Book pet hates

Recently, I began thinking about the things that annoy me when reading a book. Sometimes you can be reading a really good book, but the author might keep doing just one little thing that keeps niggling at you. Maybe it’s a phrase. Maybe it’s the way they write their sentences. Or maybe it is the constant typo that keeps cropping up.

We all have them. Pet hates. Those things that really frustrate us when reading and sometimes even force us to close the book and stop reading altogether.

For me, it is things like short jerky sentences, really long chapters and sloppy dialogue. And then when you think about the actual content of the story, I cant stand anything too obvious, or things that drag out much longer than they need to.

I took myself off to Facebook and Twitter and asked that very question to my friends. What are your pet hates when reading. I received quite a mix of answers and  thought to myself, people should really know this. As a writer, it is really handy to know what readers like and dislike when reading. So I thought I would list a few of the responses I got:


  • Historical Inaccuracies
  • A character playing with their hair too much
  • Character POV too long
  • Character POV not long enough
  • A popular one – Headhopping
  • Extra, unnecessary words
  • Excessive backstory
  • Adverbs
  • Information dumping
  • Typos
  • Fancy words that you have to look up the meanings for
  • Repetition of words
  • Heroes who are hot, sexy and pretty much perfect!
  • Short jerky sentences
  • Obvious clichés
  • Alpha males who are bullies
  • Certain phrases (These were individual to the person commenting)


So as you can see, there are lots of things that you can do when writing a book which will really bug the reader. Isn’t writing a book supposed to be easy – oh wait, that’s right, it’s not 🙂

When I read all these comments – which are from both authors and readers – I was surprised at some, which is why I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you all.

I hope you’ve found this post useful. Maybe you have some pet hates yourself which haven’t been mentioned. Please feel free to add them into the comments below.

A special thanks to the following people for getting involved and voicing their views on my Fb and Twitter:

Jean Fullerton, Judy Astley, Julie Mccullogh, Sophia Valentine, Jo Cannon, Rhoda Baxter, Sue Moorcroft, Liz Ringrose, Linda Mitchelmore, Berni Stevens, Samantha Tonge, Georgia Hill, Jane Lovering, ReaBookReview, Kate Johnson, Nina Pottell and Julie Cohen.


Thanks for stopping by.

Lucie x



Falling Apart falls over …

It’s always nice to occasionally have a fun, silly blog post for no reason other than to have a giggle. Well, there is a little promotion in this one but I could not pass up the opportunity to document the spontaneous, and quite frankly bonkers book launch we all held for Jane Lovering’s latest novel.

This last weekend, I attended my first agency day. I signed with Sarah Taylor of the Kate Nash Literary Agency back in January of this year and on Saturday 7th June, they held their annual agency day. I absolutely loved meeting the other authors at the agency – some I already knew, some I met for the first time. All of them absolutely wonderful!

After a day of talking about everything writing related, we hit the town. Cocktails, dinner and dancing! It was a fabulous evening with great company.

We had decided late on in the afternoon that seeing as it was the release of Jane’s novel that day, we needed to give it a good launch – so Falling Apart came out to PARTY. And boy did it do just that! Just look at the photographic evidence I snapped …

We always knew what sort of day we were going to have when these special biscuits turned up for Jane ...

We always knew what sort of day we were going to have when these special biscuits turned up for Jane …

The very lovely Jane Lovering, posing with her book baby

The very lovely Jane Lovering, posing with her book baby

And the journey begins ...

And the journey begins …









Perusing the cocktail menu ...

Perusing the cocktail menu …

Sex on the Beach or Blue Lagoon ... which would you choose?

Sex on the Beach or Blue Lagoon … which would you choose?





Summoning the waiter with the chequered flag!

Summoning the waiter with the chequered flag!

Rocking out with the band!

Rocking out with the band!

Selfie! Bella Osbourne, Kate Nash, Jane Lovering and me!

Bella Osbourne, Kate Nash, Jane Lovering and me!





These are going down nicely ...

These are going down nicely …

Come on, Tony, bedtime methinks... zzzzzzz

Come on, Tony, bedtime methinks… zzzzzzz

OOPS! Maybe a little too much ...

OOPS! Maybe a little too much …


A massive thank you to Kate and Sarah for a fantastic weekend and to Jane Lovering for being such a good sport and letting us be a bad influence on her book baby. And thanks to all the others – accomplices – who helped by seeking out new ways and positions to ‘pap’ Falling Apart.

Boy does it have one hell of a story to tell the other books on my shelf …


Oh, and here is a little peek at what FALLING APART got up to after a few Blue Lagoons … tut tut … :

FALLING APART is available now. Click on the image for more information.


Romaniac Questions – Sue Fortin

Good morning! I have a very special guest on my blog today. She’s an incredibly talented, kind hearted, funny woman and I am very excited to be interviewing her today.

Please welcome, Sue Fortin.sue fortin picSue, great to have you on my blog. Take a seat, make yourself comfy and please do help yourself to cake – it’s Victoria sponge! I promise to make this as least like a counselling session as possible.

If cake is involved it will be fine! Hi, Lucie, and thank you for inviting me over.

So, we have just launched our anthology, Romaniac Shorts, how are you feeling? Did you enjoy the process of it all?

Still very excited by it all. It’s been a tremendous amount of fun seeing it all come together and I’m very proud of all of us. That’s not to say it hasn’t been hard work, but that just makes it all the more rewarding.

What is it you enjoy most about being a writer?

The variety of things it lets me do. For instance, one day I could be falling in love with a hero who is heaven sent, the next I could be jumping out of a helicopter, another day, sitting on a Caribbean beach, soaking up the sun and the following day, it could be holding up a bank! There’s no end of fun things to do. On the flip side, I do get bad days where my heroine is heart-broken but the best bit about being the writer, you absolutely know, you can mend that heart-break. 

You are signed with Harper Impulse now, which is amazing! Tell us a little about the day you found out.

It was last summer and I was at home, checking my emails when one pinged in from Charlotte Ledger, she said that unfortunately her phone was broken so she couldn’t call me, so she’d get to the point and they would be delighted if I joined the HarperImpulse team.

So, I reread it several times to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood and then went and told my dog. Yes, my dog. There wasn’t anyone else at home at the time. Needless to say, my dog was suitable underwhelmed. My family and friends made up for it though when I told them.

It took a couple of days for it to sink in, together with several more reads of the email, just to make sure it was real. 

United States of Love has recently become a bestseller in the Amazon Valentine’s Day ranking. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little about the book?

Thank you! It was great to see it there with some other wonderful authors and novels.

United States of Love is really about atoning for and accepting the past so you can move on to a better, or at least, different future. It tells the story of a single mum who finds love second-time around but she has to deal with her ex-husband who appears to want reconciliation. However, all is not what it seems and there’s a fair amount of hidden agendas, blackmail and sabotage involved.  

And what are you working on at the moment?

My WIP has the working title of Where It All Began and the theme is what mothers will do for the love of their child. It looks at the extremes, both good and bad. There is, of course, a romance and a mystery involved too. 

Ok, let’s do some random ones now… because I do love a bit of randomness.

*If you could have any talent in the world, what would it be and why?

To sing in tune. Why? Because even my children can’t bear to listen to me attempting to sing. I keep telling them, it’s all the right notes, just in the wrong order – they’re not convinced.

*If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and why?

I’d be Andy Garcia because then I could come and find me and propose. Then then the next day, when I was back to me again, I’d be married to Andy Garcia. Simples!

*White or wholemeal?

White, especially if it’s a bacon or chip butty. 

*Have you ever been hypnotised? If not, would you try it?

Never and, err, never.

I’d be too scared. What if they made me crawl around on my hands and knees pretending to be a cat or something? What if, it didn’t wear off properly and every time some mentioned milk, I started meowing?

See, very valid reasons.

*You have a whole day to yourself where you can do anything you want, what would you do?

I’d pack the day full of all those things I’ve always wanted to do. Things like, drive through the Alps in an Aston Martin DB4GT like Michael Cane at the start of the film The Italian Job, ride side car round The Isle of Man TT, go to a Kings of Leon concert and, of course, go back-stage with my VIP Access All Areas pass, and round the day off with a romantic evening meal at the top of the Burj in Dubai.

I would, of course, have to be able to time-slip to achieve this, but, hey who knows, one day …

*Red wine or White wine?


Ok, enough of that now. Thank you so much for coming on here today, it has been an absolute pleasure.

Thank you, Lucie. It’s been great; your questions were a lot of fun. xx


You can purchase United States of Love on Amazon by clicking on the image below.


Exciting announcement!

Good morning all,

I hope you are all well and safe from this horrendous weather. As much as I dislike lots of rain, it does tend to encourage me to put the fire on and get down to some writing. Every cloud, and all that.

Anyway, today’s post is a very exciting one for me as I have a little – well, rather big – announcement to make. The silence has been killing me and I have been waiting for the moment to come for me to be able to tell everyone.

Christmas last year saw me receive one of the best presents. Want to hazard a guess at what it was?

No, sorry, you took too long. I can’t hold it in anymore.


That’s right. An agent. I can’t believe it. As those of you who follow me on the regular will know, I have struggled a lot in the past year or so with my confidence. Even when I won the New Talent Award back in November, I still kept telling myself it was a fluke and I wasn’t that good. But, somehow, I managed to grab the attention of an agency and I am now under representation. It’s all very exciting.


Festival of Romance New Talent Award

So I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the Kate Nash Literary Agency where I will be represented by the very lovely, Sarah Taylor. Sarah has given me a massive confidence boost with my first novel, Head over Heart, and I cannot wait to see where we will go from here forward.

There is nothing quite like the feeling when an industry professional loves your work as much as you do. Truly spectacular.

I best get that next book written …

Thank you all for your unwavering support and encouragement. I hope this is just the beginning …

Lots of love

Lucie x

I’m back and I’m here to stay!

Well, what a year this year has been so far. As I’m sure many other novice writers out there will agree, sometimes life seems to take over and before you know it, it has been a few months and the total number of words on your WiP has amounted to a measly, 5! (I am actually being optimistic when I say that because mine probably amounts to even less!)

This is exactly what has happened to me this last year. My home/work life took over every spare minute I used to have writing, and completely swallowed it all up. All of it. Nothing left. Well no actually, that’s a small fib. The time I did have left to write, I spent telling myself I was rubbish so why bother. I had a massive confidence crisis and slowly but surely, all my self belief drained out of my body.

As many of my friends know, I am a very strong believer in Fate, and things happening for a reason. Really, it does! Even the really really rubbish things – there’s a reason for those too. Even though at the time they may not necessarily be clear to us.

And after a few stressful months battling along the rough sea, I feel I have hit the calm. It’s very tranquil here and I have decided to pitch up and stay. Throughout the recent years that my writing has become a main factor in my life, everytime I slide away from it – be it because of family life or work – I always end up right back here. In the comfort of my little writing bubble. And I’m starting to think maybe this is it. This is where I am destined to be. Yes, I have enjoyed all the other roads I have strolled down and all the other professions I have trained in, but never am I more content than when I am in my writing bubble.

This last year I have thrown everything into trying to create a new career for myself. I set myself up to apply to University, train up, and begin my journey on a new road. But the whole time I felt like I was running against the tide. Everything that could go wrong, was going wrong. It was almost like Fate was screaming at me that it wasn’t the right road to take, but there was me, skipping along, trying to be determined and keep wading through all the toot it brought with it. But one too many things went pear shaped and it hit me – this isn’t my path.

I’m sure Fate did a victory dance when I cancelled my application. ‘Hallelujah! The woman’s finally listened, stubborn cow!’

So here I am, back at my trusty keyboard and I feel great. My self belief isn’t quite up to par yet and my confidence is still dragging its feet behind me, but I’m here and I’m writing. And I’m here to stay. I love my book, I think it has huge potential and I just need to believe in it and get it done. I have an incredible amount of support from so many people, both in the writing industry and out, and I am so very grateful for each and every one of you who take the time to encourage me and show your support.

Thank you x

The Next Big Thing – blog hop

Hello, it’s me! What do you mean, who? Me!

Yes, I know I have been very quiet of late, I blame it on the time of year! But I thought I’d squeeze in a last blog post of the year and seeing as I was tagged by the lovely, Charlie Cochrane, to take part in The Next Big Thing challenge I thought, why not!

You can read Charlie’s post about her book, Angel in the Window, here.

I am still in the ‘playing around’ stage of my current WiP so I thought I’d talk about my other WiP which I’m editing – yet again – and of which is my first complete full length novel. Some of you may know bits about this book from the times when I have rambled on about it.

So, here goes…

What is the working title of your book?

Head Over Heart.

It’s kind of got a double meaning for me. Firstly it is the predicament that my heroine, Sophie, is in; she must decide whether to go with her head or trust her heart. Secondly, it kind of plays on the phrase, ‘head over heels’, which is exactly how she falls for the hero.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

A dream. I actually had this dream sometime before I began writing this book, but it stuck in my mind and actually played on it. I couldn’t shake it off. I dreamt about being in a car crash. I was in the passenger side and there was a man in the drivers seat, but I didn’t know who he was. We were driving through a wooded area and the man lost control of the car and spun it off the road. And then all I remember is falling.

This man then became Robert, and I was Sophie. And Head Over Heart was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

I think it would be classed as Contemporary Romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Anne Hathaway. Image courtesy of

This is a great question as I’m quite visual when it comes to characters. I like to have people to reference to and say, ‘Oh, so and so has those qualities.’ It is quite hard to pinpoint a single person for the roles, though. I find my heroine, Sophie, quite easy to cast as I think Anne Hathaway would be perfect for the role. She’s very pretty, but not in an obvious, in your face way. A bit, girl next door. She’s quite timid, but can have a voice if need be.

My hero, James, is much harder to cast. My obvious choice would be Gerard Butler as I think he’s gorgeous and has the sexy, smoldering look down to a tee. However, I think he looks a tad too old for James. So maybe someone like, Kellun Lutz….

Kellun Lutz.
Photo courtesy of

What is a one sentence synopsis of your work?

I’m not very good at one-liners! Here goes…

Dealing with grief is hard enough, without having to battle love too; the story of a young widow fighting to keep the memory of her husband in, and her love for another man out.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

I don’t know. I haven’t currently got any representation for it but I would like to think that one day I will. I am working on another edit of the MS at the moment and will re-submit to agents and publishers hopefully next year. Failing that, I may consider self publishing in the future but it’s not right for me at this moment in time.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Just the first draft? About a year, I think. I’m hoping that will speed up as I practice more!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a hard one. Erica James writes about everyday life and how it impacts love so I would say I was similar in content to her books.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to start writing this book after seeing a clairvoyant.  I had been thinking about starting writing for a while but never actually did anything about it. Then I went to a Clairvoyant reading at a friends pub and the lady said to me, ‘something you have been thinking about doing, do it! You’ll be good at it.’

She didn’t say anything about writing or books, but that’s what I interpreted from it and so the very next day I signed up with the London School of Journalism on a Novel writing course and my first novel was born.

What else about your book may interest the reader?

The story not only speaks of the love between the hero and heroine, but of the love between the heroine and her late husband and the strong family bond with her children too. It is love in many forms and how they impact on one another.

There are also a couple of secondary characters who have a strong presence on the page and really make the story what it is.

After taking a break from the story, it’s nice to have spent some time delving into the world of James and Sophie again.

I now have to tag some people to keep the chain going, however this challenge has certainly been doing the rounds and I am not sure who has completed it or not. So I shall tag a few people in the hope that they will take part.

Those lucky so and so’s are:

Kathryn Eastman

Sarah Callejo

Sally Quilford

Apologies if these ladies have already completed.

Why my Romaniac buddies are my F.R.I.E.N.D.S

The past few months have seen me gradually lose my ‘writing mojo’ again. It has been awful! Those of you that have followed me for some time will know that this isn’t the first time that I have misplaced it. For a little while, I had no energy to get up and find my mojo. And after a bit, I realised I needed to find out why. After much thought and deliberation, all I could come up with was loss of confidence, lack of time and pure laziness!

So how did I remedy this? Well, one word – Friends! (Cue The Rembrandts ‘I’ll be there for you’ song)

My eight other Romaniac buddies have been a HUUUUGE support in the last year and have really kept me going. And after the very very quiet patch I have just been through, their unwavering encouragement and support has, yet again, reunited me with my ‘writing mojo’ and rekindled my love for the written word. It’s always been there, but sometimes, when times are hard, it can get a little lost. But there were my Romaniac buddies, shining a huge light for it to find its way back.

Here’s how they help me:

Joey Tribiani – ‘How you doin’?

Whenever times are hard and there’s just no words or ideas milling around in my head, they are always there to ask how I’m doing. If I’m struggling with a piece that I’m working on, I’ll have regular ‘how’s it going?’ from them – this comes in very handY to keep me going. And even when it’s just a bad day due to illness, or there are more personal issues, a simple ‘How you doin’?’ from them just lets me know they are thinking of me.

Phoebe Bouffet – ‘Smelly Cat’

Now this in no way applies to the pride of cats that between us, we all moan, praise and laugh about. There are a few other pets thrown in for good measure but feline friends definitely take the ruling out of the nine of us.

No, what I mean by reference to Phoebe is the music. We recently spoke on our blog about how we connect to emotions and use them in writing (here) and music was one thing most of us agreed on. Whenever we are stuck, or down, or even just feeling happy and want to share it, we paste links of music to eachother. Laura being the one to do this more frequently! 🙂

Monica Gellar: SUCK IT UP!

See, I’m sure you all think, ‘oh those Romaniac ladies are very nice, aren’t they pleasant,’ and yes, I like to think we are. But behind closed doors, we can also be right bossy little madams! This is a good thing, honestly. And I think this is a huge reason as to why I’m normally only wallowing and not writing for short spaces of time – otherwise they shout at me! Whilst nice, gentle encouragement is good and can help steer you back in the right direction, sometimes a short, sharp, ‘stop wallowing and get on with it, woman!’ is needed. And those girls aren’t afraid to say it.

Ross Gellar: Study and learn

Ross is a professor and teaches students. He values the importance of learning and working hard. This is something I think us Romaniacs have in common. We all love to learn new skills and we regularly try to attend lots of workshops, events and conferences to help us craft our skill and better our writing. If I want to know something, I can ask these girls and between them all, I will get sent links to websites and blogs to help me either find out the answer, or attend a workshop where I will learn it. We live all over England, none of us are particularly close in where we live, so it is really handy when one girl says, ‘ooh, so and so is doing a talk/workshop near me,’ – it’s also handy to have a sofa/bed/floor to kip on if that talk is particularly far away!

Chandler Bing: Jokes!

Whether you are feeling down, bogged down with work or running around doing errands, us girls always have time for a joke. It lightens the mood and just makes everyone feel happy. Sometimes they are random jokes when one of us is feeling weird – which happens alot! – and other times it may be linked in with something one of us has said that has followed onto a joke. Quite a few times I have been the butt of the joke….this links in with…

Rachel Green: Ditsy love!

The reason that I am normally the butt of a joke or comment is normally when I am being ditsy – this happens a lot. I am one of the youngest of the group, and maybe a little less worldly wise, and I often say/do things that are, shall we say, a little ditsy. I am the most naive out of the group and take a lot of things at face value. I am gullible and ALWAYS the last to ‘get’ the jokes! Even when I am the butt of them!

But they all still love me and because I can be a bit ‘airy fairy’ sometimes, they mother me and look out for me.

And that’s why I love each and every one of them so much. I owe my persistence  my confidence and my slightly crazy nature to every one of them.

Thank you girls!

(Now they are probably going to yell at me for procrastinating and writing this blog post when I should be drafting the plot outline to my WiP!)