Saturday, 18 August 2012

Chapters, proofreading and Pemberley

Good evening, sorry again for a late up-date but I was out enjoying myself with other writers so please forgive me, us.
Today, I attended my very first Romantic Novelists’ Association ‘Chapter’ meeting in Birmingham – basically the local members in this area met informally for a catch up and a meal. Before attending I only knew one member, the organiser, who I’d bumped into at the RNA conference back in July – today, I met seven other members, who were a delight. We met at midday and lunched/chatted until half two when we each went our separate ways – but boy, did we get through some topics in such a short time. One member brought along a proof copy of his book which he has self-published – I hung onto his every word as he explained how he did it. I was so impressed with his efforts and results! Other members explained about their writing journey and recent New Writer Scheme submissions and the feedback reports. Other member shared her positive feedback from two publishers – which is always nice to hear from a fellow writer. All in all, we had delightful meeting and catch up and I can’t wait for the next one in November. I had a personal delight - several members had remembered my name from the conference which just adds to the ‘magic’ of networking.

My week has been a tough slog of proofreading 73 chapter of my 80 chapter manuscript -yes, just seven to go! I have literally sat and read my book aloud to the dog!!! I spotted and corrected typos/punctuation as I went. I also picked up on my over use of the term ‘OK’ – which I addressed throughout the manuscript, it was getting on my nerves so it certainly would have annoyed others whilst reading. To be fair, I have found the process of the last three weeks tough in regards the hours I’ve dedicated to the job. As a teacher I do about fifty hours a week, as a fulltime writer (which I am when on school holidays) it is nearer sixty/seventy!!! I kid you not, I have spent so long sitting down that I have begun to ‘set’ on some days. But hey, it is all necessary to push me towards a polished manuscript and publication.

Wednesday night, I met up with a fellow writer friend who now resides in Prague. He was on a fleeting visit to the UK, so me and Mal Dewhirst opted for a meet-up. We didn’t critique work but instead sat and chatted about anything g literature – what an indulgent time we had!!! I truly miss the days when we exchanged news and views about the publishing world focusing on anything and everything other that our own work.

I had hoped to have started reading Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol’ by now, but as mentioned last week hubby is currently reading the text and so, I having finished reading Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’ had to seek elsewhere. Where better than PD James ‘Death come to Pemberley’, now, if you follow this blog you’ll know Austen is one of my passions (I know, I have far too many) and so far, I haven’t been disappointed. The plot picks up where Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ finishes and with the addition twist of James’ criminal mind has evolved an excellent read. I won’t ruin it for others but it is very obvious James’ also has a lifelong obsession with Austen. I highly recommend it.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @odwyer_author to receive random updates throughout my creative week. Please pass my blog to anyone who might be interested. Enjoy!

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