2014 Our Writing Process Blog Hop

Introducing the hop: 

Writer’s write, that’s what we do. Find out why and how in this new Blog Hop for 2014:

Hello! And welcome to my spot on the 2014 Writing Process Blog Spot!

Huuuuge thanks to J.R. Richardson, my beautiful and talented friend Jo for linking me into this hop! And a quick plug for her book. . . just because I am super excited to read it and I want you to read it to. . . Cursed be the Wicked comes out the first week in March. You can pop over to Jo’s Blog here to find out more.

Anyway, back to the hop. We have been asked four questions about how and why we write. So here it goes, and in true Anna Bloom style I will try and keep it honest!

1) What am I working on right now

Well now. . . I am kind of in-between projects, which in many ways is great but in many others, really bloody annoying.

Let me explain. I’ve just finished Gone – my New Adult novel and I have sent it to my beta readers so, I am waiting with baited breath while I find out if it is any good or not! I’ve been fiddling with a final blurb… messing about with the editing, that kind of thing, but I am trying very hard not to fiddle. It’s kind of hard. When I finish writing a book I get the worst writing hangover, the characters really linger in my mind, and this is normally when I start dreaming up ideas for a sequel.

I guess that this is a great opportunity to announce that Gone will have a sequel. Home will be released probably next spring, and I am rather excited to take the story to the next level.

I gave away a little Gone teaser on Valentines Day from Bex’s POV but especially for this blog hop I am going to give away a little more from Joshua’s perspective.

* * *

Walking down the lane from the pub I decide to take a detour to the beach. The light is fading but it is just enough that I can make my way down the path without landing on my face.

I spend a lot of time at the beach at night. This isn’t like the beach in Newquay which is filled with drunks every night attempting to get it on. Our quiet beach in St Agnes is perfect for a solitary ten minutes. If I go home now I know Aunt May will be twitching around me like she has the last half a year. She doesn’t know what to say to help my get out of the ‘phase’ I’m going through. Six months in, I think we can rule out the chance of it being a phase. This is just me. I’m a guy without a plan. Aunt May tries, but having her wandering around wringing her hands, asking me every three minutes if I’m hungry and need some food is not a relaxing way to spend an evening.

I walk down onto the sand and see someone sitting on my rock. That’s just plain rude, everyone knows it’s mine.

I edge myself closer, slipping off my flip flops, sinking my toes into the cool sand, as I walk down the beach trying to get close enough to investigate without being seen.

It’s her. The holiday maker.

I stop.

I want to move my feet in the opposite direction but they won’t listen. Instead I stand there, looming behind her on the sand, like an axe murderer.

“I can see your silhouette in the sand.”

Busted.

“What are you doing?” On my rock?

“Thinking. What are you doing?”

“Thinking too.”

“That’s nice.”

“Yes it is.”

I stand there like a turd working out what to say next. “Nice bangles.”

“Thanks.”

“Why so many.”

“None of your business dreadlock boy.”

“Well you’re a charmer aren’t you?”

“I was sitting here first. You’re the one with the stalking, stealth-like sand walk.”

“It’s my rock.”

It’s my rock? It’s my rock? Really. . .?

She does not say anything. Let’s be realistic, there is not much to say to that comment. She just sits there looking out to the sea, and I stand there my feet sunk into the cool sand.

“I like your dreadlocks,” she says finally after an age has passed.

“Thanks. They’re a lifestyle choice.”

She turns to look at me and for a moment, just one brief moment my mind swirls with colours. The make-up is gone and the waning sun illuminates her skin.

I should walk away. I don’t talk to holiday makers unless I’m taking their money in the shop.

I don’t.

Instead I fold my legs and sit on the sand, my fingers automatically picking up a splinter of driftwood, I cast my eyes up at the sun and then I start to draw.

* * *

2) How does my work differ from others in the genre?

Ooh, well this is a bit of a tricky question. Um. Well. Uh. . .

Okay, I think my work differs from others in the genre, because where a lot of NA is very much sex on the page, and sex first story after, I personally have a bit of trouble crafting a story like that.  I always try and keep my stories character driven. Even Gone which is ever so slightly sexier than The Uni File Series, I still concentrate on the dialogue and motion of the plot and only add the other (squishy) stuff if I think the story warrants it.

3) Why do I write what I do

cartoon immageI love writing stories, scenes even, that I know I expect to effect the reader in a certain way. When I was writing The Art of Letting Go I knew there were certain moments that really made me feel something deep. Finding out that it effects others the same way gives me more satisfaction than I ever thought possible. That is why I write what I do. It is very empowering. Very.

4) How does my writing process work

It involves a lot of pacing. A lot of singing. A lot of daydreaming, and a lot of                                                                                                                  middthe.it.crowd.s03e05.ws.pdtv.xvid-river 032le of the night epiphanies.

Now for my Author Linkypoos

I get to chose three authors whose work I think you should read.

First up has to be Laura Beege.

Laura Beege

Laura’s  novel These Things About Us made me insanely jealous because I wished I’d written it, and I am not teasing with this statement. I read These Things About Us in one night, I literally could not put it down. I am so glad I am friends with her now because then I won’t have to lock her in a cupboard before her next book comes out.

You can find Laura’s blog here and I know I can’t wait to read her answers next week.

Next is Kellie Wallace

Kellie Wallace

 Kellie writes a such vast range of books, I don’t know how she manages it! To mix genre’s like that is a skill I could never learn. My Aussie writer buddy will be posting her four answers next week here and I am hoping she is going to reveal the secret of how she does it.

 Last up is Patricia W. Fischer

patricia

Firstly Patricia writes about cowboys! Sorry let me say that again, Patricia writes about HOT COWBOYS – so that is an instant plus in my view. Secondly, Patricia has had the most amazing journey to becoming a writer. . . waitress. . . bartender. . .  bill-collector. . .  bank teller . . . clerk at Blockbuster Video . . . dishwasher . . . prep-cook. . . a wanna be crypto-zoologist. . . pediatric and adult trauma/critical care nurse for 10 years. . . AND THEN FINALLY A WRITER! Wow! With experience like that Patricia has a lot to base her book on!

You can link up with Patricia’s answers next week here.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed my insight into my writing process.

Valentines Exclusive from The Art of Keeping Faith

Just in case anyone thought I had forgotten about Ben and Lilah on Valentines Day . . . Well nope. I haven’t.

Here is an exclusive from the upcoming The Art of Keeping Faith; Year Two of The Uni Files.

I may not send everyone a smoochie card with chocolates and roses, but I do give you Ben Chambers, with the Gibson, at Trafalgar. And that has surely got to count for something!

Valentines Bloody Day

 

ImageIt’s not a great start to the day of hell; the thudding white wine headache is enough to put anyone in a foul mood.  I stayed up far too late drinking with the girls and Meredith and Tristan who arrived home from somewhere or another.

I was secretly waiting up hoping Ben might call.

He didn’t.

Now I am in a mood. A bad one.

Ugh! Fucking Tristan, there is a post-it stuck to my forehead. I swear on my life I am going to staple one onto his knob one of these days.

What the hell!

It just says Trafalgar in Ben’s handwriting.

I scramble into their room.

“What is this?” I scream at ear splitting volume.

They both shrug but Meredith is grinning so wide that she has to hide her face under the duvet.

“Is Ben here?”

Tristan shrugs. “Guess you’ll have to go and find out.”

Oh my fucking God. Ben is here.

I am halfway down the garden path when I realise I still have my pyjama’s on.

Fuck it.

Ten minutes later

Major wardrobe malfunction. I have no clean clothes at all, so I am wearing jeans with a smelly milk (cereal) stain down the front and one of Ben’s old hoodies that I have kept stashed.

Who gives a shit, Ben is here.

One Hour later

It has taken me the best part of an hour to get to Trafalgar. The London Transport system did everything that it could to stand in my way, but I am not to be defeated.

I run from Victoria in the end. It was either that or commandeer a Tube, or, punch one of those useless London Underground operatives in their fluorescent orange jackets, but I figured both of these may end in me being taken down to the local nick as opposed to seeing Ben.

I am dashing across the square. I know exactly where he will be, on the fountain, the fountain where we have had so many important conversations. But as I limp closer I see an enormous crowd around where I think he is going to be.

I scan the rest of the square but cannot see him.

I didn’t make a mistake did I? It wasn’t an old post-it note that fluttered down from who knows where and stuck itself to my forehead whilst I was in my white wine coma.

No. Can’t be. Meredith was grinning like a buffoon.

Then it’s my turn to grin like a buffoon as the crowd shifts slightly and I can see Ben sitting in the middle of it, his long legs stretched out, a baseball cap pulled low over his dark hair, and the Gibson across his lap.

My mouth goes dry and I automatically start to walk towards him. The blues find me instantly, flicking over my outfit as they watch me approach. His lips curve into a small half lip hitch.

I make my way through the crowd using my elbows to push people out of the way until I am standing right in front of him.

My mouth is so dry I can’t even speak, but he reaches his right hand towards mine and stands, pulling me in close. Slowly his free hand slides along my throat, his thumb tracing under my chin and grazing my lower lip as he leans in towards me.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Delilah,” he says, lips against my own.

I don’t bother saying anything back, let’s be honest I couldn’t even if I tried. I just kiss him, wedging the Gibson between us as I move myself closer and closer entwining my fingers in the hair at the base of his neck.

The crowd don’t move they just stand there and gawp.

Eventually after what feels like a lifetime he pulls away and the blues dance in the sunlight as a full on smile lights up his face.

“Happy Valentine’s Day Ben,” I say at last.

 We both start to giggle and his fingers link their way through mine. Home.

It’s perfect.

Well it’s perfect until a fifteen year old with braces pushes her head between us and thrusts a piece of paper under Ben’s nose and blabbers something about a signature.

“Did you bring your fans?” I ask. . . 

 

And that’s it. . . The Art of Keeping Faith will be out beginning of April 2014.x

***Introducing New Novel***

ImageHere it is. The moment I have been waiting what feels like months for. . . 

As it’s Valentines Day I could think of no better day to announce my upcoming New Adult Contemporary Romance novel.

This book has been about a year in the making, but is now finally entering into the editing stages and will have a June release date.

I still don’t want to give too much away plot wise, but what I can say is that this storyline means a lot to me. It deals with a number of sensitive issues, and hope that I have given them the respect and sensitivity that they deserve.

Introducing Gone:

Some secrets define you, others destroy you. Theirs could make them lose everything they ever wanted.

Rebecca Walters has been moved to St Agnes in Cornwall by her parents to escape the bad lifestyle choices she has been making. She has two weeks to prove that she can improve her behaviour and act like a grown-up and then her parents will let her move back to the city and pay for her tuition fees at University.

Joshua Adams is an artist who no longer paints and wastes his days surfing on the local beach, while trying to ignore the holiday makers who invade his home town every summer. Joshua has no plans to be anywhere or do anything ever again, especially not waste his time with someone who will be gone in two weeks.

A chance meeting on darkened beach changes the course of both of their lives in ways they never expected. As they deal with their instant attraction and their secrets start to unravel, both the boy made out of the moon and the girl made of the sun start to realise that something’s you get to keep and other things were always meant to be ‘Gone.’

Told in a split POV ‘Gone’ counts down a two week summer holiday to remember and tells the poignant tale of two lost souls who find each other, love each other, and ultimately face losing each other.

* * * 

And a teaser?? Oh go on then:

Josh-u-a swings out of the car and heads around to my side. I’m not expecting him to open the door for me, otherwise I would have made sure to get out of the car independently first. As it is, he cranks open the door and leans across my body to release my seatbelt.

I swear on my life I can’t help myself, and I only do it because I have always thought of dreadlocks as being really dirty, but I move forward ever so slightly and smell his neck.

He doesn’t smell dirty. He smells like the sea, sun and mint all rolled into one.

“Did you just sniff my neck?”

“What a ridiculous thing to say.” His green eyes dance in the sunlight and I feel a hot blush spread up my neck and over my face.

Grabbing my hand and sliding his fingers through mine he waits for me to jump down from the camper. I have no idea what the hand holding is about, but it has been so damn long since I had anyone try, I clasp my fingers around his tight in response, like a natural survival instinct.

We walk around the back of the van our hands swinging between us. I notice that he is looking at my shoulders and the string of my bikini which is poking out from under my vest top.

“Have you got a cream on?”

“Pardon me? We’re only holding hands.”

Josh-u-a’s lips twitch a little and he nods his head towards our hands. “I know. I meant do you have sun cream on? I think you might need it.”

“Oh. Uh. Yeah. Thanks.” 

“Don’t want to ruin that skin.” Tugging on my fingers he pulls me around closer to him, so we are face to face, and his mouth lowers to my exposed shoulder. Before I can even react his lips gently graze over my skin.

I jump away instantly. “What you doing?”

“Smelling you.”

“What?”

“You did it to me.”

“I did bloody not.”

“Yeah you did. What do I smell like?”

“I have no idea. What do I smell like?”

“I’m not telling.”

Josh-u-a releases my hand and starts to unstrap the boards from the top of the van. I watch while the knot of anxiety that started to unravel earlier during the journey comes back with a vengeance. This time it feels different, more intense, a low slow burn.

I don’t know what is causing it but as he easily hoists both boards under one arm and reaches casually for my hand with his other I lock it away as I always do.

It’s just a surf lesson. There can’t be anything wrong with that can there?

* * * 

And here is a song. Just because there always is.