Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Yorkshire Day! By 'eck, tha' knows...

Today is officially Yorkshire Day, so being the proud daughter of Yorkshire parents (Ilkley Moor Ba' t'hat, tha' knows) I thought I'd celebrate with a sneaky giveaway...

Both my parents were born and raised in lovely Ilkley, West Yorkshire, before moving down to the Black Country for Dad's job when they got married. Consequently my sister and I grew up knowing that we could 'play cricket for Yorkshire one day' (allegedly), that Yorkshire was God's Own Country and that it was, officially, the 'right side of the Pennines'. We watched Emmerdale (both Farm and not) because it was filmed not far from Ilkley (where my grandparents and uncle still lived) and drank Yorkshire Tea, largely because the artwork on the box featured the Cow and Calf - the twin rock formations on the top of Ilkley Moor. We visited most holidays and certainly in our early years spent most of our free time in the lovely Dales.

This has fostered a lifelong love of the county in me and is why, when I wrote what became Fairytale of New York, I made sure that Rosie's parcel from home that her brother brings contained Yorkshire Tea, both as a nod to my heritage and also because it's still my favourite. A year after Fairytale of New York was published, the lovely people at Yorkshire Tea found out I'd name-checked them and sent me a box of goodies, including a box of 'Miranda's Tea' (see picture above) which now has pride of place on my desk!

So, if you'll forgive the tenuous link, I'm offering two signed copies of Fairytale of New York as a special Yorkshire Day giveaway... Want to win one? Just leave a comment in the box below!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Miranda Writes 15 - Live from the RNA Conference!

This week I bring you a very special, two-part vlog from this year's RNA Conference in Sheffield...

I had a fantastic time at conference, especially meeting so many brilliant authors. And, never one to shy away from a vlogging opportunity, I was very cheeky and grabbed some exclusive interviews with amazing authors...

In Part One, I talk to Laura E. James, Kate Lace, Brigid Coady, Rowan Coleman and the very mysterious Electra Shepherd!

In Part Two, I meet Tamsyn Murray, Stephanie Cage, Julie Cohen, Kate Harrison and Cally Taylor... So many wonderful writers!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Miranda Writes 14 - Reviews, Copyright and Dream Destinations...

All this year I'm documenting the writing, editing and publishing of Take A Look At Me Now - my fifth novel - giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I answer your questions on authors and reviews, copyright, dream destinations for books and which of my characters I'd like to hang out with - including Nell from Take A Look At Me Now...

I have four fab questions this week, including one from the lovely Heidi at Cosmochicklitan book blog and two very special questions from the very gorgeous Kirsty at I Heart Books book blog, to celebrate the one-year blogaversary of her blog. Congratulations, lovely lady!

What do authors really think about reviews? Are they a help or a hindrance? And how can reviewers write reviews to bring about better books? I answer these thorny questions and more this week! To ask me a question, simply leave a comment on this post or email me:


p.s. This week's YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled: 'Things that make you go HMMMMM...'

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Miranda Writes 13 - Your Questions Answered!

All this year I'm documenting the writing, editing and publishing of Take A Look At Me Now - my fifth novel - giving you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at my life as a writer. This week, I answer your questions and reveal how you can read exclusive scenes from Take A Look At Me Now months before it is published...

As Take A Look At Me Now is winging its way to the printers, this week I asked for your questions - and you responded with some real crackers! So this week, I'll tell you about product placement and name-dropping in novels, discuss whether writers ever really turn off their critical skills to read a book for fun and let you know my views on whether you should approach an agent with a full manuscript or not.

Do you have a burning question about writing, publishing, my books or anything else? Pop a comment in the box below, or email me: and I'll answer them for you next time.

Enjoy! xx

p.s. This week's YouTube-nominated freeze-frame is entitled, 'What's that coming over the hill...?'

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Life Begins at 22...

When I was 22, I was full of dreams with absolutely no idea how to make them happen.

I had just left university with a good degree and came back home to the joys of endless job applications. It seemed I had the double-whammy of being over-qualified and under-experienced for every job I applied for. I'd gone to university with my dreams of being an actress firmly in place, but after one audition where the casting director said, 'No. Next!' before I'd even spoken and another where I was the only candidate and still didn't get the job, my confidence hit rock bottom and I quickly shelved my career ambitions.

I wasn't writing then. Or at least, I didn't think I was writing - although my diaries I faithfully kept during that time would disagree. I'd been laughed at for writing when I was 18 years old and didn't try to write fiction again for ten years. I wish I'd had the confidence to tell that person to get lost and carry on with what I loved doing.

When I was 22, I'd also just met someone. I was amazed and overwhelmed that anyone would want to be with me and so when he proposed I accepted straight away. I started to have doubts about it throughout the year but I convinced myself it was just pre-wedding jitters. I wish I'd had the confidence to listen to my gut. It would have saved me from nearly eight years of unhappiness and fear.

What message would I send to my 22-year-old self? Be confident in who you are. Don't worry that you don't have all the answers yet: you're not meant to! Fight for what is important to you - whether anyone else thinks it's important or not. And trust your gut reaction. If something feels wrong, it is. And lastly, even the really awful mistakes (that you make in good faith but wish in time you hadn't) can help you to become stronger, more determined to succeed and a fierce celebrator of life.

LIFE BEGINS AT 22 is a blorgy of sharing to celebrate the launch of BROOKLYN GIRLS by Gemma Burgess. Find out more about the book here and read more LIFE BEGINS AT 22 entries here.
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