The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

Posts tagged ‘novel’

My life in a parallel universe

The last week has been a heady whirl of glamorous parties, premieres, photo shoots, and jet setting off to Monaco to sip truffle daiquiris on a super yacht with Caroline and the lads . . . No wait, that’s someone else’s life.

In mine, Husband returned and we spent the next three days making sweet sweet love when we weren’t enjoying candlelit dinners and floating candles on the balcony. Needless to say, we are not only exhausted, but also several kilos lardier! No wait, that’s not my life either – although it sounds like it should be only without the lard.

I’ve been busy writing my fifth runaway blockbuster, while engaged on an exhilarating schedule of global book tours, tv shows and – woah! Have I stumbled into a parallel universe? Hey – maybe it’s a future timeframe! Ooh, exciting. But in the meantime, I’ve been editing my second novel following feedback from my editor.

Two days after Husband arrived home, we embarked on an exciting round the world tour of many different, exotic locations to experience new things and see sights we had never seen before, like Niagara Falls.

Well, we flew down to see the Outlaws in Oamaru.

Close enough.

Today Jed and I were menaced by a herd of zombie cows.

Sadly, that one is true.


Last week I finished the first draft of About Time.

The pressure had been mounting for weeks.

At this point, it is worth bearing in mind that, everything being relative, our lives are comparatively stress-free. Right up there at the top of the Stress Scale is what to eat for breakfast, followed closely by when/where to go biking and whether I will get a flat tyre.

So I was totally unequipped for the extremes of anxiety leading up to The Deadline.

You will be glad to hear I epitomised grace under pressure. I was serene, confident and overflowing with gruntledness.

Regrettably – particularly for Husband – this physically manifested in an unpleasant shrillness of voice.

I am now waiting to hear back from my agent. Some might suggest that Peter does not pull his punches; others that he fights dirty.

I could not comment personally, since he might sue me for slander.

Also, see above.

I am, however, looking forward to his perspective (unfortunately, I misplaced mine). He will no doubt ask me to rewrite vast tracts of About Time – I’m guessing the last third, where I literally lost the plot – and it will be a better book for it.

I decided to take a week off and enjoy not having to write anything more creative than a shopping list. (Note: normally these are models of creativity with footnotes, appendices and surprising application of nouns. However, at the moment my shopping list consists of nothing more imaginative than mushrooms, ginger ale and scouring pads).

I am only just starting to feel half normal again.

Everything being relative.

Tractors Weekly: poor substitute

According to Amazon and my publishers, Little Black Dress, Smart/Casual came out on 2 April.

The Outlaws threw a launch party to compensate for Husband not being present to take me out for dinner. Had he been around, Husband would more likely have celebrated the grand occasion by hacking into Amazon’s website to see how many copies had been sold, and maybe agreeing to watch an episode of House instead of Top Gear. However, I was touched by Mother-In-Law’s high opinion of her progeny.

Despite the secret cake, candles and high levels of literary expectation, it was all a bit of an anticlimax. I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but the cake was slightly undercooked in the middle.

However, the main reason was the notable absence of the book. The Little Black Dress website stated Smart/Casual was ‘coming next month’, and instead of listing it as ‘This title has not yet been released’, it was ‘out of stock’ on Amazon.

We had to substitute a copy of New Zealand Tractors Weekly, but it was slightly less interesting and not as fictional. I offered to show The Outlaws the 879Kb Word document of the final manuscript on my laptop, but nobody seemed to feel that would really capture the moment

Vocation: Rock Star

I have to write acknowledgements and dedication pages for my first novel.

Before I even started Smart/Casual, I used to lie in bed at night composing my acknowledgements. Just to put this in context, I used to also draft my Oscar acceptance speech, my Olympic gold winning address, and my rock concert introduction. The latter went: “HELLOOO <INSERT LOCATION>! YEAH! ALL RIGHT! Bones, hit it. ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! <first number>.”

The acknowledgements for my book were more eloquent. In fact, they were a mastery of eloquence, running to roughly half the book and featuring passages of heartbreaking poignancy, sub-plots, themes, villains, twists, and character arcs.

Now that I have to write the thing, I am experiencing a mental block the size of Slovakia.

I have got as far as ‘Thanks’.

At least I have the dedication page sorted:

For Husband
I hope we don’t divorce

Hymen Raider and the Penetrators

I need a name for a band that is beyond terrible.

In ‘About Time’, one of my characters plays in a grunge band in college. The band is more about volume than musical technique and suffers from anti-establishment aspirations. In case you need to get into character, he doesn’t wash much and is going through a swearing phase.

Here’s what I’ve come up with; I’d be grateful if you’d let me know which is your favourite, or feel free to out-gross me with an entirely new suggestion:-


1/ The Scary Fuckers
2/ Unstoppable Maggots
3/ The Impotent Barnacles
4/ The Turd-Sniffing Foetuses
5/ The Decapitated Anti Capitalists
6/ Hymen Raider and the Fucking Penetrators

On Amazon, darling

This is tremendously exciting! Although possibly not half – or even three millionths – as much for you as it is for me. It is now possible to <insert drumroll here> pre-order Smart/Casual on Amazon!

How awesomely awesome is that?!

The Man Who Must Not Be Discussed found the listing on Amazon. Husband sent the link to me this morning. His copy has been pre-ordered 🙂

Qualified author

I have just been offered a publishing contract! Yippee! Apologies in advance for the number of exclamation points in this post – I’m not proud of it! Little Black Dress Books have offered me a one, two or three book publishing deal!

This afternoon, Husband and I went into Borders at Sylvia Park to check out Little Black Dress publications in the romance section. Husband demonstrated an uncanny ability for opening books at the paragraphs detailing hot shafts and throbbing rods. He did a rather unheroically unmanly amount of giggling.

When I thought about Smart/Casual fighting for space on these shelves I got quite squeaky and overexcited. With any luck the cover won’t feature martini glasses, fluffy mules, poodles in raincoats or female apparel.



When Róisín left, the writing limped along for a while. I’m happy to report that it’s roughly back on track, and I only have the Grand Denouement, The Twist and The Epilogue to write. Andrew has procured me a pair of Tiffany earrings which are proving more effective than any willpower I’ve ever managed to dredge up. He refuses to even let me sniff them until the book is finished


Tag Cloud