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Friday, March 27, 2009

Not Change per se, but a NEW direction

So, refresh your memory with this post (no surprise that I needed to refresh mine). Gray and I truly believed we'd made the final decision about our next w-i-p - which was to develop and finish my medical attempt from 2006.

The strange thing was, that although we love our hero/heroine inspirations (aka Clive Owen and Melissa George), they weren't 'speaking' to us like they should have been. We always thought that Kate was a midwife but we couldn't decide what type (community, hospital...) or whether Matt was a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist/Surgeon etc. Our doubts grew and neither of us could move forward with our research.

Still no further forward a few week's later, the Big R arrived from Mills and Boon on the first medical (Beth & Josh's story) *cue disapointment and determination*. We both gave each other a proverbial kick up the backside and sat down to thrash out our problems with the next w-i-p.

I had a sinking feeling when I realised that the stale-mate I hit with this manuscript back in 2006 was still screaming at me. I didn't want to let Gray down (especially as, back in 2007 when he first came onboard, he didn't want to write any contemporaries other than Medicals).

I looked over at Gray only to catch him looking at me with an uncomfortable expression on his face. He looked like he wanted to say something but kept biting it back. I *knew* that look and eventually dragged the words out of him (not as painful as it sounds, honest!):

Me: 'C'mom, talk to me. Tell me what you're thinking.'
Gray looked away, pulling his gaze away from mine.

Me: 'Tell me.'
Gray took a deep breath. 'I think I know why this isn't working and why it won't ever work.'
My heart plummeted, thinking the worst; Gray wants to stop working with me.
Gray: 'Dont be mad at me but-'

I swallowed down my panic.

Me: 'Tell me.'

Gray: 'I can't write medicals anymore and I don't want to waste time trying.'

Me: 'Huh?'
Gray: 'The research. We can't do it. We don't know enough about it and neither of us are confident.'

I let out the breath I hadn't realised I was holding.
Me: 'So, what are you saying, that I'm on my own with my writing?'

Gray: 'No, but I don't think we should be writing medicals.'

*Pregnant Pause*

Without another word, we suddenly realised we were on the same page. We 'got' each other in that very moment.

The best news (for both of us) is that Matt & Kate are still getting their story. (Yayy!)

The difference:
Different Professions. Different Conflicts. Different Sub-genre.

We're writing Romance!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rejected but not Dejected!

What a rollercoaster week it's been. 'The' letter arrived from M&B last Thursday and it was of the 'thanks but no thanks' variety. Disappointment reigned for the rest of the day, until (on the umpteenth reading) I saw a spark of hope.

The words, '...next submission' stood out and I realised it was an invitation to submit another story (and not a closed door). It also pointed out that my plot and characters weren't fully developed.

I've now learnt a few things for next time.

  • LISTEN hard to the words of the professionals (in my case the NWS Reader and other published writers).
  • UNDERSTAND that as your characters and plot evolve, further changes will often be needed and the earlier chapters may need to be rewritten.
  • NEVER send off a partial until your STORY is as strong as it can be - no matter how impatient you feel.

Oh, one other thing:

Friday, March 06, 2009

Heroine Material: Melissa George

Perth-born Melissa George got her break in the TV series Home and Away. Before then, she’d done modelling work in the early 1990s, but the Australian actress really hit the big time at the age of 17 with her portrayal of Angel Brooks in the popular television show. Melissa wowed audiences with both her looks and her acting ability, making her one of the series’ most popular characters and her romantic storylines had viewers tuning in week after week.

In 1995, at the age of 19, Melissa decided she’d see if she could break into Hollywood, so she went to America to pursue her acting career. At first, work was difficult. As with many actors, she had to climb the ladder of success, so she appeared in bit parts in assorted TV shows before starting to pop up in playing supporting roles in films. Dark City, a sinister science fiction flick by Crow director Alex Proyas, had her in one such role, as did Steven Soderbergh’s unusual crime thriller The Limey.

Melissa also returned to Australia to appear in the short-lived television series Roar, which was a sword-and-sorcery yarn inspired by Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In this, Melissa paired up with the late Heath Ledger for a few frolicking yarns. By 2001, she was appearing regularly in movies and television; a bigger role in low budget teen flick Sugar & Spice was a sign of things to come, while David Lynch saw fit to cast her in a minor role in his mysterious thriller, Mulholland Dr. A role in the TV drama Thieves also helped to get her name out, although the show was cancelled after just ten episodes.

2003 was a more promising year. Melissa landed one-off gigs in two immensely popular American TV shows, Friends and Charmed. Then came her breakthrough, playing a regular role as a Brit in the 2004 season of the high-profile thriller Alias. This in turn led to a starring role for the actress in two 2005 films: The Amityville Horror, a remake of the ‘70s horror hit in which she plays a wife terrorised by spirits in her home, and Derailed, in which she plays the wife of cheating businessman Clive Owen.

2006 was a quiet year for the actress. She made just one film, another horror called Turistas (or Paradise Lost in the UK). This was a grisly outing clearly involved by torture flick Hostel. She stayed with the genre for 2007’s Waz, a deeply unpleasant serial killer flick, and 30 Days of Night, a gruesome comic book adaptation in which she fights against a vampire gang in an Alaskan town where the sun never rises.

Melissa went back to television in 2008 with a recurring role in the Gabriel Byrne psychotherapist drama, In Treatment. A short turn in the hit show Grey’s Anatomy has since followed, and she’s now set to appear as the lead in yet another low budget horror film: the Australian thriller Triangle, about sinister forces at sea.

Judging by her workload, Melissa shows no signs of stopping, and this deeply attractive actress is quickly turning into a modern-day scream queen.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Week Long Blog PARTY

to celebrate Nell Dixon's second Little Black Dress release Animal Instincts


if you're near Waterstones
(Merry Hill Centre, UK)
March 07, 2009
12:00 pm

drop along to say hi to
Nell Dixon
Philippa Ashley
for their joint Little Black Dress book launch