Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

Two determined authors, bulletproof and dangerous…

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The Heart’s Locked Room

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!

For most of my life, I have held the key to a small, locked room of the heart. No matter how open I appear, that is, to a certain extent, an illusion, for that small chamber has been kept safe and silent and weighted down with this ballast of fear and lack of trust since I was a very small girl indeed.

Intimacy has eluded me. I have pushed people away – not always consciously – and paid lip service to the concept of trusting other human beings. I have had lots of sex in my life – but, have only entrusted a copy of that tiny key to one boyfriend thus far, and that was decades ago. I have spent hours disclosing my life and feelings to male and female friends – without taking that key out, showing my friends and, with their help, opening that confronting door.


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Millions of books selling…

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!

I have never been greedy; have never, in fact, done anything for material gain alone.

But, oh, Goddess, I could do with some help from the universe on this one: I could do with MILLIONS of my books being bought. I could do with the message going out far and wide, for I cannot do it alone.

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Editing Progress (part two)


This week I seriously thought the editing of The Broken Life was going well.

I was systematically running each chapter through the Hemingway app, the brilliant editing tool that makes editing almost a delight to do. This system highlights all the unnecessary words, adverbs, passive voice and hard to read sentences, so you can work on all of them at once. It will even tell you the readability of the work. Of course, seasoned writers can ignore this part of the post!

I used to do this the hard way, one word at a time and it took forever. There are so many words we shouldn’t use if we want our writing to flow and read well, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has picked up a lot of bad habits since my school days.

One word of caution here. While editing, you shouldn’t worry about formatting until every last edit is done. Hemingway is wonderful, but it’s not always right and does terrible things to your font size.

Just when I was feeling my most complacent, everything was going well and no demons had jumped out to annoy me, one of my characters started to speak to me. I am being polite here. He was nagging my socks off.

He wasn’t one of my main players, you understand, but he was banging on about not having a good enough role in the book. This was from a junior sergeant in my detective Inspector’s team. Smithy, as I affectionately called him, was running the argument that he could increase the tension in the book by being a bouncing board for the reader, filling in the spaces better between the main characters.

I began to see his point of view, seeing the merit of his ideas.  But the book was nearly finished, not really the time for new material. I knew it was a little on the short side, so adding more material would solve that problem. It just meant that the finish line had just frog marched further away from me!

I spent an hour or two figuring out how I could include this new material and make it work. But should I simply insert it into the relevant chapters, or slot them in as separately?

The jury is still out on that one, so I have decided to write them anyway and figure out what to do with them later.

This writing lark is a bit of a game, isn’t it? Unpredictable, surprising and frustrating as hell. But that is probably why we love it so much.

I will post again when the dust has settled, and I know what I’m doing…

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Nick Verron

I cannot properly express the gratitude I feel for the way people are coming together to help me realise my dream. I dream of independent freedom.

I thought freedom would forever be out of my reach. Being reliant on an electric wheelchair is very restrictive; steps become your nemesis, electricity a necessity. The other option is to be completely dependent on somebody pushing me in a manual wheelchair. Both the options will not allow me to traverse rough terrain. Not that I MYSELF am doing any traversing, I am just sat there, motionless, feeling disconnected to the world passing me by. I thought this would always be the case.

I moved down to the coast because I love the sea; I loved walking across the beach, felt connection and relaxation for my soul. After my attack, I had resigned to never being able to do this again. I grew up playing on Ilkley…

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