Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

A day out at the seaside? We all know what that means,

A kaleidoscope of what must be uniquely-British scenes.

Embarrassing socks and sandals sported by your dad,

And sand you find in places that you never knew you had.

**

You pack a range of sun-creams to help your pallor wane,

But find yourself in what feels like a full-scale hurricane.

Instead you need a sleeping bag draped across your knees,

The windbreak at an angle of around fifteen degrees.

**

You decide to cheer things up by buying fish and chips,

Despite the fact the deck-chair can barely take your hips.

Seagulls descend like ninjas, they’re nothing if not plucky,

But being in their firing line feels anything but lucky.

**

Still too cold to take a dip you head towards the pier,

There you find a fun-fair and the kids let out a cheer.

Soon you’re several tenners lighter and then put out your back,

Flying down the helter-skelter on an old potato sack.

**

Heading to the arcades, you know it isn’t wise,

To do battle with the grabber that never yields a prize.

Next on to the pub and a pleasing little red,

Let’s do this again tomorrow, is what you somehow said.

**

Despite the dodgy weather and the seagulls on attack,

You love the British seaside and you’ll soon be coming back.

Just before you head off home, you brave a little wade,

An encounter with a jelly-fish is how memories are made!

**

SEB 3I thought I’d start off today with a tongue-in-cheek homage to the British seaside. Although given the weather we’ve been having in my part of the country this week, it’s got even more appeal and is apparently hotter than the Med.

Now I don’t want this little poem to give you the wrong impression, I LOVE the coast and can’t seem to stop writing about it. Maybe not the type of resorts with arcades, but those filled with the sort of uniquely British charm of places like Polperro and Southwold. But it’s the Kentish coast I love most of all and which features in my stories. Maybe it’s because I was born a stone’s throw from Dover’s white cliffs or because I live about five minutes from the pretty seaside town of Whitstable.SEB 2

I set my first novel, Among A Thousand Starsin the real Kentish seaside town of Sandgate, but my new series was inspired by the fictional town of St Nicholas Bay’s connection to Charles Dickens. As a result it combines the old world charm of Rochester’s quaint tearooms and quirky shops, with the steep high street at Broadstairs, which leads down to a golden bay lined with colourfully painted beach huts. Many people who’ve read the Christmas novella that sparked the series, and which will be re-released by Accent Press in November, tell me that St Nicholas Bay is a character in itself.

Somebody else's boy cover finalSo if you fancy a trip to a beautiful seaside town, with none of the hassle of getting sand in your unmentionables, I’d be thrilled if you checked out my new novel, released today – Somebody Else’s Boy. It tells the story of Jack, a young widower raising his baby son alone and the new life he finds against the odds in St Nicholas Bay, and his house-mate, Nancy, who’s struggling to keep a secret because of the promise she made to someone who no longer knows her name…

Either way, I hope you have some fabulous plans for the bank holiday weekend and maybe a little trip to the seaside is in order after all!

Jo xx

Somebody Else’s Boy is released by Accent Press on 25th August 2016 and available here.

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Wednesday Wondering – If You Could Write Anywhere……

I have this fantasy and it’s a lovely one about having my own writing room. You see at the moment my desk is crammed into a corner of my living room sandwiched between a wall and a 50” television. I also have a very busy house with lots of teenage and adult children not to mention the dogs and cats so someone always wants my attention. I can’t complain though, through necessity and determination I have managed to write both my novels in that corner, with the help of an iPod shuffle to drown out the constant noise. What I’d really like is my own space somewhere the kids and husband can’t bother me. My husband bought me a summer house to turn into an office but when my back was turned he filled it with junk and still hasn’t put the roof on. So this week the question was – what would your ideal writing room look like and where would it be.

I’d be quite happy with a little caravan at the bottom of my garden; I would decorate it in pastel shades of pink, blue and green. Have some gorgeous curtains, cushions and bunting made and fill it with all kinds of shabby chic, hand painted bits and pieces of furniture and accessories. A kettle would be a must and my flowery Roberts radio. I would probably not do much writing at all because I would be too happy to just sit and stare at my own little piece of writing heaven. If I could transport the caravan anywhere it would probably be not that far away, a secluded spot near to Windermere with a coffee shop in walking distance would be wonderful.

So let’s hear where the other write romantics would love to be able to write in an ideal world.

Helen xx

 

I have a vision of what I would like my writing space to look like. I would like an old writing bureau with lots of drawers and little shelves to put all my stationery nick-nacks on. I’d like loads of book shelves packed with all my novels and how to books and lots of other storage for all my bits and bobs. I’d like a huge whiteboard where I can jot down ideas and plot out stories, noticeboards to stick inspirational pictures on, and inspiring quotes on the wall. I’d also like a window seat brimming over with cushions and a sofa I can lounge on for my thinking time. Don’t want much do I? As for where this would be, I don’t really mind. The idea of a log cabin in the countryside surrounded by fields on three sides and a wood on another sounds romantic. But a spare room in my own home would do. I just really, really want my own space to spread out in and be creative.

Julie xx

 

Oh I would have to say anywhere secluded where I wouldn’t be interrupted but close enough to civilization that I could walk to a coffee shop for refreshments. I dream of a place in palm beach and after a few hours writing I would walk along the sand, perhaps even dip my toes in the water, walk back and feel even more inspired
Helen R xx

 

My dream writing place would be a large summerhouse in an orchard at the wild end of a cottage garden.  This dream, by the way, is the product of many wasted hours watching property-porn, mostly Escape to the Country, where such luxuries abound.  My summerhouse would be insulated against the cold so I could use it in winter and naturally it would have power and wi-fi.  It would be painted in that expensive-looking off-blue colour outside and white inside, with a massive desk and lots of shelf space for books and stationery, a comfy chair for reading in and the wherewithal for making drinks and snacks. I’d make it cosy and colourful with cushions, bunting and pretty china, and as I gazed out at the idyllic surroundings I would be very, very inspired.

Deirdre

“I get very engrossed (some might say obsessed) by the places that I’m writing about and now I’m writing the book set in Orkney my ideal writing space would have to be there.  I fell hopelessly in love with the little town of Stromness when I visited last year and this house in particular.  It’s the one on the right of the picture with the ladder on the roof.”Alex writing place

The view from there looks pretty much like this.

Alex writing place 2

 

Alex xxx

 

I love it when I’m away from home and can just sit down and write for as long as I like. There is something special for me about writing first thing in the morning I love to sit and write longhand as the birds sing, greeting the new day. On one holiday early each morning I sat on the balcony of the hotel, overlooking the sea and wrote. Another I sat out on the terrace each morning, with the sound of the river rushing by and wrote. So I’m guessing my dream place to write is somewhere warm, close to the sea or ariver, but most importantly, where normal daily life can’t find me!

Rachael x

 

My dream for my very early retirement is a beach hut with nothing more than wine, a laptop, some sunscreen and a perfect view. I’d quite like some people to mill about so I can ‘people watch’ but I don’t want them to interrupt me overmuch as I will be writing another best seller! It will more likely be at Southend on sea rather than Dorset or Southwold, but it will be just as loved and it will be just for me!!

Jaxx

 

 

Wednesday Wondering – What a year can bring?

As you may know, yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Write Romantics blog and we’ve been looking back at what we have achieved over the past year, which has included two separate two-book deals, for Rachael and Helen P, and a follow up three book deal for Helen – who also appeared at the number one spot on the Amazon charts for her genre – knocking off Stephen King no less!  There have been 132  blog posts, almost 11,000 hits on the blog, 1,150 comments, loads of brilliant interviews with other writers and between us we have written well over a million words in that time.  There has also been lots of waiting on submissions and feedback, which is still going on, so hopefully the next year will bring us lots more to shout about.  In the meantime, we were Wednesday wondering about what else a year can bring…

New Life (in our case new characters)

130 million babies are born each year with Jack, William, Santiago and Mohammed amongst the most popular boys’ names globally and Emma, Charlotte, Olivia and Fatima scoring highly for the girls.  Character names for the Write Romantics this year include Annie, Will, Finn, Zoe, Nancy, Jack, Stephen, Sarah, Gary, Elise, Carol-Anne, Terry, Mark, Jeanette, Ashleigh, Tom, Isobel, Ben, Lynne, Santos, Georgina and Carlos!  It’s been a busy year of creation for the WRs.

Empire Building (our blog is the WRs home)

300,000 new houses are built each year in the UK alone and the most common road name is, wait for it… High Street, followed by Station Road, Main Street and Church Road.  Town  planners obviously don’t major in original thinking.  Although amongst the most bizarre names around the world are, would you believe, Butt Hole Street in South Yorkshire (since renamed as Archer Street), Psycho Path  in Pennsylvania and Wong Way in California – so maybe living at No. 4 The High Street doesn’t sound so bad after all!  The WRs have of course been busy creating a host of fictional homes, streets, towns and, in some cases, even worlds.

eggtimer

Love and Romance (that’s what we do, well most of us!)

There were around 250,000 weddings in the UK last year, 70% of these took place in civil ceremonies and the greatest number of marriages were between those aged 25 to 29.  The novels of the Write Romantics hosted several weddings of their own and lots of proposals, everywhere from castles and stately homes to the sand dunes on the beach.  There have also been lots of romantic gestures, with at least two heroes almost laying down their lives for the women they love – Ah, if only real life were like that. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s enough of a struggle to get him to do the washing-up!  That’s not to mention love scenes, tensions, arguments, making up and starting all over again – because of course the path of true love never does run smooth…

Publication (come on, seven more amongst this number isn’t that big an ask, surely? 😉 )

There are approximately 2,200,000 new books published globally each year – not to mention the millions of self-published titles of course!  With the US leading the way with over 300,000 and the UK hot on their heels with just over 200,000.   On a per capita basis, that has to put us as by far the most prolific writers in the world.  The WRs have written millions of words and at least 300,000 of those have found a publisher in the past year (between the 7 books signed up for Helen P and Rachael).  Here’s hoping the next year finds a publisher for at least another million of the WRs words 🙂

Come and tell us what you’ve achieved in the last year or maybe what you hope to achieve in the next and give us lots more to celebrate when our second birthday rolls around.

The WRs xx