Blogiversary giveaway. And the winner is…

 Last week I celebrated my first blogiversary with a giveaway. Up for grabs were copies of these beauties:

The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine and illustrated by Julia Sarda book covers photoThe Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine and illustrated by Julia Sarda book covers photo

The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow and The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine (click for my reviews).

I’m delighted to say that lots of people entered – thank you for taking part.

And the lucky winner is… Lindsay from Book boodle. If you don’t already follow Lindsay’s blog, you really should. Lots of lovely books and baking 🙂

On a blogging note, this was my first giveaway and first time using Rafflecopter. After initially being puzzled by a few things, in the end it was all quite straightforward. I’m now more confident I know what I’m doing and hope to host another giveaway sooner rather than later 🙂

Thank you to everyone who entered and all my lovely readers!


Claire Huston / Art and Soul
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1st blogiversary + 500 followers = giveaway time!

Who thought this day would come?

excited baby with birthday present gif

When I started this blog a year ago, it was mainly to give myself something to do while submitting my first novel to literary agents. There’s been some progress on that front, and while I still haven’t got an agent or publishing deal, I believe my book is better now than it was a year ago. In fact, I have a few more edits to make after receiving encouraging feedback from my reader in the Romantic Novelists’ Association (thank you, whoever you are) and then it’ll be back to submissions.

I told myself that I’d host a giveaway when I’d been blogging a year (this seemed unlikely last April) or had 500 followers (which seemed unthinkable). However, the stars have aligned and I’ve hit both milestones at the same time!

Thank you so much to all of you lovely people for following my ramblings and baking adventures. I put a lot of thought into what the greatest number of you might like to win for yourself or to pass on to someone else, and this is what I came up with… *insert drumroll*

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Exciting writing times and why I may be absent for a while…

Exciting developments, my friends!

Excited gif

 

But first, the story so far. Skip this if you’re up to date on my writing-related wafflings…

I’ve written a book (see Art and Soul for more about that). I’ve been sending the first three chapters to literary agents, but haven’t been getting anywhere. I recently sent it to an editor and he suggested deleting chapters 1 and 2 and starting with chapter 3. As a result, I’m currently staring at a huge pile of edits.

And now back to the exciting news!

Having thought I hadn’t made the cut (and been rather disappointed), last week I was beyond delighted to receive an invitation to join the Romantic Novelist Association‘s New Writer’s Scheme. The Scheme allows unpublished novelists writing in the romance genre to submit their manuscript to an existing RNA member for critique. You also get to take part in all RNA activities and events.

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Editing your own writing: identifying your errors and bad habits

Support group for writers editing cartoon

Back in December, I wrote a post asking whether you can ever really finish editing a piece of your own writing. I talked about how I’d recently re-read my entire novel after a six-month break and been surprised by how much I wanted and needed to change.

In this post, I thought I’d share some of my editorial findings and pet problems. All punctuated by some good cartoons, of course 🙂

Peanuts Snoopy Editing and writing cartoon

One of my most common editing notes was “fix flow”, which makes it sound as though I need a plumber rather than an editor! These were places in the story where I felt the connection between sentences or paragraphs was too sudden or jarring and needed smoothing; as if reading were like climbing down a ladder and suddenly a rung was missing. I blame these absent rungs on a previous round of harsh word-cutting prior to submitting to literary agents. From “internet wisdom” I became convinced that if my MS was over 90,000 words I had no hope of anyone asking to read it. And so I cut as many words as I could, leaving things a little too bare in places. However, now it seems I’ll be self-publishing, the book can be as long as I damn well think it needs to be! So the words are going back in (you can’t stop me, mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha… you get the idea).

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