Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Fun and fantasy...

I am so fortunate that Toni Sands, a member of the Carmarthen Chapter of the Romantic Novelists Association lives very near near me. We meet for coffee as often as we can - not often enough, we're both very busy - to chat about writing, about plots, ideas and fun.

We went to the RNA Conference together last year at Caerleon and had a ball. (This is us with Jennifer Taylor, Mills and Boon Medical Author, having a good time at the gala dinner!)

Sandra is much published in the short story and novella market (see Traded Innocence below) but has recently had her first full length novel, ORCHID PINK, published. It's a little bit naughty (actually very naughty) - you have been warned.

Today Sandra is my guest and she sharing some thoughts on writing romantic fiction…

How thoughtful to place a mural on the ceiling. Peter Rabbit nibbled on a bright green lettuce leaf and Eva Peron waved from her wrought-iron balcony above the black leather bunk where I lay.

The mind scanner, trim in pristine white coat, moved the ultra-sound probe across my forehead. ‘It’s a bit hot in here,’ she said. ‘Erm, do you by any chance write erotica?’

I dragged myself back from the brink of Alice’s rabbit hole. ‘I do,’ I said. ‘Is there a problem?’

‘Not at all. In fact there’s a queue of characters waiting. Actually,’ she lowered her voice,’ I’d rather like some of what they’re having. Oh, wow. There’s someone here I wouldn’t mind meeting.’

I wondered whether sexy smuggler Jac still hung around, hoping for another outing. Maybe Adelaide was there too – longing to travel to France with her lover. But the mind scanner moved on.

‘Here’s a shape shifter literally panting for release,’ she said. ‘Can’t you do something about that? He or it could probably take you to the Human Rights’ Court for not allowing him his own story.’

Did she mean Keir? He’s the hero in my new contemporary romance and I’d even pictured him as a snow leopard with hypnotic eyes and a Clint Eastwood prowl.

‘Around the area of your heart,’ she continued, 'there’s a distinct pink tinge. You have a whole cast of characters longing to escape. Love affairs between dolly birds and dishy chaps in sports cars ... so what’s this village back in the seventies? You couldn’t make this stuff up. And now there’s a pilot called Stan!’

He of the whispering fingers, I thought. What’s he doing back? Guiltily I remembered that website dealing in stories that don’t fit the women’s magazine market. Thanks, Stan. I’ll certainly give that a whirl. It’s time you landed happily.

The therapist was off again. ‘Definitely you have a battle going on between the fluffy pink clouds and the black satin sheets.’ She paused. ‘Mills and Boon has formed quite a colony here, just below your heart. You might try a good herbal remedy to wash your system out but - oh, I don’t know. You’ve become quite attached to this Dr Keir Harrison, haven’t you?’

I didn’t answer.

‘Goodness!’ The probe paused.

‘What seems to be the problem?’ I asked. Usually it’s the therapist who says that to the patient.

‘Laughter. Often you try to repress it but it bubbles up. I can’t do anything for that, I’m afraid. Did you by any chance get the giggles in church as a child?’

Yes, as well as in the Chemistry lab, in the Geography Room and on the netball court. I think it was all those bottoms clad in navy blue knickers. It happened a lot at college and when I worked in aviation, laughter hung around the flight deck and the cabin. It’s always there – sometimes hard to reach in times of darkness but never far from the surface. I don’t think it’s going to go away. In fact I hope it never does.

(Note from Liz: You only have to look at that wicked grin to know that Toni got up to all sorts in the Chemistry Lab!)

Thank you, Liz, for inviting me. I’m honoured to be here and I hope your readers enjoy my tongue-in-cheek therapy session. If anyone wishes to learn more about my novel, Orchid Pink or forthcoming novella, Traded Innocence, please visit my website I can be contacted there or, please follow me on Twitter @tonisands


Jane Lovering said...

Some of those characters sound fascinating! If only the mind-probe were real... Thanks for giving us a literal 'insight' Toni.

Bluestocking Mum said...

How great to live close enough to meet with one of your RNA friends like this.

I'm very thankful for the computer and social networking sites as I live in quite a remote part of South Shropshire.

However, I'm going to most of the RNA events this year and Caerleon in July so hope to meet us with you and Liz sometime.

warm wishes

Sandra Mackness said...

Thank you, Jane. This piece resulted from a workshop task which everyone liked :) I'm pleased Liz has allowed me to give it an airing x

Chris Stovell said...

Wonderful! I can see you're going to be very busy, Toni, with some therapeutic writing. I can't wait to see what's in store for your readers!

Sandra Mackness said...

Therapeutic writing? Hmm...editing at the moment, Chris but a couple of submissions made so here's hoping. Are we really going to let Liz go? Wales'loss will be Wiltshire's gain. And, Debbie, it would be great to meet you too x

Anonymous said...

Here's to many more characters escaping the pink tinge, and lots more laughter.

Liz Fielding said...

I have several author mates living within shouting distance, Debbie. V. lucky!

Susan Bergen said...

Happily I, too, am a great believer in the therapeutic effects of laughter. It has got me through many awkward moments and difficult times.

Rick said...

That really must be wonderful to be living close to other writer friends!

Sandra Mackness said...

Many thanks for your comments, Ann, Susan and Rick. Liz's blog is a very comfortable place to be. Hopefully I shan't have to fly too far when I visit Chris Stovell's!