Archives for posts with tag: Mills and Boon

bigstock--207134647Hello everyone and, if you’re in the northern hemisphere with me, welcome to autumn.

So, what’s happening at Fielding Towers? Well, the month did not start well with one of those horrible scam emails asking for $4000 to stop them sending all my contacts a video of me “enjoying” pornographic movies. Right. As if anyone would want to see that! Yuck!

I had a few moments in which I thought they might have stuck my head on someone else’s body and video’d that, but wiser councils prevailed. I was not alone, apparently and the advice was delete and forget it. It didn’t stop me wasting a lot of time changing passwords because, well, that’s what you do. I need one of those systems that generates a new one each time.

The Swish of the CurtainMore happily, I’ve joined the local gym (no, I won’t be muscle crunching – my only interest is the pool) and have been swimming with my daughter and granddaughters which has been just lovely. It’s only a couple of minutes walk from my front door, so is just perfect.

I’ve also joined the local bookclub. The first book was The Woolgrower’s Companion and we had an interesting talk from the author Joy Rhoades, especially on the issue of  cultural sensitivity. This month we’re reading Benjamin Markovits’ A Weekend in New York. Benjamin is coming to talk to us at our meeting at the end of the month.

I’ve also just treated myself to a new copy of The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown. I read it when I was about ten years old and desperate to be an actress. It’s one of those books that, when you mention it, women of a certain age will go all dewy eyed. So looking forward to reading it again.

image008The big event for me this month is on 6th October at ASDA in Crawley (and authors and editors at other ASDAs all over the country) when Mills and Boon team up with their “Tickled Pink” campaign to raise money for breast cancer research on the 5th and 6th October. So do look out for them, say hello and, if you can, buy one of the specially stickered books.

Tickled Pink Tee ShirtThis is a cause close to my heart and I’ll be shaking my bucket (with my daughter) between 10am and 1pm this Saturday 6th October. And a percentage of the all the specially stickered M&Bs will be going to the cause as well.

I hope to see you there.

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Vector Hand Drawn Floral Illustration. Hello September

There is so much happening this month on both the home and writing fronts.

I’ve been painting my bedroom (with the help of my lovely daughter) but still struggling to find homes for  piles of books, boxes and “stuff”. You would not believe how much “stuff” I have. Just the six years of accumulated accounts that you are legally required to keep takes up an awful lot of shelf space!

The most difficult are the small, beautiful pieces of furniture made for me by the best beloved that it is impossible to part with. This is the Shaker sewing table he made me.

Hopefully, when the new wardrobes arrive, I’ll be able to stop using the shower rail as my temporary clothes rail. It’s going to be a tight fit, though!

f36b05e4d2c092d4cfbdfdf76be7f2a0The good news is that I have finally signed off on the new book, The Billionaire’s Convenient Bride, which will be published next April. Here’s the Pinterest board. so that you can get to know Agnès, Kam and the dogs that add to the story.  This is Dora.

It’s set in Castle Creek, a Devon town that I’ve created and the story is set around the struggle for the Priddy (the local corruption of Prideaux) Castle itself and the clash between Agnès Prideaux and Kal Faulkner whose doomed teenage romance has haunted them both.

CarolineAnderson

Caroline Andersen

September is also the month when Mills and Boon authors gather in London for their annual lunch.

It’s a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues we may not have seen for a while and get to know some we’ve never met before. This year we have debut author, Ella Hayes  and visitors from overseas – US author Andrea Bolter (who will break into her Paris holiday to join us) as well as Elizabeth Rolls and Trish Morey from Australia. This will be followed by a cocktail party at the Mills and Boon offices where there will be a toast for the amazing Caroline Anderson, who has just signed off on her 100th book.

And then I am going to Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace with my daughter. If you are in the UK and were thinking of going, she has a discount code for tickets on her blog, Hooked, but it starts tomorrow through Sunday, so get your skates on!

Finally, I have just reached a rather stupendous milestone with Mills and Boon, having sold over 15 million copies of the books I’ve written for them. (There are seven others!)

They have been, and are still being, published and reprinted all over the world.

15 million books 2nd version

 

 

I’m starting an irregular column on writing romance.
First things first. It helps if you know what the reader most enjoys, the book that she’ll reach for.
Obviously there’s room for the new but if you’re approaching an established publisher it’s always a good idea to begin with something they know will sell so I’m beginning with a rundown of  popular tropes.
The Marriage of Convenience

Yes, even in this day and age when single mothers are no longer stoned in the street, it’s still possible to write this fan favourite trope.

Money is a good reason. Tricky Wills give you a lot of scope.  Okay, you can challenge them, but in the mean time you might be left homeless. Or you might discover that the inheritance you thought was safely in the bag is mortgaged up the hilt. The unexpected pregnancy after a night with someone you’ve only just met – or have known forever but as a friend, is still a useful one. Social pressures are still there, or guilt, or maybe the guy plans to do his duty, just being there, providing support and ends up falling in love. Of course you have to come up with a good reason why they ended up in bed together. That’s the fun bit!

The Sheikh Romance

Ever since E M Hull wrote the iconic “The Sheikh” they have sold like hotcakes. The first thing to realise about a sheikh romance, is that it is a total fantasy and has nothing to do with reality. The sheikh has everything. He is in total command of his environment, has unimaginable power and wealth coupled with an air of danger, otherness. He also has the kind of respect for family, a sense of honour, that can leave him in some really tricky situations.

Lots of scope for marriage of convenience here especially if the woman is in some kind of danger, or he has some hidden reason for not marrying the woman his family has chosen for him.

If you struggle seeing him as a hero, a former publishing director of Mills and Boon once described him to me as “a cowboy wearing a different hat”.  Same thousand yard gaze. Same deep seated sense of honour.

Nine to Five

 

The workplace romance should be tricky in this PC/Human Resources dominated age but it’s is still a much-loved trope. Unlike the sheikh romance, this is something much closer to home, familiar. Most of us will have worked somewhere – office, store, factory – at some point in our lives.  These days, of course, it doesn’t have to be the powerful boss and the woman he doesn’t notice until some crisis occurs and he needs her to play his fiancée. There’s plenty of room to play out a scenario between equals, a boardroom battle that only one of them can win. So much more interesting.
Christmas 
Oh now, this is always fun. You not only have two people trying very hard not to fall into bed with each other but you have it with baubles, fairy lights, Santa Claus and snow.
You can dress your characters in embarrassingly silly costumes, dump two feet of snow on them, cut off the electricity or strand the Grinch and the Sugar Plum Fairy in a place from which there is no escape (it doesn’t have to be snow!)

Mayhem or magic, they go down a treat.

The Mediterranean Hero

Passionate, sexy, with his dark good-looks, the Mediterranean billionaire — Greek, Italian, Spanish or Italian — is the staple hero of romance.

He is very nearly as much a fantasy as the sheikh. You can throw in a palazzo overlooking the sea, helicopters, yachts, private jets, private islands and plenty of angst. Oh, and sex. Lots of sex.

That’s it for now. I should probably have added babies to the list. There is nothing like a cute baby on the cover to set the cash tills ringing, but they have to be tiny (no toddlers or teenagers in series romance – they distract from the hero and heroine and it’s story).

Look at the books being published, what tropes call you? Writing what you enjoy is always the best way to start.

Next time I’ll talk about the “crucible”.

Happy writing.

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Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance is available to download from iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

It Happened In Paradise

If you’re in the UK this month, It Happened In Paradise will be sitting on the shelves W H Smith or a supermarket near you, or waiting to be downloaded to your favourite reading device.

It contains three books, Wedded in a Whirlwind by me, Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex by Nicola Marsh and His Bride in Paradise by Joanna Neil.

One heroine needs to escape for a while – things do not go according to plan; one heroine has been shipwrecked for a reality TV show;  one is hoping a holiday fling will help mend her broken heart. Three very different stories but all set on gorgeous tropical islands – just the thing as the nights draw in and we’re reaching for our woolies!

It’s £5.99 in paper and a bargain £3.99 to download from iTunes or Amazon