Barbie, Ken and $1,000,000

A friend phoned from Maryland yesterday eager to share details of a morning TV chat show in which a 78-year-old author shared with viewers that she had earned over $1,000.000 writing erotic fiction. One million dollars! ‘You could do that,’ said my loyal friend.

Oh, my. Could I? How does that author do it? How does she make her writing believable?

As we all know, readers will not be fobbed off, no matter how wild their imaginings might be; drawing the line very firmly if they do not believe what we write. They question the improbable, and throw down a novel in disgust if a scene defies possibility.

Happily for us aspiring to earn such big bucks, the author shared her secret – Barbie dolls. That’s right, with the help of long-limbed, pert-breasted, and bouffant haired, and oh-so -perfect, Barbie, and her long time squeeze, blue-eyed, six-packed; Ken our dear, almost octogenarian has sussed it.

The scene is set, the author’s bedroom. Barbie and Ken lie upon the satin coverlet, stiff limbed and wide-eyed, but ready for what comes next. Our author, mindful of the sexual shenanigans she wants to create, and unsure that such a position is possible, let alone legal, gets to work, bending and twisting those plastic limbs and arms, this way and that, until satisfied that YES, it is possible she hastens back to her keyboard, leaving wide-eyed Barbie and cute Ken seemingly spent.

 

So there you have it. The secret of writing successful erotica (if you don’t have the necessary flexibility, energy or a real-life Ken, that is)

 

Me? I’m off to ToysRus, toot sweet!

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Marketing? Not in France.

Living in a foreign land – France, no matter how joyous the living might be, has its drawbacks when trying to market novels written in English and set in Clifton, Bristol

So, what can I do? Next month I’m off on my travels, returning to Clifton and these are my options.

1)      This morning I approached Clifton Public Library who are very interested and would like me to do a reading once the books are available in print, as opposed to ebooks.

2)      Waterstones in Bristol will be pleased to promote the novels because of the Clifton theme. They, too, have offered me a reading, but again, this when the books are in print.

3)      Radio Bristol will do a feature/interview – local author, Clifton connection, etc. This I will pursue when number four in my Clifton Chronicles is published.

So there’s a start, and food for thought.

 

If only the reading public would ‘cotton on’ to ebooks. I LOVE my kindle and because I prefer using it to reading books the ‘normal way’, I am busy de-cluttering, and unloading my rooms full (literally) of books. I’m packing them up to take to England to give to friends/charity shops, and the public library in Clifton (I’d only just thought of libraries, but always buy books donated to raise funds in Palm Springs library – some of my favourite ‘never to be parted from’ books have come from that source, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of that avenue before.

I will still have my, too many to count, research books which will remain, plus favourites I would never part with, nevertheless, I have several hundred to dispose of, so wish me luck.

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Clifton is Calling

I have started writing  something which has been long in my mind, since I first heard of the plight of Tutsi women in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994. Ay first I was apalled that so many women became HIV after being raped, and how many children were orphaned if they were ‘lucky’ enough to survive the massacres sweeping through the country. As I began to research that period in Rwandan history I learned how involved certain women in Rwanda were involved in perpretating the atrocities. This will be the premise of my book which, though being factual, will include fictional characters, so making a novel, which I’ve titled,  Cut the Tall Trees.

But I have to say the facts I’ve discovered during my research have  been so horrifying that I’ve had to stop reading more for the moment. Besides, which, Clifton is calling. How fortunate I am that I can leave the horrors of Rwanda for a while, and return again to the inhabitants of Regency Clifton to share in their problems; meeting old friends and finding out what is going on in this gossipy village. In this visit (A Portrait Tells All - volume four of my Clifton Chronicles) the wayward Lynette Gwyther makes her return, and soon finds out she has ‘bitten off more than she can chew’ so to speak when she becomes involved with Jon Carlisle. OH MY!! I will keep you posted on her progress.

 

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It could be magic at the Copacabana!

It could be magic at the Copacabana!

Here I am in very sunny Palm Springs waiting for my editor to get back to me with the 2nd edit.

So, while I’m waiting what shall I do? Mmm…? I know what I should do, and that is to get cracking on the fourth novel in my Clifton Chronicles series for the Brickdales, the Collinson’s, Lady Lavinia, and the rest of the cast who are old and new inhabitants of Clifton, are all waiting in the wings, champing at the bit, so to speak, and eager to be called to play their part.

But wait they must for at the moment my mind is focused on tracking down Barry Manilow.

This, dear readers may sound impossible, but as he lives a couple of blocks away from me in Palm Springs …?

So what should I do? Don my posh frock and hang out in cocktail bars? Wander the supermarket aisles humming Mandy loud enough to catch his ear?

What I do do is go to the library practically every day for surely he reads? Apparently not.

Unlike my Passionate Pursuit of Peter Strauss (see former blog) I seem to be getting nowhere.

I could I suppose, don my running shoes and jog up and down in his street, but in this heat (it’s 103f today)? I think not – hot and bothered is not exctly the look I want when I ‘bump into Barry.

And when I do? Could it be Magic? Will he take one look at me and be Ready to Take a Chance Again? (of course he will). Will we stroll  through the Indian Canyons; our hands entwined, and sing with One Voice?  Will we dance beneath a starry desert sky? Will he sing   I Can’t Smile Without You  and will I smile joyfully and think it  Looks Like we Made It? Oo-err! That would be good, wouldn’t it?

MEANWHILE… back in the real world, I have discovered that said songster had a hip replacement at Christmas and will probably not be up to dancing beneath a desert sky for a while. So I think will abandon my search, and chanel my imaginings to the shananigins in Regency Clifton. I plan a Christmas story with at least one duke and one virgin!

Look out for A Chance Encounter the third novel in my Clifton Chronicles series, which is published by Musa and due for release soon.

Thanks for dropping by.

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Clifton, computers and church.

As I sidle into the Musa chat room I cannot believe I’ve been absent without leave, so to speak, since last year when my computer crashed spectacularly taking my pearls of wisdom with it.

Unfortunately, not only was I in a foreign country at the time,but I had also forgotten  to take my memory stick on which I’d thoughtfully backed up all my writing, and with the third book in my Clifton Chronicles series A Chance Encounter due to be released on 20th April, I was well and truly in the proverial … until after Christmas whenI could go forth and purchase a new machine. Actually, in anticipation of such a disaster I had transferred some work to igoogle, but found it impossible to work with.

However, thanks to my new and lovely Sony Vaio I’m back on track, and having sent the first draft of A Chance Encounter to, Tamara, my editor at Musa, I have time on my hands to Blog until I hear from her.

And with that time, I would like to say how much in awe I am of my Musa chums who are posting/blogging on a daily basis. Where do they find the time to write their books, I ask myself? And they obviously do as their sales will bear testiment to! I bow before them and will endeavour to follow their example,  but first I must remove spider solitaire from my computer: it’s such a temptation!

I am loving writing the Clifton Chronicles series, The Clifton I write about is full of gossipy, colourful, sneaky and downright villainous characters. In A Chance Encounter, Heloise reappears, having avoided Madam Guillotine and made her escape from Paris. Her presence in Clifton instigates the arrival of Lavinia, Lady Codrington who I love, she is such a strong character. Yesterday I visited the church of St Mary Redcliffe and as I sat in my pew all I could see were the ghosts of Lady Lavinia, Mrs Carwardine, the Fallows, the Brickdale’s, the Collinson’s and all my other characters, who would have undoubtedly worshipped at what Queen Elizabeth 1st described as ‘the fairest parish church in all the land’ In A Widow’s Gamble, the Collinson’s and Lady Rawlins were seen to attend morning service there, and I plan for this very beautiful church to play a major role in Clifton Chronicles book four.

A Chance Encounter is published by Musa Publishing and will be available on 20th April 2012

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ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

Elvis has left the building

 

Or, to put it another way, Jackie has left town.

Following my last Blog, re: the release on Friday of my forthcoming novel, A Widow’s Gamble, I have a huge piece of gossip for you, which is that Jackie Collins is no longer welcome in the world of the Clifton Chronicles. She was run out of town; sent packing by those formidable Clifton ladies who feared that she was making their virginal daughters into wantons!

And being no longer under her influence, those Clifton gals of marriageable age may now enjoy the ritual of courtship in such decorous fashion as would deem to be appropriate – a yearning look, a stolen kiss. Oh, my!

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A Widow’s Gamble

A Widow’s Gamble –Blog.

Write about what you know, is the solid advice given to a writer, and having chosen to write my Clifton Chronicles series, I am thankful that for much of my life my stamping ground has been the streets of Clifton, where I was born, in a house built in 1780.

My grandmother was part of the social circle at Ashton Court, a glorious mansion house built in the 16thc, which features in A Widows Gamble (I still have a beautiful pair of candlesticks given to her by Lady Esme, the last Lady Smythe), so it has been a joy to write about things of which I am so familiar and to be certain of my facts regarding location and times in history.

I refer to my books as Regency Romps – Jane AustenA Widow's Gamble meets Jackie Collins. I have a framed picture above my desk where I write which depicts a smiling woman with a book in her hand, and says: A racy novel kinda gal. This serves as a reminder to me of what I’m about.

A Widows Gamble will be available from Musa Publishing  from 28th October – just one week away! It’s the second in my Clifton Chronicles series, The first book in the series, A Passionate Pursuit, also now available from Musa, introduced many of the characters who will feature throughout the series as their lives in the village of Clifton interweave- a bit like the TV Soap ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ would have been 200 years ago, perhaps – meaningful looks, heaving bosoms and the question of will they or won’t they always hanging in the air!

I am so enjoying writing the series and I hope that you will enjoy following the lives of the inhabitants of Regency Clifton and catching up with the characters in each Chronicle – like meeting up with old friends.

Fond wishes and keep reading,

Gloria Burland

 

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My beautiful launderette – More Grist for that ol’ Mill.

More Grist for that ol’ Mill.

Blogging? It’s still a bit of a mystery to me. What to say? Of course I can wax lyrical about A Widow’s Gamble, the second in my Clifton Chronicle series which will be launched for all to see on 28th October and, as it is a subject close to my heart, perhaps that’s what I should do. But not today, because we all like a good ol’ gossip and today I am going to gossip about Simon Le Bon’s undergarments. That’s right, THE Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran fame.

So pin your ears back and I will tell you a true story.

 

Once upon a time, in the Halcyon days of yesteryear – or to be precise, the 80’s – a group of wandering minstrels set sail from the shores of Britain in their very expensive yacht. Like that other oft talked about mariner, The Flying Dutchman, they wandered the oceans, searched the seven seas, until they found Mykonos, an island where life is lived with Gay abandon, an island which is beloved by the international set and renowned for it’s beauty, nude beaches, jewellery shops and extortionally priced nightlife.

Days of sipping cocktails on deck while looking out over the Mediterranean and Aegean seas had taken their toll, and half-crazy with cabin fever those wandering minstrels hove to in the island’s tiny harbour and stuffing their salt caked smalls into canvas bags they made haste to the nearest laundry service.

This is where I enter the story for it was my launderette – 10 industrial machines and 40 lines in the garden (yard) to be filled daily. And yes, sometimes things did get lost, especially socks!

I loved it when fellow countrymen called by to laugh and joke with and they didn’t disappoint. I took the offered bags and set about doing the wash having absolutely no notion that the garments I was handling (if somewhat gingerly, remember they’d been days at sea) belonged to none other than Simon Le Bon and his Duran Duran chums. It wasn’t until a star struck neighbour rushed to tell me just who the English boys, who I thought were really nice, actually were.

That evening they called by to collect and the conversation went like this.

Me: “So, what are your names?”

Simon: “ I’m Simon, and this is Jon, and this is… Where do you go in the evenings?”

Me: “I work in a bar.”

Simon and Jon: “Where? We’ll come.”

 And they did.

 Oh my! They danced the night away drinking Margarita’s which I’d made and wearing clothes which I’d washed, AND STILL I didn’t let them know I KNEW!

Finally, after an enthusiastic rendition of Bye Bye Miss American Pie, they bade their farewells and sped into the night.

And that was that. Or almost.

Sometime that night they hauled up anchor and set sail for other lands.

Now, two and a half decades on they have, without a doubt, no memory of a launderette in Mykonos, wheras I have the glorious memory of a day I became privy, nay, familiar with Simon Le Bon’s undergarments. A memory I’ve shared with you. 

Oh! And in case you are wondering those undies were scarlet, and made of silk. 

More grist for the literary mill. I guess. Ta ra for now.

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Passionately Pursuing Peter Strauss.

 

 

 

Passionately Pursuing Peter Strauss.

 

I have a T-shirt. It’s silver-grey, with short sleeves It’s 15 years old and I will never throw away. I mean never throw it away. Why? Because this is the T-shirt I wore on the day I interviewed the actor Peter Strauss.

Peter Strauss is my one great love and has been since he played Rudi Jordache in Rich Man, Poor Man. I’ve been completely faithful (apart from a slight wavering in my affections when Colin Firth strode across the screen in tight breeches. His Mr Darcy  is the template when I write. He is my Regency hero – when I created Lord Brickdale in A Passionate Pursuit, Lord Brickdale WAS  Colin Firth’s Darcy ).

 

But I digress. Right now we can forget Colin Firth, because it’s  Peter Strauss for me which is why, when I went to Los Angeles to interview the cast of The Bold &The Beautiful, I optimistically decided I would interview him as well.

Firm in the belief that anything is possible if you really want it, I began my pursuit. First contacting his agent, then his publicist – the very wonderful Howard Brandy who sadly, has since died.

 

I was in Los Angeles for a week, interviewing the B& B (they really are so beautiful in real life) while intermittently phoning Howard Brandy’s office. The calls varied from the regular  answering service ‘Please leave you message…’ to speaking with Howard who told me that Peter was busy filming in Phoenix but he’d try to fit in an interview if there was time. So I waited, and waited, until finally phoning Howard to say I’d be returning to London soon and I really needed to know if this interview was going to take place.

Well!! The next day the phone rang and, YES,  it was HIMSELF, OMG!! “Hello.”

Hello, Gloria?”

“Yes, this is Gloria Burland.”

“This is Peter Strauss. I’m sorry not to have got back to you sooner –“  He  went on talking but I couldn’t tell you what he said. Remember. This is the man I love.

Then he said, “We can either do the interview now, on the phone. Or you can come to the studio tomorrow when I’m filming. Or you could come to my home on Tuesday.

Mmmm … that’s a difficult one – let me think… phone/impersonal studio/ his real life, actual home, the place where he lives, breathes and sleeps. No contest! Blimey!

“Your home will be fine,” I said. He gave me directions and his phone number should I get lost (more Blimey! Was I dreaming?) And that was that.

 

Home is a wonderful Spanish style house set in the lush vegetation of the Ojai hills where Peter Strauss farms citrus fruit.

He made coffee, talked about his life and loves – Italy and Art  - and then it was time to go.  We shook hands and that was that.

Sadly he did not fall in love with me.

And the T-shirt? I’d like to say he touched it but that would be untrue. All I can say is that  Peter Strauss has gazed upon me wearing that T-shirt and that’s enough for me. I will never throw it away.

And why am I sharing this with you? To let you know that anything is possible if you really, really want it enough. Be it writing your first novel,  or passionately pursuing your idol. Go for it. Dreams really do come true. That’s what I believe and that’s why I write romantic fiction.

My first novel, A Passionate Pursuit (which I think of as a ‘bodice-ripping Regency romp -Jane Austen meets Jackie Collins!) is available now. It’s part of a five book series, The Clifton Chronicles and takes place in Clifton, an actual Regency village in England, where all the series will be set.

My second novel in the series,   A Widow’s Gamble is out in time for Halloween.

Both novels are available from:

MUSAPUBLISHING.COM

Good luck everyone, and remember to follow that dream.

 

Thank you for Touring my Blog your Next stop is the V Mark Covington Whose Sense of Humor will keep you laughing long after you read the book..
Happy Touring
For the next Stop on the tour
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Unexpected praise from my editor

Gloria Burland’s first book, A Passionate Pursuit, impressed readers and fans alike with its lovely prose and unforgettable characters. Her second Regency romance, A Widow’s Gamble, will be released by Aurora Regency on Halloween of this year! You can find Gloria’s books at the Aurora Regency website, and be sure you check out her personal website at www.gloriaburland.com

Gloria’s hawk-eyed editor

 
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