Carla Acheson


Category: News (Page 1 of 5)

Nanowrimo 2017 – 30 Days to Success

I’m committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. This is Nanowrimo. The National Novel Writing Month of December where each year thousands of writers participate on the Nano website in the hope of winning. What are the prizes, you ask? Well depends on what you’re looking for.

For me Nanowrimo is just about discipline – I’m the kind of girl that can go off track. I lose momentum, wander off to crochet a jumper, and before I know it I’ve forgotten what my outline was about. I need that discipline now and then, especially when I’m interested in so many creative pursuits. It can drive a girl nuts!

For many participants, the prize is just the glorious moment when they hit the 50K mark and upload their novel to the Nano site. That in itself is a huge achievement. Just doing it is winning. You even get a badge and certificate, yay! Writing a book is hard work and in 30 days, it’s even harder.  It’s a goal fought and won even if it’s a first draft of nonsensical slush – and slushy it often can be, but the gem lies beneath. Did you know that there are many famous nano winners who went before us?

I’ve always wanted to do Nanowrimo and never quite had a ‘good’ November in order to do it. There’s always been some other distracting stuff going on in my life. Last year I moved 2,000 miles to Scotland from the med. Yep, not great nano timing. And this year I even arrived at it late. I got sick and flu-ey, took some mopey days out, felt a bit better, hit the nano website by chance and realised that it was Nov 8th. Was I too late? Hell no, some writers have only just signed up too. I would just have to get going. Fast.

I’m over halfway there,  but I digress, I had a few chapters written before I started, but my goal is to ‘finish’ the novel and trust me, I still had pleeeenty of words left to write.  That’s why I entered and that’s my challenge! Completion. I know that it’s hard for people to find time to sit down and write. I’ve been in that place too, where I’ve wanted to do it and found so many excuses, but eventually, you find yourself growing tired of hearing yourself. One day you realise that things just don’t get done until you do them. If I knew I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t. But I know that I can and I’ve spent years overcoming blocks, doubts and obstacles, learning about what kind of writer I am. It can surprise you what you discover about yourself when you just keep on going.

Here are some things about me, they help me to succeed and stay on track.

  • I’m confident.
  • I self-talk myself into making things happen.
  • I always write what I’m passionate about. It fuels the steam for longevity.
  • I choose a story that I want to explore and know that only I can tell.
  • I look at the big picture and have total belief in what I write. Even when I’m actually unsure about it I still have faith in it.
  • I don’t look back at what I’ve done, just keep going forward.
  • If today wasn’t so good and things all went to hell, well tomorrow is another day and I can write a really moving chapter.

Most days I can get anywhere between 2 to 6,000 words down. Then I’ll read over them at another point in the day and try to swiftly improve any obvious crazy grammar or typos. Trust me there’s going to be loads. But that’s fine, I’m human. The 30 day deal makes a perfectionist learn to swallow some imperfections.

The best thing nano will give you is that it will eradicate the ‘fear’ of making a mess of things. You will. There is no way you can write a novel in 30 days and come out with a polished story. So with that worry gone, all there is left to do is WRITE.

So what’s this story all about? Ah, that’s another blog post.

Friends who know me well enough will know what to expect with regard to my style of writing, but I’ll throw in a little bone and reveal it’s not historical fiction! I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone here and trying a new direction.I love a risk and I love a challenge. My novel has a new voice, a new generation, and I love the idea of that! Plus, it’s like diving into a different pool when you’ve got a bit tired of swimming round and round the same one, and by the time I’ve done all the laps I’ve learnt something new about life.

So I’ll see you all soon on the nano side!



Happiness, Tears and New Ideas

Well, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster this past week. I returned to Gibraltar to visit family and friends only to find myself giggling one moment and crying the next, and so I’ve learned that it’s completely and humanly possible to be happy and sad at the exact same time. Suffice to say, I have returned to Edinburgh with a real need to feed my soul a little tenderness and love.

When it came to questions about my latest writing project, I found it difficult to offer much other than, it’s not historical, which  elicited some shocked expressions plus a few raised eyebrows. In truth, I expected that kind of response. It’s quite common to be pigeonholed into a particular ‘genre bracket’ whether it be historical, romance or thriller. Look at poor Ms Rowling having to write a detective thriller under the pen name of  Robert Galbraith, and yet still… some readers are unforgiving. 

I used to have very mixed views about whether an author known for one particular genre should indulge in another, but I also know that the internal creativity tap does not flow into one story, century, or plot idea, alone. I absolutely believe that if you can create a good story in one genre you are just as capable in another. The talent is in the execution of it. 

So, it’s definitely going to be a little more challenging to write a contemporary novel, (which is ironic because historical books require so much more in terms of research,) but alas, I’m testing new waters, developing different cultural ideas aside from those which are distinctively “Victorian,” and… demanding a little faith from my current readers!

But bear with me dear friends – nothing ventured, nothing gained. What I do know is that my story will still have my style, my voice. And what I need to possess the most I always seem to have within me – inner confidence.

It’s time to get on with it.

I’ll  be back soon with more news, and I wish you all a great end to the summer!


‘Success for Quitters’ by Jodie Crook

I’m very proud of my fellow writer and friend, Jodie Crook, who has recently made available her short story GIRL RED. The  story was entered into a writing competition which I organised in Gibraltar a few years ago. Girl Red was chosen as the clear winner by Ruth Dugdall, an award-winning author of psychological thriller novels, and one of the judges of the competition. If you aren’t aware of Jodie’s work, she has also just recently published her new ebook Success for Quitters: 5 Mindset methods for Success (Hello CEO Book 1) available on Amazon. I have reviewed the e-book and give it a definite thumbs up.  I am also personally touched that Jodie mentioned me in her acknowledgements.
To discover more about Jodie and to feast your eyes on her excellent short story, visit her website. Well done Jodie, keep us all informed of your great work and I wish you many positive blessings and a successful writing career.

Girl Forgotten – New Giveaway for UK and USA Readers

A new paperback giveaway for my latest novel Girl Forgotten will run for the month of July.  Simply click on the link below to add your name and mailing address at Goodreads for a chance to win!

Well done to Eugene from Minsk who won the last giveaway which had around 2,000 entries. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and interest.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Girl Forgotten by Carla Acheson

Girl Forgotten

by Carla Acheson

Giveaway ends July 25, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Exciting News and ‘Hello Waterstones’

I have so much to say to my friends and readers, but I’ve been so busy of late, please forgive me. It’s been a crazy month, but in a good way. Emotions have been high and low, and like anyone else I am affected by praise or otherwise. Let it not be said that life is dull.

I want to share this. I recently sat back to think that I can’t quite believe that I’ve spent nearly ten years wading  in the interesting fish pond that is called the writing world. At first, I swam cluelessly, and then with an increasingly hungry desire to push myself into deeper challenges.  Along the way I’ve met sharks and I’ve met angelfish. And of course I’ve learnt a great deal from both species.

But….. no matter how many books a writer does or doesn’t sell; no matter whether reviews are glorious or vilifying, no matter whether creativity flows, or is a well that has run dry – the sustaining thing is that a writer will always remember the way a story feels to an appreciative reader. And that is why we do it. (At least that’s why I do it). So we try our very best to reach out and to grab hold of your heart.

Now for the promo bit:

Girl Forgotten has been re-published. Please check it out. Buy it. Review it, or download it from Amazon. I will appreciate every bit of support on this venture.

Girl Forgotten at Waterstones

Girl Forgotten on Amazon Kindle

The three current titles have been re-published under the imprint Charlotte Greene and will be made available to an expanded distribution channel. All three titles will be available in the publisher’s autumn catalogue.

I want to sincerely thank John Morris of Charlotte Greene Publishing, for all his effort, attentive help and support, and of course, having faith in my work (as well as putting up with me!)

I leave you with love and this thought..














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