Hi There! Welcome to my first Writers Newsletter. As you know, I write a version of raunchy romance, but don’t worry, I won’t put any steamy stuff here – you can find all that sexy stuff, sassy women and seriously fit men in my books and, now and again, on the website.
Well, 2020. What can we say? For me, it’s been a year of Firsts, Lasts, Maybes and Nevers.
First time I’ve spent so much time with my family. And guess what? Confinement wasn’t that bad! We survived and found out that we like each other – well, most of the time! I became a Great Aunt for the first time in January and can’t wait to meet her. I published my first ever story! I officially became a Writer in 2020 – like so many others – and it felt great. Liberating to be honest.
Bars, restaurants, independent stores – some closing their doors for the last time. None of us know what lies ahead, what the world will look like, but I know that if we value something, we must support it. So, last year was the last time I favoured large, multi-national companies over smaller, family-run businesses. I’m going to actively try to spend some of my money locally.
Maybe, after all this is over, I will be more spontaneous. Normally I have my year planned out before the New Year’s Eve fizz is even in the fridge. Well, for one thing I’ve drunk a couple of bottles already, have yet to print the calendar, and won’t be booking any flights until we’re looking Easter in the face. A natural planner, I was a bit surprised I enjoyed the instant gratification of booking a hotel and going 3 days later.
Never will I run out of candles. I’ve discovered it is the little pleasures in life that make all the difference, so if I want to have 45 tealights lit because I like them, then I will. There are also people I will never give a second thought to. Most of us care way too much about what other people think of us, and by doing so, we hold ourselves back.
One thing I do know about 2020, it has given and taken chances and opportunities. If I can, I want to take the chances and opportunities in front of me and Go Big with my writing. A natural romantic, I’ve got a whole crew of hot, sexy people to introduce you to.
I’d love to hear from you, so either drop a comment here Contact - Writer of Romance (lyndyhughes.com) or connect with me on Twitter or IG.
I’d like to introduce you to a couple of people who have been dominating my life for a couple of months now. Harley and Emma Jane arrive in Longheim with enough personal baggage for a year-long vacation. Can they make this small town their home, and build a new life here? Watch out for the release in Spring next year. Want to read a few lines of their story?
“What? No.” Excitement that had become stronger the nearer she had come to town, suddenly evaporated. “My appointment is between 4 and 4.30, it’s only just 4.20, so I’ve still got 10 minutes to decide”. Casey had stepped back through the door and now stood in front of Emma-Jane. ‘No. No; No’ she couldn’t lose this house! Turning on her heal, she marched up to a set of double doors, flung them open, strode in, glanced around with un-seeing eyes, ignored the tight knot that had formed in her stomach, and continued around to the open kitchen. Taking in the glass doors out to the garden, and the outdated kitchen, she came full circle and marched out of the kitchen door, back into the hall. “I’ll take it!”
“I’m sorry, dear, but as I said, Jonathan was here, and he’s already said he’d have it”. Casey, professional realtor, simply looked back at Emma-Jane, shrugging her slim shoulders. “And, like I said, there is the apartment right across the street”.
“No, the Mayor said I had first refusal, and as a member of the Town payroll, I will be taking this house”. Emma-Jane was proud of herself for sticking to her guns, but mostly for not giving in to the tears that wanted to form.
A warm, melted chocolate-like laugh broke the silence. “Well, that makes two of us Miss”. A whisper of recognition fluttered through Emma Jane’s mind and was gone. The laughter in his voice was barely hidden by the polite words “I’m also on the Town’s payroll, and I was here at the allotted time.” Turning towards ‘Jonathan’, Emma Jane’s mouth flew open, her eyes went as round as saucers, and she took a step back, out of reach of the man she had pulled a gun on earlier that day.
Sign up to find out what’s next for Harley and Emma Jane - Contact - Writer of Romance (lyndyhughes.com) They may be joined by a few friends along the way…
Stay safe, look after you and yours, and let’s rock 2021! Bring It On!
My Journey from "writing" to "Writer"
For me, the joy of writing has finally taken hold. Having written my first story at school, I have been running from it ever since. This was the story that was read out to the class, much to my abject horror, cringing embarrassment and unconvincing nonchalance thereafter. It may not have been the best story written that weekend for our homework assignment, but I think my teacher was just surprised that someone had written a romance! The fact that it was the best, most thought through piece of work she had seen from me in the 2 years she had taught me, I think, speaks more to her perseverance, than my 15-year-old talent!
My current manuscript is a modern romance, set in small-town America, and tells the story of Emma Jane’s decision to stop running from her past, and have the courage to build a future she deserves. This story has taken roughly 18 months to get to the so very nearly finished state and is part of a series of, probably 6, books set in and around Longheim, with a renewal, reinventing vibe going on.
Three events moved me from ‘I’m writing’ to being a ‘Writer’. The first was an entry in a Facebook Literacy Group competition. Not sure why, but I decided to enter, and I came 7th! Out of 9!!! But it got my work out there for the first time and proved to me that finding MY readers is so important.
The second event had, arguably, the most impact, I had a coffee with a published writer I knew. Previously we had sort of agreed to support each other, but nothing much had come of it. This time it was different. We both needed accountability, had firm projects in mind and agreed to be each other’s sounding board. A quick text each evening, detailing how many words we had written soon became a series of messages, detailing our daily goals, passing on marketing tips, sharing information, being supportive (which means nagging each other!) as well as that progress report.
The third event was as a result of Event 2. I was advised to start building an audience, a list, a readership, and that Twitter was a good place to start. So, off I went, created an account, and began. I kept seeing #NaNoWriMo all over the place. Checked it out, and BOOM! I was hooked! The challenge is to write a book or 50K words in the month of November. I’d missed the first two days, so had a bit of catching up to do. And I did it! It gave me the additional accountability I so obviously needed, and I got stuck in. I’m a Winner! I got my 50K words down in November, and even though the story wasn’t finished, I carried on, and finished that first manuscript!
Incredibly happy, and very smiley for 3 days. Still rather chuffed with myself, I now know I will get this book out and published. And I have even jotted down a further 4 story ideas which may form part of the series. In fact, keep it to yourself, but I’m already halfway through a shortie which kind of relates to the series, here’s a sneaky peak:
The last vestiges of night gently pulled away, giving the world a new day. The once black as black sky had a blue tinge, whispering in from the East, the stars, once diamond bright, now gently fading. Pulling the cover closer around her shoulders against the predawn chill, her numb bare feet touched the slippery wooden boards, she was now ready to stand up to this day.
I’d love to hear what you think about Towards The West (working title), and if you’d like to hear more, please sign up for my newsletter.
Who knew writing could be so addictive?! She said in a very squeeky, annoying voice.
Name you Write Under : Lucie Dudley
What Genre(s) do you write :
It's a bit of a mix! Difficult to put into one category ... I am told it falls under spiritual realism, but has a strong women's/historical/romance, leaning too.
What and/or who inspired you to write :
I have read and written since childhood. But the inspirational moment, which really stands out is when I discovered Paulo Coelho's books - specifically, The Alchemist. I had never read anything like this before and I was hooked! I think I read it in one day!
The poetry of his words, and the deeper meaning beneath the story really inspired and enlightened me. It touched me deeply. Luckily he is a prolific author and I quickly consumed everything else he had written. After that I felt motivated to write my own tale from my own life experiences and The Caduceus is the result.
What was the name of your first book ?
Do you write full time ?
No. I have children and work two jobs as well, so write around my other obligations. Although when I get in the flow I can barely tear myself away from my laptop!
What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you ?
Structuring the storyline.
How do you overcome this ?
I had a chance encounter with Universal Journalist and ex-Independent news editor, David Randall. David was giving a talk at a 'Happiness Weekend' at Dartington Estate in Devon, near where I live and we got talking. From then on he became my mentor and editor, while I was writing The Caduceus and helped me as I finished my book. His support was invaluable and without his assistance I don't think I would have got it out there!
A fresh and in my case, more experienced, pair of eyes was so important for me.
What are you currently reading ?
The Wild Other by Clover Stroud. I love her writing style, her authenticity and her honesty and bravery in exposing her own darkest moments and fears. I am finding it incredibly raw and touching.
Describe your current release or work in progress
It is again, a modern day fairy tale with a deeper message underneath. Set in our times, it focuses on the dynamics between certain conflicting personality types and what happens when they connect. I don't want to give too much away as it is still forming as I write and still a work in progress. But like The Caduceus, it can be read on two levels - as a straightforward story, or as a spiritual fable for our times.
When will your WIP be released ?
What’s next for you ?
I plan to keep writing and to travel more. There will be a third book, but I will only be able to process it properly when I've finished my current one.
Where can readers find you ?
Instagram - Luciedudley1
FB - Lucie Dudley author
Twitter - @luciedudley4
What would you like your readers to know about you ?
I live magically and creatively. If I find myself stuck in a rut it's like a bit of my soul dies! It sounds dramatic, but it's true and is another reason I wrote The Caduceus.
When not working or writing I can be found walking, doing yoga, gardening, dancing or cooking.
I try and live a magical life, but like many, often find myself caught up in the day to day stresses of modern life. Yoga usually shakes it off or a good boogie to the radio in my kitchen!