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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.

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Friday, 3 April 2009
Last Wednesday we gave a party to thank all those wonderful people who had helped us on the dreadful day we found our darling cottage had been flooded. Most were from the village but I also invited my friend Katie Fforde, who, at the time, had invited us to stay at her house WITH the dogs! Now, that’s friendship. Whether that friendship would have survived the seven months it eventually took for the repairs to be done, we will never know. Sadly, I could not invite Rosemary Laurey, another writer, since she lives in the US, she sent a Fortnum and Mason hamper to cheer us up. Two examples of how wonderful are the members of the writing community. It is so often said that authors are jealous of each other, that we are constantly at each other’s throats, that we steal each others ideas! This is so wrong. I can assure you that I have only met with kindness and support from the Romantic Novelists Association to which I have belonged for nearly twenty five years. The one thing that we don’t need is other peoples ideas. Nearly every writer I meet has more themes and plots zooming about in their heads than they can deal with. The problem usually is which one to work on, which one will make a good novel, which one will sell. And there lies one of the hidden secrets of writing - the importance of having the ability to go through those possible plots and choose one and stick to it. I had a student once who was a wonderful writer. She wrote concisely, her characterisation was spot on, dialogue superb. Wonderful plot ideas. Her problem was she would start off with massive enthusiasm writing plot A. She’d get about ten thousand words down when she’d think plot B, might be better and she’d drop A. and concentrate on that one, that was, until C. came along an distracted her! The chances of her getting published are remote and yet she should be, and with a bit more discipline she would be. Witch brings me to today. That party we gave I enjoyed so much so I found myself arranging a lunch for some girl friends. First Jackie phoned and offered to make the main course, I assured her I could manage. She insisted - what a mate. But then Jenny and Glynn decided they wanted to cook courses too - “You’d best lease with Jackie,” I said. But they didn’t. We ended up with enough food to feed an army. But what great friends I have!

7 comments:

  1. I have just found your blog after hearing of your work at a lovely lunch party at your son's in celebration of the delightful Ben's 21st! Just wanted to say best of luck with finding a new publisher! Shall be off to buy one of your books very soon. Which should I start with?!

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  2. Sissel M. Ostdahl13 April 2009 at 09:50

    Hello Tilly,

    I hope you check for advice on what to read.
    I love Anita Burgh's books and have read them all.

    I personally love her two trilogies.
    The first, The Daughters of a Granite Land, consisting of 1) The Azure Bowl, 2) The Golden Butterfly 3) The Stone Mistress.

    The second, The Cresswell Inheritance, consisting of 1) The Heart's Citadel, 2) The Broken Gate 3) The Breached Wall. (I have written reviews of the two last books in this trilogy).

    Of single books there are so many. To start with I can recommend:
    Lottery
    Distinctions of Class
    On Call
    Breeders (perhaps especially if you like dogs)

    There is a "package" of 3 books at Amazon now:
    1) Distinctions of Class, 2) Advances, 3) Breeders. All three at a price of £ 3.83.

    Lottery and Distinctions of Class are both contemporary books, excellent to start with.

    If you have read nothing of Anita Burgh, you have a lot of pleasure ahead of you!!! She is a marvellous writer.

    Good luck!

    Kind regards
    Sissel, Norway

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  3. Sissel M. Ostdahl13 April 2009 at 10:00

    Hello again Tilly,

    I just need to correct:

    In the second trilogy, actually called Wheels of fortune, the first book is The Broken Gate. Then comes 2) The Heart's Citadel and 3) The Breached Wall.

    Kindly,
    Sissel, Norway

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  4. Sissel Maureen Ostdahl11 May 2009 at 15:09

    Dear Anita,

    Wanted to tell you that I have now reached my first goal as a reviewer - "Top 1000 Reviewer". I do hope that may influence the votes a tiny bit????
    Anyway, I have by now got 8 positive out of 8 for "The Breached Wall" and 5 positive out of 5 for "The Heart's Citadel". Got one vote for each of them last night - by the same person? It also says about "The Breached Wall" that of the customers who look up the book/read my review, 88% buy the book. Since I also refer to the other two in the trilogy, let's hope they take my advice and buy all three.

    I hope everything is well with yo., Any news about a publisher, the book you are currently writing??

    I am going on holiday to Greece 25 May for 3 weeks. Hope to see news from you after that.

    Best of luck and kindest wishes from
    Sissel

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  5. Hi Anita
    You've certainly had a learning curve year, one novelists would rather write about than experience. You are sounding so positive now it is very heartwarming. Friends are so important and in my alter ego of Pauline Bentley I have great memories of laughter and drinks round the bar with you at the Romantic Novelists early workshops at Bournemouth. I saw you last some years ago at their Conference. I have always loved your books. The historical ones ticked all the boxes for me as it is my own genre. Your modern novels were always on a topical and emotive subject that I envied your judgement in being one step ahead of the rest of us in what the public wanted.
    I wish you every success with the new novel and I am sure it will be such a bestseller than Orion will weep at their loss.
    I also applaud your positive attitude about your health. You are a great advocate for not making an illness who you are. You will inspire others to overcome their problems and see the world for the beautiful place it can be. A place all the brighter for your talent.

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  6. Yes, the homecoming party was a true celebration of having two of the most loveliest people back in our village - Anita and Bill (oh and the dogs)!! Since the party in April we have had some wonderful lunches, drinks parties and Sunday lunch time drinks in the local hotel. Anita is an inspiration to anyone who meets her and is so full of fun. Long may our friendship last.

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  7. Thank you for popping by and leaving a message. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw your name!
    I did enjoy your book very much, I was rooting for all those different Cresswell ladies.
    Take care
    Lisa

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