Natasha Oakley - British Romance Author

Writer of tug-at-the-heartstrings, feel-good romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Still in that cave

People often ask me where, with five children, I find the time to write - well this is the answer. It's 1.00 am, my time, and I'm here. Still doing that night-time thing with Trish (who is back in her cave tackling revisions). Ally is attacking her revisions but, of course, it's day-time for her. Nic (day-time) is powering on with her latest book.

And I'm here doing mine. I love this book! This is a coffee break. Honest.

I've just written a gorgeous scene (leastways it works for me and, at this stage of things, this story is all mine) and have broken off to grapple with food decisions. Do I wish my hero and heroine to eat sebadas or sospiri d'orani? Sebadas, by the way, is cheese cooked in a thin pastry shell and topped with bitter honey. And sospiri d'orani is an almond-based sweet. Choices, choices ...

I love food in books. And smells. Falling in love should be all about the senses, don't you think? So shall the air be filled with oleander, sumac or pine? Or all three? And did you know that there is a variety of sumac known as lentischio? Didn't know that??? Well, let it not be said I don't do my research!

Back to work ...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Flying Solo ...

Well, Trish has done it. Which is lovely in that it proves my daily word target *is* humanly possible, but it leaves me burning the midnight oil alone.

And tonight is music night. In our house we play piano, cornet, flute, cello, violin and clarinet. In order to simplify the logistics the wind teacher comes to us and his other pupils come here also. Which, for me, means lots and lots of coffee making ....

Oh, and I feel a strange compulsion to tidy the house. Just a bit! And only the bits people see. After all, it seems you have to be a writer with a deadline to truly understand how low a priority a lemon fresh toilet has in the greater scheme of things.

Right, school run and then write ...

There's no earthly reason to have this picture - just cheered me up to see it!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Life in a 'deadline' cave

Trish and I promised we wouldn't update our blogs until we'd finished our respective books. I just want it to be noted that she buckled first!

First off, it's so hot and, being the celt I am, I don't like it. I find it difficult to breathe and my head aches pretty much constantly. Currently I'm spending my days scuttling from shady area to shady area and debating whether the need for a through-flow of air is worth the risk of burglary. Isn't life a tricky balance???

And if all this was not enough to contend with I have a book due in at the end of this month. I actually prefer writing under pressure because it seems to give me permission to shut myself away and ignore all the million and one things I ought to be doing for my family. I do wonder, though, whether I may have taken it to extremes this time. They're in danger of forgetting who I am.

I've been trying the Trish Wylie approach this week. She's a night-time writer. But, last night, I'm afraid I wilted at about 2.30am. The previous night was better - I made it right through to morning.

There are lots of advantages: the phone doesn't ring, there is no-one to disturb you and it's cooler. The downside is I feel jet-lagged because, unlike Trish, my day begins at 6.00am with the usual flurry of 'get-to-school-on-time' activities.

Still, I shall persevere if only because the hourly MSN message she sends stating her current word count is very motivational - if a little depressing. I'm consoling myself with the fact that her deadline is Monday. Ha!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Having it all ...

This has been a difficult week. The kind where I feel I'm having to juggle so many balls it's simply inevitable I will drop some. Since perfect people are incredibly irritating you'll be pleased to know I've dropped plenty!!

It's the school holidays and that always makes finding writing time difficult. Trouble is my deadline is looming and I simply have to get on - which makes me feel so guilty. And to make matters worse Ally, Trish and Nic are storming ahead. You'd think they'd slow down in sympathy, wouldn't you??

Everywhere I look there's something that needs to be done. I really should have listened to my mum. She told me when I had my fifth child (fourth son) that my future was bleak. She said I'd have to make four family-sized treacle tarts per meal ... and she wasn't exaggerating!

My moan of the morning has been the state of the kitchen. For some reason the male contingent have spent the past three days digging large holes in the garden. It's not that I mind them building camps, but I do object to the huge quantity of mud they've traipsed through the house. And I *really* object to the general feeling that it is 'my' job to clean it up. I mean these boys will eventually grow up and marry assorted girls who will blame me for the fact they leave their dirty socks in tight balls exactly where they took them off!

Tips anyone???? It would be nice to think my daughters-in-law won't completely despise me ...