Serving up all the right ingredients for a great romance novel

You know you’re really in the zone when you start dreaming about your characters, especially if you’re interacting with them in your subconscious.

That’s what I’ve been doing every night for over a week now. It’s a very happy place to be because Appleton Vale really is an idyllic village full of gorgeous, funny, engaging people that I have met with and talked to in my dreams.

Now before you think I’m verging on madness, I truly believe that, if you want to write characters that have depth, emotions and a back-story you can trust, you need to live with them day and night.  If that makes me a little bonkers then I’ll accept it knowing I have created a world where each and every one of my characters is fully rounded, 4D if you will.

We all know there’s a formula to writing a romance novel – girl meets boy, they fall in love after a few false starts and eventually live happily ever after. But it’s the quality of writing, the characterisation and a unique story that makes the great stand out from the not so great.

The Sweet Spot has all the ingredients of the best modern romance. There's a feisty heroine, a smouldering hero, a beautiful village setting, dogs, horses, love, hate, passion and plenty of action.  It really hits the spot!

My fast-paced style of writing and the quality of the words I have put on paper have been applauded by many of the publishers and agents I contacted when The Sweet Spot was finally ready to go. Naturally I expected to receive a bucket load of rejections – the painful truth of being a writer – but I didn’t expect to be given such great feedback. It’s not often they take the time to send you anything more than a standard ‘thanks but no thanks’ email.

They complimented my writing, enjoyed my story but, for one reason or another, it wasn’t suitable for their lists. I was encouraged to send in my next book for review as ‘things always change’ and that gave me a real confidence boost. I knew I was onto a winner with The Sweet Spot, I just needed to find the right publisher who had room for a new romantic author on their roster.

I was incredibly fortunate that my publisher did have an opening and offered it to me.  I’m one of the lucky ones.

I’m currently writing the follow up to The Sweet Spot which is why Sebastian, Olivia and the rest of the villagers are invading my every waking thought as well as my dreams. Once I get it all down on paper I’ll have to prepare for reentry into my ‘normal’ life. If I’m completely honest I’d rather stay in Appleton Vale!