Romcom at its craziest, funniest and British-iest and it’s only 99p! #99books #romcom

British romcom at its best! Continue reading

What does a ‘trashy novel’ really mean? #romcom #trashy

I always thought the answer was gratuitous sex scenes amongst shallow characters, but others have told me it’s an insignificant plot. I Googled the answer and (palpitations!) it brought up chick lit. Chick lit! Surely not the light-hearted books I … Continue reading

What kind of driver are you?

Louise Wise

I’m a placid type of person. Not easily riled. But inside a car I’m a MONSTER! If someone cuts me up, sits on my tail, hesitates too long, I turn in to Mrs Hulk! I wind down the window, stick my head out and yell like a fishwife.

If they are on my behind I flash my fog lights (they think I’m braking and pull back), or I become Driving Miss Daisy and refuse to go above 10 mph.

My husband, in the passenger seat, makes strange hand movements, usually with clenched fists and white knuckles. My particular favourite gesture is when he cowers down in the seat and covers his entire head. So sweet.

But, hey, it isn’t my driving that’s the problem. It’s the others. I’ve compiled a list of road users:

Middle Lane Hoggers: You know the kind, they sit in the middle lane so if you want to overtake you have to move two lanes just to get in front of them. Grrrr

Sunday Drivers: They drive slooooowy, looking at scenery, pointing out things of interest to their passengers and suddenly stopping when they spot a landmark.

Boy Racers: These undertake, cut you up, drive with their music blaring from an open window. Don’t give them eye contact. It’ll make them think you admire them. 

White Van Drivers: These are closely related to Lorry/Truck Drivers. Very arrogant with their large vehicles and their ability to look down on other road users–literally. Overtake them, accidentally or not, and they’ll NEVER forgive you. I watched Duel and, trust me, these things could happen!

Mummy Drivers: These are usually turned the other way with one hand on the stirring wheel the other holding a tissue and wiping snot or vomit from a child on the back seat.

Chick Lit Readers: Perfect.

Get it for 77p or 99c while you can…
A Proper Charlie

A British contemporary romance novel…
jolly good fun!

What happens when prostitutes go missing, and Charlie’s shy boss, Ben Middleton, is a suspect? 

What happens when Charlie pretends to be a hooker for the newspaper story she’s working on, and is “picked up” by Ben? 

What happens when she is abducted and only the handsome Ben knows where she is? 

Poor Charlie, she only wanted recognition. She should’ve stayed home. 

Available in many formats:

Paperback: (full price)

So you want an Author Platform? FREE eBook

social media and newbie writing guide

For a self-published/indie writer creating a platform is a must. The sooner this is made and maintained the better. But where do you start? So You Want an Author Platform is an easy to follow guide that will help you connect to bloggers and potential readers of your book.

This is a short eBook of approx 9500 words. 

FREE from 
12th to 16th March

Book Giveaways!

I have TWO copies of my chicklit novel, A Proper Charlie, to giveaway.
It’s fun and frothy and PINK!
For ladies from 16 to 100
No men allowed (unless entering for sister, mum, girlfriend, gran…)
Charlie watched as he fell back onto her settee, and then straddled his lap. Oh my God! What was she doing! She was having an out-of-body-experience, she thought. Only she wasn’t dead. She was alive. Very much so. She wriggled against him wonderingly and excitement flared in her body as his own rose to her teasing.

Charlie Wallis has everything a girl could wish for. A loving boyfriend, a nice flat and a fantastic job as a journalist for London Core. Trouble is, Charlie’s boyfriend’s a waster, her job title really reads ‘clerk’ and her flat, at the top of a high-rise, isn’t that nice after all.
Her new boss, Ben, is a huge bear of a man. A gentle giant, with chocolate brown eyes that hold a secret.

While London Core investigates the murders of local prostitutes, Charlie wants in on the action, deciding that dressing as a hooker and walking the streets is good research. Bumping into Ben was the last thing she expected.
A story of opposites that not only attract…

… but ignite!

To enter put your name and email address (so I can reach you) in the comment box. Names will be put into a hat (in my case a tupperware box) and the two pulled out will win!
Offer closes 10th April midnight.
A Proper Charlie can be shipped anywhere in the world.

Wise Words: A Proper Charlie – chicklit novel.

Wise Words: A Proper Charlie – chicklit novel.:

Charlie watched as he fell back onto her settee, and then straddled his lap. Oh my God! What was she doing! She was having an out-of-body-experience, she thought. Only she wasn’t dead. She was alive. Very much so. She wriggled against him wonderingly and excitement flared in her body as his own rose to her teasing.

Charlie Wallis has everything a girl could wish for: a loving boyfriend, a fantastic job as a newspaper journalist for London Core and resides in a trendy flat.

Trouble is Charlie’s boyfriend’s a loser, her job title really reads `clerk` and her flat, at the top of a high-rise, isn’t that nice after all.

Her new boss, Ben, is a huge bear of a man. A gentle giant, with chocolate brown eyes that hold a secret.

While London Core investigates the disappearance of local prostitutes, Charlie wants in on the action, deciding that dressing as a hooker and walking the streets is good research.

Bumping into Ben was the last thing she expected.
A story of opposites that not only attract …

A Proper Charlie is now available as a down load from Smashwords and on Kindle on Amazon.

If you are a writer or blogger you should know the importance of TAGS

But first what are they?
In computer terminology, a tag is a keyword which provides a visual suggestion of the number of articles tagged with a keyword. The more popular a keyword the larger it will appear in the tag cloud.
In easy-speak if you were to search the Internet for say, help or advice on blogging, you’d head over to Google or Bing and put in the search engine “blogging help” or similar. And the savvy blogger would have used your words as taglines because he wants you to visit his page.
Now, if I wanted you to be able to find my book, A Proper Charlie easily, my tags would be “chicklit” “romance” “Louise Wise” etc and your searching words would generate my taglines to be at the top, or near to the top, of your search and hopefully you’ll click to be taken to my book.
On various blogs or websites taglines look like this:
The larger the word the more popular they are. Or they can be neat like an index. But either, they work the same. Tags are generally chosen informally and personally by the blogger. It’s wise to chose them to best describe the article written.
For this one I shall use, taglines, what are taglines, how to use taglines etc.
If you have a book out and it’s on Amazon make sure you have tagged your book. At the bottom of the Amazon page you should see “Tags Customers Associate with This Product” and then a list of taglines. These are the tags that generous people have given your book. And I say generous because it IS generous. Every little tag helps navigate potential readers towards your book.
There is an option to add your own, and I fully recommend you do so. As many as you can think of relevant to your book. Mine for Eden are: science fiction romance, romance, science fiction, survival, louise wise, love story, love, relationships, contemporary romance, best sellers, holiday read, quick read, a must read, romance novel, eden,  social media.

Louise Wise
Author of Eden and A Proper Charlie

A Self-Published Novel: How do you know when your edits are enough?

Me: I hate my picture being taken!
I finished A Proper Charlie ages ago. I lost count of the number of edits I took it through. I edited on the screen, then I printed it off and edited again. I forced my husband, a die-hard Chris Ryan fan, to read my romantic comedy with a red pen in hand.

I put it away for a several months while I concentrated on an idea for my third novel, before dusting it off for yet another edit.

Then I printed it off again but in a different font (someone advised me this was good practice) and I went through it word by word, letter by letter.

It had two professional edits, one from Cornerstones and another from fellow writer, John Hudspith. Not to mention writers on the popular and Authonomy review sites pulling it to pieces.

I sent off my manuscript to my publisher, and was sent back a bound copy of A Proper Charlie for a final check and edit.

Here, I was able to see how my finished book would look. But that didn’t stop me from grabbing a red pen and sitting to read the book from start to finish. I didn’t find typos, but I could see where a particular scene wasn’t working. And I thought the end was a little abrupt. I duly corrected the proofs on my computer.

Then Christmas came, and the book was put to one side. In the lull between Christmas and New Year I dusted off my laptop and opened the Charlie file. I went through it all again. And yes, I found yet more things I wanted to change. I realised I was in danger of over editing. I was no longer looking for edits or consistency, but changing scenes and adding or taking away a comma or two.

With hindsight I realised it was a ploy because I didn’t want my book to go! I’m sure other self-pubbers understand my anxiety: We are rubbished before we are read.

“Proper” authors who use a traditional publisher with an agent’s backing, agents and publishing houses believe we are entering the publishing world through the back door and mistrust us.

And so for every typo, we are ridiculed for not being proper writers, and for every error we are pulled up on, we are made to feel inferior for choosing self-publication. For every tiny gaffe we give other self-publishers a bad name (yet, somehow “real” writers who fall short aren’t treated the same).

So you can understand my anxiety in letting Charlie go. 

Well, she’s out there now. I can’t edit it any more. My third book is crying out to be written, and I finally had to cut the apron strings on Charlie and push her out into the cruel world.

Deep down I know she’s ready. She’s funny, bright and lovable, and I’m sure readers, if they give her a chance, will like her too.

Let’s hope so. I don’t want to be “just another self-published writer”.

A Proper Charlie – chicklit novel.

A Proper Charlie
Charlie Wallis has everything a girl could wish for: a trendy flat, a loving boyfriend and a fantastic job as a newspaper journalist.

Trouble is Charlie’s boyfriend is a loser, her job title really reads `clerk` and her flat, at the top of a high-rise, isn’t that nice after all.
Her new boss, Ben, is a huge bear of a man. A gentle giant, with chocolate brown eyes that hold a secret.
While her paper investigates the disappearances of local prostitutes, Charlie wants in on the action, deciding that dressing as a hooker and walking the streets is good research.

Bumping into Ben was the last thing she expected.
A story of opposites who not only attract, but ignite!
Out Now!
To buy from click HERE or from click THIS And thank you.
Chapter One
Charlie loves Andy. Andy loves Charlie. Charlie has an exciting job working for a daily newspaper. The newspaper is called London Core. Charlie’s life is exciting and fulfilled. Charlie tells lies.

Charlie Wallis sat at her desk writing on an old summary report. Around her, the hubbub of her colleagues, planning the office party, presented snatches of conversation.

‘… where can I get an Amy Winehouse wig?’

‘… I’ve an Elvis wig, would that do?’

‘… Fanny’s looking. Head down, pretend to work…’

‘… where can I get an Amy Winehouse wig?

She sighed, and doodled a stick figure with a sad face. Telephones rang; some were answered while others trilled relentlessly. Sarah ran past, shrieking, ‘I’ve Jordan Price on line two for you, Faye.’ Charlie stopped paperwork from her pending tray floating in the excited woman’s wake, and watched as Faye received this apparently thrilling news.

London Core, even though termed ‘rag’ by others in the trade, pulled in a decent amount of readers – no wonder the Middleton Group wanted to buy it. Had bought it, she corrected unhappily.

The Middleton Group was renowned for swallowing up small newspapers like Core, changing the dynamics of the workforce, creating redundancies and relocating staff. Management had called a meeting earlier this morning and told them of the takeover and merge with the national The Globe, another of Middleton’s publications. They’d been assured their jobs were safe, but undoubtedly there would be shake-ups.

There was a shocked silence when all had trooped back into the open-plan office, which had lasted all of thirty seconds when everyone began talking at once.

Charlie stopped doodling for a moment to add Charlie loves her job to her nonsense writing. But her job doesn’t love Charlie, she continued in an illegible scrawl. She doodled another sad face, added tears and after a moment’s hesitation, jug ears.

Even though management had assured them their jobs were safe, rumours had been rife. And because of that, the workers were organising a party to either celebrate or commiserate with those who may be chucked by the wayside.

The party had been arranged, and venue booked inside an hour after the takeover was announced. It’d been organised to coincide with the official date of the takeover in two weeks’ time. From a Tarts and Victors party, it was now going to be a pop-star fancy dress, past and present, and Charlie planned to go as Ginger Spice. She sighed again, and fingered a strand of her red hair. How could she enjoy herself at the party knowing her job was on the line and that her boyfriend was about to dump her?

She’d been seeing Andy Chambers for seven months; seven months and two days to be exact, and she’d been certain he was going to ask her to marry him. He’d mentioned settling down on several occasions, admittedly they might have been made in a jest, but still, why plant the seed if you don’t want it sown, as a foster carer used to say.

Charlie had spent her childhood in a children’s home. She’d have loved a family of her own, but it was never to be. It was at the top of her list of future achievements. Second was keeping her job. Third, having her ears pinned back when she won the lottery. All to be crossed out simultaneously, she thought dolefully.

Andy wasn’t going to ask her to marry him. She’d brought it up last month and practically had to resuscitate him.

‘I’m like a bird,’ he had said. ‘A wild bird that can never be tamed.’

She had repeated the conversation to Melvin, her best friend, who’d said if Andy was a bird, he’d be a turkey. It hadn’t helped. And ever since then, Andy had been distant towards her, and she knew the signs, even if she pretended not to. The cancelled dates, long trips away… they all signalled one thing and that was she was soon-to-be single – and jobless as well.

‘You dozy mare!’ shrieked Faye, and Charlie looked up ready with a retort but for a change the insult hadn’t been hurled at her. The deliverer of ‘Jordan Price on line two’ was Sarah, red-faced and in direct line of Faye’s attack. Charlie watched with interest, glad that for once, she was in the clear.

‘That!’ Faye boomed. ‘Wasn’t Big Tits Jordan, it was Jordan Price the catalogue model – a bloody fella. How the hell did you make that mistake? I need Jordan – Katie Price – the one with the big knockers, you moron. Jesus, Sarah, have you been drinking from the same cup as Charlie today?’

Cheeky bugger! She’d been quietly sitting here all morning; purposely not talking, or working for that matter, and keeping out of everyone’s way and she’d still received a sarky comment from queen bitch.

Melvin, sitting at the desk in front of her, turned with a grin. ‘Faye’s on the ball today,’ he said, andlaughed.

‘Not from where I’m sitting,’ said Charlie.

Mel flicked off imaginary fluff from his T-shirt, which bore the slogan: I’m knot a real blonde, I’m Knot, and fixed her with a concerned gaze. ‘You know, you’ve been causing a draught down the back of my neck for the last hour. I thought if I ignored you you’d cheer up.’

‘Thanks,’ she said dryly.

Melvin pouted in an attempt to imitate her gloomy face. ‘You’re really down, aren’t you? Come on, tell uncle Melly, what’s the matter.’

‘I’m going to be unemployed and single, which means I won’t be able to pay my rent and I’m going to end up an old spinster like my neighbour, Mavis. Oh God, I’ll have to buy a budgie. I hate budgies.’
‘Fanny’s assured us our jobs are safe,’ he said, although he didn’t look convinced. Mr Fanton was their managing editor, and called ‘Fanny’, although never to his face.

‘It’s last in, first out. And I haven’t exactly made a brilliant impression, have I? Fanny hates me,’ she added, remembering on her first morning the way his bulky frame appeared out of nowhere after she’d shredded what turned out to be important documents. He’d stood over her, his chins wobbling around his neck, beads of sweat on his upper lip as his comb-over hung limply down one side of his face. Charlie stifled a giggle at the memory. She sobered. Ever since then her relationship with him had been a non-starter. It was sad really.

‘Don’t antagonise him, then.’

‘I don’t!’

‘Not intentionally maybe,’ he said. ‘Just be on your best behaviour until you sign your new contract, doll.’ He pushed against his desk to free wheel in his office chair towards her desk. He lowered his voice. ‘So what’s this about “being single”? What’s Andy Pandy done now?’

‘He’s done nothing – yet. I hope I’m just being over dramatic like usual.’

‘Sounds ominous.’ He clicked his fingers. ‘Don’t tell me, you’ve seen the light and chucked him for a homeless drunk in a shop doorway, stinking of piss? You’ve gotta admit the better prospects there, doll.’

Melvin didn’t like Andy and never bothered to hide it. He was fed up of the ‘chances’ Charlie had repeatedly given him in the past. And while he thought she was treated like shite, she thought Andy was a romantic drifter; spontaneous and exciting.

‘He’s going to chuck me any day now. It’s like I’m waiting for the noose to tighten. God, I hate my life.’ She lowered her forehead to rest on her doodlings. ‘It always goes wrong,’ she muttered.

‘Baby doll,’ Melvin said. ‘The man’s a prat, and you’d be better off without him – if only you could see it. But as for your job, you are not going to lose it.’

She looked up; the report was sticking to her forehead. ‘But it’s Fanny’s choice, not yours.’

Melvin yanked off the paper, leaving an inky stickfigure imprint on her forehead. He was grinning. ‘It’s Mr Middleton’s actually, our new boss, so whether Fanny hates you or not, is irrelevant.’

At that moment, Faye thudded past their desks, storming up the aisle and shouting to the air, ‘I’m going to be Baby Spice. Those who mix up a man with Katie Price don’t deserve first pickings.’

Charlie and Melvin watched as Sarah followed, answering back in a singsong voice, ‘It was my idea, and I’m Baby.’

If Faye was queen bitch, then Sarah was princess bitch. Charlie and Melvin often had to duck behind their desks as the insults hurled from one to the other. Still, it made the day tick along nicely.

Melvin raised his eyebrows at Charlie, who pulled a face in return. ‘This party is causing more problems than it’s worth,’ he said.

‘I can’t see why they’re arranging it, anyway. It’ll be like a kick in the teeth for those who’ve lost their jobs.’

‘OK THEN!’ Faye announced loudly. ‘We’ll ask Melvin,’ she said, causing Melvin to groan even louder. Charlie giggled.

‘Mel…’ Faye began, as she sauntered over. She pouted and pushed out her more than ample chest as she shamelessly flirted. Sarah, glancing down at her flat chest, stood normally. ‘We’ve decided to join Charlie and become a Spice Girl for this do –’

Charlie’s groan was ignored.

‘- and we value your opinion,’ Faye went on. ‘We both want to be Baby Spice, so Mel, as a superior member of staff you get to choose.’

‘Lucky me,’ he said, as Charlie snorted behind him. Melvin Giles was senior copy editor and it had been mainly down to him that Charlie became an employee of London Core. They had met in a children’s home; both orphaned. She was a skinny seven-year-old and he was a skinnier nine-year-old. They’d bonded instantly and pretended they were brother and sister to anyone who seemed interested, little realising that the system would split them up when Charlie was twelve and Melvin fourteen.

‘What happened to Lady Gaga?’ he asked.

‘She found out Bev on reception’s going as her,’ said Sarah with a hoot of laughter. ‘We both thought it’d be a good idea to dress as the rest of the Spice group and obviously with my blonde hair I’d be the perfect Baby.’

Faye cleared her throat and said, ‘Right, now which one is Baby?’

‘Sarah,’ he said.

Charlie clamped a hand over her mouth to hold back her laughter over the look on Faye’s face.

Faye glared at him, her hands on her hips. ‘And your reason?’

‘You’re black.’

Faye stroked the back of her neck, then placed her hands back on her hips. ‘Forget the obvious,’ she said.

‘As a superior member of staff,’ he said, quoting her and dismissing her simultaneously, ‘discuss this at lunchtime. Charlie,’ he said, turning back towards her, ‘meeting at the vending machine, pronto.’

Charlie tugged her forelock. ‘Aye, aye, Cap’n.’

At the machine, Melvin ordered two coffees. It served tea instead, but as they were lucky to receive anything at all from the temperamental machine, they didn’t complain.

‘As I was saying, everyone needs an office clerk and you make a great one, doll,’ he said. ‘Anyway, Fanny reckons the Mid Group will keep all staff on. It’ll still be London Core, and you and me will still have jobs. Look on the bright side, doll, we might even get a promotion.’

‘Good luck never lasts, Mel, you know that,’ she said. ‘And I’ve had too much of that lately.’ She raised a hand and began to count off her fingers. ‘Us,’ she indicated herself and Melvin, ‘Andy, and then a job with Core. I even passed my driving test and got a little car! Mel, the luck simply can’t last.’

‘You’re talking alien again,’ he said and Charlie punched him on the arm.

‘So why weren’t we told about this takeover earlier? I mean, as from next week some guy called Donald Middleton will be our boss. Sir Donald Middleton, in fact. Will I have to curtsy?’ She chewed on her lip.

‘That’s just royalty, doll.’ He smiled down at her affectionately. ‘I don’t recommend you try it. Old Middleton might think you’re taking the piss.’

She pouted, but already felt better. Melvin always did that to her; made her feel wanted and worthwhile.

He suddenly enveloped her in a bear hug. He was Charlie’s best friend/brother/father figure all rolled into one tall, skinny frame. And with cropped blond hair, several ear piercings and black eye-lined eyes he was as gay as a Maypole.

‘As long as we have one another,’ he said. ‘We’ll always be bessy mates, won’t we?’

‘Always,’ she said the best she could with her face pressed against his chest.

‘Feeling better now?’ he asked, releasing her.

Charlie nodded.

‘Good. So, is going as a Spice Girl official, even though the ugly sisters are joining the group?’ he asked.

Charlie laughed. ‘It’ll be OK. Girls on News are going as Girls Aloud. Jen wants Jimbob to go as Simon Cowell just because she’s Cheryl Cole. But I think going as a Spice Girl is more recognisable, don’t you?’

‘Only because you want to wear the Union Jack frock.’

She grinned. ‘Yeah. I shall look on eBay.’

He laughed. ‘So, who’ll go as Posh?’

‘Juliet did say she’d come with me.’ They both looked across as Juliet stood to retrieve a mound of paperwork from a shelf above her desk. Her shirt sleeves fell back to reveal many tattoos. She plonked the paperwork on her desk and the motion caused her family-pack of cheesy puffs to fall to the floor. She swore, snatched them up and filled her mouth.

‘Good choice.’

Charlie nodded. ‘I shall ask Andy to come with me. He could go as Bon Jovi. He loves his music.’

‘Pete Doherty would be better.’

Charlie threw him a look, and Melvin looked back unashamed.

‘OK,’ he said. ‘So maybe Doherty is a little tame for Andy Pandy.’

Charlie exchanged her look for another light punch. ‘Andy’s off drugs now. He told me.’

Melvin raised twin eyebrows. ‘Run out of benefits?’

‘I will not dignify that question with an answer,’ she said primly.

Yipeeee I’ve finished my latest novel.

Honestly, it’s taken less than a year to write but over a year to edit the blooming thing! I’ve named it A Proper Charlie. It’s a chicklit about a woman who generates a bubbly image, and in the past was happy to live up to it. She’d been brought up in a children’s home and subsequently longs for a family; someone to belong to and for someone to belong to her. She wants to be loved basically. Trouble is her current boyfriend is a complete tosspot, and her job becomes unstable when another firm take it over. Things seem to all be going wrong.
Her new boss is heartbreakingly good looking Ben Middleton whose sister has gone missing. He hires a private investigator who finds some of her possessions with prostitute Sally Readman, and Ben is worried that his sister is in trouble, especially as a serial killer seems to be targeting prostitutes!
Charlie thinks she can impress her new boss by researching the red-light area for the story; only she thinks she’d get better results if she pretends to be a prostitute.
Of course Ben and Charlie meet. Charlie thinks Ben is the murderer, and Ben thinks Charlie is a prostitute with hilarious results. 
A Proper Charlie is outrageously funny, and follows Charlie and Ben on a journey to discover true love.
It was fun to write, and I think I’ve found my “niche” in my writing career. Comedy is something I want to excel in. I hope A Proper Charlie finds a publisher soon, because MISS ANTHROPE ONE NIGHT STAND OR TWO is coming up to its editing stage (which will probably take a year to perfect) and that was easier to write than Charlie.

You can see the first two chapter on site but download isn’t all that brilliant though, and the book WILL have indents etc!

Need a professional editor? I’ve used a few, and here’s what I think of them.

So, you’ve finished your book. Break out the champagne! You think it’s perfect, and family and friends are wowed by your literary mastery, so you dust off the Writers’ and Artists’ Handbook and start to look for agents (or publishers) who take your genre. But wait! Are you sure it’s the masterpiece you think it is? A critique by a stranger who isn’t afraid to voice his views, good or bad, is worth one hell of a lot, and well worth the money.

But shop around, because there are some who don’t deliver. I’ve had a few “professional” edits: John Hudspith Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau, Writers’ Magazine £49 Critique for the first 10,000 words and The Hilary Johnson Authors’ Advisory Service.

Jacqui Bennett Writers’ Bureau had EDEN and was the best by far. Encouraging as well as tutoring. I learned a lot from her, and even once she’d finished she encouraged further questions. It was all done over the Internet with my chapters flying through cyberspace to her for review and edit. She pointed out my mistakes, helped me rewrite various scenes and lectured me where she felt was appropriate.
It was like she was with me, looking over my shoulder, as I typed away.

The Writers’ Magazine had A PROPER CHARLIE and was disappointing. It was interesting to get another point of view, but this was something I was getting from the website youwriteon anyway, and so thought my £49 pounds was wasted. I don’t think WM offers this option anymore, which is just as well.

Hilary Johnson had VELVET CURSE and was disappointing too. I sent her my entire manuscript and waited with baited breath while she reviewed it. She told me she would correct any mistakes/typos and help with things like sentence structure. My precious novel came back smelling strongly of nicotine, which was most unpleasant. She doesn’t hold back, so her advisory isn’t for the faint-hearted, and my novel was ripped to shreds! She told me all what was wrong with it, but didn’t offer anything to help me. Some of my text was underlined with squiggly lines but with no instruction as to why and I was left scratching my head.

Hilary had offered to look at my MS again for free, but to be honest, I was so upset by her fierce review I refused. But looking at the manuscript now, I can see that is was no where near ready for publication, although I still say, not as awful as she claimed, and some of the squiggly lines still leave me perplexed today.

Somebody new to writing could have been totally put off by her furious approach. Others, though, have nothing but good to say about her advisory. So don’t let me put you off.

Johnny Hudspith’s critique is excellent. His editing is simple to understand, and he doesn’t mind being questioned on the whys and hows of his edits. His prices are affordable with credit crunch Britain and worth a look. He had A Proper Charlie, and seemed genuinely impressed. He only took five months to edit the entire MS, and it was all done in chapters by email and payment was taken via paypal.
Cornerstones had A PROPER CHARLIE after Johnny Hudspith because they’d been emailing me requesting that they could help. I researched into them and saw that they were scouts for agents, and so took them up on their offer. It was a little pricey at just under £300, but they have various packages so just choose one that’s right for you. 
It was sent to a reader who took about four months, and sent a very constructive report back to me. It was seven pages, and offered advice, criticism, encouragement and seemed to think that overall I had a very strong manuscript to sell.
Unfortunately, Cornerstones didn’t take A Proper Charlie on, but have asked I stay in touch and send them my next novel for consideration – for free.
I gave myself until November 2010 to find an agent for Charlie, and if I didn’t find one I’d self-publish with YouWriteOn again. And so, here I am, final edits in place and Charlie is flying through cyber space towards said publisher.
The publication date is somewhere between Feb and March 2011.