Tag Archive | Social network

Pick me up in 9

Paris Workout

Paris Workout (Photo credit: Nimages DR)

Ravens PIck Me Up. Elle Amberley’s Nine for the Week

A while back I was interviewed on Raven’s Ramblings. If you’ve missed it, here’s another chance to read it.

So today, we welcome Elle Amberley to our mid-week pick me up. The naughty nine we all want to know the answers to.
This week’s naughty nine have a Bohemian twist.
  • We’ll get this one over first, tell us a little bit about yourself.
         I’m a mum first, I homeschool my children, and I’m a writer, a messy one who doesn’t fit into neat little boxes. I like switching genres and I’m a bohemian at heart. Having lived in so many countries makes it hard to settle anywhere. Home is wherever we’re happy and together.
  •  Thanks, now we can probe a bit more. What are you writing at the moment? Going to share any of it with us? 
       Lol, I’m finishing my Paris based novel, due out in Spring 2012, writing short stories, a bit darker than my recent book, probably more like my Literary novels. I also write poems and articles, I can’t help reacting sometimes when I see the news. My big mouth translates into furious articles, although they have been described as heartfelt so I’ll stick with that.
  •  How long have you been writing?      I don’t remember a time I was not writing. I was the annoying kid who wrote and rewrote essays, changing bits until the very last minute.
  •  What is your favorite genre? To write or read.
 I don’t really have one because I have eclectic tastes. It would probably easier to tell you what I don’t like. I’m not a sci-fi fan for example. That said I recently picked up a book, loved it until I got to page ten or something and witches came in to play. I was puzzled, nearly put the book down, then persevered and absolutely loved it.
I think my favourite genre to write is whatever I happen to be writing at the time.
  • Where do you prefer to write? What do you wear? And eat? (OK, I know this is cheating as well, but we need all the gen in our naughty nine)
I write almost everywhere, in the car, while I wait for my children, at the restaurant. I even wrote in the shower once…A fan heard I was often struck by inspiration while taking a shower and had these special pens sent out. Amazing, and a warning to mind what you said in interviews.
I often write in bed in the middle of the night when everything is quiet. So that answers your next question, there’s a photo of me writing in bed taken by my husband on my blog.
I often starve myself because I forget to eat so my long suffering husband brings me coffee and apple cake or other goodies.
  •    So three things you love
My children and my husband but I guess they’re not things.
I love books, music and playing with my children.
  • Three you don’t Injustice, cruelty and anything nasty.
  • Three things you would like to happen in the next three years? Feel free to add to the three things you don’t,
Get my health back into shape, my children to be happy and carry on writing.
That’s it painless eh? Thanks for dropping by and giving us a peek into your life. Feel free to add any links to blogs websites etc so we can all find out what you are up to.
Thanks again, so lovely to meet you and get to know your blog. Looking forward to having you on mine. Best wishes.
Elle Xx
About the author
Although she is a British author, Elle Amberley likes to dabble in French too and hopes to resume work on her French novel when time allows. She also enjoys writing articles on women’s issues and whatever she feels passionate about, as well as poetry and short stories.
This was originally posted on

Thanks for visiting my blog, your comments are always much appreciated.

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A digital break

Do you feel overwhelmed sometimes? I do, often. 
Don't get me wrong, I love social media and the doors it has opened up for me.
New friends, new connections, opportunities, ideas you wouldn't have thought of
The downside is sometimes it's too much information, and you can only have so much empathy
before it destroys you. This is when I know I have to step away, when I just can't take it anymore.
Then, of course, you also have the wrong information, the people who are not so nice.
Well, just like in real life really! You need to be able to wade through the bits of information
and be able to see others for who they are.
I stand well clear of digital spats, I have no desire to be involved of that. I cannot be witness to
bullying or ego wars.
Recently I've really taken to Pinterest, I love creating mood boards on there, mainly for my novels.
Pinning beautiful pictures and great quotes is very addictive.
You can check out the mood board I created for my Paris novel here,

I wasn't going to write a post today but was inspired by my lovely new friend, Cate Russel-Cole's
post. Check it out http://cateartios.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/overload-revisited/
So thanks for distracting me Cate, only kidding, after all writing is writing. 

So, how do you feel about social media and all things digital?
Do you feel sucked under or have you found the right balance?

I did wonder what it said about me when a few days ago I learned about 
Whitney Houston's death via Pinterest. Or rather I suspected it, someone had posted
a picture of her with 'We'll miss you'.
It was very early in the morning and I blinked, wondering for a moment if it was 
yet another sick joke like the ones I've so often seen on Twitter.

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Author to author with Janice Horton

Today meet the lovely Janice Horton.











A Chat about Social Networking and Marketing.


Marketing – a necessary evil?

No – not evil – but fun! You see I actually look forward to the marketing part. I see it as a reward. For me it’s something to look forward to after the long hours of self imposed solitude required to write a full length novel. Don’t get me wrong – I love writing – but I don’t find it easy. I think it’s really hard work. Something I do find easy however because it’s lots of fun, is hosting a party, chatting in an interview situation, or taking part in a forum that involves my readers or other writers. I just love to talk about writing and my books!

A few years ago, after finishing a book, getting it published and launching it off into the world as a paperback, the party and the raucous celebrations would have been with family, friends, book groups, writer’s groups etc, in a physical setting like a local book shop with fizzy wine and nibbles and a short reading. I’d have worn a posh frock, no doubt bought especially for the occasion, and after a couple of hours when we were all done and it was time to go home, I’d have been exhausted, happy, and no doubt a bit tipsy.

These days, as an indie author and because I publish ebooks, that has all changed completely and yet I still have just as much fun. After the hard work of writing, re-writing and editing (I also employ a professional editor) and consulting with my (professional) cover designer, the no-less raucous launch party will launch from my blog and it will be supported by Twitter and Facebook and all the other social networking sites I can muster support from. Instead of doing a reading, book bloggers (having been sent an advance copy) will review and rate the book (hopefully favourably!) and while all this is happening I can answer reader comments in real time, check sales figures directly, chat to other writers, and appear in many different countries all over the world – simultaneously!

Now that’s what I call fun – and I can do it all in my pyjamas if I like!

What is your favourite social network and why?

I have to say that being part of Loveahappyending.com is my favourite social networking experience because it’s a interactive network, a magazine style blog and an innovative reader/writer website all at the same time. It’s a great support to me as a writer and it encourages me to expand my repertoire as an editor with my regular ‘Review Chair’ feature, where I interview authors and readers about a Loveahappyending.com author’s book.

This year, on 16th June, Loveahappyending.com will be hosting its first Summer Event in Tetbury, Gloucester. It will be a day when readers can meet authors and aspiring writers can get tips from those who currently writing successfully in many different genres. There will be something for everyone including a light lunch. I can hardly wait and will be flying down from Scotland especially to attend. So do join us!

How much time do you waste, sorry, spend on social networking?

Well, I don’t consider that time spent building and maintaining my social network as time wasted but it certainly should be time managed! I must easily spend at least a couple of hours each day on-line and the only way I can manage this is by not watching television at all. So for at least an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, I check and respond to emails, take part in several writer group forum chats, follow back on Twitter, send tweets and links and thank those who retweet for me. Then of course there is Facebook – and I have a personal account and an author page to regularly update, maintain, and share. I blog once a week usually but will always check my own blog daily for comments. I enjoy visiting and supporting other people’s blogs too and I spend quite a lot of time reading and commenting on other blogs. I also spend lots of time off line doing social network related writing: writing up blog posts for my own blog, for The Review Chair feature on Loveahappyending, and doing on line interviews (like this one!). I realise that I couldn’t do all of this effectively if I didn’t absolutely love it – but I do!

Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes romantic novels with humour. Look out for her Amazon bestselling ebooks ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’ and her latest novel ‘Reaching for the Stars’. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association.


Find Janice’s books on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Janice’s Blog: http://www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com

Janice’s Facebook Page

Follow her on Twitter: @JaniceHorton

And on: http://www.loveahappyending.com

Don’t forget there is a giveaway on my Facebook page. Join to win freebies and my latest novel, Lost in your time, based in Paris.

Elle Amberley Facebook


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Author to Author with Michelle Betham

Please welcome on my blog today lovely author Michelle Betham. I’ve had the pleasure to meet Michelle through the Famous Five Club, a wonderful group for authors.










  • What inspires you the most when writing?

Music.  I am a huge fan of music anyway, it’s always been such an integral part of my life, and I can’t write unless I’m listening to certain songs because music sets the mood for me.  Every single one of my books has a “soundtrack” to it, a list of songs that were played as I was writing that particular book, songs that inspired events or character changes, songs that gave me ideas.  Just listening to certain lyrics can point me in the right direction when I’m suffering the dreaded writers’ block, or when it feels like all the ideas have dried up.  It’s not the only thing that inspires me, of course, but music is a huge part of my inspiration.

  • Where do you most like to write?

At my desk in the back bedroom.  I’ve set up my own little office in there, and it’s my territory, it’s where I got to get away from it all.  It was probably a mistake to place the desk facing the window, though, as I can be found just staring out of it when my concentration level is low, but it’s great to have my own space where I can go to write.  Of course, given half a chance (and a nice lottery win) I’d love to be writing in a little Spanish villa overlooking the sea but, for now, my desk in the back bedroom will have to do!

  •  Are you a disciplined writer? Do you make yourself sit down every day or do you write in bursts?

I try to be a disciplined writer, but it doesn’t always work out that way!  I do try to write every day – even if it’s just a blog post, or making notes for a new book – but I can have a terrible habit of getting easily distracted.  I think I was actually far more disciplined before I actually published any of my books, because I had nothing to concentrate on except writing, so that was all I did, all day every day.  I just wrote.  But now that the marketing side of things has come into it, and my involvement with social networking has grown, it’s far easier to get distracted, but it’s something I’m working on.  The self-discipline needs to come back into force because my new book won’t write itself!

  •  Marketing, a necessary evil?

Absolutely!  When I first started out on this journey as an independent author around six months ago I had no idea – and I mean, no idea – just how much marketing was involved when it came to getting yourself as an author and your books known.  It was a shock, to say the least, especially to someone as shy as me because I am just not used to putting myself out there.  So it’s been a very long and very hard learning curve, and I’m still learning new things every day.  But the one thing I really wasn’t ready for was how much time it takes up, and I think the hardest thing I’m finding right now is that balance.  I really want to have days where I just sit down and write, but I also need to be out there marketing as much as I possibly can.  So, yes, marketing is definitely a necessary evil, but it’s something you can’t ignore.  It has to be done.

  •  What do you like best about writing?

Being able to do what I’ve always dreamed of doing – make up stories for a living!  I love the fact that I can sit down every day and create new scenarios, new characters, sending them off on a journey that will, hopefully, allow readers to take that journey with them and escape into those characters’ lives, just for a few hours.  That’s what I love about writing.  Being able to get all these thoughts and ideas that I’ve had in my head for so long down on paper and finally turn them into something real.  Something that, I hope, people will enjoy reading.  Creating escapism, that’s what I really love about writing!


About Michelle: 

Born in the North East of England, Michelle is an ex-media technician turned Independent author of glamorous, sexy romance novels No Matter What and See You At The Show, and the more chick lit-inspired comedy romance Too Much Trouble in Paradise.

Having spent a couple of years living on the Spanish Canarian island of Tenerife – which was the inspiration for Too Much Trouble in Paradise – she now lives in County Durham with her incredibly tolerant husband and West Highland Terrier, and spends most days at her desk drinking endless cups of tea as she creates more stories and new characters for future novels.

A huge fan of music – especially rock – she loves watching movies, reading, and she’s at her happiest with a large bar of chocolate and a glass of wine!

She’s currently working on her fourth novel – Illusions of Love – a follow up to No Matter What.











My blogs – Michelle Betham – Romance Author http://michellebethamwriter.blogspot.com/

and Michelle Betham: Romance Author – It’s All About The Books http://michellebethamindieauthor.blogspot.com/


Find me on Facebook – My normal account https://www.facebook.com/michellebetham.author

and my Facebook Author Page  https://www.facebook.com/michellebetham.romanceauthor


Follow me on Twitter –  https://twitter.com/#!/michellebetham


Book Link

No Matter What on Amazon.co.ukhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Matter-What-ebook/dp/B00537TKN8

No Matter What on Amazon.com –  http://www.amazon.com/No-Matter-What-ebook/dp/B00537TKN8

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Meet Author Trisha Ashley

An interview with lovely author Trisha Ashley.





Trisha Ashley gave up her fascinating but time-consuming hobbies of house-moving and divorce a few years ago in order to settle in North Wales. She has had many part-time jobs over the years, but her current one as a seasonal worker for the National Trust neatly combines three of her greatest interests: historic houses, gardens and meeting people. She also paints, usually in oils and occasionally watercolours.





  • Born with a pen in your hand or writing came as a shock brigade?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I started getting poems published in the local paper when I was eleven and wrote my first (unpublished and unpublishable) novel at eighteen. I learned to touch-type at fifteen, and made the transition from typewriter to keyboard quite easily so that’s how I now work: directly onto the computer.

  • How much does real life inspire or shape your writing?

I will often take an event that has happened to me, or that I have observed, and use it as a springboard to jump off in a different direction. Most writers play the ‘what if?’ game./ Indeed.


  • Your favourite social network and why? How much time do you waste, sorry, spend on social networks?

I’m always popping into Facebook or Twitter. Susan Hill said recently that it was the equivalent of meeting round the water cooler and she is quite right. Authors generally work alone, so a quick chat with a friend from time to time is very refreshing.

  • First person or third person? Present vs past tense? Love it, hate it

I love to write in first person, mostly past tense but slipping into first when she is ‘in the moment’. Only attempt a whole novel in first person present tense if you are quite sure you are as brilliant a writer as Sophie Kinsella.

For an example of how an excellent author can make the impossible seem easy, Read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – multiple first person viewpoints!

I also love it that I can chat directly with my readers, wherever they are in the world. Because they love my books, I already know that they have a good sense of humour and we are going to get along fine. I don’t stop and work out what I’m posting up, so you get a short, sharp burst of unadulterated and unedited Trisha, typos and all.

  • What would you like people to remember most about you?

That I was a good friend. And I like to think that my Cheshire Cat grin will be lingering in the air long after I am gone.


You can find me on Twitter at @trishaashley and I also have a Facebook fan page. Visit my website www.trishaashley.com to see my backlist, leave a message in my guest book, join my quarterly newsletter group or email me. You can also see me talking about books on Youtube!

And here it is:

Avon recently interviewed Trisha and quizzed her about where she finds the inspiration for all those lovely foody, snuggly, cosy things that fill her novels



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Living in fear, and writing about it

Living in fear, and writing about it


Elle Amberley

Having your name out there in public can be a frightening thing for some, especially for us denizens of the internet. Mother and author Elle Amberley talks about fighting that fear and coming out as a writer and about her new book Nowhere Left To Hide.

This madness possessing me, the one that stops me in my tracks, forcing me to write, so compulsive and obsessive.

I’m a mum first and then an author. I’ve been very good at hiding the writer side of me for the last few years using a pen name and keeping my private life well out of my professional life.

So why am I coming out now under a new pen name? Why was I not content with being known as the hermit author on the other side of the Atlantic?

I’ve stopped being a wuss? Well, let’s just say when I started I was scared, I had been living in fear for years. I broach this in my latest novel but also I’ve been talking more publicly about my own experience and grown more confident.


Imagine living in fear for most of your life, your first memory being of terror. Dreaming night after night of escape plans, only to be woken up by your worst nightmare.

Writing has been a wonderful healing process and talking about it helps, sharing with others has surprising rewarding benefits. I still have lightbulb moments when I get a better understanding of past events, where I can see how people are sometimes driven to do what they do, or fail to (re)act.

Furthermore, time has passed and the nasties have got older, time to let go of the childhood ghosts. As a teenager I ran for my life, I escaped several times until I realised I had to go further away in order to get on with my life. This time I escaped for good and ended up on the other side of the world.

I always find it easier to express myself through my writing and also on my own blog than on other people’s. I suffer from the Great British reserve and fear to be seen as a “look at me” type. Truth is I really suck at promoting myself. But I’ve been asked to do interviews and nudged to go on Facebook. God, I was dreading that and yet, in only three months I have a fantastic group of friends and so much support.


So this is how I came to write Natasha’s story. It is not my story although there are similarities. I wanted to show “victims” do not have to accept labels, we can all break the cycle. Sartre said that we always have a choice. Indeed how we react is up to us, we can lay down as victims or pick ourselves up, live to see another day and grow from it.

Nowhere Left to Hide is not a sad story, but a positive one. You will not find graphic details in my book but you will meet a strong woman who is determined to turn her life around. She is not a victim, she’s a fighter and a go-getter.

Writing for me is fun, it’s what I enjoy the most. I can write anywhere, I even have to stop the car sometimes to get hold of my notebook. Nobody around me bats an eyelid, well not the people who know me anyway. The others I wouldn’t notice, my head is down, I’m in my own universe.

Characters speak to me and yes, I used to fear for my sanity. Is this normal, and what is normal anyway?

The good news is men in white coats have not come to take me away yet. A friend of mine, who also happened to be a novelist, once told me “You’re not mad, you’re creative.”

I like the sound of that, that’s my excuse anyway.

I’m always very happy to hear from readers or fellow writers. You’re very welcome to follow me on Elle Amberley Twitter and Elle Amberley Facebookwhere you will find updates and details of book signings.

Nowhere Left to Hide now on Amazon


About the author

Although she is a British author, Elle Amberley likes to dabble in French too and hopes to resume work on her French novel when time allows. She also enjoys writing articles on women’s issues and whatever she feels passionate about, as well as poetry. A follow up to Nowhere Left to Hide is due for publication in Spring 2012.


Nowhere left to hide Elle Amberley

Nowhere Left to Hide by Elle Amberley 

Described as “A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch” by novelist Rowan Coleman.

Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic, this much awaited novel is a story of hope, fighting against the odds & the determination to do the right thing.


‘Lyrical from start to finish, Elle Amberley embraces the essence of women and friendship in Nowhere Left to Hide. Natasha, a young poet and writer, is wise beyond her years, as she lets us accompany her on her year long journey from England to the sunny coast of Southern California as she finds courage, her true calling and love.’ Ana Lewis, Founder, WomenontheVerge.net


This post was originally posted here : Guest post on Heather Sunderland

Please visit Heather’s wonderful blog, many thanks to her for hosting me.


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Meet Author Phillipa Ashley

I had the great pleasure of interviewing the lovely Phillipa Ashley.







Phillipa Ashley, loves writing lively, sexy, funny romantic fiction. After studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University, she worked as a copywriter and journalist.

Her first novel, Decent Exposure – titled DATING MR DECEMBER for the US – won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award. In 2009, it was filmed as a Lifetime TV movie called 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins.

She lives in an English village with her husband and daughter and loves Jane Austen, hiking and body boarding.

And here is her interview:

  •  Born with a pen in your hand or writing came as a shock brigade?

Writing romance certainly came as a shock to me! I didn’t start until 2005, after being inspired to write romance by the BBC TV costume drama North & South. But I have always loved reading and writing. At school, I almost always took the nonfiction route when it came to exams and essays so it’s no surprise I ended up as a freelance journalist and copywriter. I’m afraid studying English Lit at Oxford University only made me think more that I could never write a novel. Didn’t you have to be Charles Dickens or William Golding to do that? I had no idea there were millions of romance readers out there and that there’s a huge thirst for escapist, sexy, entertaining books alongside the worthy, serious ones.

  •  Have you ever considered packing it in?

Frequently, but so far, I haven’t actually given up.  If I’m struggling mid-book, I try to take a couple of weeks break and  talk through the issues with my agent or writer friends, Nell Dixon or Elizabeth Hanbury – or even my daughter and husband. Sometimes simply talking out loud about the problems, can crystallize the solution in my mind.

  •  What do you like best about writing?

Being able to create whole ‘worlds’ and spend time with a rich array of characters, gorgeous angst ridden heroes and sparky, witty heroines in settings that inspire me. Writing is pure escapism for me. My new US release, Carrie Goes off the Map enabled me to escape, literally and in my imagination, on a road trip around the South West of England.  Instead of sitting at my desk I could stride along dramatic cliffs and listen to the surf thunder on a beach along with the characters – and get paid to do it!


Thank you for having me on your blog, Elle!

My pleasure!


Website: www.phillipa-ashley.com


Follow me on twitter at @PhillipaAshley or Facebook



Phillipa’s latest releases are FEVER CURE (Samhain Publishing – e-book available now) and CARRIE GOES OFF THE MAP (Sourcebooks paperback and e book – December 1st 2011.)

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