Friday, March 22, 2013

Dishing Secrets and Releases with Raven McAllan

Give a warm welcome to the VERY talented Raven McAllan. Today we are celebrating her new release A Rose Between the Thorns! To honor this new release I have convinced Raven to dish on some of her writing secrets! (And I promise I won't let her kill you after least I'll try... ;-))
Take it away Raven!

Megan wants secrets…

Then they won't be secrets will they? So shh, don't tell anyone, huddle in… yeah just like that.
Okay then… did you know…the moon isn't made of cheese? Yeah, I know, terrible eh? All my illusions blown away… Huh.

Sorry, *grin* I'll be sort of serious now, and say, "Hi, this is Raven, and Megan has asked me to share some of my writing secrets."
*scratches head* Do I have any?

I think the first thing, is and its probably not a secret, is I'm a pantster. That is I don't plot per se. I get an idea from goodness knows where and start to write what I think the story is about. It often isn't. I go where my characters tell em. Not everyone writes like this, but it works for me.

It took me a long while to find my voice and then accept it. I, and probably a lot of other writers first wrote as we thought we should, not as we could. My first few attempts were awful. When I discovered how I wrote I was "Er you what? Really?" Then I decided if this was me I'd embrace it. Of course when I look back at those first books I can see lots of places where I'd write differently. That's good it shows I'm learning and growing as a writer.

I do my best to write for an hour every day. Even on holiday. It doesn't work for everyone but it does for me. The odd day here or there is no biggie. (like this week when I have the dreaded lurgy, and can hardly see the keys) but the one time I went away on holiday without my lap top I had a terrible time getting back into writing again. And let's face it there's something rather nice about sitting on a deck overlooking the ocean and watching the sunrise as you type. Or indeed watching sun go down with a glass of fizz! *Wink*

One of my favorite places to write is on a long haul fight. Preferably in business class (ohhh get me lol) because I'm less likely to disturb anyone there with my tapping. Having said that, maybe some of you have heard my tale about flying home from holiday with Virgin in their upper class. The seat configuration means you all face the aisle at an angle, so there's no clambering over feet to get out. So I left my lap-top open on the footrest and nipped to the loo. When I Got back there was a guy reading what I'd just written. I did the excuse me stuff...he moved in to let me past. I said sorry, my seat, and he moved away without a word. Maybe half an hour later I went to get a drink from the bar. The cabin crew asked me if I was the last in seat *** I said yes. She rolled her eyes. "Well the two guys in seats *** and *** want to know what happens when she gets onto the bed and faces the wall…"

I have a lovely reditor. No that's not a typo. It's short for Red Pen Editor… Or nowadays Red Type editor. The lovely and talented Ms. Doris O'Connor. We both redit for each other, and boy we can be ruthless. That's good though. You need someone to be brutally honest, who you really trust.

I love wine and chocolate. Hate liver and midges. (nothing to do with writing I just thought I'd add that.)

Trite but true, I don't get writers block as such. If as sometimes happens, the characters go stubborn on me, I leave them to stew and write something else.

Yes I can have several m/s on the go at once. Of different genres and even YA and adult. I just switch hats.

Edits… Do you know I can moan and groan, but truthfully, I welcome them (mostly). They mean it’s the next step on the route to publication. I'm old ( haha yup really) and although I did get a good grade in English language exams at school, it was a long time ago! Edits help me here…

If you ever read any of my books, you'll find in almost everyone, the description of my characters is very limited. This is on purpose. I was once told that the detailed description I gave of a hero put my reader off. She didn't see Johnny Depp she saw a young David Essex. Oh dear. (therefore she wasn't keen on the cover and I love it.) She said she'd cope with the covers as long as inside she could dream her own people.

I don't use real people as inspiration. Hence my limited pinterest boards.

I still maintain edits and also it seems my books are like London buses. Nothing for ages, and then several at once.

Lastly, I could soon as stop writing as fly to the moon, though I have slowed down. Okay stop shouting I know it's four stories this month… but hey, two are in anthos.
Talking of which, The latest, A Rose Between The Thornes is out today….. WOO HOOO

How's that? Psst OY .. shouts you can wake up now…

I won't say wake u and smell the roses bwaha… but you can read the blurb…

Propriety is a lonely bedfellow, until twin delights show this lady her true desires.

At three and forty Rose Sophia, Lady Symonds has resigned herself to life passing her by. Overhearing her protégée in the throes of passion with not one but two lovers, leaves her wanting and wishing.
That is until she is accosted at a ball by Jasper and Nathaniel Thorne. Newly back in the county the eccentric and much younger twins, have set their sights on Rose, and they are determined to have her, even it means cheating at cards.
Will accepting their wager free Rose and lead her to the heights of passion she craves? Or will their desired drive her away?

About Raven:

Raven lives in Scotland, along with her husband and their two cats—their children having flown the nest—surrounded by beautiful scenery, which inspires a lot of the settings in her books.

She is used to sharing her life with the occasional deer, red squirrel, and lost tourist, to say nothing of the scourge of Scotland—the midge.

A lover of reading, she appreciates the history inside a book, and the chance to peek into the lives of those from years ago. Raven admits that she enjoys the research for her books almost as much as the writing; so much so, that sometimes she realizes she's strayed way past the information she needs to know, and not a paragraph has been added to her WIP.        (my page)            (author page)


  1. I can totally confirm that Raven does write even while on holiday - by the pool, with a glass of wine by her macbook!

  2. Hi Raven! Love the title, especially now that I get it.