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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Cline Barton

Veronica’s #WritersDiary, and We’re Off!

Feature pic is one of my favorites being a girl from Kentucky. London bound and I can’t wait! The bags are packed, passports in hand. So excited to go back to one of my favorite cities. Lots of castle trips planned (Hampton Court, Kensington Palace, Windsor) so that I can once again become almost royally inspired. So looking forward to some cooler temperatures and maybe even some rain (Yay!). Kind of bummed that I won’t be there long enough for the next royal wedding in Windsor, but I will be searching for those oh so wonderful #RoyalWedding memorabilia!

My boots are ready for walkin’! So far the offerings to Iceland volcano gods are working (no eruptions yet!). It’s Wednesday, time for #WritersDiary:


In the writing world…

Well after an exhausting week, Gemma and the gang have left Malibu and are headed back to Cherrywood Hall….or so I think! The manuscript is now in editing (of the professional kind). After so many weeks of read/revise/edit I’m ready to have the professionals step in. I’m also sending it out to some of the brave folks who have volunteered to be beta readers for me, no turning back now!  This is always a gut wrenching time for me (and I think most writers)—will they like it? How much red ink will I be seeing when the doc is returned? I guess I will just have to console myself at the pubs until the feedback roles in 🙂

In the meantime, I am finishing off a short story give away—will be available in November. Stay tuned for Yuletide at Cherrywood Hall; Pippa’s First Christmas…

go away reading

In the reading world…

Bibiana Krall’s The Soul Keeper—5STARS 

Author Bibiana Krall once again weaves a tale of peace, love and the pull of the unknown. Willow drifts along in the streets of San Francisco, living the aimless carefree life that is the mantra of 60’s hippiedom. Visions taunt her—is it the remnants of her drug fueled existence? Or is she being pulled into the darkness of a love gone wrong from long ago? Haunting tale of sadness and mystery that will surely give you chills. Great read, highly recommended!

Next in the queue:

Day of the Martians

Tea room at the Savoy

Tea at the Savoy…

It’s pretty cool that MC Gemma’s favorite place for tea just happens to be mine 🙂 So excited to be going to the Savoy for one of my favorite experiences in London, afternoon tea! I love the gazebo in the middle of the room with the grand piano playing tunes while you enjoy the yummy offerings. Can’t wait to take pictures here too, I love this hotel. Of course we will probably stop at the American Bar too—I fell in love with their Secret Agent cocktail last visit…shaken, not stirred.

Mark Schultz and Grizz

Special shout out to Mark Schultz and Grizz for a fun week of questions and comments on the Word Refiner blog…

Mark and I did a whole week worth’s of questions and commentary on a variety of subjects in the writing world. It was a lot of fun and very enlightening—take a look if you get a chance. Mark’s review services are Highly Recommended!

Here’s a sample:

What scenes do you find hard to write and why? Is it hard or easy to connect with your muse, why do you think it is that way?

I will say this, as much as you plan, and outline, and research—things can change as you write your story, sometimes I don’t even know how a scene will end till the very end. I am always amazed when this happens, but 9 times out of 10, it works!

Beginning scenes are always a challenge, especially in a series where you’re picking up from the happenings that have occurred in the previous book. You want to get the reader involved (hooked) into the new story as soon as you can to keep them reading, so you need to be mindful of how much you re-hash. So far my MC Gemma starts out the opening scenes in my books, setting the stage for what’s been happening, and what’s coming down the road. She may be howling at the moon, opening fan mail, or planning for an upcoming royal wedding at Cherrywood Hall—she pretty much knows what’s going on to get the story started.

Transitional scenes and chapters are tricky too. Just as in life, not every day in the cozy mystery world is going to be filled with glitz or glam or mur-dah. I use dinners and cocktail hours for many transitions, people like to talk and you usually get some very useful tidbits to keep people guessing and the storyline moving. You want to keep things interesting as well as move the story forward, building suspense.

For the scenes that involve mur-dah, I try and keep graphic details to a minimum, one of the reasons I personally like the cozy mystery genre. You won’t be getting a lot of blood and gore or scientific forensic details. You’re going to be shocked when an event happens, and hopefully I can keep you guessing who the bad guys (or gals) are until they’re unmasked.

For me, I connect with my muse fairly easily—one of the benefits of writing a series I think. I’ve come to know the characters and settings quite well, so it’s a lot of fun when we do get together for the next story. It’s changed my perspective as well, especially when I’m travelling. I see things through the eyes of my characters, and try and collect the details so that when they are written, the readers are going to feel like they’re on site, seeing, smelling, hearing and feeling the details the characters are experiencing in a particular venue.

London boots

Of course a trip involves some new boots….

Always try and dress tres chic for my city visits. These little plaid beauties with the mod red buckle are heading to London with me. No Gemma, you cannot wear them! #JustSayin

Welcome to my world–hope to have lots of lovely pictures next time. Enjoy your week and weekend, my friends 🙂

Crowns and Kisses,


P.S. So excited to be attending Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution while in London! Doesn’t get much better than that, Gemma would approve 🙂

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