Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome to the It Started With a Kiss Tour!

All this year, I'm keeping a video diary of everything that goes into writing my third novel, It Started With a Kiss, due to be published on 10th November. I'm filming the next episode as we speak, but in the meantime I'd like to invite you on a very special tour...

It Started With a Kiss begins in Birmingham, on the last Saturday before Christmas, when Romily tells her best friend Charlie that she loves him - and it's clear from his reaction that she's misread the signs. Mortified, she runs from the Starbucks cafe in New Street, through the city's famous German Christmas Market - and straight into the path of a handsome stranger! What happens next turns Romily's world upside down - and sets the scene for a yearlong Quest to find the mystery man again.

Birmingham is an amazing City and I wanted to share with you the locations that inspired me for the novel. In this tour, we'll take in the location for Romily's fateful confession, the gorgeous Victoria Square where the German Christmas Market takes place and the scene of her unexpected kiss from the handsome stranger! I'll also take you to lovely canalside BrindleyPlace where Wren lives and show you where to get the best bacon sandwich in the whole of Birmingham. PLUS! The first sighting in my vlog of my fiance Bob!!

So are you ready to go? Good. Keep close and follow me! Enjoy :o) x

p.s. Please let me know what you think! Post a comment below and let me know if you have any questions, too..

Friday, April 22, 2011

It Started With a Kiss week 10: The handsome stranger!

All this year, I'm keeping a video diary of everything that goes into writing my third novel, It Started With a Kiss, due to be published on 10th November. This week, meet the mystery man who Romily is searching for and find out what I think is the perfect recipe for a great chick-lit novel...

Last time, I shared with you my dream cast for It Started With a Kiss and thanks so much for all of your fab comments about them! But of course one of the most important characters was missing: the mystery stranger who comes to Romily's aid and, with one amazing, show-stopping kiss, sets Rom on a year-long quest to find him again. But will she find him? And what happens when Charlie - the guy she's been in love with for three years - suddenly starts to see her as girlfriend material? Who will she choose....? To see my casting choice for the handsome stranger, look below this week's vlog!

This week, lots more editing, including a big change to the opening chapter of the book, plus fab questions from Kirsty from Novelicious, Dot from Dot Scribbles and Paige Conlon - including my personal checklist for the key elements that make fantastic chick lit stories. Let me know what you think - what do you look for in a perfect chick lit book?


p.s. This week's YouTube selected freeze frame is entitled, 'Three Sheets to the Wind (in a Hat)'

So, here's my choice for THE MYSTERY MAN
played by Henry Cavill (recently seen in BBC1's The Tudors and soon to be Superman!)

So would you spend a year searching for this man? Let me know!

..and finally, if you like my Random Rug that I always have over my knees when I write, you can find them here

Images: Upstreet Magazine,

Friday, April 8, 2011

A bit of a Friday chill-out...

Seeing as it's such a lovely sunny day, I thought you might like some suitably chilled-out music to relax to...

I found this amazing video today for a song I co-wrote and performed on with the amazing chill-out composer and producer Reuben Halsey.

The Meaning of Life came about after Reuben saw a YouTube video made by an American girl and was inspired to compose a song around excerpts of her thoughts. When it came to me, I wrote the melody and lyrics based on her thoughts, adding some of my own. As usual, Reuben turned it into something magical and you can hear the results below. (My vocal comes in around 1:32, in case you were wondering!)

I've worked with Reuben on quite a few songs now, two of which you can hear on my album here - Running Home and Let The Sun Shine. I'm hoping to start working on an album with Reuben soon - watch this space!

Anyway, enjoy the song and video - let me know what you think! xx

Friday, April 1, 2011

It Started With a Kiss week 9: Meet the band!

All this year, I'm keeping a video diary of everything that goes into writing my third novel, It Started With a Kiss, due to be published on 3rd November. This week, the structural edits continue, plus get a world premiere of my dream cast for The Pinstripes - the wedding band at the centre of the novel!

Thanks again for all your fab questions, too. This week, I talk about how my writing process has changed since I became a published author, writing full time (or not!), using real people as inspiration for my characters - and what can happen to my stories when real life influences fictional events...

On Twitter this week, we had a lot of fun as I gathered together my perfect cast for Romily and her friends in The Pinstripes wedding band. Thank you so much to everyone who suggested such amazing actors! For an exclusive introduction to the characters you'll read about in It Started With a Kiss, check out my Dream Cast list underneath the vlog!

So enjoy - and let me know if you have other suggestions for my cast.

Oh, by the way, if you're Richard Curtis and, by some amazingly implausible twist of fate, you've happened upon this blog post, you've got the cast all sorted below - so how about being my dream Director and making It Started With a Kiss the movie...? :o)

p.s. This week's YouTube nominated freeze frame is affectionately known as, 'Slightly Manic Neighbour'...

And now, for your viewing pleasure, may I proudly present...



played by Claire Foy (recently seen in BBC1's Little Dorrit)

By day, Romily is a jingle-writer for Brum FM, Birmingham's third most popular commercial radio station, but her real passion lies in songwriting and performing as part of The Pinstripes wedding band with her best friends. A strong believer in the power of possibility, she is confident and optimistic, with the kind of outlook on life that always looks for the best. When the story begins, Romily has just confessed her undying love to her best male friend Charlie (drummer with The Pinstripes), but unfortunately things have gone horribly wrong. Mortified and thoroughly embarrassed, Romily runs from him through the crowded streets of Birmingham's famous German Christmas Market - straight into the arms of a handsome stranger. So unexpected and world-changing is this moment that when the stranger is suddenly called away, Romily vows to spend the next year trying to find him. As she embarks on her yearlong quest, she will need all of her trademark positivity and resolve - especially when Charlie starts to change his mind...

played by Ben Barnes (recently seen in The Chronicles of Narnia)

Image from The
Gorgeous, arty, sensitive and charming, art gallery manager Charlie is the drummer with The Pinstripes and Romily's closest friend since school. They've shared everything over the years and know more about each other than either cares to admit. It's generally accepted in the band that he and Romily will one day get together - their chemistry is plain for all to see. After his initial bad reaction to Romily's confession, Charlie quickly seems to be backtracking - and with looks and charm this devastating, might he be the right one for Romily after all?

played by Holliday Grainger (recently seen in ITV1's Demons)

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A sassy redhead with angelic looks and - it has to be said - an utterly filthy sense of humour, Wren is The Pinstripes' diminutive singer and bass player. Fiercely loyal to Romily, she champions her best friend's seemingly crazy quest to find the handsome stranger - but her overenthusiastic attempt to help (via an advert in the Encounters section of the local paper) leads to a couple of toe-curlingly awful dates for Romily... Always in demand with the male population of Birmingham and beyond, Wren harbours a secret soft spot for D'Wayne, hapless manager of The Pinstripes - even though he appears to be terrified of her!

played by Jim Sturgess (recently seen in the feature film The Way Back)

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Guitarist and avid mountain biker, Tom is the charming joker of The Pinstripes. His brooding good looks and cheeky sense of humour makes him a definite hit with the ladies. A computer whizzkid by day, he is responsible for landing The Pinstripes their biggest gig to date: playing at the lavish, celebrity-packed wedding of his millionaire boss's daughter in a breathtaking London stately pile. But could his new girlfriend, ambitious journalist Cayte, be about to cause untold problems for Romily?

played by Christian Cooke (also recently seen in ITV1's Demons)

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Gentle, wise-cracking Jack is the only member of The Pinstripes who works full-time in music - in the recording studio he owns in the heart of the City. One of Romily's closest confidants, Jack encourages her to pursue her songwriting ambitions when he sees her song ideas scribbled in a notebook that she inadvertently leaves at his studio. The house that he shares with his girlfriend Sophie is the unofficial base for The Pinstripes - from official band meetings to frequent social gatherings. Jack is also Charlie's best friend: can he see something developing between them that Charlie and Romily can't?

played by Adetomiwa Edun (recently seen in the RSC's Romeo and Juliet and BBC1's Merlin)

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Hapless yet lovable D'Wayne is the not-so-hot manager of The Pinstripes. He's trying hard, but several of the wedding gigs he books for the band turn into complete disasters (don't even mention the One With the Tights...) Undaunted, his ambitions for the band only grow stronger - and when they land the Millionaire Gig, D'Wayne steps up his game. To the amusement of the band, the only person who can reduce this handsome, assured young man to a quivering wreck is tiny, flame-haired Wren - but does his apparent terror hide his true feelings for her?

So, what do you think? Let me know! More dream cast members will follow over the next few months, including UNCLE DUDLEY, AUNTIE MAGS, SOPHIE (Jack's girlfriend) and, of course, THE MYSTERY MAN! (watch out for him next week!)
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