Don’t forget the inaugural Hursley Park Book Fair takes place this weekend.
Richard Hardie and I are amongst the 40 or so authors taking part in the inaugural Hursley Park Book Fair over the weekend of 23rd and 24th June. (Felicity Fair Thompson and Anne Wan, both of whom I interviewed for CFT, are also taking part). [Read more…] about Hursley Park Book Fair – 23rd and 24th June 2018
One of the problems facing writers with books out there is how to promote your books. A lot depends on what budgets you have (and on the time you’re willing to commit to this. Marketing work gobbles up a lot of time and this shouldn’t be underestimated).
With self-publishing being so more readily accessible and acceptable, how does an individual author make themselves heard? Sometimes the answer is to be part of a larger group of writers. What happens here is that the writers “cross-pollinate” the other authors in their group in terms of publicity and the end result is you reach more people than if you were going it alone. The Book Fair held in Chandler’s Ford last year is a good example of writers being able to hold an event at all because there were several of us involved. [Read more…] about Authors Reach Update – Allison Symes with Richard Hardie
1. The methods by which people write. (The biro is one of the world’s great inventions, as was the fountain pen before it. I would not want to use a quill to write, though you have got to hand it to Shakespeare for his sheer creativity especially given the equipment he had. What would he have made of the typewriter, the word processor etc? His friends, John Heminge and Henry Condell, would have had a far easier time of it compiling the First Folio though and what wouldn’t they have given to be able to access the photocopier!).
2. What people used to write on – everything from cave walls to A4 paper to post-it notes.
3. The methods of publishing writing. We owe a huge debt to Guttenberg and Caxton. What would they make of online writing, where actual printing out is not always necessary, and where texts can be sent by email or scanned and stored?
4. For centuries only the privileged could read and write and then have access to books. I am so glad, in general terms, this is no longer true, though I would love to see a world where good literacy rates and access to books was a “given” everywhere. Sadly, this is still not the case and progress needs to be made on education, especially for girls and women, in particular areas. But that can and should be worked on. Compared with how we were a century ago, has progress been made? Yes – in our part of the world at least but I would like this to spur efforts on to make it true for everywhere.
5. The kinds of writing there are in terms of what is produced – everything from flash fiction to massive fantastical sagas to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Oxford English Dictionary.
When I was preparing this series, I did wonder how I would split it since 101 is a prime number. There was no way I was writing 101 articles of 1 item each or 1 item of 101 ideas! I eventually concluded that it would be best to have a series of 15 items and finish with the final 10. Many thanks to everyone who has commented on the series. It has been fun to write and a chance to share some of life’s exasperations. If the series producers of Grumpy Old Women happen to be reading this, I think I could make myself available! [Read more…] about 101 Things to Put into Room 101 – Part 7 – The Final Leg
Reaching the “home straight” on my 101 Things to put into Room 101 series, I am now at number 76. It’s probably a sad reflection of human nature that it is usually easy enough to find things to complain about rather than praise. Still on to some more of life’s irritations. [Read more…] about 101 Things to Put into Room 101 – Part 6
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all pictures were taken by Allison Symes
One thing I can confirm is that anyone selling cold drinks or icecream had a busy time of it at this year’s Fryern Funtasia. Whether it was the hottest Funtasia known to Chandler’s Ford, I don’t know, but the queues for refreshments were long! [Read more…] about All the Fun of the Show: Fryern Funtasia Review 2018
Image Credit: Many thanks to Lionel Elliott and the Chameleons for supplying the images.
It was good to be back at the Richie Memorial Hall to watch the Chameleons’ latest production on Thursday, 26th April. They staged three plays in one show. All were set in different times and backgrounds. [Read more…] about April Trio of Plays – The Chameleons – Review by Allison Symes
I went to the Dovetail Centre on 19th April to see Five Go Mad for Shakespeare. Being fond of the Famous Five stories by Enid Blyton and, much later on, the Bard of Avon, this was a production which had my name on it in a manner of speaking. This is my take on the show following on from Ben Williams’ excellent summary. [Read more…] about MDG Players and Romsey Players – Five Go Mad for Shakespeare – Review
It is ironic that George Orwell’s Room 101, which rightly in the book is associated with oppression, is used for entertainment, even with a post like this one. It is to his credit though that (a) his work lives on after him and (b) his creations have passed into popular usage. I must admit I hope the latter has led to some people checking out where Room 101/Big Brother come from originally. [Read more…] about Part 5 – 101 Things to Put into Room 101
Networking is vital for all writers. You make connections, those may lead to taking part in events like book fairs, but, most importantly, you make friends. There is nobody like another writer who will understand the drive to write and its frustrations. [Read more…] about Networking Tips – Allison Symes (with Mandy Huggins)
Now for the next section of the things I would like to see consigned to the Room of Doom created by George Orwell. (I wonder what he’d make of social media and cameras everywhere? Not much, probably). [Read more…] about Part 4 – 101 Things to Put into Room 101
So resuming the next batch of things to go into Room 101, George Orwell’s famous creation, I am going to make myself mightily unpopular with some by suggesting:- [Read more…] about Part 3 – 101 Things to Put into Room 101
I am pleased to share news that local author, Richard Hardie, of the Temporal Detective Agency Young Adult fantasy series, will be at Winchester Discovery Centre on 3rd April 2018. He will be running two free interactive story sessions. More details below. [Read more…] about Local Author News – Richard Hardie at the Winchester Discovery Centre
Part 1 of Gail Aldwin’s interview last week shared Gail’s memories from her round the world bus trip and how it influenced her Paisley Shirt flash fiction collection (published by Chapeltown Books). Here she shares her writing tips, the joys of creating characters and her thoughts on ebooks and “real” books. Comments on the latter would be welcome! [Read more…] about Writing Tips and Character Creation: Interview with Gail Aldwin Part 2
Further to last week where I discussed the frustrations of publishing, it is my pleasure to share my interview with another writer taking the independent press route. Please “meet” fellow Chapeltown Books author, Gail Aldwin. Also many thanks to her for supplying the images for this interview. [Read more…] about Travelling by Bus around the World and Inspirational Flash Fiction – Introducing Gail Aldwin
There are few authors who don’t know about the frustration of getting their work out there. Also, even fewer make their living “just” via their books (as regular surveys by the Society of Authors make depressingly clear).
George Orwell made a significant amount of his living via book reviewing. The benefits of his creations passing into the English language as shorthand, sadly, were not realised by him directly. I’ll be returning to my 101 Things to Put into Room 101 (which is loosely based on his creation of Room 101 in 1984) in a few weeks’ time. You don’t want all my moans at once! [Read more…] about The Frustrations of Publishing
I strongly suspect George Orwell would not be entirely happy with the way his invention Big Brother has been used to create a TV show. Whether he’d be happier that the same thing has happened with Room 101, which as a show can at least make people laugh, is another matter. Still, on to Part 2 of the things I would put into the vault of doom.
George Orwell (aka Eric Blair) has contributed so much to literature and has an accolade few other writers have (though whether he would welcome it is another thing). While it is not unknown for writers to have their sayings go into popular culture over centuries (think Shakespeare especially), how many have their phrases go on to become the titles for TV programmes? Orwell achieves that with Big Brother and Room 101. [Read more…] about 101 Things to Put into Room 101
Sayings are strange things at times. Okay, the one about not casting a clout before May is out does make sense. We live in Britain. The weather is changeable!
However, there are others that are open to question and some relate to writing.