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
Every photograph we take, every show we present, or every song and hymn that we sing, we bring inspiration, creativity and joy to the community. Our artists have taken risks. They have brought us wonder and beauty of nature.
Allison Symes’ sound advice on publishing and its perils, The Frustrations of Publishing, set me to thinking about my life as a writer and in some respects as a publisher, or rather editor of journals and series of books. I was fortunate in having a few bright ideas at the right time such that small publishers who were seeking to expand their business took me on as a series editor for books in philosophy, ethics, and science related topics. [Read more…] about How to Cope with Publishing and Editing
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
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.
Following on from Part 1 of my interview with the lovely Val Penny last week, here comes Part 2! I first met Val at the Swanwick Summer Writers’ School in 2016. I’m delighted to say since then Val has come south and discovered the joys of the Winchester Writers’ Festival, but more on that a little later. [Read more…] about Val Penny – Her Writing Journey Part 2 – Allison Symes
Val saw one lost looking author (me!) wondering which way to turn out of Derby Railway Station to find the coach to go to Swanwick and promptly took me under her wing! [Read more…] about Hunting Out a Career in Crime Fiction – Allison Symes interviews Val Penny
‘Did you see the film?’
‘Yes, but it was not as good as the book.’
Is the book as good as the film or vice versa? At the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka, a discussion took place between a film director Lord (David) Puttnam and four authors who have had their books made into films or TV series.
Lord Puttnam: Best known for his film ‘Chariots of Fire’ and many others.
Shrabani Basu whose book and TV documentary ‘Victoria and Abdul’ have been widely admired.
Maylis de Kerangel, a French author of ‘Mend the Living’ about the two sides of a heart transplant, donor and recipient.
Sebastian Faulks, author of Charlotte Grey and Birdsong and other books that have been made into film.
Alexander McCall Smith whose series ‘The No I Ladies Detective Agency’ has a strong following both in text and on TV.
A while back, the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church was busy collecting signatures of people in the Church and its community. Visitors to carol services, customers in the Dovetail Café, and all the groups who use the premises were being invited to sign in charcoal or chalk on special paper.
These names have now been turned into a work of art by an artist, Rev David Hollingsworth, who is skilled at community works of art. [Read more…] about Dovetail Art Project with Revd David Hollingsworth
I never used to write with music on in the background as I found it was influencing what I wrote! Trust me, it is difficult to write a death scene with some lovey-dovey ballad coming out of the radio. Talk about killing the mood… (Likewise, you try writing a love scene to, say, Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell. Just doesn’t seem right somehow). [Read more…] about Music and Moods
Another year has almost gone and it is the time when many of us review how we spent our 12 months. As mentioned last week, I reassess my writing aims and set down what I think I would like to achieve in the next year. [Read more…] about End of Year Reviews – Are They Useful?
Image Credits: All images, unless otherwise stated, were taken by Allison Symes
Towards the end of each year, I make a note in my new writing diary as to what I’d like to achieve in the next twelve months. I also review what I’d written for the current year and tick off achievements. Many things are long-term goals so carry over. I’m always going to want to have short stories and flash fiction “out there” no matter what the year is! [Read more…] about My 2017 Writing Journey
Last week’s post was part 1 of my interview with Jennifer C Wilson, author of the Kindred Spirits series and also of The Last Plantagenet? She writes paranormal historical fiction. It’s not often the heroes of a story are the ghosts but Jennifer specialises in this and the books make for a great read. I met Jennifer at Swanwick in 2016. [Read more…] about Stepping Back in Time: Part 2 of Jennifer C Wilson Interview
I first met Jennifer C. Wilson in 2016 at the first Swanwick Writers’ Summer School for us both. We became friends and this year we had the great joy of “racing” each other to Swanwick’s Book Room to put our books out for sale! [Read more…] about Ghosts, History and What Might Have Been: Introducing Jennifer C Wilson
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by Allison Symes.
A group of regional writers took part in the Winchester Discovery Centre’s 10th anniversary celebrations on Saturday 25th November. [Read more…] about Winchester Discovery Centre – 10th Anniversary Celebrations
I don’t know how much the arts contribute in terms of income but it must be billions. The same can be said for history. Our tourism industry depends on it and we have a significant historical heritage in our part of the world.
The Bargate in Southampton (think Sir Bevis of Hampton as well as the Roman walls), the remains of Henry V’s ship The Grace Dieu in the River Hamble, Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, Winchester Cathedral (and Salisbury Cathedral with one of the few original copies of the Magna Carta, a quick train ride away from our railway station too. I highly recommend the run if you haven’t done it. The Chandler’s Ford to Salisbury line goes through some lovely country. Seeing the Magna Carta for yourself is something special too I think.). [Read more…] about Pivotal History Moments – Bosworth 1485
On the face of it, times have not been good recently at Fryern. Grovers the Butchers has closed as has our branch of the Nat West. I’m always sorry to see an independent firm go, some history goes with them I feel, but, to my mind, the bank branch closure is a stupid decision. It’s not as if the bank wasn’t busy! [Read more…] about Keeping it Local – Community and Writers
I had the great joy of going to see Murdered to Death by Peter Gordon as performed by The Chameleon Theatre Group on Saturday 28th October. What with the Book Fair in the morning, it was a busy day but a hugely enjoyable one and the show rounded things off beautifully.
How can you tell if something is a spoof? I always look for tautology in the title! It is done for exaggeration (a great comic technique). I can’t think of any other genre where the “To Death” bit would be added. It certainly wouldn’t be in crime fiction, where murder generally is taken very seriously! [Read more…] about Murdered To Death – The Chameleon Theatre Company – Review Part 2
This play Murdered to Death performed by Chameleon Theatre Company in October was an obvious parody of an Agatha Christie murder mystery, right down to one of the characters being called Miss Maple, after the Miss Marple character. Poirot was also referenced, from Miss Maple knowing a Belgian chap, to Pierre Marceau resembling Poirot physically.
The funniest character was Inspector Pratt, who is the most incompetent detective ever. [Read more…] about Review: Murdered to Death by Chameleon Theatre Company
The first Chandler’s Ford Book Fair was on Saturday, 28th October 2017 between 10 am and 12 noon at the Age Concern Centre in Brownhill Road. I hope it will be the beginning of many Book Fairs here.
Many of us miss The Arcade Bookshop which had been our lovely independent book store for decades. Those behind the Fair hoped it would provide a place for local people to browse and buy books with the bonus they were written by regional writers (and many of them local to Chandler’s Ford specifically). [Read more…] about How was the Book Fair for You?
This is just a quick reminder about the Chandler’s Ford Book Fair happening this coming Saturday, 28th October at the Age Concern Centre in Brownhill Road. The Fair will be open from 10 am to 12 noon and there will be a wide range of authors and genres represented. [Read more…] about REMINDER: Book Fair – 28th October 2017