Sunday, 22 October 2017

Top 11 Signs You're Living in a Romance Novel

First of all, no genre is cliché free.

And just because a plot is considered cliché, it doesn't mean no one wants to read it. On the contrary, commercial fiction is popular because the familiarity of the stories make them easy to digest. We tend to gravitate toward the cliché novels because we know we'll enjoy the story.  

So please read the following list with a grain of salt, and tongue firmly placed in cheek.

Top 11 Signs You're Living in a Romance Novel


#1. The hot new guy in your office ignores your brilliant charisma and instead zeroes in on the shy girl with mousy brown hair who never wears make up and keeps breaking the photocopier.

#2. All of your roommates are either working late, running out the door to go clubbing, or are too sick to notice that the sexy neighbor who just moved in may or may not be a werewolf.


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#3. Your best friend has been the same guy since grade one—even though no one ever stays best friends that long. Plus, you've secretly developed a crush on him.

#4. The most gorgeous girl in the office is also the meanest.

#5. Your best friend from #3 starts to date the girl from #4. You're upset, but not enough to tell him the truth because that would make NO SENSE AT ALL. Instead, you plan an elaborate ruse to win him over that blows up in your face the night of the Christmas office party.


#6. Your other best friend is a fashion diva, loves 80's music, and always has cookie dough in her fridge. Plus, she curses a lot.

#7. On vacation you have an impulsive yet mind blowing affair with a mysterious stranger, only to return to work to discover he's your new boss.


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#8. The seductive, sex crazed trainer at your gym suddenly decides the nondescript girl from your local coffee shop is the one for him and turns into an overnight Romeo, swearing off sex to prove his true love to her.

#9. All it takes to make you over into a super model is a pair of contacts and a hair straightener—and of course the right dress borrowed from best friend from #6.

#10. You hate him and everything he stands for, but because you're broke (and secretly need to flee the country) you agree to marry your best friend's brother in order to comply with the stipulation of his late father's will.


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#11. While on the ski trip your sister won through a singing contest, you get separated from her during a storm and end up stranded inside a remote cabin with a chiselled ski instructor with amazingly minty breath.


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BONUS!!!! Every hot guy has amazing abs and green eyes, however statistically suspicious that may be.

I hope you enjoyed this quirky list! Feel free to check out this excerpt from THE RIGHT FIT, a book that's as easy to digest as pumpkin pie and will leave you twice as satisfied.

Monday, 16 October 2017

6 Essential Elements Your Romance Novel Needs

What's your favourite romance novel? Now think of your favourite scene from that novel. Is it the ending when, despite the obstacles, both leads get their happily ever after? Or is it the first kiss...or the first fight?


Regardless, there are more players on stage and circumstances that helped create the tension/opportunity/obstacle that led to your favourite scene.

Here are a few handy tips for making sure your own romance story has the right support system for those unforgettable scenes!
  

Six Essential Elements Your Romance Novel Needs


1. The Rival

There needs to be a rival for the protagonist’s romantic intentions, but this doesn't necessarily mean a love triangle. This could be someone who takes time away from the romantic interest as well.

In my contemporary romance, The Right Fit, Antony is desperate to reconnect with Maxine, but his brother Marc is a controller and feels it's his responsibility to shape Antony into a successful pro-hockey player, regardless of what Antony truly desires.

2. Helpers vs Harmers


As you can guess, helpers are characters who assist in enabling the relationship grow while harmers are motivated to keep the couple apart. It should be noted that a helper can sometimes unwittingly become a harmer. It's common in romantic comedies to have a character who is truly invested in the couple's happiness, but ends up becoming bad luck by always doing or saying the wrong thing at the worst time, thereby taking the role of harmer.

In my novel, Maxine has enthusiastic support from her younger sister. However, in the end it's her own self doubt that is the most destructive harmer to her relationship with Antony.

3. External Need


This mechanism acts as a motivation that brings the two characters together.

As an example, Antony is certain his new found luck on the ice is entirely due to his one night with Maxine. Desperate to stay in the professional hockey league to pay his brother's medical bills and support them both, Antony pursues Maxine at all costs, including keeping his true identity a secret. As a result Maxine is overwhelmed by his attention and begins to believe she can love again after having her heart broken by her ex-fiancé.





4. Secrets


One or both leads are keeping something from the other. The motivation for not telling the truth must be greater than the risk to the relationship.

In The Right Fit, Antony is not only keeping his true identity a secret, but also the fact that he considers Maxine his good luck charm and is using her to keep his hockey career on course. Meanwhile, Maxine considers Antony a rebound, as a way of getting her confidence back and helping her forget about her ex.

However, it's important to acknowledge that characters often lie to themselves to justify their actions/decisions.


5. Rituals


These are the cute little idiosyncrasies a couple naturally develops with each other, those shared intimacies that only they know about.

It's most effective to use when the couple is apart and something triggers the memory for one of the leads. This can motivate a change of heart at the realization that they truly need that person in their life. *cue the rush to the airport to stop their true love from leaving forever*

As a result of mistaken identity, Maxine assumes Antony's name is Ace. This leads to a nickname which creates a moment like the one described above as the name 'Ace' pops up when Maxine least expects it.   
Maxine rolled her eyes and instead told her to pick out a nail color for them both. It was a bright ruby shade and when Maxine looked at the name on the bottom of the bottle, her heart filled and then slowly deflatedAce of Hearts.


6. Moral Weight

In essence, the moral weight is how the lovers changed for the better over the course of the novel. It's always satisfying for the reader if the ending scene is a mirror opposite to the beginning where their flaws were highlighted.

At the beginning of The Right Fit, Maxine was still trying to find a way back into her ex-fiancé's arms convinced he was the only man she could have a life with. And Antony was carrying a secret guilt fueled by the belief he didn't deserve to be loved. By the end of the story, Maxine realizes she's beautiful and desirable enough for any man and Antony's past sins didn't preclude him from happiness.





Thanks for reading. I hope you found this useful! Happy writing! Please enjoy the book trailer for THE RIGHT FIT.









Tuesday, 26 September 2017

My Latest Publishing Venture

I'm a big supporter of sharing my work online. As some of you know, I almost gave up on writing and then I discovered Wattpad...you can read about that here.

Now, seven published novels later, I'm excited to be partaking in Swoon Reads!

What is Swoon Reads you ask?

It's pretty cool, actually. Like Wattpad, stories are posted on their site for free. Then readers can comment and vote, letting the Swoon Reads Staff know which books are resonating with the reading community, thereby helping them find their next author! But don't take my word for it, here's their twitter bio.

We publish the latest and greatest in YA fiction with the help of readers and writers like you, because we believe that great books are better shared. 

Yes, books really are better shared! My mantra.

I've submitted my latest manuscript, NEVER ONCE to Swoon Reads, hoping it finds a loyal following to enchant and charm the pants off.



Hmm...sorry? What's my book about? Oh, right.

*clears throat* It's a gender swapped retelling of Cinderella with a sci-fi twist.

*cues epic romantic soundtrack with an underlying impish beat in the strings section*


As heir to an impoverished planet, eighteen-year-old Princess Tianna is forced to select a husband from an array of interplanetary suitors to ensure a viable future for her people. But instead of choosing a wedding gown, she steals a spaceship determined to flee the arranged marriage.

Tired of being treated like a slave at his stepfather’s android repair shop, Sinter trades in his safety goggles for a tailored suit and executes a daring escape, only to end up stowing away in Princess Tianna's ship by mistake. 

Sparks fly as the two opposites battle wits, but they soon realize their schemes of escape come at a dangerous price when they inadvertently uncover a plot to overthrow the monarchy. As they work together to expose the mysterious rebel leader, Tianna and Sinter are surprised to find they share an unexplainable bond and soon their attraction is too great to resist.

Racked with guilt, Sinter decides to reveal his true identity on the night of the ball, but testing Tianna’s affections will cause a deadly chain of events to unfold because the rebels are plotting an assassination and the hired killer is the very last person he suspects.

WHEE!!! How can you resist?

Guess what, you don't have to! Head over to Swoon Reads at this link right HERE and you can start reading Never Once speedy quick.

Psst...don't forget to rate the story and comment.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Top 6 Reasons Why Real Teens Could Never Solve A Mystery

No offense to the queen herself, Nancy Drew...


OR these guys...




Disclaimer: I'm basing this opinion from observing my own teens and their friends. Don't get me wrong, these are lovely thoughtful kids...most of the time. And I truly believe they will contribute to society...at some point.

BUT! As I write the fourth book in the Nefertari Hughes series, I realize a lot of the skills Terry has to use in order to put clues together and solve the mystery are totally lacking in most the kids I know.

So plant your tongue firmly in your cheek and enjoy the top 6 reasons why real teens could never solve a mystery.

1.  They'll never be able to break into a safe to read a crucial document because they can't even figure out a combination lock when they have the actual combination. Seriously, the first day of junior high is basically everyone trying to open their locker.

2. Taking pictures of the suspect doing something suspicious is impossible for today's teens because no one knows how to work the camera unless it's used to take a selfie.

3. They would never be able to impersonate someone on the phone in order to trick the suspect into confessing incriminating information because they don't have telephone skills such as dialing and knowing how to ask for someone.

4. They don't have the stamina for a foot race to catch the suspect because they're so used to being chauffeured to all their activities. Plus, someone always needs to stop into Starbucks.

5. Confronting the suspect is out of the question. That would mean talking with someone face to face and reading their body language which would require listening and paying attention.

6. Unless it's on Google maps, no one is going to be able to find the hidden treasure.

BONUS! If they find a clue written in cursive—nope, just forget it.

I hope you enjoyed this. Any other suggestions?




Friday, 8 September 2017

Review: A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang

A Beautiful Poison
by Lydia Kang


Blurb:

Just beyond the Gilded Age, in the mist-covered streets of New York, the deadly Spanish influenza ripples through the city. But with so many victims in her close circle, young socialite Allene questions if the flu is really to blame. All appear to have been poisoned—and every death was accompanied by a mysterious note.

Desperate for answers and dreading her own engagement to a wealthy gentleman, Allene returns to her passion for scientific discovery and recruits her long-lost friends, Jasper and Birdie, for help. The investigation brings her closer to Jasper, an apprentice medical examiner at Bellevue Hospital who still holds her heart, and offers the delicate Birdie a last-ditch chance to find a safe haven before her fragile health fails.

As more of their friends and family die, alliances shift, lives become entangled, and the three begin to suspect everyone—even each other. As they race to find the culprit, Allene, Birdie, and Jasper must once again trust each other, before one of them becomes the next victim



My review! 5 Stars

With pre-prohibition New York as a backdrop, this murder mystery is layered with luscious settings and unsavoury characters who are perfectly flawed and despairingly human in their sense of want and rationalisation.

Between history and chemistry lessons, Kang effortlessly weaves a story of betrayal and guilt through the varied points of view of the three main characters. Part Sherlock, part Agatha Christie, and part tragic romance, A Beautiful Poison hits all the right notes, leaving the reader satisfied, but with a melancholy weight that accompanies the sorrowful calamity at the end.

From the crystal chandeliers of Upper Manhattan to the crowded and pungent tenements in Brooklyn, Ms. Kang's mystery feeds off the desperation of its characters, pulling the reader in further until you have no choice but to gasp at the final reveal.

An excellent read for those who enjoy a richly imagined world with textured writing and characters who slip under your skin like a tiny splinter—whether you like it or not.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Review: The Visitors by Catherine Burns



THE VISITORS
by Catherine Burns

Can you escape the darkness within?




Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar.

Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden.

As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn't the only one with a dark side
.



My Review! 5 Stars


They could be anyone’s neighbors…

Although a middle aged spinster living with her domineering older brother in their parents crumbling manor, Marion Zetland sees the world through the eyes of her much younger self. Content to sleep in the attic on a bed covered in dusty teddys she calls her only friends, she ignores the echoes of screams from the basement, justifying every action and choice with her unique sense of reasoning and personal pity. And it’s soon apparent that in Marion’s world, she’s not the only one with a warped sense of right and wrong.
In Catherine Burns’ debut, the reader is treated to a slow burning psychological thriller that moves seamlessly between the subtly creepy present and the tragic flashbacks that border on skin crawling tragedy. The reader will judge for themselves if Marion is a victim or not, however one thing is certain, THE VISITORS will linger in the shadows and under the bed long after the last page is turned.
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for giving me an advanced, complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.  



Sunday, 25 June 2017

An Easy Way To Find The Premise of Your Story

The premise of your story is the back bone of the novel and helps keep you focused while writing. It's also helpful when you have an idea and want to flesh it out.

Plus, it gives you a quick answer to that dreaded question;

"So what's your book about?"


But before you write a knock out premise, you need to identify the major story elements, which are:
  • Character
  • Situation
  • Objective
  • Opponent
  • Disaster

1. Character: pretty straight forward here, it's your protagonist.

2. Situation: This includes setting and external forces, ie: what kind of life does your MC have? Do they live in a futuristic version of New York or a stately English manor in the late 1800's.

3. Objective: What does your MC want?

4. Opponent: CONFLICT! What is preventing your MC from getting what they want.

5. Disaster: Identify the worst thing that can happen to your characters. It can't be rosy on the road to their goal. There should be something hanging over their heads as they navigate their way through the story.

Now that we're all on the same page, let's CREATE THAT PREMISE!

Basically, you're going to bind all those elements together in one sentence, and that my friends, is the premise of your story.

This is very handy for when people ask you what your story is about, you'll have a quick answer that makes you sound like bourbon and evening jackets.

As an example I'm going to use an idea that's been kicking around in my head for a new YA mystery. Let's start with the 5 major elements.

Character: Drusilla Timmons, 19, fake medium
Objective: restore reputation and get rich
Situation: England mid 1800s
Opponent: Murderer
Disaster: ghosts 

Now, let's put it together using this formula:

Situation > Character > Goal > Opponent > Disaster

When her fake séance is raided, con-artist Drusilla Timmons loses credibility and desperately accepts the task of helping a handsome widower find his bride's murderer, but when she visits the reclusive manor the wife's ghost is suddenly real and the bloody finger is pointing at the husband.

Or you can frame it as a question:


In a reclusive English manor, fake medium Drusilla Timmons needs to pull off the séance of her career to help bring a killer to light, but when the ghosts are suddenly real can Drusilla keep her wits and solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim?

I hope this helps! Have fun writing your premise!




Thursday, 15 June 2017

3 Traits Your Villain and Hero Should Share






A great way to show this in your story is to showcase the following elements that both your hero and villain should share.

1. Personality

We all have unique personalities. Some days we're awesome and some days we're quick to temper and kind of miserable.

When writing your villain, you're actually using the personality of the hero, but spotlighting all less desirable traits, thereby showing what your hero could become if he makes the wrong choices and vice versa.  


In the Harry Potter series, Malfoy is basically the snobbish rich kid, but deep down he's insecure and wishes to be the best wizard. He tries to accomplish this by cheating and buying his way through school, but Harry has to rely on skill and hard work.

2. Values

Heroes and villains can have the same value systems, in fact stories are richer for it as opposed to having a soulless bad guy. The reader will have a greater connection with the villain if his motives feel rational. When both the villain and the hero fight for what they believe in the drama is two fold.



Consider, Anne of Green Gables, Anne perceives Gilbert her main competition in the classroom, however even though they both work hard for their grades, Gilbert takes a more cheeky approach to Anne's more serious attitude. This results in making her infuriated, creating perfect drama in their shared scenes.

3. Goals

This is probably the most dramatic trait you can create between your protagonist and antagonist. A shared goal is what creates conflict and provides a reason why these two characters keep crossing paths.



In the comedy, Pitch Perfect, our heroine's choir is up against two other groups (one cheating and the other is unworthy) for the illustrious grand prize.

Why is this important?

Because the easiest way to get to know your characters is to find out what they want and why. In order to create worthy opponents start making a list of the things they have in common. You'll discover this provides a framework for adding depth to your characters and the plot.


Who are some of your favourite hero and villain pairings?



Thursday, 1 June 2017

Five Favourite Things I Just Discovered


Here are five things I recently discovered that are amazing and might make your life more fun too!

1. Audiobook SYNC

Listening to a good story on the commute to work fuels me for the day. Free audiobooks for teens (or anyone else who wants to read/listen to really good books) all summer long. Check them out here!



2. Cabbage Patch Kimchi

Seriously, I love this stuff, especially with rice and chicken or even on buttered bread. It's good for sore joints (yes, I have sore joints) and makes you super healthy or something like that. I get mine from the Farmer's Market. Here's the website.



image by Katie Power

3. Fresh flowers

Okay, I know this isn't a new thing, but it's been a long winter.

Bringing an armful of lilacs or a few sprigs of lily of the valley into my house not only freshens the air but instantly soothes the atmosphere. It's impossible to be grumpy around fresh flowers.

Studies show that people who smell fresh flowers in the morning have a 43% higher chance of falling in love that day or winning the lottery.




4. Meditation

Even if you're only doing ten minutes a day, take the time to clear your head of every thought except, breath in, breath out. You'll discover this daily exercise heightens your awareness and improves fatigue. Plus, you'll most likely come up with a solution to that pesky issue you've been stressing about.

5. Departures

This series on Netflix has become a favourite with me and my son. Psst...we're only on Season 1 so no spoilers in the comments... ;)



This is a travel show like no other. Scott and Justin travel the world for a year, staying mostly with friends living abroad or camping. It's the opposite of glamour, but is rich with unique excursions that only locals would know giving you, the viewer, an authentic experience as if you've ventured along with them.
Learn more here.






Sunday, 28 May 2017

Book Launch DIADEM OF DEATH

It's been over a month since DIADEM OF DEATH was launched so I guess it's time to post a few photos...

I had the lucky fortune to share the launch with my Blue Moon Publishing sibling, Mark Burley!



The staff at Halifax Chapters were exceptionally enthusiastic and helped Mark and I launch our books in style!




This is me reading with my eyes closed, which is a talent not many people have.




Mark and I signing copies and feeling like real author people.




Mark doesn't have the ability to read with his eyes closed (like me) and not only that, he also needs glasses ;)




But enough about us, here are the real stars, the books themselves...

                   



"Eric - Mom and Dad are gone. I don't know what happened, but I'm going to find out."Eric might not be getting along with his family - or anyone else, for that matter - but he's pretty sure a boarding school in another country isn't the answer. Skilled in parkour, running helps him deal. So be it, he decides. Do the time and get out. Flow like water. But when he gets a cryptic message from his brother telling him their parents have been abducted, and then his brother disappears, he realises they weren't punishing him, they were hiding him. To find them, Eric has to discover the secrets of his parents' research, but the conspiracy he uncovers threatens more than just his family. With help from unlikely new friends, a hack-first-ask-questions-later approach to computers, and a dangerous plan, he soon learns that some secrets don't want to be found, and others have a way of revealing themselves at all the wrong times.


(A NEFERTARI HUGHES MYSTERY #2)




Nefertari "Terry" Hughes is looking forward to spending the school break with her boyfriend, but when her archaeologist father announces he?s working on a project that will take him to Egypt, all hopes of having a romantic summer are buried.Terry accompanies her father to Alexandria where she?s reunited with her first crush, Awad-all grown up and an expert in translating hieroglyphics. He confides that the team is in a race to find Cleopatra?s lost tomb before a secret band of rebels steals Egypt?s last Pharaoh and her diadem.But sabotage and a deadly accident put everyone on high alert, and Terry isn?t sure whom to trust. As the line between ally and enemy begins to blur, Terry has to keep her wits about her and figure out who wants the diadem badly enough to kill.







Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Best Writing Advice I Ever Received


Writing can be a solitary adventure— which is exactly the way we writers like it!
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By nature, most writers are introverts and enjoy the company of being alone with their characters. But every once in a while we need a little wisdom to help us along this winding path to the bookstore shelves.

I’ve been writing for ten years and have published seven novels. Over this time I’ve collected a few tidbits of advice. Some I’ve found through others and some are from my own experience. I hope one of these resonate with you.

1. Try to write every day even if it’s only one page. All those pages add up and it helps foster the habit of getting words on paper in a timely fashion.

2. Write the book of your heart and take as long as you need.

3. Ignore trends. Write what you love, what you want to read.

4. Don’t edit while you’re writing. This is the most free your writing will be, let it flow. Even misspelled words, leave them there. It’s all about moving forward.

5. You are writing for your characters. You are the only one who knows their story.

6. Be grateful for the gift of imagination.

7. Writing is hard. Respect it as such.

8. Even though it may appear differently, there is no such thing as an easy success, no matter how famous the writer. Remember that we’re all in the same industry and we want it to be thriving.

    9. Don’t forget about the weather.

10. When in doubt, add a food scene.

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Do you have any writing advice to share?


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Cover and Trailer Reveal for DIADEM OF DEATH



On April 25th DIADEM OF DEATH, the second installment of the Nefertari Hughes Mystery series, will be released into the wild! The wonderfully talented Emma Dolan who designed ASP OF ASCENSION, once again exceeded my expectations for the cover.

Psst...at the end of this post is the spectacular book trailer made by the multitalented and all around cool guy, Tom Ryan.




What would you do for immortality?




Terry Hughes is looking forward to spending the summer with her boyfriend Zach before he goes to college in the fall, but when her archaeologist father announces he’s working on a project that will take him back to Egypt, all hopes of a romantic vacation are buried.

With her friend Maude’s company for consolation, Terry accompanies her father as they join his colleagues in Alexandria, where she’s reunited with her first crush, Awad — all grown up and an expert in translating hieroglyphics. He confides that the team is in a race to find Cleopatra’s lost tomb before a secret band of rebels steals Egypt’s last pharaoh and her diadem, a golden crown believed to possess powers of immortality.

But sabotage puts everyone on high alert, and Terry isn’t sure who to trust. As the line between ally and enemy begins to blur, Terry has to keep her wits about her and figure out who wants the diadem badly enough to kill — because one wrong step could mean the difference between discovering a tomb or being buried in one.


Available to pre-order from Chapters/Indigo.

Check out the Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

And now enjoy the official book trailer!






Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Most Common Characterization Mistake Writers Make and How To Fix It


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self-a·ware·ness
ˈˌself əˈwernəs/
noun
  1. conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
    "the process can be painful but it leads to greater self-awareness"


One of the most common characterization mistakes writers are guilty of is making their characters too self-aware. Inner monologue is a great tool, it lets the reader in on secrets, gives the character dimension, but it can also be the biggest stumbling block to the story.

There's nothing less satisfying than a character who analyses every decision, weighs the pros and cons, and keeps coming back to the same inner struggle over and over again. The reader gets it, there's a theme, but repetition kills the tension.

The good news is that this can be easily fixed!

Beware of using inner dialogue to provide an ongoing narration rather than what it really is, a response to immediate events. Keep it authentic!

And just like over analysing the decision, your character should be a little clueless about their faults, strengths, dreams/goals. These are qualities the character is supposed to discover through their struggle as the story progresses. By the end these traits will come to the surface and that's when the wonderful self-awareness happens in the hero's journey.

Okay, so how can you fix this?

Here are things your character should NOT do:

1. While in the middle of a crisis, they shouldn't be providing a narration as if they're an outside source watching with an emotional detachment.

2. They shouldn't label their emotions. Instead of your character thinking, "I'm so angry!" The anger should manifest itself in your character's actions and choices (without them realizing it).

3. The shouldn't analyse all the possible reasons behind all their emotions. "I'm angry because my boyfriend doesn't love me anymore." No, look at reason number 2. The analysing shouldn't come until they've made choices that lead to disaster. No one in real life figures it out that quickly so why should your character?

4. When your character is in a highly emotional scene, their self-awareness should be negligible. This is why when you're angry you shouldn't send that email right away. You wait until you're less emotional and thinking more clearly. Your character shouldn't use calm logic when they're being dumped by their lover. The place for this growth can begin during the following scene to provide a few subtle sparks of self-awareness (this hints at the coming revelation and is more enticing to the reader). 

Remember it's not just their flaws, their strengths should be waiting to be discovered as well.


Now go make your character clueless!




Saturday, 1 April 2017

10 Ways to Beat the Winter Weather Blues in Halifax

In all, the winter hasn't been that bad in Eastern Canada...and then March came along and ruined everything. Although, if we didn't have the weather I don't know what would talk about.

"Isn't this awful, I'm ready to move."
"Why did our ancestors settle so early?"
"I think I've got scurvy."
"Did you hear the forecast? We're getting more snow!"

March has finally left, but yes, there is another snow storm coming. I don't know about you, but storm chips aren't the happy cure they used to be (probably because I've eaten my weight in storm chips this year and my cholesterol is in the red zone.)

Anyway, since the only way to get to summer is to keep slogging through this weather, here's a list of substitutes for storm chips that will help ease the winter blues—or at least distract you from it.

10 Ways To Beat The Unending Winter Weather Blues

1. Grab yourself a cinnamon roll from The Old Apothecary Bakery.

2. Stroll through the Central Library, then grab a coffee from Pavia and settle into one of the spacious seating areas bathed in sunlight ont he top floor.

3. Go to a movie! Beauty and the Beast will make your heart full enough to melt away any bitter resentment.



4. Read a good murder mystery set in the summer. Okay, any book set in the middle of a sultry summer would be fine.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie






Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs




The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith




A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet




5. Go outside. Yes, I know this flies in the face of distracting you from the weather, but nature and fresh air do wonders.

6. Hot Yoga! Take a drop in class at Halifax Yoga. "I regret going to yoga," said no one ever. 

7. Do something crafty! Pinterest if full of easy DIY guides. Here are some easy peasy projects to do today.

Remake an old t-shirt into an infinity scarf!



Instantly freshen the air!



Spray glitter paint inside your lamp shade!




8. De-clutter your closet! Oh my nerves, it's time to get rid of all the winter clothes you DIDN'T wear this season.

9. Make a lemon meringue pie. It's sunshine for your mouth. Here's a recipe or just buy the speedy quick from a box version.




10. Buy yourself fresh flowers. Nothing puts a smile on your face faster than a bouquet of blooms.





What are your tips for surviving the winter blues?


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