Thursday, January 30, 2014

Author Spotlight - Elsa Winckler

Today's spotlighted author is Elsa Winckler, a South African romance author who writes in two languages - English and Afrikaans. She's here today to talk about her new novel from Escape Publishing, the Australian imprint from Harlequin.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life. To try and write a love story was a natural next step and so far nine of my stories have been published in Afrikaans. This will be my first English romance.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 38 years, 3 beautiful children and two grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
This is the 3rd book I’ve written after two Afrikaans ones.

3. What inspired this book?
The idea of meeting someone in an unexpected place – the rest of the story followed from there.

4. Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
I have this very clear picture in my head of a very sexy, grumpy sci-fi author.

5. Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre?
Not burning, no. But the paranormal intrigues me. I have written an Afrikaans story about a horse whisperer and one about a ghost but would love to find out how far I can push the boundaries – the possibility of another reality close by has always fascinated me.

6. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
My husband and I set off to explore Kommetjie, the setting of the story. I’ve known about it but have never really been there.

7. Which of your characters would you most like to be?
I think there is a little bit of Margaret in me. After everything that has happened in my life, I’m still a romantic, I still believe that there is someone out there for everyone and that happy ever after should be possible for everyone

8. Do you have a writing routine? Do you write every day, and is there a time of day that works best for you in terms of being productive?
I work every week day from about 10:00 to lunch and then again from about 14:00 to 16:00 when I start cooking. Sometimes I can start earlier, sometimes I don’t get up before late afternoon. I’ve always been happy to write about 1 000 words a day, but this year I’m pushing myself to reach at least 3 000.

9. Are your family and real-life friends supportive? If so, in what ways? If not, do you have another support network for your writing?
My husband is my biggest fan and he reads what I’ve written every night and will tell me if he thinks the story doesn’t work. Our daughter and daughter-in-law read my books but our sons will nod and make noises, but I don’t think they’ve read a word 
The ROSAs are brilliant, though – I don’t know what I would have done without them in my life.

10. Where do you write?
I have a nook in our bedroom that is all mine. And I’ve spoiled myself with all the latest technology to limit my frustration – I’m very impatient and get very irritated when things don’t connect or don’t work!

Elsa is always willing to chat with readers. You can find her on Twitter, on Facebook, and on her blog.

Love, In Writing

Margaret Parker is a hopeless romantic whose fantasies fuel her writing. For Graham Connelly, science fiction is the perfect genre to express his cynical world view. A chance meeting in a lift leaves them both interested and aroused — with no clue as to the other's identity.

Margaret has been looking for a face to match her new fictional hero — and Graham's is it. Graham has been looking for proof that innocence and optimism still exist — and he's found it in Margaret. But fantasy isn't reality, and both Margaret and Graham are used to controlling their fictional worlds. Can they step off the pages long enough to find their own happy-ever-after?

Love, in Writing is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, All Romance eBooks, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Booktopia and Kobo.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Start Over Please?

It is the 27th of January as all the lovely readers of the blog know and I'm putting my head down in shame as I have failed each and every one of my new year's resolutions...except maybe where I clean up a little during the day.

I am still binge reading, binge watching TV and binge eating and binge writing. I wrote 7k words one Tuesday and wrote about 200 the rest of the week. I'm not however binge exercising or exercising at all.

The eternal little optimist I am, I had written down this Master Plan for what I wanted life to be this year. I had sub topics, I had goals, and then Daily Tasks, it was so elaborate and specific that even my anal retentive, uber organized husband was super impressed. But here I'm, barely a month later and it is back to all the bad habits and harmful routines.

It wasn't a lack of intentions but more a lack of practice, I would like to think. So I'm starting over...
I intend to:

  1. Write a consistent amount of words every day.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Tidy the house. ( Ok, please stop laughing. I'm so afraid my kids are going to grow up and realize, God, Mom was a pig.)
  4. And stop being so damn emotional about every small thing. Because this is what defeats my every goal. One small spanner in the works and I get thrown off for days and spiral down to habits I want to be rid of.
So what about you? Did you make resolutions? If you did, are you keeping up?

Post if you made any, won't you? And give a girl a boost. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Author Spotlight - Zee Monodee

Today we welcome Mauritian author Zee Monodee into the Minxy Spotlight.

1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
Hello everyone! Pleasure to be here today with ye all.  So, a bit about me? Well, I’m in my early thirties, married, mum to a tween boy & stepmum to a teenage lad – and yes, I define myself a lot by whatever role I hold in my family. Even the one of ‘undomestic goddess’; I don’t think you’ll find someone less domesticated than me. I’m on first-name basis with all the dust bunnies in my house, lol. And oh yeah, I’m also an exercise freak. Need my fix of working out everyday otherwise I really feel in withdrawal.

2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
Technically speaking, it’s number 1. It’s the first story I ever wrote. 9 years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I knew I had to start living my life already and not keep dreams for ‘one day’. The dream was to write, so I started writing, and The Other Side is the story that came out. It actually got published – my first! – but then I got the rights back, wrote more stories, put this one away, and so on. When it came out again in July 2013, it launched as my 7th release.

3. What inspired this book?
I’d been through an ugly divorce a few years prior to that episode, seen some aspects of the Indian-origin society I grew up in that I never suspected existed (like stigma and gossip). So the starting point was very much my own experience as a Mauritian of Indian origin whose marriage to a British man broke down and she returned ‘home’. That’s how Lara, the heroine, came into being. They say there’s a good deal of autobiography in any author’s first book, and this was very much the case for me. Still, that’s where the similarities end; Lara and I do not take the same path, at least not romantically. 

4. Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
I have a thing for blond, blue-eyed men. Must be because most of the men I get to see in Mauritius, where I grew up, all have dark hair and eyes. There’s something exotic about blond and not-brown eyes, lol. So, of course, my first hero (I didn’t plan to write more than one book at the time) had to fit this profile. He also had to be totally adorable, and what’s cuter than a man good with children? Thus, Eric became a paediatrician.

But it’s true that I also work a lot with a set ‘template’ for a character, mostly to help me picture him/her better when I imagine my scenes.
Eric Marivaux thus ended up looking like soapie heartthrob Forbes March. That smile? The approachable look? Killer bod? Oh yes, I’d found my hero, all right!

5. Which of your characters would you most like to be?
This is gonna sound scary, but here goes...  I wrote a series called Corpus Brides. It has an espionage slant – think Nikita but from a totally autonomous agency that answers to no government. The focus is on the female spies from this agency. Book 2, Before The Morning, (which also works as the prequel to the trilogy’s main plot), has a woman named Rayne Cheltham as the heroine. She’s the agency’s best assassin, code name Kali. Kali is pretty much a swift, efficient, and lethal sociopath with no qualms to kill – she’s only ever sent out to finish a target.

So, spooky thing – if I could be someone for one day, it would be Rayne. She’s got this brilliant, Sherlock-type mind that processes everything at warp speed; she’s super-fit and trained in all sorts of martial arts; cool, composed, and poised; and she has the most amazing of heroes as her man, Ash. Rayne also comes from a big, boisterous family (something I yearn for!), but it’s Ash who keeps her grounded, keeps her human, so to speak.
It would be a huge challenge to be someone like her, all those facets and having to balance them all.

6. Do you have a writing routine? Do you write every day, and is there a time of day that works best for you in terms of being productive?
No routine as such; I just park myself down on the chair, open the doc, and start typing. More often than not, I’ve already ‘day-dreamed’ the scene for days on end and writing is simply me putting the sequence on paper (or screen).

No, I don’t write every day, though I did do it during my first ever Nano in 2013. I also work as an editor, so I have to split my time during the week (weekends are sacred family and R&R time!) between edits and writing. More often than not, I single out 2 days in the week and keep those only for writing, like 3-4 hours straight.

And I prefer to work in peace and quiet, which I get during the day when the kid is at school and hubby at work. I suppose if push came to shove, I could write at other hours of the day, or night, but this slice of late morning-early afternoon suits me best. Basically, just give me at least a couple of hours with no interruption.

7. How long does it take you to complete a book?
Depends on how many days of the week I have assigned to a project. A typical writing day can see me produce 3-4 thousand words on a story, so the minimum of 2 days per week has me write about 30,000 words in a month. But if I’m on deadline, and/or my editing work schedule permits, I can dedicate more days to writing, and the word count goes up. I guess it depends on the stakes. Like, for Nano, the goal was 50K but I ended up getting 77K in about 25 days, because I wrote every single day.

It also depends on a project. Stories in my Daimsbury Chronicles series (small town romance set in Surrey, England) are rather shorter books, around 15-20K, so these can take me 2-3 weeks to finish. Longer works around the 100K ballpark will need more time.

I also don’t factor in things like writer’s block – to me, you just have to power through the block. I visualize the scene as much as possible before writing it – it’s my mind palace (yes, I’m addicted to Sherlock!) and I do my best to work over every issue and problem in there before I put my fingers to the keyboard. It enables me to keep up a consistent word output then.

8. Are your family and real-life friends supportive? If so, in what ways? If not, do you have another support network for your writing?
My parents and in-laws don’t really much have a clue what ‘being a writer’ implies – I suppose they think it’s like in the movies: I sit down at the keyboard and just pound away, then at the end, I have a book.  They know research is involved, because they have asked me, “How did you write this topic you’re not supposed to know anything about?”

But my family – hubby and the boys – are really the gems in the whole picture. They know that when I’m writing, they should go kill each other away from my ears, and that I’m not available for whatever (except if they’re bleeding or throwing up!) when I’m at my keyboard. During times when I’m working to a deadline, hubby will man the kitchen or get take away so I don’t have to cook, and that’s a huge help. Plus they know to not be worried when I suddenly go quiet and drift away in my head to a story idea; they’ve grown used to that now.

As for friends, my bestie – who however lives in a different country – is my biggest support ever. She’s my cheerleader, my sounding board, my shoulder to lean/cry on – I’d be lost without her. Also an author, she totally ‘gets’ me when I’m having plot or character trouble, and thank goodness for that because the guys here look like deer caught in the headlights when I am ranting away about ‘uncooperative characters!’

9. Do you connect with your readers at all, and if so which is your favourite platform for reaching them?
I love catching up with my readers – there isn’t much I like more than this, actually. There’s this huge rush of pride and affirmation to get to speak with someone who has chosen to share into what you are offering to the world through your words.

Because of an uncooperating ISP, I am no longer that much on Twitter (though I hope this will change soon when we switch ISPs here next month), so I don’t get the chance to interact with readers there. Thanks to time constraints and basically, life, I’m also not as much as I’d want to be on my blog.

So the remaining platform (and that I know how to navigate in, lol!) is Facebook! That’s where I am most of the time. Readers can friend me or just follow if they prefer – most of what I post is Public, anyway. They can interact with me there, PM me.

And if all this fails, let’s get to basics – email! I’m just a click away at this addy By now, you’ve prolly realized I love to talk, lol, so come on, talk to me. I promise I always reply. 

The Other Side

Lara Reddy is fleeing London. After her husband dumps her and she bumps into him and his pregnant new missus, she jumps on a prestigious job offer. The kicker? The job is in Mauritius, the homeland of her Indian-origin parents, and a restrictive society she ran away from over a decade earlier.

Divorce paints a scarlet letter on her chest when she returns to the culture-driven island. Once there, Lara has no escape--not from the gossip, the contempt, the harassing matchmaking...and certainly not from the man she hoped never to meet again, the boy she’d loved and lost—white Mauritian native, Eric Marivaux.

In the past, fear of social repercussions from the sectarian crowd her family belongs to kept her from giving her all to Eric. Will standing on the other side be the impetus she needs to take a chance on Eric and love again?

The Other Side is available from Amazon, Amazon UK, and direct from Decadent Publishing.

Monday, January 20, 2014


It's the aim of most writers to have a book or two out there. To breathe in deep and let readers read their words. And there are many different routes to achieve it. My first foray into self-publishing came about after I had already had two books published by different publishers - so far in my career I've been published by three publishers, but I must say that my favorite way to go is to self-publish.
I know a lot of authors who are traditionally published, and may be thinking that self-publishing isn't for them, but if you have a manuscript ready to go, I think everyone should consider it. Publishing both traditionally and self-published (becoming a hybrid author) is a good way to go.

Here are some things you need:

1. A completed, polished manuscript. This needs to be your very best work.
2. A good editor. My advice in finding the perfect editor for your work is to consider firstly whether your audience is US or UK based, and if you are going to write in UK or US English. If you are traditionally published, and love your editor, first find out if your editor also freelances - might she take on private clients? If not, can she/he recommend someone to you? Finding an editor who 'gets you' and that you can work well with is key.
3. A cover designer. I have used four different cover designers and have also designed covers myself. There are a great variety of cover designers out there, at all price ranges. You can have a cover specifically designed, or buy a 'premade' cover where the designer alters the name and title to fit. Most premade designers remove the cover from sale once it has been sold.A great premade cover site is Go On Write which is updated very regularly and has some great covers at very attractive prices.

Questions and thoughts:
"I don't want to have to do publicity, I have no idea where to start with that. If I'm traditionally published, then my publisher will do that for me."
The above is a bit of a misconception. All authors need to promote their own work, and end up doing so, both trad or indie, so this isn't an issue.

"Self-published is not as good quality as traditionally published."
I strongly disagree. If you write a good book, employ a professional editor, and a good designer it can be impossible for the reader to know if your book has been produced by a publisher or has been self published.

"But I don't know anything about self-publishing."
If self-publishing is a mystery to you, then the answer is to become informed. Start by reading Catherine Ryan Howard's blog, JA Konrath's blog, and see how you get on. There's a wealth of information out there, and you owe it to yourself to investigate.

1. Royalty rates - 70% of cover if you price your book at 2.99-9.99.
2. Payment - There is a 60 day lead time on Amazon payments, but they pay monthly.
3. Scheduling releases - instead of waiting for a slot for a book to be released by a publisher, you can release when a book is ready. This can be a huge advantage for writers who write fast and have manuscripts backing up in a publishers' system.
4. Control. You choose the cover, release date, price, promo etc. You can experiment with all of these, and if something isn't working - fix it.

So if you are a writer who has been thinking about self-publishing, I strongly encourage you to make 2014 the year that you investigate it in more detail, learn all you can about it, and dive in!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Author Spotlight - Lynn Marie Hulsman

Welcome to our first Author Spotlight of 2014! Yes, our Spotlights usually happen on a Thursday, and yes, today is Friday. The delay is entirely my fault. My baby started grade one yesterday and I took my eye right off the blog ball and focussed it on the family ball. [I'm sure you all understand, though!]

So, cracking on... today's spotlight author is a fellow Harper Impulse author. She hails from New York, keeps pet rats, is a stand-up comedienne, and has agreed to be a guinea pig to test out our new and improved set of interview questions.

Take it away, Lynn Marie.

* * *

First of all, thank you for hosting me! It’s really nice when more established authors drag fellow authors up with them! I love it when women help women. It proves that there’s enough to go around, and the women really aren’t grown-up “mean girls” competing for scraps. For me, I feel that promoting popular fiction elevates and helps all women writers. Jennifer Weiner, one of my favourite authors, and a personal hero of mine, is a great living example of this practice.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

I was born in the southern United States, home of tall tales and the art of storytelling. I’ve now lived in New York City longer than anywhere else, which practically makes me a native. My job history qualifies me as either colourful and creative or “not a very serious person,” depending on your take. I’ve worked at an independent bookstore (Pages & Pages, fave job of all time), a Wine and Cheese shop (yes, I sampled…a LOT), a direct marketing firm specializing in cheesy casinos (We have the loosest slots!), as an Ideation Agent for major international corporations, (I helped invent a dial-your-color foundation makeup package), as a stand-up comic (Caroline’s/Don’t Tell Mama, etc.), as a pharmaceutical editor and proofreader (ask me anything about the prostate: I know), and as a non-fiction writer — ghosting, co-writing, and penning my own cookbook.

My two kids are the most fascinating creatures I’ve ever met, but I wish they’d go be fascinating somewhere else when I’m trying to write. Together with my husband, we like to go to Central Park, play with our Dumbo-eared rats (think Ratatouille, not Scabbers), make up song parodies, and go to water parks.

I love dogs, and have two elderly boys: Mo, my Schnoodle (blind and deaf), and Piglet, my Bedlington Terrier (bath dodger/pizza thief).

I live on the 26th floor of a midtown-Manhattan apartment building, and the view of the Times Square Jumbotron and the Hudson River almost makes up for the lack of square footage.

I love Downton Abbey as much as I love Arrested Development, I like to cook but cannot peel a mango, I don’t believe in white chocolate, and sleep is the object of my deepest desires.

What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)

This is my debut novel. I’ve been wanting to write a full-on book since I was 11. I suppose nothing happens before the time is right. Now that I’ve done it once, I’m raring to do it again.

What inspired this book?

What inspired the action of writing this book was my mother’s death. Having a concrete reminder that our time on earth is precious spurred me to start the process, and keep running until I crossed the finish line. It freed me from a lot of my fear. I think one thing most humans dread most is the loss of their mother. Once that happened, I was able to frame things in more perspective. If I could survive that, and adjust to it, I knew I could survive a random stranger telling me that my book isn’t their cup of tea.

Luckily, I was acquired by the perfect publisher for this story. Fate dealt me a kind hand in the form of my wonderful editor, Charlotte Ledger. I can’t imagine having made a better match, at a better time. From the public, I’ve gotten lots of warm response.

The important point, though is this: While the response has been lovely, writing the book was what mattered. I hope to continue to connect with readers, and to find my tribe. No matter what, though, I now know I need to write consistently for the rest of my time on earth in order to feel fulfilled.

Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?

My novel features more than one love interest, though I’m not sure they could both be strictly defined as heroes. Jasper Roth, an alpha-male investment banker, was inspired by a famous figure in the international financial world. I won’t name him here, because my inside glimpse into his daily life comes from a combination of information fed to me by someone who crosses paths with him in real life and my obsessive stalking of him in the news. I’ve come to find out that he’s the inspiration for at least one other fictional character. As in most fiction, the character has precious little to do with the real-life man. Still, when I hear tales of his daily life, I imagine the flesh-and-blood man to be like my creation.

Another love interest in my book, who is definitely not a hero, was inspired by an ex-love. The character’s name is Stephen. The man’s name is Stephen. The character wrote a novel, lived in Paris, and collects Warner Brothers cartoon cells. The man also did and does. The character is kind of an asshat. The man, well…Have I mentioned that it’s fun to be a fiction writer?

Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre?

While this book, and the second for which I’m contracted by HarperImpulse, is a Romantic Comedy, I have a healthy start on a historical women’s fiction book based on my grandmother’s experiences as a beautician around the time of the Great Depression. I spent years as a stand-up comic, and I own a comedy improv company. I know how to quip, be funny, and see the humor in situations. Still, the somber side of me wants to have its say. The jumping-off points of my grandmother’s stories were hilarious, but she had a dark lining in her life. I’d like to borrow her voice, and share some of what I believe she confided in me, only.

Do you have a writing routine? Do you write every day, and is there a time of day that works best for you in terms of being productive?

I’m a morning person, and I am most productive when I get out of bed, have a (ginormous) cup of coffee, and get down to business. My worst habit is editing as I go. I can fool myself into thinking I’m working, when in reality doing this is a procrastination technique. I think my personal issue is that writing straight through and seeing what I end up with is scary. The nagging question is: What if it’s not good? I have to constantly remind myself that no one writes a first draft that’s worth publishing. Pushing through that fear is what gets words on the page. As they say, “The editing is where the girls get separated from the women.” The other kiss of death for me is putting down a work in progress for too many days. I need to stay in the world, and keep the shape of the characters’ dialogue in my mouth. If I don’t stay on top of what I’m writing, it’s like a nightmarish game of “Mother May I?” in which I’m sent all the way back to the beginning to start all over. In short, I’ve found that while writing is joyful and fulfilling, it’s a job that requires discipline and commitment.

Are your friends supportive?

I never would have completed my first novel if not for my dear friend Kate, who never stopped asking me for more completed pages, and who never stopped telling me how much she liked what was developing. She is a brilliant theatre director, and dramaturg. She gave me an amazing gift by offering her feedback and suggestions. It helped so much, having someone aware of my progress. Ideally, I’d like a writer’s group. Finding and forming one that meets your needs, however, isn’t the easiest thing. I’d venture to say it’s more tricky and delicate than dating. You need the right chemistry, and mutual respect and trust is mandatory. Now that I’ve published, I have some wonderful author friends who are supporting me. It’s great to bounce problems and ideas off of other women in the same boat. With them, I can moan about my fears, ask for help when I’m stuck, and brag when I’m very impressed with myself or when I get a good review.

Mostly, I write at home, seated on my bed, which is terrible for my back and shoulders. I’m looking into getting a “standing desk.” They strike me as a little goofy, though, in the manner of a bean bag chair or yoga ball. When my family are around, I head out to The Center for Fiction. It’s so comforting to be surrounded by books and book lovers in that historic midtown-Manhattan building. In nice weather, I go to Bryant Park. They have free wifi and some of the most pleasant public restrooms in New York City.

* * *

Thanks for joining us here today Lynn Marie. Though I had to stop reading at "26th floor apartment" as my vertigo kicked in.

For the record, her hero Jasper Roth is to die for. He was definitely my Best Book Boyfriend of the holiday season. Any chance I can get some more of him, Lynn Marie?

You can dowload Christmas at Thornton Hall from Amazon, Amazon UK, and all other major online retailers. Lynn Marie is available to chat on Facebook, Twitter and via her website.

Christmas at Thornton Hall

When Juliet Hill unwittingly discovers a most-definitely-not-hers-rhinestone-studded lace thong in her high-flying lawyer boyfriend's apartment, this usually feisty chef is suddenly single and facing a very blue Christmas - with only a ready meal for one to keep her company!

So when she's personally requested to cater for the family at Thornton Hall three days before Christmas, it's not long before Juliet's standing at the (back) door of the impossibly grand ancestral pile.

The halls are decked, the guests are titled, those below the stairs are delightfully catty, and all-American Juliet sets to work cooking up a glorious British Christmas with all the trimmings.

But other flames are burning besides those on the stove... Sparks fly with Edward, the gorgeous ex-soldier turned resident chef, and are those sidelong looks Juliet's getting from her boss, the American tycoon Jasper Roth?

As the snow starts to fall on the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, so does the veneer of genteel high society and there are more than a few ancient skeletons rattling out of the Hall's numerous dark cupboards!

CHRISTMAS AT THORNTON HALL is a country house romance for the modern age, a must-read for fans of the scandals and drama of Downton Abbey and the charm and wit of Helen Fielding.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy New Year

Firstly, a very Happy New Year to all our blog readers from each and every Minx! May this year bring you everything that you hope for--and more!!

I have plans for this year. Actual plans that I've written down. For me, this is a first. Usually I start the year with a vague idea of what I'm going to do and recently I've not achieved anything like what I wanted to. Last year I turned 40 and lots of things changed in my life. Many remained the same, like my desire to lose weight (but that's a whole different blog post!).

The main difference is that for the first time in almost 9 years I have no little people running around my home during the day. There's still plenty of them after 3pm but between 9 and 3 I have some hours to myself to write. My mother tells me this child free time is for housework but I know different and I'm sure it's me that's right :)

So I've decreed this the year of achievement and to reach my goals I need plans. I've likened this to a ladder of success :) I've been toying with writing in different genres for a while now and, really, if I don't try these things how will I know whether I am any good at them or not?

The first rung on my ladder has been to get a spreadsheet. This handy chart will keep everything I've done this year straight. You can enter up to five different books and every day you just put in how many words you've done on each project. Then it adds them all up for you.

The next part of my plan is to do as many #1k1hr writing sprints on twitter as I can each day. I always seem to get so much more done when I know there are others out there writing their fingers off too.

So I want to know, what do you do to get organised? Do you make goals? And, most importantly, how do you make sure you achieve those goals?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014



First off - looking back on a wonderful 2013, Minxes are amazed by how quickly the year zipped past. But we're also equally amazed by the incredible things that happened in our writing journeys. Here are a few testimonials!

I'm really happy that in 2013 I became a published author. There's nothing nicer than receiving a message from a reader who's enjoyed one of my books, or a writer with similar health problems who's been inspired by my path to publication. Plus I now have even more lovely writer and reader friends as well as my minxy sisters :-) - Lorraine Minx

I'm thankful for my health, and for the health of my family. I'm thankful for the people who read my books, not only do they fill me with joy, but they help pay the bills too! I'm grateful for the minxes, and for all my friends - writers and not, who enrich my life. Happy 2014, everyone! - Sally Minx 

I'm thankful for my family's health and wellbeing, for the always generous minxy sisterhood and for having the chance to do something that I very much love - write! - Sri Minx

I'm thankful for the health and happiness of my family and loved ones, and for having my dream job! I feel very lucky to have my gorgeous minty sisters, and I'm looking forward to an exciting year ahead at minxy manor. - Jo/Kitty Minx

For my own personal testimonial - It's been an incredibly frenzied year of juggling a full-time job with my writing, and unexpected opportunities which have challenged and humbled me! Of course, I couldn't have done any of this without my family's support and the incredible support of my writer friends, especially the Minxes. The last three months of this year have been especially amazing, and helped me realise I'm doing the one thing I absolutely LOVE doing, which is writing stories that I make my laugh and cry!

I think the general sentiment here is that Minxes are thankful for the great sisterhood that keeps us going, for our love of writing and for never giving up our dreams.

2014 is set to become even more amazing than 2013 was!!!

Thank you for taking this journey with us! And watch out for some fabulous news VERY SOON from us!