Little Gems 2012 Author – Fiona Gregory

Okay, so I’m a little baised in introducing our next Little Gems author. I’m thrilled she has taken time out of her busy RWA Conference Coordination role to tell us about her short story – yes Fiona is becoming a bit of a Little Gems regular.

Fiona’s short story is titled: Hope for the Future

What challenges you most in writing a short romance story?
I love writing short. I did a short-story course many years ago, and my tutor had us writing down to 50 word flash fiction. One of the best pieces of advice I was given is to treat each short as an episode from a TV series, rather than a movie. Start at a point of change, plunge in, and finally, always finish leaving a question in the reader’s mind at the end.
For a romantic short story I recommend focusing almost exclusively on your hero and heroine. All the other characters should be edited down to brief thumbnail sketches. Oh, and I always write to the Little Gem, rather than inserting the Gem into an already written story.

Do you have a favourite line/short piece from your short?

City girl, Molly, is spending her first day working in a small country town, where she meets local vet, Blake.
 
“Nope.” He smiled again and held three fingers in the air. “Scouts honour.”
“You were a scout?”
A twinkle of mischief lit up his eyes and the dimple reappeared. “Not exactly, but I know a scout.”
 
What was you inspiration for the story?

I wanted to write about a coloured diamond and I figured the Western Australian writers would have Pink Diamonds in the bag. So I googled Blue Diamond. Somehow or other I ended up with this picture of a tiny grey kitten with big blue eyes, sitting on a person’s open hands. And the story was born.

What are you working on now? and/or What are your writing goals for the future?

Right now, I’m editing my latest futuristic, a marriage of convenience story, written during NaNoWriMo last year. The first draft was very rough and I’m hoping to get it polished enough to enter in the Emerald this year. In the meantime, I rewrote last year’s Little Gem (which didn’t make the cut) into a longer male-male romance and am in the process of submitting. It’s actually much stronger this way and not something I would ever have thought when I wrote it a year ago.
How can people find out more about you/your writing? Do you have a website or blog?
 A website and blog are on my to do list for 2013. Any spare time I have at the moment is spent trying to improve my writing. (Oh, and trying to keep my New Years Resolution of running a half-marathon in July 2012)

Will we be able to catch up with you in person at the RWA National Conference in August?

You bet. My fabulous team of volunteers and I are organising “Diamonds are Forever” on the Gold Coast, so I’ll be there from start to finish. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Anthology Orders Now Open

Would you like to order the anthology for yourself, as a special gift or a Christmas (yes I said Christmas) stocking filler?

Orders are now open and we are taking pre-release orders until the end of June, so plenty of time. Use the order form on our RWA website.

NOTE: Pre-release ordering means you are ordering and paying but the anthology will not be available until August (launched at the national conference).
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Little Gems 2012 Author Feature – Catherine Evans

Meet Catherine Evans – Little Gems author taking out 3rd place this year with her short story:

Diamond Shield

We asked Cath (who also happens to be RWA Hearts Talk Editor) what challenges her most about writing a short romance story and if she has any tip/s to share.

The longer I’ve been writing the more challenges I find – and I’m not even looking for them! I’m not quite sure why this story worked when others have failed. This year my story occurred over a short duration of time. Other years I’ve gone for bigger stories, longer time spans and failed. But I don’t know if that’s a tip, or coincidence. Making the anthology was a huge surprise.

Do you have a favourite line/short piece from your short?

This isn’t a favourite line but it’s the line that stuck in my head and inspired the story. “Dia Monde? You can’t be serious. Are you related to Saph Ire?”

What was you inspiration for the story?

I’d been trying to write something for months but I couldn’t get anything to work. I usually write erotic short stories, so to keep it suitable for U18s is a real challenge.

I was meeting a couple of writing buddies for lunch on a Sunday and they’d already written their Gems. I was feeling like a failure with nothing to enter. Then the night before our lunch, that line (from the question before) flashed into my head as I was going to sleep. I scribbled it down and a few other random thoughts about undercover speed dating – I mean where else would you use a stupid line like that? Over the next 3 or 4 days, the story came together. Then I had some advice that my writing lacked “emotion and visceral responses”. So I looked at my Little Gem and it lacked it too. A CP and I went through working out where to add it in. So you could say this one sentence ‘brainwave’, ended up being hard work for quite a few people (thank you Sheri, Anna, Mervet, Anita, Tracey!)

What are you working on now? 

I’m working on an erotic short story for an anthology. And I’m re-writing some of my other work and trying to add in emotion and visceral responses, and delete repetition (my latest bug-bears).

My ultimate goal is to be published in erotica/erotic romance and literary fiction. I know, crazy combination but it seems to be what I write.

How can people find out more about you/your writing? Do you have a website or blog?

I’m creating a web page for myself in my spare time – so it’s probably a few years off yet! I try to avoid internet addictions. I was a net-junkie years ago 🙂 

Will we be able to catch up with you in person at the RWA National Conference in August?

Yes, I’ll be there.

(Ed’s Note: Good, Cath, as I’ve ‘heard’ the conference registrar owes you about a dozen drinks for all your support!)

Thanks for sharing a little about yourself and congratulations on making it between the stunning cover of the 2012 Diamond Edition of Little Gems.

Anthology Orders Now Open

Would you like to order the anthology for yourself, as a special gift or a Christmas (yes I said Christmas) stocking filler?

Orders are now open and we are taking pre-release orders until the end of June, so plenty of time. Use the order form on our RWA website.

NOTE: Pre-release ordering means you are ordering and paying but the anthology will not be available until August (launched at the national conference).
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