Mick’s Musings: Time To Let The Baby Fly The Nest

rp_Mick-Arnold1-224x30011.jpgNope, we’re not talking a variation on the Immaculate Conception, so don’t all line up wanting to become my manager. No ‘get rich quick’ scheme here. I’m referring to the fact that after getting my report back from the book I submitted to the RNA New Writer’s Scheme, I’ve now completed the changes/followed the advice that I was given and sent it off to the first publishing house yesterday. But it felt like letting my baby fledge and I admit to needing a little bit of a push to hit that ‘send’ button in my email. A little bit of procrastination reared its head. Asking a friend for advice, replying back, replying back, replying back…you get the picture, anything but admitting that I couldn’t quite get the back to finally send it off.

So, that’s the first one on the way. I was fortunate to get what could only be described as a very positive report. Ask my friends, I never ‘blow my own trumpet’, perhaps that’s down to a little lack in self-confidence, but what really made my mind up to crack along was meeting with the lovely ladies of the RNA Birmingham chapter the other week where they were all so enthusiastic after reading the report, and convinced me that it could barely have been any better. A time-line and two different meals were the only things I needed to change, apart from advice on the punctuation. I couldn’t believe my reader took the time to go through the whole manuscript to enter where they thought I needed better punctuation! Who was that ‘masked reader’? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s wonder reader!!! Sorry, silly hat off.

To say I was choked up when I plucked up the nerve to read the report would be an understatement. I’d worked myself up so much, that I was convinced it would be a couple of lines saying – ‘Step away from the computer. Never darken Word’s doorstep again. You can’t write.’ Okay, you get the picture. See above comment re confidence. Then what it actually said, taken with the lovely ladies of Birmingham RNA reactions and I hunkered down to make said changes. Continue reading

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Parents

rp_friday-300x164111111.pngFriday 12th September 2014:

Fiction Friday is our weekly prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: ‘The last time I saw my mother was fifteen years ago.’ That is your first sentence. Who your character is and where you go is up to you.

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Book News: Cecelia Ahern

The Year I Met YouThe Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern.

It’s no secret that I love Cecelia’s novels. I am looking forward to the movie adaptation of Where Rainbows End. As if that wasn’t enough, she is also releasing her latest novel. The Year I Met You will be released on 9th October (so just under a month to go,) by HarperCollins and it’s available to pre-order. I think this has to be one of my favourite covers of 2014 too.

About The Year I Met You:

Jasmine loves two things: her sister and her work. And when her work is taken away she has no idea who she is.

Matt loves two things: his family and the booze. Without them, he hits rock bottom.

One New Year’s Eve, two people’s paths collide. Both have time on their hands; both are at a crossroads. But as the year unfolds, through moonlit nights and suburban days, an unlikely friendship slowly starts to blossom.

Sometimes you have to stop still in order to move on…


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Short Stories For Christmas.

Yes I know, it’s only September but I love Christmas and I am getting more excited as it draws nearer. The other great thing about this time of year is the Christmas stories we get treated to. Here are four short christmas giftsstories I am looking forward to reading. They are all due for release on 6th November – just in time for those dark, cold evenings.


Christmas Gifts at the Beach Café by Lucy Diamond.

Lucy’s latest short story is due to be released by Pan on 6th November.

This looks brilliant and I am loving this cover.

With her Cornish Beach Café closed for the winter, Evie Flynn should be looking forward to lazy days and a happy Christmas, with nothing more pressing to think about than when to have her next mince-pie.

But her sister Ruth is coming to stay, in a cloud of heartbreak and bitterness following her marriage breakdown, along with her three unhappy children, and Evie knows she’ll have her work cut out, trying to spread some festive cheer. Then her boyfriend Ed breaks the news that he’s going to spend Christmas in London, for family reasons, and her heart sinks even further.

Add in to the mix a lost dog plus the hotly contested village Christmas bake-off and before long, Evie is feeling the strain. But there are still a few surprises in store for her, that look set to make this Beach Café Christmas the most memorable one yet . .

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Review: Age of Iron by Angus Watson

age-of-iron-final-cover.jpgage-of-iron-final-cover.jpgage-of-iron-final-coverAge of Iron by Angus Watson.

Released on 2nd September 2014 by Orbit Books.

Dug Sealskinner is a work-shy mercenary traveling south to join up with King Zadar’s army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people.

Now Dug’s on the wrong side of the thousands-strong army he hoped to join – and worse, Zadar has blood­thirsty druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one small child, and one unpredictable, highly trained warrioress with a lust for revenge that might get them all killed . . .


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. I have read quite a lot of historical fiction by writers such as Bernard Cornwell, but almost without exception these have been based on post-Roman times so this was my first excursion into the heart of pre-Roman, Iron Age Britain.

I have to admit that I was a little put off by the cover. For some reason the stern looking, unwashed man on the front lead me to think that the novel would not be as good as I discovered it to be.

My first thought upon reading the opening chapters was that the characters seem very modern; they speak and act just like we do today, just with the odd Pagan god thrown in for a curse word every now and then. I found this a little unsettling at first, Continue reading

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Novel Kicks Fiction Friday: Back to School

rp_friday-300x16411111.pngFriday 5th September 2014: Back to School.

Fiction Friday is our weekly prompt. The aim is to write for a minimum of five minutes and then keep going for as long as you can. Once you’ve finished, don’t edit, just post in the comments box below.

Today’s prompt: Back to School. Most children are going back to school this week. The character you’re writing about is a man called Bob and he wakes up to find that instead of being 44, he’s back to being 14 years old (but aware of his life as an adult.) What happens? How does he react and does this change?

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Book News: September Releases.

Autumn is on its way and although I am very sad to be saying goodbye to August, I am very excited to say hello to September as there are some brilliant books due for release this month. I have picked three books we are looking forward to reading.


sunriseThe Sunrise by Victoria Hislop.

Due for release on 25th September by Headline.

I love the cover for this book. It’s very pretty. Victoria is the best-selling author of The Island and The Return and we’re looking forward to reading her latest release.

About The Sunrise:

In the summer of 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean, a city bathed in the glow of good fortune. An ambitious couple are about to open the island’s most spectacular hotel, where Greek and Turkish Cypriots work in harmony. Two neighbouring families, the Georgious and the …zkans, are among many who moved to Famagusta to escape the years of unrest and ethnic violence elsewhere on the island. But beneath the city’s faade of glamour and success, tension is building.

When a Greek coup plunges the island into chaos, Cyprus faces a disastrous conflict. Turkey invades to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority, and Famagusta is shelled. Forty thousand people seize their most precious possessions and flee from the advancing soldiers. In the deserted city, just two families remain. This is their story.

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Bella’s Scribblings: Is There Any Writer Out There?

Bella Osborne

Bella Osborne

Hopefully at some point in time you have faced the inevitable. You have given in to your deepest most feelings, (no not the one about the biscuits) those ones that have been telling you to stop hiding your true self. To embrace the real you and accept who you are. And declare to the world, with pride, I AM A WRITER.

Well done for that, it’s not easy and I hope you are coping with the repeated questions of So when will you get published? When can I buy it in a shop? How much have you made so far?’

It’s truly fun isn’t it? Why are you shaking your head at the screen (I can actually see you… Oh, yes I can… Anyway…) No, it isn’t fun, but mostly they do mean well. Even when they say, ‘Don’t you think it’s time you stopped wasting your time on this?’ Or ‘It’s only a hobby isn’t it?’ Honestly, they still only mean well. The thing is they really don’t understand. They may have known you all your life or just met you in the supermarket queue but the thing is you could spend a lifetime trying to explain but they will most likely never really get it.

The reason for this? (there are a lot of questions this week, I hope you are keeping up.) The reason is… drum roll please… they are not writers.

I can tell you are not blown away by that answer. Because you are most likely thinking that these people know you very well and they’ve probably witnessed the blood sweat, tears and coffee that you have poured into your writing, so surely they must understand – but trust me it takes a writer to understand another writer.

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A Moment With: Nell Dixon.

nellNell is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Her books include Christmas Ever After, The New Bay Series and Radio Gaga. Today, Nell shares her five tips for new writers.

Read lots.

Keep writing.

Write what you love.

Don’t be scared to reach out to other writers.

Never be scared to edit.


For more information about Nell and her books, visit her website: www.nelldixon.com

Follow Nell on Twitter.

For more information on the Romantic Novelists’ Association, visit their website: www.rna-uk.org

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I count to three and then open the door.

Book Corner – September

Book Corner – September


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