Thursday, October 22, 2009


Harlequin America Romance

C.C. Coburn has hit the spot with her first novel, a heart-warming tale set in small town America. Will, a former ski stuntman, is a member of the O’Malley family. He is fighting to retain the historical integrity of the town in the face of the powerful resources of a development company. Will has a strong following in the town. An irrepressible optimist, and stubborn to the core, he is also a bit of a layabout in the eyes of some. All agree that the man has a heart of gold, though, and his deeds show that. He is kind to animals, the aged, and children. Only Will knows that his belief in himself has been shaken to the core and his career is in tatters.

Enter Judge Becky Mcbride and son. Her very first case, with the errant Will as the accused, is a real eye opener for her. When Will decides that the judge is the love of his life and is going to be his wife, the result is more roses than she can manage. Will doesn’t even consider defeat, it’s not in his nature to. Becky is overprotective of her slightly disabled son, but young Nicolas only wants a father, and he soon sets his sights on Will. An unforeseen event forces Will to overcomes his demons. When he risks his life to save that of Nicolas, it settles the outstanding issues for all of them.

COLORADO CHRISTMAS is a novel with a great deal of warmth and charm. The main characters are fully convincing and likeable, and are supported by a cast of well-rounded, believable characters - all interested in Will’s pursuit of his lady love. This is a case of irresistible force meets immovable object. Humour flows naturally from the characters and the situations they find themselves in. If you like snow. If you like Christmas. If you believe in happy endings (or even if your don’t like any of those things) you can’t help loving this novel!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Writing tips - Crafting rules

On one of the lists I‘m on, a writer who has completed two creative writing courses commented that she felt restricted by being expected to write within the structure of the rules she’d been taught.

I do think she was probably worrying needlessly. I've been published for about twenty years and have just been offered a contract for books 25/26. During my years as a writer I've learned not to ignore those writing “rules”.

I do believe in learning how to craft a story and to keep practising that craft. Believe me, doing a course does not make you a writer. You go on learning after you've completed any number of them, and you learn from your own mistakes and experiences mostly. Writing is like any other career or occupation in that aspect. The more you do it, the better you become at doing it.

Rules (I prefer guidelines} have come about through experienced authors/editors sharing their collective experiences. They're not saying, "You must do it this way.” They're saying, "This is a blueprint of the tried and true structure that has been widely adopted as the best way to construct a novel."

If anyone feels restricted by this notion then I'd suggest that they hadn't really practised the “rules” enough, because when they are constantly used they tend to  sink into your subconscious, and you don't notice yourself using them.

At a basic level the "rules" provide me with a structure on which I’ll hang the flesh and blood of my story. They will then help me to edit the finished product. The structure can be bent or reshaped to fit the style of your writing and the voice which is unique to each story creator.  

The "art" of storytelling flows directly from the creative mind - the insights, emotions and imaginings of the writer concerned - and is something else altogether. It’s called talent.There is no writers’ course that can teach you that. It’s something you’re born with - the ability to observe and turn those observations into words that entertain. Give ten authors the same theme and you will get ten different books. That’s the art. The talent, The X factor!