Last week Anne Wan, local children’s author, talked about why writing for children is fun and what she learned from writing her debut novel, Secrets of the Snow Globe: Vanishing Voices. In Part 2 she shares her three top tips for writers and what she loves and loathes about editing. There will be a lot of common ground here for writers in all genres! [Read more…] about Writing Children’s Fiction – Anne Wan Interview Part 2 – Allison Symes
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.
I enjoy interviewing authors for Chandler’s Ford Today. I love finding out their top tips, how they work and what inspires them.
It was a joy then to meet local children’s author, Anne Wan, for tea, coffee and a chat at Bay Leaves Larder recently. Anne has a background in primary school teaching and her book Secrets of the Snow Globe: Vanishing Voices is now out (North Oak Press). [Read more…] about Writing Children’s Fiction – Anne Wan – Interview Part 1 by Allison Symes
Sshh – do you want to know a secret about Chandlers Ford? You may not be aware that last year, we were thrilled and proud to publish a collection of short stories called “Secret Lives of Chandlers Ford” . Together with my writing chums, Maggie, Catherine and Sally, we spent a year researching, writing and publishing our first anthology of short stories: “Secret Lives of Chandlers Ford”. We wanted to write stories that were locally set and derived from the happenings and history of this lovely area. We also wanted to reflect Chandlers Ford modern and diverse characteristics. [Read more…] about Sshhh – Do You Want to Know a Secret about Chandlers Ford?
I like one-liners. Comedians use them of course but one-liners are invaluable to fiction writers too. One-liners can end a story or film with a gasp or a giggle. They can turn a story on its head at the very last moment.
Equally, use one-liners at the start of a tale and they can draw a reader into the story with powerful imagery. They can convey information in a few, well chosen words and because the good one-liner has to have impact, there’s no room for waffling and so can make a great writing exercise for learning how to “write tight”. [Read more…] about One Liners by Allison Symes
When interviewing other writers for Chandler’s Ford Today, I love discovering who their favourite authors are. I end up making a mental note of all those writers they mention whom I’ve not read and whose works I must get around to investigating further. One thing that has often struck me, and also with interviews I’ve read in Writing Magazine and so on, is the importance of children’s fiction.
Now I owe my love of reading to my late mother who read widely and well fiction wise (almost everything from H.G. Wells to P.G. Wodehouse to Jane Austen to Terry Brooks to Daphne Du Maurier to Charles Dickens (amongst many others). [Read more…] about Why Children’s Fiction Matters by Allison Symes
What does the average author, with a book “out there”, want from their readers? Well, we obviously want you to enjoy what we’ve written but what we would appreciate are reviews on blogs, certain famous online retailers, Goodreads and so on. Why?
Book reviews are a lifeline for writers. Reviews help spread the word about the book. Given every writer must be prepared to do their own publicity, (even the big publishers save their efforts and budgets for the blockbusting author, everyone else has to “hit the campaign trail” for themselves), reviews give a helping hand. [Read more…] about The Art of the Book Review by Allison Symes
I saw A Comedy Trio by The Chameleon Theatre Group on 27th April 2017. Despite feeling miserable due to a heavy cold, (I am not the world’s best patient!), I am glad to say the production made me laugh and I went home feeling considerably better in spirit, at least, than when I arrived! Now there’s a review for you…
Many thanks, as ever, to Lionel Elliott for supplying CFT with the pictures. [Read more…] about Review – A Comedy Trio: Chameleon Theatre Company – Allison Symes
I thoroughly enjoyed the comedies I watched last Thursday, performed by Chameleon Theatre Company at Ritchie Memorial Hall in Chandler’s Ford. In this post, I will focus on one of the comedies, The House of Fog, by Peter Brammer.
The play The House of Fog was a really funny mockery of a horror movie, with an extra layer of comedy added due to the fourth wall aspect.
[Read more…] about Review: The House of Fog by Chameleon Theatre Company
Themes are an interesting topic for writers. Do you deliberately write to one or see what you come up with and then look to see what theme emerges?
I have done both. Sometimes a theme really does emerge after you’ve written the story because you’ve focused on portraying this particular character, what they do, what they don’t do and the consequences of all of that for them and others in the tale. [Read more…] about Great Themes by Allison Symes
One writing exercise that came out of my trip to Swanwick Writers’ Summer School last year was to write to my 20-year-old self with advice based on knowing now what I didn’t know back then. This was fun, really made me think and I thought at the time this could make a good CFT post because I can throw it open for you to join in. What would you tell your 20-year-old self? I am only talking in general terms for this but my list is below. [Read more…] about Advice to My 20 Year Old Self – Allison Symes
I loved the cyber launch for From Light To Dark and Back Again held at the beginning of the month. Thanks again to Chapeltown Books and Cafelit for hosting the event. I was co-host. This post looks at how I prepared for the event and what I learned from it. I hope it will be of use to other writers. The images used in the post were those I used during the launch itself.
[Read more…] about Cyberlaunch Lessons by Allison Symes
After the success of last year’s event, Hampshire Music Festival are running their World Music Festival again on Sunday 14th May. The event consists of a number of workshops to experience drumming from around the world. It is open to the public and suitable for all ages (from seven years old) and abilities. [Read more…] about Hampshire World Music Festival 2017
Would you fall in love at first sight – with a house?
When my second Harriet Quigley mystery was published, blogger Geranium Cat said, in what is still my favourite review:
Not listed in the Dramatis Personae at the start of A Crowded Coffin is the Attlin family’s farmhouse, although you feel it should be there; once known as the Angel House, Locksley Farm Place dates back centuries, perhaps to a Roman villa on the same site. The author conveys the sense of the house’s age and antiquity seamlessly… and the reader is left with an impression of great solidity and warmth which permeates the whole book…’
I’m delighted to report there will be a Storytelling Festival between 10th and 22nd April 2017. The Festival will be marking the first year of the Write Now development programme at The Berry Theatre, designed to encourage writers. [Read more…] about The Storytelling Festival – Allison Symes
In my review of the Thornden Community Wind Band’s Christmas concert, I mentioned that their next concert would be with the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band (The Spitfires). Ruby Barefoot commented that he would add the date to his diary. Well, Ruby, I hope you managed to get tickets because this was a concert not to be missed. [Read more…] about Thornden Community Wind Band and The Spitfires in Concert
My post last week was the first part of my interview with Martin Kryle, former local Liberal Democrat councillor and published author. His book Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, edited by Barbara Large , is now out.
Reviews are crucial for all writers and one for this book reads:- [Read more…] about Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway – Part 2: Martin Kyrle interview
A cyber launch is basically a Facebook online party celebrating the publication of your book and promoting it. There are usually quizzes with prizes, giveaways, special offers and so on. The only requirement is to be logged on to Facebook at the time of the event. [Read more…] about What is a Cyber Launch? by Allison Symes
Last Friday I watched three short comedy performances at the Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church performed by the MDG Players and their friends from Romsey. Unlike the previous performances I’ve seen, this was a variety of plays with different characters and plots, with different styles of comedy. [Read more…] about Review: An Evening of Entertainment with Chandler’s Ford MDG Players and Friends from Romsey
Martin Kyrle, one of the authors of Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, is best known locally as a former Liberal Democrat Councillor. He served on the Chandler’s Ford committee for 50 years. He wrote his new book based on notes he kept as he travelled and long term friend, Michael Roberts, took the photographs. [Read more…] about The Trans-Siberian Railway: Martin Kyrle and Michael Roberts
The United Kingdom is a fusion of four old countries that have fought wars together and with others. It has had kings, princes, invaders, usurpers, pretenders, bishops, priests and parliamentarians who have fought among themselves. Going back into archaeological time and pre-history and even in legend there have been conflicts of people and ideas of which we know little. No wonder that the country is littered with old castles, battlefields, abbeys, forts and earthworks. [Read more…] about Ruins, what to Do with ’em?