Thursday, 29 August 2013


GREAT NEWS!  THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER is now available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.  Right now it's available on, and  Check out my author page here to find it.
This story of love, survival and ambition paints an authentic portrait of the North East and tells the story of four very different people: Rita Hawkins, the pitman's daughter who struggles to leave Crag Street; George Nelson, the "golden boy" and aspiring union leader; Maggie Willis, abused mother of seven; and Ella Danby the meddling street gossip.
This novel was a finalist in the Chapters/Robertson Davies First Novel in Canada Award.  Be among the first to read it and send your feedback to me via the blog or my Facebook Fan page.
But be warned - there's some racy content in it! Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Marjorie DeLuca's Storyworld: The pleasure and pain of finding a Soul Mate

Marjorie DeLuca's Storyworld: The pleasure and pain of finding a Soul Mate: Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind will blow out a candle, and fan a fire . -  Franco...

The pleasure and pain of finding a Soul Mate

Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind will blow out a candle, and fan a fire.

Over the centuries writers have been fascinated by the idea that when it comes to love there is one perfect person out there, meant just for you, and when you meet this person your life will change forever.  You'll be drawn to them in a way you've never experienced before - with a deep, natural attraction that tells you this person absolutely must be a part of your life or you can never be happy. This person will stay in your soul, haunt your dreams and cause a longing so fierce that all other relationships are doomed.  Romantic tragedies are built around this idea and some of the greatest love stories - in books, movies and real life, are tales of soul mates struggling against all odds to be together, in some cases until they die.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:the original star-crossed lovers from feuding families, together finally in death.
A 20th century take on Shakespeare's great tragedy. West Side Story's Tony and Maria: tragic lovers from opposing gangs who show that love is all that matters.

The problem is, in many books and movies, relationships with soul mates can be destructive, with both partners caught up in such a frenzy of passion they eventually burn out, though the heat still lingers forever. Like the following couples: 
Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald: the King and Queen of the Jazz Age.  Self-destructed in a frenzy of alcohol-fuelled parties.  Fitzgerald dedicated THE GREAT GATSBY to Zelda and supported her when she was committed to an insane asylum.

Liz Taylor and Richard Burton: married, divorced then remarried but the flame still burned.

By far the most compelling love stories involve a situation where two people meet, feel a strong animal attraction but fear its intensity.  The attraction is transformed into a strange kind of loathing, and the couple avoid each other at all costs though they are still under each other's spell.  They circle each other like wild cats, afraid to give in to the passion for fear of tearing each other apart.  Sometimes they finally give in, unable to deny the feelings any more.

Pride and Prejudice's, Elizabeth and Darcy: initial loathing turns to love

Bridget Jones Diary, a modern take on Pride and Prejudice in which Bridget must choose between flirtatious Daniel Thornton or the more intimidating Mark Darcy.
Mrs. Gaskell's North and South: privileged southerner, Margaret moves north and encounters the handsome but forbidding cotton mill owner, John Thornton.

So on a final note - here's a little piece of romantic poetry to help fan the flames of passion on that warm summer evening when the wine is chilled, the stars are twinkling in a velvet sky and the waves are lapping softly on the sand. Just click and hear the sounds of Andy Garcia as he reads the wonderful Pablo Neruda poem, Tonight I can Write the Saddest Lines. 
You'll be drawn so close, you'll never let your true soulmate go!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Publishing your novel: THEN AND NOW

I've been writing seriously for the last sixteen years but I can definitely say the publishing industry has changed drastically in that time.  I'll tell you a story of THEN and NOW and it's all linked to my experiences with my novel, THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER (due out on August 31st)
THEN: I created the early drafts of this novel between 1997-1999.  Much of it was written when I studied Advanced Creative Writing with the late Carol Shields, Pulitzer Prizewinning author and wonderful teacher as well as mentor.
Encouraged by support for the story I applied for local Arts Council Grants and received three. When it was complete I composed a query letter and SENT IT DIRECT TO PUBLISHERS!! And not just any publisher - I sent it to Random House US, UK and Canada, as well as Penguin, Harper Collins, McMillan and numerous other huge publishing houses.  They all requested a full manuscript.  I was over the moon.  I sent them and waited.  And waited some more. Then some more.  The rejections trickled in but Harper Collins held onto it.  Finally they didn't go with it but their words were: I can honestly say [this novel] is one of the most engrossing submissions I have read since coming to Harper Collins - you came close - your story made a great impression on us. (Karen Hanson, Associate Editor).
In 2002 the novel reached the top 10 finalists in the Chapters/Robertson Davies First Novel in Canada Award but still no publisher!

NOW: Eleven years later the novel has gone through much revision, polishing, cutting, cleaning and improvement but there's NO WAY a writer can submit direct to a publisher any more. Now you need an agent and I do have a wonderful agent who's handling my other historical fiction.  But there's still the long wait for feedback and for struggling publishing houses to make decisions in this increasingly digitized world.
Guess what!  Now an author doesn't need to wait. We writers can take charge of our own projects and many are taking the plunge into self-publishing. Just read David Gaughran on the topic.
This project has a long history.  I want to retain control of it.  More writers are doing the same!  That's why I'll decide when and how THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER is published and you won't have to wait to read it!

Monday, 12 August 2013

NEW BOOK COVER REVEAL: The Pitman's Daughter

A preview of the beautiful cover for my new historical novel, The Pitman's Daughter. Designed by professional cover artist  Jeanine Henning, it captures the setting and mood of the novel.  Here's a quick blurb about the book:

Rita Hawkins fought all her life to escape from Crag Street,  the grimy street of colliery houses where gossip reigned, tuberculosis killed, and mining families slaved to make ends meet. There she met George, the last surviving son of a poor mining family  forced against his wishes to start work as a miner. Her life becomes inextricably tied up with his but love eludes them, though events in their lives constantly throw them together.  George the high-minded idealist gets caught up with the miner’s union, while cold, hard cash drives Rita, the pragmatist, towards independence and success in business. Their relationship is complicated by the tragic Maggie, abused wife of seven children and Ella, the childless street gossip with her nose in everyone’s business.
Years later, when Crag Street is torn down and rebuilt in a museum, Rita receives an invitation from George to attend the Grand Opening. The visit forces her to face painful memories about George, Maggie and Ella and to revisit the tragic incidents of the last days she spent on Crag Street.
A vivid tale of love and loss, joy and tragedy, The Pitman’s Daughter spans five decades and portrays the colorful tapestry of life in a Durham colliery village. Filled with unforgettable characters it is also a story of ambition and identity that shows no matter how hard we try, we can’t escape our past since it shapes us into the person we become.

I'd love your feedback about the cover.  Add your comments or email them to me at
Watch out for The Pitman's Daughter!  Out soon!!!

Friday, 9 August 2013


Marjorie DeLuca's Storyworld: ANOTHER GREAT REVIEW FOR "THE FOREVER ONES": Happy Writer! Getting a positive review for your stories really spurs you on to keep writing. The latest review for THE FOREVER ONES ...


Happy Writer!

Getting a positive review for your stories really spurs you on to keep writing.
The latest review for THE FOREVER ONES comes from  +Zili Robins  at her great Zili in the Sky blog based in the UK.  Check it out here at  More reviews to come soon.  Now I'll really have to buckle down and try to finish Volume 2 of The Iduna Project, which will be entitled THE PARASITES.  So if you haven't picked up your copy of the book (available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon), now's the time to do it!

THE PITMAN'S DAUGHTER update.  I'll be revealing the professionally designed cover in the next few days and letting you know when the book will be available!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Marjorie DeLuca's Storyworld: WHERE DO IDEAS COME FROM?

Marjorie DeLuca's Storyworld: WHERE DO IDEAS COME FROM?: As a writer you have to be constantly alert to everything around you.  Snippets of conversations, unusual images, incidents, interactions, s...


As a writer you have to be constantly alert to everything around you.  Snippets of conversations, unusual images, incidents, interactions, smells, sounds, dreams and odd ideas that just pop into your head.  You mull these experiences around in your head until you come up with a "what if" idea.
Here's how I got the idea for some of my novels:

I discovered that serial poisoner, Mary Ann Cotton had spent the early years of her life just around the corner from my grandma's house.  When I read more about her and discovered she murdered husbands, children and step-children then gave birth to another child in prison I thought what if a childless woman became obsessed with trying to understand why someone would murder their own children.

My parents and grandparents lived in an area of Durham County UK that had been the centre of coal mining.  On a visit there in the 1980's I was amazed to see the mines had all shut down and there was little to no trace of the industrial landscape left.  All I could see was greenery.  A new outdoor museum had been opened at Beamish and some of the old streets and mines were transplanted there.  So begins the story, They put Rita's house into a museum...

I'd always been fascinated by the research being done on telomeres and their influence on ageing.  I wrote a TV pilot, a full length feature screenplay than I was sitting at a coffee shop looking out the window and I saw this amazing mural but this was on a grey, slushy day:

That's how the first chapter was born and it took off from there!
It's always good to carry a notebook or use your phone to take pics just in case one of these ideas comes to you.  Write it down.  You're bound to forget it!


NEW BOOK COMING DECEMBER 2023!! I'm so excited to tell you about my upcoming new novel from Severn House Publishers (a division of Canon...