This weekend it's less of a wind down and more 'business as usual'. The lovely Michelle Reid allowed us to announce our 'exciting news' on 'her' Wednesday. So, here, at the Pink Heart Society, a little later than we originally planned is ... a cautionary tale.
ARE YOU A PLOTTER A WINGER...?
I’m a Winger, a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer, the kind that sees a single scene - like the one in my first book A QUESTION OF PRIDE where the beautiful heroine lingers in bed after a long night of loving, reluctant to get up until her boss/lover (yes in that order) has dressed and left, because she is pregnant with his baby and suffering from morning sickness but does not want the hero to know.
Or then there’s the scene in my latest book, THE MARKONOS BRIDE, where I saw my brooding dark Greek hero watch a beautiful woman walk off the ferry which visits his island once a week, and realises he’s looking at the same woman he’d watched walk off that same ferry eight years ago – his once teenage bride now estranged wife. “My God, it’s Louisa. She’s come home,” my hero thinks – and off I go, leaving it to the two main characters to tell me exactly where it is we’re all going to.
Easy! Great! So let’s get going on this exciting journey! My one rule being - never to think too far ahead or I know I’ll go off the boil.
Easy--? Who am I trying to kid? Do you want to take a look at my wip folder with its countless stock of half-finished stories languishing there because the muse fizzled out? Well you can’t take a look, because I lost the folder two months ago along with the current wip I was working on - when my computer decided to crash, which brings me to my next question:
DO YOU BACK-UP OR DON’T YOU BACK-UP?
Well hey, which category do you think this Winger fits into? Yep, you’ve got it. This fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants writer backed up nothing, so when my PC died to the dreaded blue screen I was sunk – almost sunk because - doesn’t everyone know that a good IT person can recover anything from your defunct hard disk?
Enter stage left, (via the telephone) the evil IT bloke, the friend-of-a-friend guy who knows everything and nothing at all. He leads me through a series of instructions with the smooth condescending confidence of a man dealing with a stupid woman – and like a stupid woman I let him. I let him walk me through every procedure I had already tried out for myself several times while kindly stayed silent about the fact that I had. Then – eureka! He hit on a new one. Excited now, I hit keys to instruction then sat back to watch expectantly...
‘What’s it doing?’ I asked, frowning.
‘Why, what can you see on your screen?’
Nothing. Absolutely horribly – nothing, not even the dreaded blue screen. He’d accidentally formatted my hard drive. Don’t ask me why or how he had come to this clever point of no return because I slammed down the phone so I don’t know.
Years of half finished Wingers went slinking off into oblivion. My beautiful gorgeous sexy Alpha Dell was sexily Alpha no more. My current Winger, due on my Editors desk in three weeks had been lost without a single note scribbled or printed out for me to refer to.
In writer terms I think I’ll call this the black moment. However in true romantic style this tale does have a happy ending! With windows reinstalled, Alpha Dell rose to the occasion and we buckled down to deliver the latest wip only one month late. As a reward for his heroic fortitude I introduced Alpha Dell to a new friend of mine – the beautiful and very sexy Lady Dell. They now sit side by side on my desk – he the dark brooding one, she the sleek silky one wearing fabulous satin red.
And do I back-up now? You bet I back up. I back-up online and to an external hard drive - and just for good measure I also back-up my current work to my memory stick.
Do I still wing it? Yep. Just can’t get out of that habit, so the folder of half finished stories is starting to grow again. It feels nice, reassuring to know they’re lurking around somewhere waiting, maybe in a month or two or a year or two for me to pick back up and wing it with them again...
Here’s a small taster from THE MARKONOS BRIDE (in the shops from May) to hopefully tease your appetite...
‘You want to re-enact our first time?’ Andreas raked down at her. ‘You want me to roll you down in the ground and lose my head again, re-introduce you to what it is like to have sex with a man out of control?’
‘No,’ Louisa whispered, horribly aware that this was all her fault. ‘I’m s-sorry … I don’t know what came over me. I—‘
‘I came over you. Want came over you. Need - lust. A sudden desire for sex with your hot-blooded Greek!’ His angry contempt whipped her skin. ‘I must therefore assume that your last five years in the sexual company of Englishmen has not been enough to satisfy you.’
‘And what’s your excuse?’ she hit back at the cruel tongued brute. ‘What drove you to respond as you did? A sudden desire to re-enact the deflowering of your teenage virgin?’ She was going to cry any second now. She was going break down and weep! ‘Have the countless lovers who’ve passed through your bed not quite lived up to the excitement of having your very own personally trained sex object, one untouched by another male hand?’
‘Well, I am sure the last part no longer counts,’ he threw back in derision.
Michelle Reid's new book The Markonos Bride is published in Presents and M&B Modern in May.
You can read more about it and Michelle herself on her web site at http://www.michellereid.com/
Michelle has a signed copy of The Markonos Bride to give away to a winner picked randomly from the comments.