If you’re a writer, it helps to dream; the best ideas can come from travels in our imaginations. Night or daydreams? A good way to go about it, is to start a bucket list. You’re never too young to begin; you give yourself more time to plan it. I’ve ticked boxes on some of my list but I’ve by no means worked through it. Covid, climate change – in that, should humans be flying at all, ever? – and personal setbacks forced a temporary halt to mine, not to mention a totally unjustified war, but I still hope, right?

My Top 5 Writer’s Bucket List

  • Eat Sachertorte (my favourite dessert) in Café Sacker in Vienna along with a stay in the namesake hotel. A 2022 rom-com, Sachertorte, (on Amazon Prime) celebrates exactly that, and is a must-see if you’re a dessert junkie. In my book, it’s recommended viewing. While I’m in Vienna, I’d see Klimt’s paintings in Upper Belvedere and do a city tour. I’m sure there’s much I missed on my last two visits.
  • Visit Berlin. I’ve not been for years and only ever made fleeting visits for work. I want to see the sights, be a flâneur and soak up the atmosphere.
  • Return to Croatia. I spent 3 weeks there in 2019 and I want to make a longer trip. I flew into Zagreb, spent a few days there, stayed on an island (just magical), and made a trip up to Pula and saw the old coliseum. I didn’t have time to go to Dubrovnik, only saw the coast at Rijeka, a lovely old port town. The trip inspired me to write a supernatural thriller screenplay.
  • See Rome, Venice and Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.

Whoops, that’s like 6 on the list, not 5, but see No. 6 as a bonus. This is my near ‘writer’s bucket list’. For practical reasons I’m not thinking about the faraway places bucket list, but I’d love to return to LA, specifically Santa Monica.

Books That Would Make Great Movies

I read several fantastic books in 2022/2023 and I thought they’d make terrific, entertaining movies. I’m seeing a lot of new year posts of resolutions and goals for 2023, plus many round-ups of books & movies, but I haven’t seen a blog post of books that would make great movies. Anyway, here’s my top five list.

Crime Thriller

Outback by Patricia Wolf

Genre: Crime thriller, 

Comps:  Your fave police procedural meets Wolf Creek

I loved this because it whisked me to Queensland when I made visits to family before the pandemic and I went on the mystery hunt with the detective in another country. The author transports you to a setting that feels alien. For instance, what’s hard to grasp for UK readers (unless they’ve visited), is the sheer vastness of the country and the distances. Queensland is 5 times the size of Germany says the author. Watch out for more crime cases set in Oz by her. 

Satire & Comedy

Khaos Has Come by Simon Carr

Genre: Space Opera, Satire, Comedy

Comps: Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy meets Red Dwarf (TV series)

Brit Simon Carr is a prolific writer of scifi and space opera satire who has a real talent for banter. If you want a solid chuckle from start to end, read his books.

The Cannibal’s Guide To Fasting by Dana Hammer

Genre: Horror, Satire, Humour

Comps: I don’t know, I never read anything like this before.

I read a lot of Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) to review and to keep up with what talented authors are writing, also, I love writing reviews. The main character (who you’ll empathise with) has a disgusting affliction which I won’t describe here – no spoilers. A commentary on the state of American culture/society, an entertaining story with laugh-out-loud moments and a romance sub-plot.

Rom-Coms With A Difference

The Billionaire’s Wake-Up-Call Girl by Annika Martin

Genre: Sexy Rom-com

Comps: Friends With Benefits meets The Hating Game

This laugh-out-loud rom-com so perfectly captures New York modern office life and the characters leap off the page. The stakes are high, so for the heroine it really is ‘do or die’and I loved it. What about you? Are you an overworked, under-appreciated subordinate, or worse still, minion? You’ll love it too.

My book, Twin Flames by Fiona Faith Ross

Genre: Body Swap, Paranormal, Rom-Com

Comps: 13 Going On 30 meets California Man

Tagline: Anything goes when ancient Egypt arrives in modern Manhattan

Twin Flames a time travel body swap romantic comedy fiction cover art of ancient Egyptian Princess Nefi and her suitor gifting her a red rose
Twin Flames

I’ve written several of my fiction books as screenplays (or vice versa) and this is one that I’d love to see on the screen.

Reads On Your Bucket List Journeys

I prefer to read on an eReader when travelling. Think about it, who wants to add to their heavy bags and lug actual physical books from A to B and what better way to read ARCs and review them? BookSirens is a great source of new books to stack your virtual TBR (To Be Read) pile. All you have to do for a free copy is to leave a review. Also, think about joining Kindle Unlimited. For a small monthly cost you can have a portable library. Click on the banner above. (I get a tiny comission if you sign up from this site.)

Read Twin Flames for free here, and please review it, or give it a rating on Amazon. Thank you.

What’s In A Name?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Tragic heroine, Juliet, says that in Romeo And Juliet, meaning Romeo would still be the same person in essence, even if he was not from the Montague family, to which Juliet’s family, The Capulets, are deadly rivals but who am I to disagree with Shakespeare? Nothing. I’m a nobody, but still…

I spend a LOT of time researching names for my characters. Their names reveal their origin, class, life experience and their point of view shaped by their lives, the geography they grew up in, and their families. Sometimes a name inspires or reflects an aspect of personality.

My characters don’t come alive for me until they tell me their names. So tell me, are you a writer? How do you choose your characters’ names? How important are they to you? Leave a comment and tell me. Also, writer, flâneur, dreamer… whatever, what’s on your bucket list for this year?

Those are my thoughts as the year turned from 2022 to 2023. Oh, and I almost forgot, Happy New Year!

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