Tag Archives: romance novel

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…



So my excitement got the better of me and I forgot to write this post – so sorry for my tardiness. I have been busy tying up loose ends, revising freelance projects and ensuring I can leave for my writing retreat tomorrow with a clear desk. On the retreat I will only focus on my writing, which will enable me to ‘complete’ two manuscripts and add to another. These are my retreat goals.

  1. Final read of Life in Slake Patch
  2. Complete revisions and read through of The Twesome Loop
  3. Continue to write my newest story, Bubble the Gruggle.
  4. Enjoy no TV, no cell service and no WiFi.
  5. Converse, share and enjoy my retreat companions company.
  6. Indulge in the most fantastic meals.
  7. Enjoy reading curled up in a cozy corner.


Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger – I will most certainly finished this book this week. Just love the characters.


Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn – chances are as this is more novella than novel that I will finish this book over my writing retreat as well.


Then onto new stories!

Writing Tips:

Learn from the masters:

Read works by highly successful authors to learn what earns a loyal readership.
Read works by the canonical authors so you understand what constitutes a respectable literary achievement.

Creek 2016 7Strawberry Creek

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…



Unfortunately my creative writing has taken a backseat this last week while I compiled a schedule, contact sheet and action requirements for the Heritage Day my Board and another organization are holding in June. In all I spent seven hours going through hundreds of emails to find contacts and actions made and needed. Having so many people involved is wonderful for the work share but a logistical nightmare. Now it is done I feel confident that everyone knows the status of what is happening, who is attending and special information.

After all that creating my writers foundation Board’s agenda for tonight’s meeting was a piece of cake!

I will use some of my long weekend to type out the personal experience notes my ghost writing client gave me and insert it into the draft book. I’ll also be putting the finishing touches to the workshop I am presenting at a writers conference on 22nd April – I want to ensure it is informative but also fun.

Conference logo 2017

Hopefully I can also take some time to continue my edit and revision of The Twesome Loop. It is tantalizingly close to the finish prior to going back to beta-readers.

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How is your current work in progress coming along?


The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney- I am on the last few chapters of this wonderful narrative – I will not spoil the ending for anyone wanting to read it – that’s so unfair. So will put up a Goodreads review once I’m finished which will be this long weekend for sure.


The Other Life by Ellen Meister – so excited to read this story. If you could choose a different life, one you actually knew about – would you?

The Other Life

Do you have a recommendation?

Do you want to hook up on Goodreads? Follow the link on the side bar to my account.

Writing Tips:

Join a writers’ group so you can gain support from the writing community and enjoy camaraderie in your craft.

From personal experience a writers group is invaluable for any writer as long as you receive constructive critique, your style and voice are acknowledged and respected and there is a strong sense of support and encouragement. My group: www.wfscsherwoodpark.com  encourages writers any stage, any age of their writing career. We have local and virtual members.

Be observant. The people and activities that surround you will provide you with great inspiration for characters, plots, and themes. (And people watching is so much fun!)

Use writing exercises to improve your skills, strengthen your talent, and explore different genres, styles, and techniques. My favorite ‘inspirational kick’ is finding a word or picture prompt. I create a prompt on our website every Saturday – scroll back and find one that ‘speaks’ to you – top right on the calendar www.wfscsherwoodpark.com

Happy Writing…

Image credit: http://www.mywritingblog.com


Digging Stuff Up or Archaeology for Those in the Know…

Archaeology is defined as the scientific study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts, inscriptions, monuments, and other remains.

Fascination with the lives of humans that came before us has been around for decades. Preservation of artifacts and intensive research into the daily life and habits of these ancestors has increasingly revealed lives we could never imagine. From simple stone tools to impressive structures, such as aqueducts and pyramids, to technological inventions, homo sapiens have evolved at an incredible rate.  As you can see from this graph, although it only spans until Shakespeare’s time. We have taken even larger leaps since then.

Cultural history

Technological advances have exploded as you can clearly see here.


Actually digging on an archaeological site is fun as the anticipation of finding something keeps you picking away at the soil, even in poor weather or baking heat. I have experienced a couple of digs and attended archaeology classes as well as explored numerous historical sites and houses in England. These visits are cataloged in many scrap books. I incorporated my knowledge of archaeology into my novel, The Twesome Loop, where a gruesome find in the villa grounds is investigated.

Excerpt from The Twesome Loop 

Her parents’ friend, James Buckley, was in charge of the new dig at the Thornwood villa, he had been only too pleased to welcome Caroline and his old colleagues to visit. Caroline had investigated so much on the Thornwood estate but to actually visit it, was a dream come true. Through her own research she already knew a great deal about Lord Thornwood. He had bought the land near Agagni and commissioned the restoration of the Italian villa on the site. It was built on the highest point, giving extensive views across the valley. As part treasure hunter and part historian, the English Lord spent decades digging his land and finding numerous Roman artifacts, which he unashamedly sold to the highest bidder to finance his other obsession, gambling.

As the years passed, the locals thought him mad as he was always in dirty clothes digging up the land, followed closely by a manservant with a wheelbarrow and water jugs. When Lord Thornwood died, his family sold off the villa and its land in job lots to pay off his large debts. Caroline had also researched the man who would be their host, Edward Beecham. She discovered he had inherited the villa and its extensive gardens. With investment he had commissioned a total refit of the villa, which transformed it into a large family home with separate accommodation for guests. It comprised of eight bedrooms all with en suite and traditional balconies. The web site showed the decor was sympathetic to the age of the building and all the fittings were reproduction to the era when the villa was first built. The photographs Caroline had found online gave stunning views across the valley. She was excited about exploring the home and grounds of her ‘champion’. Lord Thornwood had lived his passion for artifacts, and although he sold the wonderful treasures, they gradually found their way into museums all over the world.

What fascinates you about history?

Genre Constraints…

Constraint – definition: the state of being checked, restricted, or compelled to avoid some action


Within the multitude of genres in fiction, there are constraints on what is and what is not ‘allowed’ in terms of content or style based on the genre’s ‘main’ heading. See here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_genres

When you are defining your novels, what methods do you use to decide on its ‘genre’? 


Do you decide to write specifically to a particular genre prior to starting a new manuscript?

Or do you write your story and worry about the genre later on? 

As most of you know I am a free flow writer so my story comes first and the defining comes much later. For many authors this pigeon holing our work is difficult and this fact is reflected in the sub-genres that are being created almost daily. We can also use a technique where by we utilize several ‘genre headings’ in our description. Such as the list here: https://www.worldswithoutend.com/resources_sub-genres.asp , which only deals with fantasy and sci-fi. So there is a method open to us to use our genre description as a way to entice more than one ‘type’ of reader.  Romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book.

It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novel, Life in Slake Patch is an alternative world order but basically has a young man trying to change the ‘laws’ so he can be with the woman he loves. It can be described as speculative fiction but romantic speculative fiction is better.

My novel, The Twesome Loop also has romantic elements in it but also has a reincarnation element. How would I describe that one? Suggestions welcome!

Twesome Loop 002

LifeinSlakePatch 002

Fervor in Your Romance Novel…

Fervor – definition: 1. great warmth, passion, or earnestness of feeling; 2. intense heat


While pondering which direction I should go with this word, I came across a list of romance books. The amount of novels in this genre is mind blowing, and the list I found is only the best known. Romantic fervor is obviously alive and well. As you can see there are 61 pages with 150 novels on each.


As quoted ‘ According to the Romance Writers of America, “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.” Both the conflict and the climax of the novel should be directly related to that core theme of developing a romantic relationship, although the novel can also contain subplots that do not specifically relate to the main characters’ romantic love. Other definitions of a romance novel may be broader, including other plots and endings or more than two people, or narrower, restricting the types of romances or conflicts.’

My current NaNoWriMo project is a cowgirl romance, a new genre for me and one I am learning about all the time. Working title – Willow Tree Tears – Trinity is a barrel racing champion who meets a gorgeous Italian boot maker. A jealous ranch hand plots to keep her and the ranch as his.

We have to show the two main character’s fervor for each other but along the way create a conflict ensuring the love element is hard won. The romance genre is global as is it’s language as shown here. Have you written romance? What is your experience of this genre?


Interview Robin Leigh – 5th May…

Please join me on Robin’s blog for an interview today. Although I’m usually the one doing the interviewing it is a nice change to be on the other side!





The Rython KingdomMandy_Eve-Barnett_0082

Interview – R.L. Morgan…

Welcome R.L. Morgan – today’s word describes Robin’s character Mary. She has to be quick witted to survive. Agile – definition: 1) able to move quickly and easily : nimble; 2) mentally quick

RLM image

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a young girl who’s just beginning to learn about boys. She’s rather plain looking, and resents to some extent the way the boys in her class treat her, using her brains to help them to better so they can stay on the various sport teams the school has. A new boy, Jonathan, joins her class and begins to treat her the way she has always wanted to be, for liking her for being the person that she is. The relationship is short-lived because her father gets a promotion which meant she has to move away at the end of the school year. Just before she does she decides to give him a kiss at the mall, away from all the prying eyes of their friends.

At her new school things return to the way they used to before she met Jonathan. This time, in addition, everyone at school tease her continuously about her house being haunted. The thing is, it is haunted by a ghost named George, who she can see and who treats her, the way Jonathan did.  George takes Mary on trips to the past and even does her homework.

The thing I like most about Mary is that, she’s never downtrodden by the way she’s gets treated by everyone at school.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?           

Right now I’m staying in the broad genre of romance.  For 11 years, from 1995 – 2006 I wrote almost weekly commentary type items for a community newspaper, which I loved doing; and along the way I started to slowly write a Contemporary romance manuscript. However I never sensed it would be good enough to bw published.  One day someone suggested I write something for a younger audience, which I did and wound up with my debut YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel in less than a year.

Right now I’ve returned to writing the romance manuscript which I’d started many years ago.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Being retired, writing gives me as well as my creativity something to do, and I hope this will lead to an actual second career as being an author.

Have you got a favorite place to write?

Although we don’t have any children; we do have a second bedroom where I do all of my writing.  I also do my marketing/promoting of my book and social interaction there as well.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I love this question, as it allows the reader to get somewhat in the mind of the author being interviewed. As for myself, I’d probably say a little of both, part plotter/part pantser. As I said in, the above, I made a skeleton of an outside, writing down the basic plot points I’d like to hit as the story unfolded; and as a sculptor starting with a wire base of what they’d like to have, I added material then took some away, until I had the finished product I had in mind.

What inspires your stories?

Honestly, I would have to say it just pure imagination. As I wrote my novel I kept putting myself into the character of Mary. I wrote I what would do or say next had I been in her shoes.

What are you currently reading?

I seldom get a chance to read. I worked for 33 years with the same employer and had to commute about an hour each way. Now, being retired I’m busy with my writing and marketing/promoting my debut novel. When I have the time I like to read poignant memoirs, such as the last one I read, “And The Whippoorwill Sang” by Micki Peluso.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

Relatively speaking I would have to say no as odd habits are concerned. And as far as childhood stories are concerned, what child my age didn’t love reading those crazy rhyming stories by Dr. Seuss.

Do you have any pets?

We’ve got two cats as they don’t allow any dogs, except service dogs, where we live.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

Unfortunately I don’t. It would be wonderful to have someone critique what I’ve written as I write it.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I’ve only started writing in June 1995, when I was in my fourties. The items were commentaries as I’ve already stated for a community newspaper. But that was non-fiction, writing the novel I’ve recently published has been a new learning experiences; learning all the “rules” one needs to know to become good at it.

Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

I Kissed a Ghost0001

My debut YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel entitled, “I Kissed a Ghost” got released on December 20, 2012.

My book is available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Kissed-Ghost-Robin-Leigh-Morgan/dp/1480030031   It is also available on Amazon.co.uk Amazon.de   Amazon.es   Amazon.fr   Amazon.it

How did you come up with the title for your book? 

Selecting a title for a book had been a very challenging experience for me; but after racking my brain over it, I decided to merely summarize the premise for the entire story in as few words as possible until I had something which could be used as the title for my book. Hence, since the story is about a girl [Mary] and her kissing the ghost [George] she had living in her house; the story had to be called, “I Kissed a Ghost.”

If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?

I would have to say it would be J.K. Rowling, because I admired where she started from, and what she’s accomplished with her series of Harry Potter books. Oh, how wonderful it would be if each of us authors could be only 1% as successful.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

It would definitely be Bermuda. I’ve cruised there three times and simply adore the people there as well as the climate.


What’s your favorite movie of all time?

That is a very difficult question to answer as they’re so many. However, I never seem to get tired watching any of the movies by Mel Brooks.

Where can readers find you and your blog?

http://www.mypennameonly.blogspot.com   or
http://www.mypennameonly.wordpress.com or
http://www.mypennameonly.webs.com   [this is also my website]

[Readers can find several UNEDITED SNIPPETS from “I Kissed a Ghost” in any of all above blog sites under the category of “GHOSTLY WHISPERS”

Where else can people find you?

I can also be found on:

TWITTER = http://www.twitter.com/mypennameonly

FACEBOOK = http://www.facebook.com/mypennameonly

GOODREADS = http://www.goodreads.com/RobinLeighMorgan

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I’ve returned to writing the still untitled adult Contemporary romance novel I’d started many years. The story also has a paranormal element running through the storyline.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

As I’m relatively a private person when it comes to my writing I unfortunately have none.

What is your greatest ambition in writing? 

Being able to make the NY Times best sellers listing, once in my life.