Romantic Novelists' Association

Hints And Tips For New Writers #2

12 February 2018

Hello all,

Sometimes we all need a little nudge in the right direction, so this month I have included a couple of links, which you can peruse at your leisure. Like a truffle hunter, I like to sniff out useful nuggets of information and in doing so, I came across this blog, which I thought might be of interest, especially to new writers: Now Novel.

As a saga writer, I love watching old films to get the ‘feel’ of times gone by, and I was thrilled to find this priceless nugget of research gold: Talking Pictures TV. The old films give fantastic information regarding fashions, attitudes – which have changed so much – and lots of little snippets of history that keep your writing real and are invaluable for research purposes.


This link: Pacemaker Planner takes you to a site that has a tool to help you reach your daily word count. The link was given to me by bestselling saga writer, Jean Fullerton, who was previously given the tip by contemporary romance writer, Sarah Bennett. So you see, no matter what genre you write in, this could come in very handy. Thank you so much, ladies!




And last but certainly not least, there is one reference book I return to time and again. From Pitch To Publication by Carol Blake, is a no-holds-barred insider view of this wonderful writing industry, giving valuable insight into what goes on behind the scenes from an agent who really knew her stuff.



Well, that’s it for this month, but don’t forget to come back next month for some more Hints and Tips. Although, I find the best tip of all is, keep writing no matter what – nothing is ever wasted!

See you next month!

Sheila Riley



Sheila joined the RNA in 2004 as a new writer. Since then she has written best-selling sagas as AnnieGroves. She’s a member of the North West Chapter of the RNA and loves to catch up with writer friends at the regular Southport lunches.







It’s 1939, and the Brogan family of London’s East End are ready to show Hitler what for. But things don’t seem so rosy when rationing, evacuation and air-raids start to put this larger-than-life family to the test.

When a mysterious young man arrives at the Brogans’ local parish church, he provides just the dazzling distraction they need – and for eldest daughter Mattie, the promise of more than she’d ever wished for. But as the pair fall deeper in love, they are drawn into secret dangers, rife on the very London streets they call home.

As the young couple race to protect the East End as they know it, can their dreams survive the darkening backdrop of war-time…?





Beth Reynolds loved growing up close to Eleanor’s Emporium – a bric-a-brac shop full of wonders on Lavender Bay. Devastated to learn that Eleanor has died, she returns home from London immediately and is shocked to discover that the elderly lady has left the shop to her!

Vowing to restore it to its former glory, she only intends to stay until the end of the season. Although the longer she spends in the colourful seaside town, the more she falls back in love with everything she left behind…and quite possibly, with her best friend Eliza’s older brother, local chef Sam Barnes!

Why didn’t she notice he was quite this gorgeous before? And will their spring fling be enough to convince her to stay?