Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Giveaway Ends!

Oooh, I'm so excited! Today I end the giveaway I announced a while ago, in which I give away their choice of two books from a list to a winner randomly selected from all the entries. 

Let me tell you, this was my first giveaway and it was a doozy. Who'd have thought it'd be so mind-boggling to keep track of entries (both from the actual post and from the game I played), numbers of entries per person, and putting all the right names and numbers of names into a boot? Obviously, my talents do not lie in numbers. 

But, boggling though it was, it was also a lot of fun - not least because I didn't have a clue whose name I was going to pull out of my boot! It was like being in school again and putting names into a hat to decide who gets to do something fun or horrible... ah, the suspense.

Okay, Sangu, I hear you cry. We get it. Get to the good part, would you?

And the winner is...

[insert dramatic music here]

 Vintage Vixen


I laughed out loud when I pulled Vix's name out, because I remembered she said she hadn't read any of the books on the list and wanted to try them. So here's your chance, congratulations!

Here's the list again:

Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter
The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Beastly by Alex Flinn
The Dream Mistress by Jenny Diski
The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe

Vix, could you please send me an email at with the names of the two books you'd like and your postal address?


And that, dear readers, is my Tuesday.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Stay tuned to tomorrow!

I'm just popping briefly in this lovely bank holiday to let everyone know that my giveaway, which was supposed to end today, is going to end tomorrow instead. I'll be putting all the entries into a boot (for lack of a hat) and will then post to announce the winner! And because I'm extending it by a day, it's not too late to sign up over at the giveaway post. I'll take entries all the way to midnight tonight (the 30th) - any time zone.

Remember, the winner gets their choice of any two books on the list!

Good luck!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Review: Amberville by Tim Davys

This is my third review for the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge, and I'm rather sad because it's just one last book after this and then the challenge is over! At least, it is for me.

So, Tim Davys' Amberville. If you read the Amazon blurb, you'll see that the premise is original, intriguing and messes quite spectacularly with your head. Set in a town full of stuffed animals who live, eat, breathe and act like people, this is so many things. A story about a gangster who threatens our protagonist. A story about flawed people and dark pasts. A love story. But more than any of these things, I thought this was, essentially, a story about brothers. 

Eric and Teddy Bear. Eric is given an ultimatum by a stuffed-bird mob boss: get said mob boss off the mysterious Death List, or the mob bosses's cronies will tear Eric's love Emma to pieces. So Eric sets out to find this Death List and get the mob boss's name off it. But it's not quite so straightforward as that. There are complications upon complications, tons of supporting characters (most of whom aren't remotely nice), and subplots that tangle and weave and ultimately contribute to this key storyline.

This is an excellent book. I'll get my criticisms out of the way. This is not really my favourite genre, so I suppose I could have enjoyed this more. And it got a little tangled and convoluted for me. and I found myself skimming a few parts of the story... but

Yes, but. The relationship between Eric and twin brother Teddy is enough to keep you going. It's complicated, but touching. Oh, so touching. It's more effective than a love story would have been in this novel, though Emma Rabbit's relationship with both Eric and Teddy is compelling. The novel is told from multiple points of view, including the twins', and the format leaves the reader able to pick up on ironies and plot details that the characters don't yet know about. For instance, an important twist in the story is revealed to Teddy about two thirds of the way through the book, but Eric remains ignorant of it - and that ignorance could well cost them both their lives. Prepare to shout at the characters and claw at the pages, but it's a very satisfying shouting and clawing.

As for the ending? 

There's a key choice towards the end of the novel, one that means everything to the brothers' relationship and lives, and it's a gripping, moving, spectacular choice. The threads are tangled in the novel, but they come undone and straighten out very smoothly. It's not a perfectly tidy ending, but it didn't need to be. When I read the last page, I felt satisfied, I didn't need any questions answered.

This is a great read, even if you don't normally read the genre. 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Echo Keeps Echoing

It's been a busy week for me re. submissions. Most of you might know that I've had my manuscript out with two agents for a while now. Well, this week, both got back to me in the space of two days. Both passed.

But, lest this throw me into a fit of depression to last the next decade, the first rejection was, quite possibly, the best rejection I could have gotten. The agent in question had a few very complimentary things to say about the book, including that she absolutely thought I was on to something, and she referred me to another agent who she thought ECHOES-aka-WHERE SHE LINGERS would be right for. Needless to say, this cheered me no end. I decided to look at it the positive way: she had no problem with the quality of the book, it just wasn't right for her. Agents don't refer you to a friend and fellow agent if they think you suck, right? (No, don't answer that!)

So I rattled off an email to said New Agent at once. Twelve minutes later, I had an email back from her saying my book sounded great and could I send her the manuscript? I did, seventeen minutes after that.

That brings my tally up to five full requests, four rejections thus far. Not the happiest tally in the world, but hey. I'm still thrilled about that referral. Apparently they're like gold dust.

It's not the end of Echo, not by a long shot.

No, I'm not stubborn. What on earth gave you that idea?

Oh, all right. I am.

What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

One is Not Amused

For all you UK and Commonwealth-dwellers out there (and indeed, for anyone who likes a good laugh), I just had, had, had to point you to the Twitter account of @Queen_UK. A friend made me go look this up last night, and can I just say? Nearly wet myself laughing.

These are the tweets of the (fictional) Queen, Elizabeth Windsor, and they're brilliant, hilarious, and just generally incredible. I could gush forever, and really, it's tempting. But instead I'll just post a couple of my favourite tweets here, and hope you'll love them enough to go read more of @Queen_UK.

Cannot decide whether to make Masterchef Lisa Faulkner a Dame or start nuclear arms race with Iran. Royal decisions, Royal decisions. 

One never has more than one gin and dubonnet before 6pm. Thankfully, it's always after 6pm in one Commonwealth Realm or another. 

No, no more, one has to reign in the morning. In fact, one is reigning in Australia in less than an hour. Oh go on then; just a double. 

Monday, 23 August 2010

Like a Thunderbolt

Ever have one of those moments where something extraordinary hits you out of the blue? I had it a couple of weeks ago.

I have a character called Echo. She's an echo. Many of you will know about her already, because I've used many scenes from the novel she narrates in blogfests and on the blog in general. I've always had an image in my head of what Echo looks like, but it's never been as clear as the images of my other characters - simply because I see through her eyes when I'm writing, so I don't see her as often. So my mental picture of Echo was never perfect. I could describe her, I knew her expressions and her gestures, but I couldn't have drawn a picture of her (assuming I could draw). She wasn't quite so clear.

Then I saw the video for a song called Airplanes, and I kind of jerked upright. There's something in Hayley Williams' wistful expression as she sings in this song, and in the way the light plays across her face, that made me think that's Echo.

Here's my favourite picture of the Paramore singer-

No, Echo doesn't look just like Hayley Williams (she's not a redhead for one thing), but there are similarities. Imagine Hayley's hair dark, almost black, there and it's pretty much a dead ringer for Echo's hair. Imagine her skin more honey-ish in colour, and her eyes a little darker. It's not a perfect comparison by any means, but if I had to choose one person in the real world who Echo looks a bit like, I'd have to pick her. It's something about the hair, the face shape, the fragile bone structure, the spirit in her expression.

But you can imagine how stunned I was, to sort of see my character sort of come to life that way.

Has this ever happened to you? Who do you compare your characters to?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Love of the Written Word

I am now employed, dear readers. With university behind me and who knows what ahead, one thing is fairly certain: I have a job. Yep, I got the job I interviewed for on Friday! I am now a care assistant at a home for old people. To everyone who's wished me luck, thank you!

Getting the job made me think of writing. Pleased to bits though I am about this, when I think of what I am, I don't think care assistant. I've never thought tour guide or researcher or any of my other jobs, either. I think I've gone too long thinking writer to think of myself as anything but when the thought slips in.

I've been writing so long, it's second nature now. I was four years old when I started, so that's eighteen years of my life now - too long to separate writing from Sangu. It's what I do.

And why do I love it?

1. Escapism. The same reason I love to read. When I write, I can create my own worlds, my own rules, my own people. Even when my characters are at their most headstrong, and the writing at its most frustrating, it's still mine. It's the place I go when I'm frustrated by something in the real world, because in fiction I can fix it. It's a place where unicorns and fairies exist, and little girls can become archaeologists or troll hunters if they want to.

2. The actual words. I'm a geek. I've always been a geek. I'm the one who tells my friends when they misuse or mispronounce a word. I'm the one who says things that, my oldest friends complain with a mixture of amusement and bewilderment, 'no one actually says in real life!' 

It's because I love the written word. I love how stringing sentences together can sound beautiful. It's not always just about plot or characters for me. It's also about how beautiful words can sound and look.

3. I'm good at it. I don't mean that in a boastful way! You know how at school, some kids take to maths and science really quick, and others take to art? Well, I was the kid who always took to English and to literature. Maths? I'm terrible at it. Science? I just about understand (some) of it. But give me a book or a creative assignment, and I loved them. There's a lot of pleasure to be had at doing something you feel proud of at the end, even if it's not a remotely perfect piece of work.

4. I have to do it. This isn't so much a question of why I love it, as why I do it at all. I simply have to. Whether or not I'm thinking of getting published, whether or not I see a character or story going somewhere, I still write them. When a story pops into my mind, I write it, even if I never finish it. It's like an itch. I have to do it.

I'm surprised I can only think of four reasons right now, but I think I've covered my love of writing pretty well here. Ultimately, I guess it comes down to number four: it's just something I have to do.

Why do you love what you do?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Layla meets The Boy

It's a somewhat unnatural hour of the evening, but I thought I'd drop by with a post for anyone who stops in tomorrow morning - or, indeed, tonight, considering time differences all over the world. This is a piece of writing for you, to celebrate the fact that I've started writing TEA WITH DEATH, DESIRE AND RAGE again.

The following scene is from quite early on in the novel, and is still quite rough. It's the moment where my protagonist and narrator Layla meets the boy she falls in love with, and who, ultimately, is forced to leave her again.



The first few days on the estate were predictably predictable. Mary and I had a few things to sort out, what with innumerable relatives in the area to pay the obligatory visit to and a coffee estate to continue running. Even I, in all my disinterest, never once dreamed of selling it. Of course, I never once dreamed I would be the one to tend it, either, but that is an irony I shall never fail to find funny.

When we weren’t being dutiful orphans, we stayed in the house, licking our wounds, quietly grieving our mother, missing her. The house was airy now that it had been lived in a few days, and so, even with all the windows closed after dark, it grew cold at night. We preferred the days. In my high spirits, I convinced Mary to play games with me on the yard, which was one of the few places smooth enough for my wheelchair to roll over unhindered. We read in the evenings, drove into town together to buy fish or pork or bottles of fizzy drinks, cooked ourselves any number of interesting meals just to keep ourselves occupied. In retreating to the house to find peace, to heal ourselves and each other, we had instead become afraid of the silence, of the night-noises in the dark, the soft sounds that everyone claimed were the footsteps of kindly ancestor-ghosts, our father’s ghost, our mother’s. I lay awake so late into the night, in darkness so absolute I could open my eyes and not realize they were open, and I imagined a ghost-ball in the front room, an orchestra of dancing phantoms.

Such were those days, before you.

On the sixth day, I was in a childish sulk for some reason or other, most likely my boredom and a desire to return to the city. I refused to go into town with Mary, and she went in by herself, with a tart warning to me not to complain later if I didn’t like the meat she chose at the stall. Alone, I stayed indoors for about ten minutes before restlessness and impatience overtook me. It was no doubt a silly thing to do, but I did it: I wheeled myself out of the house, bumping my way dangerously down the front steps. It was sheer dumb luck that kept me from toppling out of the chair with each violent jerk, but, having managed it, I started along the road to the estate.

It was a dirt road as you will no doubt remember, studded with stones for grip, and my chair bounced uneasily, ponderously, over the track. I didn’t know where I wanted to go or why I had chosen to take the winding road up into the estate, but I continued on my way, slowly, very slowly. With each bit of distance covered, uphill no less, I grew more frustrated and angry, my arms aching desperately and my legs itching to stretch beyond my wheels, to run.

Run. Ah, yes. No, running was not on my cards any longer, and I admit freely that I was still a little bitter about it. My foot was too weak, too misshapen to take my weight any longer, slight, fragile and young though I still was.

I must have been a few yards past the estate gate, with neat rows of coffee bushes flanking me, when the left wheel caught. Jerked to a halt on the studded road, I cursed softly and leaned over the wheelchair arm to see where I’d caught myself. But it was too directly beneath me and I could not see far enough.

Suddenly aware that, alone and vulnerable out here, where bison, wild boar or, heaven forbid, a hungry tiger, might find me, I felt small cold beads of sweat form on my brow. My achy arms jerked as I tried to wheel myself, this way and that. I tried going backwards, to wheel myself out of whatever hole I’d got myself into, but only made things worse. I don’t admit this easily, but I will say to you now that I was afraid. I didn’t know when Mary would be back, and silly though it was, I could not get the image of the hungry tiger out of my mind. Sleek, beautiful, powerful. Ravenous. Melodramatic of me, of course, when the tigers had better prey to hunt than a girl in a metal chair and better places to be than an estate closer to town than to the forest. But my mother had told me one too many stories of beasts that wandered into estates by accident or, too injured to hunt, to find easier prey. I had thrilled at the stories, from the safety of a house or grey Jeep. Now, I felt cold and afraid.

“Here,” said a voice, “Let me help.”

It came so unexpectedly and from so close, I gasped, and snapped my head around. I looked down the path behind me, twisting as far as I could go, and saw a shape standing on the stone-studded road, a shadow with the sharp winter’s sun directly behind it.

Then it moved, and stepped away from the light, and I saw that it was not a shadow but a boy, flesh and blood. And there, just like that, there you were.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

Crazy Days

It's a crazy day today, so I'm just dropping in to say hello. Steve and I have friends coming over today, so I'm off to fetch them from the train station in a bit, and it should be chaos tonight (read: hangover tomorrow). Whoopee!

I've also just had the job interview I mentioned a few weeks ago. It got delayed and I had it today. I think it went well, but I guess I'll only know how well it went when I find out if I got the job or not. Should hear by the end of the day, so I might have good or bad news for you this weekend, dear readers.

I also want to boast about something Alesa gave me-


Isn't that amazing? It has my name on it. I'm so proud. Thank you so much, Alesa!

What has everyone been up to this week?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Regular readers might have noticed that when I first started writing TEA WITH DEATH, DESIRE AND RAGE a few months ago, I couldn't stop talking about it and I was really excited about it. New novel, new idea, new characters. And you might also have noticed that the enthusiasm tapered off until I was no longer talking about it...

I did actually consider abandoning the story altogether. I'm not sure why, except that I'd hit a block and couldn't really muster the enthusiasm to work my way around it.

Then, just a few days ago, while I scribbled out new ideas inspired by the game I played with all of you, I thought I'd go back and reread some of my old files to see if anything there could spark off an idea too. I stumbled on TEA, and, bam.

I fell in love with it again.

I wish I could describe how amazing that feeling was, but I can't. It was shocking and astonishing and I loved it! And now I think about the story constantly, once again, and I'm so excited to keep writing it. I've changed some things around in my head, including the way I wanted the story to go, and I think that might have overcome the 'block'. Now I can't believe I ever thought I'd abandon this one.

Have you ever rediscovered your joy in something you thought you'd lost interest in? How did it feel for you?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Review: Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

I think Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep deserves 5 out of 5 stars.

The story of a teenage girl's four years at an exclusive private high school, Prep is bleak, harsh and brilliant. While on the surface the novel could be classed as a boarding school story, there are undercurrents here that make it so much more. The caste system of this elite school is emphasized, along with teenage sexuality, friendship and the social differences between narrator Lee, who's on a scholarship, and her wealthy classmates. 

Reading this, I loved that there were so many different things to stop and pick up on. The novel is not so much about a quest for popularity as it is a quest for Lee to somehow satisfy herself that she is not unworthy, and her self-doubt and eagerness to please continue right through the story.

What I liked best about Prep was the fact that nowhere do the characters slip into an easy or lazy stereotype. The most popular boy in Lee's year is not an arrogant dumb jerk, nor is he by any means the swoon-worthy perfect guy of every teenage girl's dreams. The most popular girl, who by all rights would be a right bitch in an average high school movie, is not actually that bad at all: she's self-absorbed, yes, and she's not the nicest person around, but there's nothing overtly vicious or evil about her. 

Most interesting of all is Lee: as the narrator, we should sympathize most with her, but over the course of the novel I found myself looking at Lee the way others around her do: as somebody who has no identity of her own, but imitates attitudes she thinks will make her likable and popular. As we journey through Lee's four years, we feel for her and understand her, but we're allowed to step back from her and look at her critically. I found this remarkable.

The novel isn't satisfying. There's no happy ending, no sense of epiphany or closure or true completion. If that's the kind of ending you want, this is probably not the book for you. It doesn't satisfy you.

But I kind of think that's the point.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

You know you're a Real Writer when...

*Your friends have forgotten what you look like. And when they do see you again (usually by accident, when they catch you skulking down the supermarket aisle because you realized three weeks without food was getting to you), they don't notice that you're unusually pale from all the time you spend indoors and that you now crawl like Quasimodo from all that time hunched over the computer. Huh. They thought you always looked like that.

*Your attempts to stay hydrated during the day involve martinis, vodka and any and all other kinds of alcoholic beverage. Money for rent? Nah. Money for booze? Hell, yes.

*Most of your visits into the great outdoors involve visiting your doctor, who is by now sick of hearing that you have carpal tunnel. Again.

*Your idea of a meal involves two-week-old tuna and that last hunk of cheese from last month's food shop.

*You dream of punctuation. Sometimes, you have nightmares where the punctuation turns giant-sized and tries to eat you.

*You keep the phone by you, even when you're deep in your Great Work, simply because you're waiting for that red-carpet invitation to the Oscars and to appear on a whole lot of chat shows to talk about said Great Work.

*When you ring your mother, she says, 'I'm sorry, who is this? You didn't mention your name...'

*Your spouse, who lives with you, has forgotten what you look like.

No, don't look at me like that. I'm not a Real Writer. Really.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Just a quick one today. Thank you so much to everyone who dropped by to play my let's-inspire-Sangu game yesterday! Not only were your suggestions an eye-opener (bubblologist? Really? Bobbydazzler?), but I've got so many great images in my head now, for characters and for settings. 

I don't have a new story yet, but I can feel little sparks of it shooting up and I'm trying to snatch them! So thank you all for that, you've given me so many amazing ideas!

Now I'm off to scribble...

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Can I pick your creative brains?

Okay, so I kind of need some help. From you, my much-loved blog readers.

With WHERE SHE LINGERS sitting in a couple agents' inboxes waiting to be read, I'm kind of trying very hard to work on something new and exciting to take my mind off Echo and echoes altogether. (Yeah, okay, so I'm not doing very well, but I'm trying, all right?)

At the moment, however, all I have are old unfinished projects and old ideas, none of which have given me that excited spark - that moment where I think yes, I must, must, must write this right now! So how about a game involving completely random/creative thought and helping me?

I promise it'll be short and sweet. All I ask is that in the comments, you give me

a setting
an unusual profession/hobby/character type
and a completely random word

The setting can be anything from 'Venice' to 'an old vicarage' to 'tower' to 'bedroom'. Places, names, rooms, types of buildings, anything. The second one's more fun - suggestions can be pretty much anything, from 'clock-making' to 'crocodile hunter'. And the random word is just that. Any word. So, for example:



An old vicarage
Falcon wrangler

Ya know?

The point is that I hope something in the comments, or some combination of words, will trigger off an idea for me. Even if it's just a spark that turns into a story.

So I would love, love, love for you guys to help me out here!

I hope that it'll be fun for you to play along, but as a teeny extra incentive, anyone who joins in gets two extra entries in my giveaway. Click on the link for more details if you have no idea what my giveaway's about!

So that's my plea for the day.

In other news, Keris Stainton's having an amazing giveaway on her blog! She's giving away fifteen books, so if that sounds like your kinda thing (oh, go on, you know it does), then this is where you need to click.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Change Blogfest!

Today, the brilliant Elizabeth Mueller is having a blogfest, about change! This is such an awesome topic, because it can be interpreted in so many different ways and be used in so many contexts. Click here to check out the other entries!

Thanks for this, Elizabeth!

For this fest, I chose a short scene from my completed ECHOES, because so much of the story is about change. In the following scene, my protagonist Echo discovers that she has to give up her entire life as she knows it, and move across the world to replace her identical other.



(Text from the novel removed. Sorry!)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Review: Second Hand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde

This is my first review of the books involved in the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge: Catherine Ryan Hyde's Second Hand Heart.

The basic premise revolves around, quite literally, a second hand heart. Vida is nineteen years old and very ill, with a heart condition. She's got about two weeks to live when she receives a donor heart, from a woman who has just died in a car accident. The woman, Lorrie, leaves behind a grieving husband named Richard. When Vida sees Richard for the first time, she falls in love with him, putting them both in a fraught situation.

The novel switches back and forth between Vida's and Richard's points of view, exploring the possibility of trace memories and feelings from the donor heart, while also balancing Richard's grief and secondary characters like Richard's mother-in-law, Vida's overprotective mother, and her friends Esther and Victor.

So, what did I think?

Overall, this was a good, solid read. If I were going to rate it, I'd give it three out of five stars, and I'll explain why.

It's extremely well-plotted, following a clear and thoroughly intriguing line from beginning to end. I often find that with books in this genre, we take long and uninteresting deviations into the lives of minor characters that the reader doesn't really care about. This isn't true of Second Hand Heart. The deviations are small, and engaging, and definitely give us a better sense of the characters as people and of the complicated relationships between them. The plot focuses on Richard and Vida, moving seamlessly between their perspectives, their conflicts and using the motif of a smooth worry stone to sort of tie them together.

The conflict, too, is great: for Vida, she's suddenly in love with this man she feels like she knows, because of her new heart. She doesn't know how much of what she now thinks and feels is her, and how much is Lorrie. For Richard, there's a girl with his wife's heart who claims to love him. Has he really lost his wife for good, or is there a part of her he can cling to?

Compelling, isn't it? The novel is essentially about grief, and letting go, and learning to live your life to the full: common, popular themes, but popular for a reason. I thought each of the themes were explored beautifully and I loved the motif of the worry stone, a stone the characters rub every time they feel anxious or upset. It made me want my own worry stone!

And, best of all, the conflicts are resolved realistically and satisfyingly, leaving the reader without any frustration or doubt at the end.

So where did the book fall short, in my opinion? Well, for one thing, while the secondary characters were interesting, I found Vida, the protagonist, annoying. I'm not sure whether it was because she comes across as selfish (trying to seduce Richard who is obviously grieving his wife, and showing no respect for that grief) or because she seems ungrateful for the things she has. Yes, her mother is overprotective; yes, she lies about her daughter. But even before Vida has her heart, she seems to resent her mother already and there's no sign of appreciation at all. Flaws in a character don't bother me, but I just found that Vida annoyed me too often for me to really enjoy being in her head.

And then there was the slight disconnect I felt right through the novel, like I wasn't really able to get into it and absorb the story as well as I should have been able to. Maybe it's because this isn't a genre I read very often. Maybe it's because I found Vida annoying. Either way, I wasn't terribly moved by the emotions, and I found the concept of trace memories more interesting than the main characters.

That said, there was no point while reading the book that I felt 'oh, I can't be bothered to read this anymore'. It was compelling, it kept me reading, and I'm fairly certain that while I didn't love this, a lot of other people will.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

List Day: Favourite Couple-Names

Today I'm tickled by the phenomenon of Couples with Names That Are the Same. Or Couples With Names That Rhyme. No, I don't know why I've been thinking about it today. Yes, I am silly. I love being silly. Today is totally going to be a Silly Day.

So, my top five favourite couples' names, all of which I've encountered in real life or in a piece of fiction (so I'm not just making up the most ridiculous names I can think of. They're real.)

5. Earl and Pearl 

(from the movie Sweet Home Alabama, I think)

4. Sean Bean

(okay, so he's not a couple and I love Sean Bean, and his names don't really rhyme. But I'll admit that the first time I read this name in the credits, I giggled for about ten minutes and kept saying 'Seen Bean' for ages.)

3. Jo and Joe

(I mean, really. How unfortunate to fall in love with someone called Joe if you're called Joanna or Josephine and you end up having to call each 'Jo/e' all the time. And what about when you're with friends? Do they say 'Jo' and you both turn around?)

2. Wayne and Jane

(Not kidding here, I actually know a couple with these names. Sigh.)

The thing about Jo and Joe, though, is at least they can write their names down or sign emails without confusing people. Unlike...

1. Sam and Sam

(Again, true story. Boy-Sam makes an effort to call Girl-Sam 'Samantha', but that just annoys her because she prefers being called Sam. Tricky, eh.)

And there we have it, my silliness for today. In other news, my manuscript has just been requested by an agent (sent it off about half an hour ago). That makes it two manuscripts currently out in the world, and fingers crossed I maybe, hopefully, maybe get good news from at least one! Eeep.

I've also just finished reading Catherine Ryan Hyde's Second Hand Heart, so look out for my review either tomorrow or Thursday!

Now tell me about the silly things that make you giggle like a twelve-year-old girl.