Writing

Of stereotypes and heroes – a reflection on my leading men

The men in my brain have a tendency to ambush me at the most inappropriate moments. Note the men in my brain: in real life, I have only one man, and he is not much given to ambushing me—and when he does, he calls it a surprise, ergo the ambush is a (supposedly) pleasant experience. […]

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It never gets old – but is it worth it?

Today, I’m publishing my 22nd book. Phew . . . Like always, there’s this bubbling feeling of joy as I consider the fact that yet another story of mine is out there. This story has a dark undertone, in that life is hard for my time traveller Erin in 18th century Pennsylvania. When Erin Barnes

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Doing things the Indie way

Poouf! I’m all worn out! Now, those that know me, know I am rather talkative, but doing a two hour talk has left me a bit drained. So what have I talked about? I was very flattered–and honoured–when HNS (Historical Novel Society) asked me to do a talk about going Indie. Having spent months preparing

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Ten years on, Carina still rocks – shining a light on Alison Morton and her Roma Nova star!

I was quite flattered when Alison Morton reached out and asked if I wanted to be part of her ten-year celebration tour. What a silly questiom. OF COURSE I did – I am a major, major Roma Nova fan, as those of you who read my blog regularly probably have worked out. Besides, Alison is

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Bitten by the time travel bug – a reflection on why I write what I write

I must begin by apologising for the very loooooong radio silence. I do have a valid excuse in that I had surgery in December and then things didn’t at all go as planned. Where I had assumed I’d be up and about after a couple of weeks, turns out I had seriously understimated how long

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The case of the swelling narrative – or how one book becomes three. Or four. Or ten.

My mother always used to say that concentrating your words to a succinct few was the hallmark of a good speaker—or writer. I’m guessing she’s sighing heavily wherever she is whenever she takes a peek at my work, because dear peeps, it seems to me abbreviation is a skill I am not good at. I

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Oh, mighty Muse, I bow before thee – or a writer’s odd relationship with her subconscious

All writers have some sort of muse. Some call it their “mojo”, others – especially if they’re Spanish-speaking – may call it “duende”.  Some writers don’t have a name for this invisible presence that sometimes breathes VERY heavily down their neck. Me, I call my muse Ms Inspiration. I envision a lady of multiple contradictions:

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Addicted to the Happily Ever After – or celebrating the pink and fluffy parts of life

There are days when I toy with the idea of writing a book that leaves every single reader in tears with not a Happily Ever After in sight. On occasion, my books start out that way, with my rather calculating muse considering just how to permanently tear my loving couples apart. My release from earlier

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When my imaginary taskmasker wields the whip – a post about inspiration and discipline

“No inspiration,” I sometimes sigh, while staring at the screen which remains enervatingly blank. And yes, inspiration is a must when it comes to writing—if nothing else as the igniting spark—but there’s another component which is just as important: discipline. “Of course,” my very own muse, Ms Inspiration says. For the day, she’s wearing a

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Characters are like cotton candy – or spinning people out of the whispers in my head

Sometimes, people ask me how I create my characters. I never quite know how to answer, because I’m not sure I have a standardised process. Rephrase: I definitely don’t have a standardised process. First of all, sometimes my characters sort of pop up all ready to go. That is the case with Matthew Graham, my

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