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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Autism and Writing

Hi, Blogettes,

A couple of children in my family are on the autism spectrum. They are not what some would call severely autistic- they have some learning difficulties and occasional challenging behaviour. They're lovely little boys with amazing personalities, and because of the wonderful support of their parents have enjoyable and fulfilling lives.

It got me thinking.

There must be writers in the Wordiverse who have autism, or perhaps children and adults on the autistic spectrum who would love to write, or who write and aren't sure how to get published. Recently I was offered an opportunity to speak at a writing convention. I'm a shy person and often have to have a word with myself about experiencing something where there will be others present who I don't know. What I do know is that some of those with autism would not have the confidence to take part on these occasions, so miss out on courses, get-togethers, and events for writers.

Perhaps some of the courses could be filmed and sent to applicants via computer so they can take part. The podcasts offered by lots of writers I'm sure are very helpful, but what about companies and organisations who arrange paid events? Shouldn't they be encouraged to make it as easy as possible for those with autism to be part of them?

I would be very interested in your take on this subject.

Lots of love

Valentina xxx

Tuesday, 26 September 2017


Hi Blogettes,

My new release, 'PRIMROSE HILL IS SUDDENLY SINGLE' will be available on Amazon for pre-order within the next few weeks. My last pre-order was so successful, so I'm hoping my lovely Valentina fans will do it again!

I love the cover and can't wait to display it on my shelf.
Thanks so much for your continued support. 




Monday, 3 July 2017

Grit Your Teeth...and Don't Stop Writing

Writing is my passion. I love it. Every aspect of it...the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and more, drafts, the editing, editing, editing. I'm also okay when my readers say, 'Well, actually...' and I know it will be followed by a negative comment. Which is why I ask them to read my manuscript, right? So. It's all good.

I've just completed my eighth book; six are self-published, one is buried under the patio, hopefully never to be seen again, and my eighth is with agents. comes number nine.

Well, not quite. It's taken me three months to get the first page down of the first draft. I just could not decide how I wanted it to begin. I changed my mind so many times, even comforting myself with the saying, 'A person has the right to change his/her mind', began to sound lame. Should I write in the first or third person; at what point should it start; should it be retrospective or should it be in real time. Phew! Conundrums aplenty.

So...I knitted five dolls, one each for my grandkids, cleaned the oven to within an inch of its life, four times, started a new business, helped my husband with his, and wrote up assignments for a student (with editing). Anything, anything, as an excuse.

Then it came to me. A lightbulb moment. The one I'd been waiting for. So I made myself comfortable with my laptop and wrote the first page. And now I have a smile on my face. And I learnt something. The passion never goes. Not if it's really meant for you, no matter what your passion is. I'm glad I waited because the beginning is just what I was looking for. With each doll I knitted, and each corner of the house I swept, it was always on my mind, because writing is a huge part of who I am and I'm so proud it is. I wouldn't be who I am without it, and it's got me through some very difficult moments. Lesson learnt.

Don't give up on your passion. Because no matter how difficult the going may seem, your passion and determination will help you win through in the end.

Lots of love,


PS. Even though I'm rather tardy with this blog, I'm almost at 20,000 visits. Thank you for visiting. I hope we see each other again.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Submitting to Agents


I can't believe it's over two months since I last posted. Where does the time go? I'm in a happy place writing-wise right now because I've just completed the third draft of my new novel and waiting for my readers to give me their wisdom. (I always get nervous about this, because it's 'real' people reading the ms and not just me). I am real, by the way.

I've self-published before, but I've decided to contact agents over this one. I feel like I'm going into battle. I can't remember the last time I queried an agent about a new manuscript, so I'm studying it all again to make sure those pesky mistakes don't creep in. The problem is, everything I read about submitting tells me something different. Do I start with the novel name and the length? Or do I jump right in with the pitch, then continue from there? Do I start with my logline? Do I compare my novel to others, or not? Some say do, some say don't. Phew, I'm not sure what the answers are so I'm going to do what comes naturally, and hopefully make it as exciting and readable as possible and keep my fingers crossed. The only thing I'm sure about, is keeping my fingers crossed.
I know how to do that.

Love Valentina xxx

The Blogettes