News Round

It’s been a while – but, here’s why…
Some ideas refuse to go away. Elements for a story still haunt long after you’ve given up on them. So it was for me with a tale involving an Edwardian house with a Gothic tower, a greyhound called Gracie, and a girl who’s learned to stay away from nasty pricks. At long last, I’ve worked them into a novella and it’s a quite a relief not to have them in my head any more… what happens to them next is up to Choc Lit.

I’ve also been working on the edits for Follow A Star; pruning sub-plots, smoothing jumpy scene transitions and generally doing whatever it takes to make this the book I want it to be. I get emotionally involved with all my characters and really live their lives, but it’s been especially true for this novel so it’s been a surprisingly intense and exhausting few weeks.  I now have a short pause to get my breath back before the next round.

Tom, on his first recovery ride after his Big Bike Ride, frightened the life out of both of us by coming off his bike on a corner at speed almost getting run over in the process. Nothing was broken – although he sustained some truly impressive baddies. One positive outcome, after years of nagging from me, is that he now wears a cycle helmet (thank you, Jill!).

I spent a few days with Ma who had to undergo some unpleasant examinations, but very fortunately, the consultant was able to let her know immediately that there was no cause for concern, however Tom’s mum’s slightly in the wars so we’re currently keeping an eye on her. 

In happier news, Tom received his MA certificate this week and we’re looking forwards to his graduation ceremony next month. We’ve also had some interesting days out visiting different universities while Tom pursues his PhD application. (I have to say one day was almost a bit too interesting; thanks to the extreme weather conditions we arrived at the venue with only minutes to spare before Tom’s interview, leaving me to find a parking space in a very scary car park. I ended up miles away, then realised how badly I needed a wee so you can imagine how I felt walking back to the main campus in the pouring rain, trying to hunt down a loo!) 

And, hurray, it’s less than 10 weeks to Rose and Si’s wedding… and I’ve sorted out my Mother of Bride outfit without a Mobzilla moment!

Romantic Novelists Association
I’ve served on the RNA committee this year, as organiser of the RoNA Rose Award, the award which recognises authors of works of shorter fiction that focus on developing a love affair between the hero and heroine in category/series and magazine serials. I’ve had lots of parcels to send off to readers and quite a few sleepless nights, but the shortlist was finally announced to the world this month, phew! You can see all the worthy shortlisters together with their books here. The RNA awards, including the RoNA Rose Award, will be announced and presented by Darcey Bussell on 17 March.

Five years ago, I took part in the Llanelli Waterside Half Marathon – it was wild, wet, windy and cold… and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve decided to mark my return to running (albeit with a bit of trouble from that pesky piriformis muscle) by doing it all over again this year, Sunday 2 March. Right now, I feel nervous just thinking about it, but I’m determined to just go out there and make the most of it… we’ll see what happens!
Llanelli 2009


Jane Lovering said…
I feel exhausted just reading about it all, goodness knows how you manage to fit so much in. Hope all of the forthcoming events go well for you and the various members of the family - and look forward to reading the results of your 'pruning'.
Chris Stovell said…
I'm so sorry - I missed some of your comments on the previous post. I've now replied!

Barely, Jane - I think is the answer! There have been some very long days. Thanks for stopping by again. x
Frances said…
What a massive catch up post you've given us, Chris!

It's grand to know that you've been doing so much writing on several fronts. I marvel at your ability to keep multiple characters, plots, settings and moods separate in your writer's mind, while still getting on with all the other lively contenders for your attention.

Whew! Glad to learn that Tom is now wearing a helmet when on his bike. are brilliant. Good that you've added the headgear to preserve that brilliance as you pursue another level of academic achievement.

Bravo to you, Chris for setting out for another run...not too long away now.

I am looking forward to follow up reports on alll these adventures that you two are headed towards. Not to mention best wishes to the about to be bride and groom.

Chanpreet said…
Wow Chris, a lot has been happening with you!

Glad Tom has embraced his helmet. I had a brother who used to be lackadaisical about his seat belt until he was in an accident where his car flipped upside down and his seat belt saved him. He's not nonchalant about it now. It's a hard way to learn a lesson but one that's well worth some minor bruises and scrapes.

Cara Cooper said…
You've been incredibly busy, particularly over the winter period, well done! I just feel like hibernating but writing projects push me on. You're never bored when you have hobbies and interests in life!
Flowerpot said…
Good to catch up Chris - you have been hectic! Great news on the run too and good luck with everything.
Chris Stovell said…
I'm beginning to wonder if my own comments are disappearing!

Frances, yes it's been an incredibly busy time, hence the lack of blogging... I think the busy period will continue for some time yet so It's a question of seizing writing time when I can. x

Chanpreet, I'm very relieved that Tom's accident wasn't worse but even more relieved that he's wearing a cycling helmet at last. I'll still worry, but at least I know he's got some protection if he falls.

Cara, so true! So far as writing goes, I feel energised by the thought of a completely new project so I'm looking forwards to that.

You too, Sue - and best of luck to you.

Cottage Garden said…
Good luck with the Llanelli Half Marathon Chris. Is it really five years - goodness time flies! I've just returned to my blog following a year's absence and look forward to reading about all your mis(adventures)!x
Anonymous said…
Good luck on Sunday, I'll be there too ( at the back somewhere, probably crying!). Run like the wind...
Chris Stovell said…
Unbelievable, isn't it, Jeanne? Lovely to see you again - I've enjoyed feasting my eyes on your ravishing blog.x
Chris Stovell said…
Hi Gemma - I've got a few years on you so don't worry about being at the back! If you see Granny Grumps staggering along behind you, that'll be me! And let's hope the wind is with both of us - that course was a real pig with the wind in my face at the end last time!! Thanks for stopping by - see you on Sunday!

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