Welcome to my new blog (fantasy name: Girl meets Cake. Real name: Lola’s Blog).
It’s been a long time – and whilst my absences are usually due to deadlines, holidays or sheer procrastination – this time, I can only blame one thing – HACKERS!!! (You know who you are!! ). So basically, my Blog’s been out of action for a while but I’m now back with a brighter fresher look and with more news to catch up on than ever before! (believe me this sounds grander than it should).
Admittedly, I have not yet got the hang of this new fangled Blog thingy, but when I’ve learnt how to place my book cover permanently on the front – it will be a start. For now – this is better than nothing right? (if you disagree, please don’t ‘comment’)
So here’s a quick recap of the last few months (something I prepared earlier in anticipation of ever having another Blog…)
February 2011 brought in yet another birthday and a lovely trip to Bali to visit friends. I was more than worried about the fact it was raining season, but the tropical downpours didn’t seem to last too long and a beautiful fresh feeling would always follow, with the rest of the day free to visit ancient temples, eat a mountain of nasi goreng (can you please add extra chili please?) and a chance to air out the summer clothes I don’t get to wear in England very much.
I’d like to say I wrote and wrote and wrote, but erm, that would be a lie… I had good intentions lurking someplace in the ether of my mind AND I even lugged my Mac all the way to Indonesia, through various time zones and waters – so the notion to write was there…. But instead I ended up writing a few emails in the evening, catching up on Emmerdale online (which did have an important storyline involving Lisa Dingle at the time) and basically admiring the laptops glossy exterior. The friend I stayed with is a writer too and part of me secretly hoped she’d at least shame me into putting pen to paper so to speak, I’d assumed she’d be chained to her laptop. Instead we were as bad as one another and decided to err… not write.
The best part of the holiday for me was stroking the head of a baby elephant at the Elephant Safari Park Lodge in Taro – Bali. Rescued from Sumatra these elephants are amazing. And whilst it is my dream to watch them roam freely in the wild, one has to accept that if it was not for this park and the efforts of its founder, these elephants would have perished. Elephants are the best!!
April 29th 2011
I took the whole day off from writing my new (sci – fi esque) novel today because… well because like almost everyone I know, I was watching The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine! It was absolutely spectacular. The bride looked stunning and the groom very dapper in his Irish Guard uniform. And don’t get me started on the Maid of Honor, Pippa’s dress. Simple, elegant and AMAZING. Very proud of Britain and this wonderful spectacle. Very sad that Princess Diana was not there. What stood out for me was that wonderful Aston Martin being driven by William with a beaming bride at his side. And as they drove off into the sunset, a stream of heart shaped balloons and an L plate illuminated for the crowds, I thought; how very ‘unroyal,’ how wonderful.
Congrats Will and Kate!!
May 2011 Saw me travel to Miami with two friends. This time I decided not to delude myself and left the Mac at home. I mean it’s MIAMI?? The paaarty central of America if not the world. We stayed in a colourful boutique hotel in Collins Avenue, very close to the famous South Beach. The sun felt was amazing and with a comfortable ocean breeze, the atmosphere lovely. Everyone just mingling with everyone. We ate breakfast most days at Don Johnson’s News Cafe, sat by the pool most evenings at The Clevelander, said ‘Hi’ to rappers Rick Ross as he munched on a pizza (much to his bodyguard’s general beefcakeness as soon as my friend asked to take a picture), stood open mouthed at the sight of Supermodel Tyson Beckford, beside me as I waited in line (recalling the many pictures I had of him popping up as my screensaver during those early writing days- this was quite surreal), waiving to UK Rapper Chipmunck, watching an array of US reality TV stars as they filmed or just took a break from the cameras. And don’t get me started on the basketball stars roaming around the place (Miami Heat were playing apparently). But I apologise now to my American chums, as being non American I suffer from a complete lack of knowledge when it comes to basketball players, but was reliably informed I was in the presence of greatness. Star spotting aside, the beach, the atmosphere and the weather all worked together to intoxicate me with excitement.
But I did take my writing notebook – you know, just in case. Yes, you heard correctly – I took my notebook to Miami because you know…. I needed to make notes for the book – you know research etc… for the new book…
“What book?” I hear you cry…
Well, I have been slowly working on something over the last few months (slow, because as you know, real life can sometimes get in the way of fiction). The new manuscript is (don’t laugh at me now) a bit on the sci fi side. Yes I know, I am a commercial women’s fiction writer and this is all a bit Star Trekky. However, I’m not sure if it actually works yet and I’m also not sure where its taking me, but as long as I continue to enjoy the ride then, that’s okay, right? (“NO “ says my agent waiting in the wings, arms folded sternly).
As always watch this space!!
JULY 2011 and MY NEW NOVEL BEING LARA HAS A RELEASE DATE!!!!!
My novel Being Lara will be released in March 2012 in the USA!!!!! I keep getting asked about the UK release … we are working on that, but if you cant wait – you can order it on Amazon UK and its free delivery!!!!
I’m so excited, here’s the blurb….
‘Fans of commercial women’s fiction will be drawn to this moving tale of three women—mother, birth mother, and daughter—the choices they make, and the fragile family bond they try to create across time and continents….’
And here’s more…
‘Lara has always felt alienated-dark where her parents were fair, kinky-haired where theirs was straight, it was not until the age of 8 that Lara really understood what ‘adopted’ meant in her case. Now at 30, Lara’s birth mother appears at her birthday party. The feeling of her life quickly spinning out of control takes Lara completely by surprise. Torn in too many directions, desperate to just hunker down and hide, Lara now has no choice but to face these changes.
As the lives of her two mothers are revealed, she finally understands what it means to be Lara.’
You likee? Guestbook your thoughts!
August 2011 Saw me return to the United States but this time to Washington DC. Before that, my editor kept me informed about the progress of Being Lara. Plus, I worked on a little ‘back of the book surprise’. Those of you who read the American edition of By The Time You Read This… may recall an interview and a piece at the back. This time it’s a little different but you’ll have to wait and see what I come up with. Let’s just say it has something to do with cake! (those who know me, know just how much I lurrrve CAKE and CAKE seems to be (amongst other things) a huge theme in Being Lara.
No, I have not written a story about Girl Meets Cake.
Yes, I had a lovely time in DC but was struck yet again by the lack of bookshops. Sadly, I did see a few Borders stores with huge ‘closing down’ stickers on the window. Gosh that made me feel sad. The last of the books looked over by the bargain hunters as I wondered if the ‘death of the bookshop’ also meant ‘death of the paper book?’ I really hope not. I have friends who own electronic e readers but I for one prefer the smell of a new book, gazing at the cover – but that’s just me…
Suppose I should add that I also didn’t see any CD stores (I was desperate to get my hands on a couple of CD’s not available on Amazon UK) and I suppose this has also been a running theme over the years since the Internet revolution and downloading- though this hasn’t meant the death of the music industry, right?
On an even more gloomy note, August also happened to be the month of the UK Riots. It had started in Tottenham which is not a million miles from the cafe where I sat and typed this post. The trouble quickly spread to other areas of London and then the UK. Young people of varying ages and races, all taking to the streets in a looting and burning frenzy. As a consequence, people lost their lives and some sustained injuries.
It was such a surreal week. When it was happening, I couldn’t actually believe it was happening. Texting friends; ‘Are you ok?’ and watching aghast at all the news stations on TV, online and the second by second information from Twitter. I don’t think anyone in the UK will forget the four days that began on Saturday 6th August 2011. There has and will continue to be, countless opinions, comments and conversations on buses and corridors, as to why and how? But out of all the rhetoric, one line stood out for me when someone wrote; ‘We have lost a whole generation.’ That made me feel sad and bereft at my sudden loss of optimism – something I am for the most part, usually in abundance of.
17th August saw me wake up around 6.50 am with an IMMEDIATE thought and I think you’ll like this one;
A whole addition to my upcoming book Being Lara!! (You know, which I just happened to miss when I first wrote the book!). It’s an element of the story which I have not included and which frankly NEEDS including. I had to be out of bed in an hour … so I took out the Mac and just got typing. Finishing around fifty minutes later with over a thousand words typed and in need of an urgent spell check. After getting dressed, I wrote an email to Tha Editor explaining the urgency of the chapter (actually it’s one and a half but – The Missing Chapter sounds much more dramatic don’t you think?)
It’s such an important addition too.An issue that is hinted at throughout the book but had never really been spelt out – until now. I thank God that this has come to me before the book officially went to print.
Towards the end of August I traveled to Washington DC. This time I forgot to take the notebook and focused on museums and the great weather. Hurricane Irene did arrive but where I was staying, this basically consisted of heavy rain and winds. My heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones and were injured.
So upon my return to England very early September and just over a week later – I feel like I have been away for ages. mainly because I left in the summer and seemed to have returned in the winter. It’s cold and dark… but at least I’m raring to go work-wise. Which is why after months and months of sighs and basic dilly dally – I have got rid of (sort of) the old one and started this brand spanking new blog.
And as usual; my disclaimer is -’The Blog wont have the best grammar, I switch from present to past tense, first person to second person and some of the stuff will be mind numbingly boring.’
What can I say…? ENJOY!!