clodagh Murphy

Girl in a spin is the follow-up to Clodagh Murphy's debut novel The disengagement ring. I have to confess I didn't read The disengagement ring; but after reading Girl In A Spin it's definitely on my to-buy list. From the very first page this book is easy to get into; with it's behind the scene politics storyline, likable characters and laugh out loud moments this is definitely a page turning must-buy.

Now, I hear you all shout, politics! I admit I thought the same, politics smolitics. But, the politics in this book is told from the protagonists point of view, Jenny.  Jenny is anything but what you would think is the norm for the, soon to be, Prime minister's partner. Jenny is fresh, funny and a bit dippy; she's made her mistakes but you can't help but like and relate to her.

Other main characters include Richard the politician and Dev the Spin doctor. I took an instant dislike to Richard; I don't know why it may be due to the fact I hate politicians in real life. Dev on the other hand  can get a bit narky but it's usually because he cares about people, I really grew to like him. 

Although Jenny doesn't have a family as such she does have her flatmates Liam and Ollie. Both Liam and Ollie are hilarious characters especially Liam who I would quite like to have as a friend, you'll see why when you read the book. Also look out for the stalker club this really made me laugh; a great addition to the book.

Clodagh Murphy is a great talent and I'll definitely be buying future releases.

I give Girl In A Spin

Buy Girl in a spin here

Buy The Disengagement Ring here 



Monday, 14 March 2011

Japan Tsunami Appeal | British Red Cross

Japan Tsunami Appeal | British Red Cross

Monday, 26 July 2010

Q & A with Michele Gorman author of Single in the city

Michele Gorman Author of Single in the city kindly offered to do a Q & A for My Women’s fiction group on Facebook. So here are the answers to your questions and the questions I put to Michele.

1.Chick Lit Author would like to know:
“The book has a great cover. I would like to know: How much input does an author have on the cover design of their book?”

I love the cover too (big thanks to Nellie Ryan and team) and it’s better than anything I could have dreamed up. My fab editor at Penguin did ask for my ideas, which I happily gave, but there’s a reason that I’m the writer and the design team is, well, the design team. So they sensibly went in their own direction with the illustrations, and I think they captured the essence of the book perfectly (I did get them to add the American flag though to the spine, because I thought it was very important to signal that the book has an expat angle). Essentially, when a writer signs a publishing contract she hands over the marketing to the publisher, and things like the cover and the blurb on the back are included within the publisher’s remit.

2.Marian Pearson Stevens Would like to know:
Congrats on your new release, Michele! Can you tell us about the journey of this book? Is this a first sale to this editor? How was the process and time frame? Thanks for the Q and A!

Thanks very much! It is my first sale to this publisher, and indeed, it’s my first sale ever (I wrote three books before Single in the City). So the process has been fascinating to me because I didn’t know what to expect. I chose my (amazing) agent a year ago last December and she put the submission out to around half a dozen publishers. Penguin came back within 48 hours with an offer and I signed my publishing contract at London Fashion Weekend (a fitting venue). That was in March 2009, so it took around 15 months from signature to seeing the book on the shelves. Lots went on in that timeframe. My editor suggested a couple of rounds of edits. These were ‘bigger picture’ edits, i.e. adding a scene, beefing up a character, etc. Then my sub-editor got hold of it and I did an edit for spelling, punctuation, etc. Then it went quiet for a few months before the design team kicked into gear and the cover was produced. Around six months before launch date the proofs were ready, which is the last chance we have to make changes. Things started getting busy a few months before publication, as the sales teams around the world approached the shops and online distributors to get them to stock the book. And my lovely PR and I started pitching article ideas to the papers and magazines to generate publicity. That part of the process is still very much going on, so I’m now focusing on doing features or columns for the papers, and Q & A's like this for the blogs.

3. For those who don’t know could you tell us what Single in the city is about?

Single in the City follows 26 year-old American, Hannah, who lands alone in London only to find that she is totally ill-equipped to live there. Not that a complete lack of forethought has ever stopped her before. She charges headlong into London life, perplexing its residents with continual faux pas and cultural misunderstandings in her pursuit of a new life, new love and sense of herself.

4. Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?

I have a ‘day job’ on Mondays through Wednesdays, so Thursdays and Fridays are writing days. I’m cursed with the inability to sleep late, so am usually up by 7.30 or so. Coffee first, then a jog if I’m feeling energetic, or have a plot problem to work out (I do some of my best thinking while plodding through the park). I generally write for 3 or so hours before lunch, then have a break, and carry on for a few more hours in the afternoon. There’s usually a nap in there somewhere. I like to think it’s necessary for creativity. I don’t have a specific word count that I try to stick to (mainly because I don’t want to beat myself up if I don’t hit it), but am thrilled if I write a couple thousand words in a day. My flat is tiny, but I like to write in different places (even though these places are all about an arm’s-length away from each other). So I might start on the sofa, laptop on lap, then shift to a comfy reading chair, then the dining table. And I often write on my bed if it’s sunny because the light is lovely there in the afternoon.

5. What was your journey to being a published author like?

It was fraught with optimism. I don’t think you can get there if you don’t believe in your writing, and believe that you’ll make it one day. A few years ago I calculated how many hours I’d worked ‘for free’, writing all four books. It worked out to around 6,500 hours. That’s either incredibly optimistic or incredibly misguided. I like to think it’s the former. It’s hard to get those rejection letters (I have more than 60 of them under my belt), but after a while you develop rhinoceros-like skin. And, a bit like falling in love, I think you know when you’ve got a sellable book. I didn’t have total confidence in the first three, but I knew with Single in the City that I was on to something. Once I had the book, I looked for, and found the perfect agent, and she sold it very quickly.

6. What are you working on at the moment?

If Single in the City sells well then I’ve got the follow-up outlined and about a quarter written. I hope I get to do that one, because I’d love to spend some more time with the characters. But that will be a commercial decision that I make with my agent in the next month or so.

I’ve also got a book for an older target market up my sleeve, which is also chick-lit. Most of the books for thirty-something’s seem to involve cheating spouses, body issues, date-hindering children or deafening biological clocks. But there are a lot of women out there who are happy, well-adjusted and independent, in their late 30s, who may not have married yet, or have come out of a relationship, and are optimistic and enthusiastic about their future. There doesn't really seem to be much out there that reflects that kind of character. So I’m writing one. That’s about 50,000 words long so far (I figure it’ll be 80,000 by the time I’m done).

7. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to readers who want to write a novel of their own?

I only realized when it came time to write the synopsis for my first book, a full length novel, that it had no storyline. It was therefore unpublishable. You may not be writing to get published (there are a million reasons to write a book), but even so, presumably you’ll want your book to have a storyline. So do this little exercise. Think about your book idea. Write a single sentence that encapsulates it (for Single in the City this was: American Hannah lands in London to build a new life in a nation that doesn’t always see the funny side of her cultural blunders.). Then expand it into a single paragraph of 3 or 4 sentences. By doing this, you’ll be sure that your book won’t meander off in random directions, because you’ll always know what the essence of the story is, and you can develop your plotlines and characters accordingly.

Also, remember that you don’t have to be published to be a writer. You are a writer if you write.

8. What is your favourite Women’s fiction book of all time and why?

That’s easy. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. Her main character Becky was winsomely ditzy, unerringly funny and the story galloped along, making me want to read it from cover to cover in a single sitting. To me it is the epitome of excellent writing – it seems effortless.

9. Can you tell us how it feels reading reviews, of Single in the City, whether they are good or bad?

I’ve thought a lot about this in the last few months. The way I figure it, if I let the good reviews affect me then I have to let the bad ones do so as well. In both cases they are someone’s honest opinion, so I listen to them, like I do all opinions, but don’t necessarily let those opinions, whether good or bad; dictate how I feel about the book.

Of course, it’s nice to get good reviews!

10. What was it like seeing your book in the shops for the first time?

I literally squealed. And it was even better because my Mom was with me. She’d flown over from the States for the launch party, and I was dropping her off at Heathrow the day after the launch. We went into the WHSmith in the T5 check-in concourse and there was Single in the City, right on the front sale table! A young couple, looking at the books on the table, were clearly startled by my commotion, and even more so when Mom forced them to hold up the book so she could take our picture together. I have the photo, labelled ‘Day 1’, framed on my table. The poor couple are probably still recovering from the American onslaught.

11. Lisa Heidke would like to know: I'd love to know what kind of publicity/promotion Michele is doing for her book. How involved is she with that side of things. Thanks, Lisa

The short answer is that I'm doing all the promotion I possibly can, using every medium available. As a debut writer, there isn't a marketing budget for the book, so no advertisement at all.

However, I have a fabulous PR at Penguin who has taken me on as her personal project :-) She's managed to get me three kinds of publicity so far: features for me to write in magazines and newspapers (Cosmo, Telegraph, Guardian, Scotsman, etc), Q & A's on women's fiction blog sites, and interviews in a couple of newspapers. We're hoping for some radio and TV coming up. At the same time I've contacted all of the book clubs and women's clubs in London offering to come talk to them, either about the book or about writing in general, and have emailed hundreds of expat women living in the UK to introduce the book and ask them to recommend it to their friends if they like it. I also put out a chain letter email with the first couple chapters attached for free to 800 friends and colleagues, asking them to pass the email on to everyone they think might like the book. And I've been in touch with lots of blogs and Facebook interest groups to introduce the book and offer to do some writing for them. Basically, even with the best PR people in the world, the writer needs to hit the streets (not literally - that would be another kind of book) and market, market, market. Hope that helps! And best of luck with 'Lucy' and 'Kate'! Mx

I’d like to give Michele a big thank you for the Q & A and wish her luck with Single in the city xx.

Single in the city on sale now.




Michele's website

Wednesday, 30 June 2010


I'm gutted and a bit fed up. I just received my first rejection letter from Darley Anderson. It took them just one week to say thanks but no thanks; which either means they are very efficient or my book is a load of crap.