Can someone ever define what a good book is given everyone has different tastes in genre? I think so.
Regardless of what you write, no two writers have exactly the same journey (whether it is to publication or just to produce work they value for their own pleasure).
There are, of course, many elements in common, not least of which is the fact every writer goes through highs and lows as they try to make progress. We all have to work out how to deal with these. Yes, even the highs, because while they are wonderful, life as a whole is not one long continuous good news chain so why should the writing life be any different? [Read more…] about The Highs and Lows of the Writing Life
I’ve talked about my writing journey before but how about the reading one? Do you remember which book you first read by yourself or the one that was always read to you as a child because it was your favourite?
I can’t remember what was the first book I read myself though it wouldn’t surprise me if it was a picture book. Once you pick up a few words, going through a picture book to find those words for yourself because you can now read them, is special. This is yet another reason why a well produced picture book is important in a child’s reading development. They build confidence in reading and with that comes the wish to read other things. A child that lacks confidence in reading will be reluctant to try something they don’t already know. [Read more…] about Reading Journeys
THE QUEEN, CHANDLER’S FORD LIBRARY, ANNE WAN, AND SALLY GOODDEN
What do the above have in common?
They will be appearing in Chandler’s Ford Library on Saturday, 2nd February 2019 between 10.30 am and 12 noon.
Hang on… let’s revise that a moment. [Read more…] about BOOK EVENT NEWS: Anne Wan / Sally Goodden – Chandler’s Ford Library
Phil, a friend of ours from Sheffield, England, is over here in Perth, Western Australia at the moment visiting family … on Saturday, he visited us in Glen Forrest, as he has done for the past eight years.
On this occasion, he presented me with a copy of Barbara Hillier’s book, ‘CHANDLER’S FORD, A PICTORIAL HISTORY’ (1994 edition – Front Cover shows Fortune Court and a VERY blue sky) … Phil bought it via Amazon U/K from a bookshop in Reading, Berks … [Read more…] about A VERY L–O–N–G Shot from Australia
One of the things I love about this time of year is that it is a wonderful time for stories. The weather’s cold and grim, it can be getting dark by 3.30 pm (which I find depressing), there’s not much on TV, so what could be better than keeping cosy and warm while reading a good book?
Naturally the publishers try to tap into this. It is with very good reason the Christmas book market is a major “pay day” for publishers and long may that continue. Book sales now should help fund the discovery of other writers and fabulous books later. [Read more…] about Christmas Stories – Allison Symes
In this final section of my mini-series, Jennifer C Wilson, Val Penny, Anne Wan, Wendy H Jones, and Richard Hardie continue to share their thoughts on different aspects of writing the series novel. Tonight we look at how to ensure each novel can be read as a stand-alone book, specific things my guests love and loathe about writing series, and whether they know, ahead of time, how many books are going to be in their respective series. [Read more…] about The Joys and Challenges of Writing Series Novels Part 3
It was a great joy last week to introduce my fellow writers and contributors to this series which looks at the joys and challenges of series novels. Amongst tonight’s topics for Jennifer C Wilson, Val Penny, Anne Wan, Wendy H Jones, and Richard Hardie to tackle are the challenges of writing a series and what are the issues which arise in trying to promote a series. (Trust me it is challenging enough promoting a single book!). And as ever many thanks to all of my guests for supplying the author pictures and book cover shots. [Read more…] about The Joys and Challenges of Writing Series Novels – Part 2
The joy and challenge of writing flash fiction is creating a short story out of nothing, with a proper beginning, middle and end, to a tight word count.
The joy and challenge of creating a novel is conjuring up your own world out of nothing and having an enthralling story set there, which usually comes in at the 80,000 to 100,000 word mark. (So your story must be strong to literally go the distance). [Read more…] about The Joys and Challenges of Writing Series Novels – Part 1
The world of literature would be much poorer without its fantastic fiction and its realistic opposite (and I am including non-fiction in what I term reality writing). Both show worlds we can identify with in some way.
For example, in The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkein’s epic fantasy work the way Saruman attempted to destroy the natural world to make his weapons and build his power is a direct reflection of how things have been on our own planet time and time again. I needn’t name the dictators and while Tolkein always denied any comparison to the build up to World War Two, you can see why people made that link. An absolute evil had to be destroyed. An unlikely hero did so. (Who would have thought Britain would win the Battle of Britain? We weren’t supposed to!). [Read more…] about Fantastic -v- Reality Writing
Summer seems to have gone. According to the BBC, there’ll be rain for many parts tonight, torrential in places. Squally winds in the south. UK flood warnings have been issued.
This morning, however, I saw something heartwarming on my way to work.
Walking past Desborough Road in Eastleigh this morning, I stopped at a house, which has a mini free library in the front garden. [Read more…] about Little Free Library on Desborough Road in Eastleigh
Following on from last week’s post about the best and worst decisions made regarding writing, I thought I’d share here some of the most useful writing tips I’ve picked up on my writing journey to date. The great thing about making mistakes is, if sensible, you learn from them. It is true of life in general you learn what to do by getting it wrong first!
[Read more…] about Writing Tips
There are often best and worst lists – for example the 10 best jokes, the 10 worst ones. (Some make it on to both lists, which just goes to prove humour is subjective!). Then there are the best and worst cars, supermarkets, holiday destinations and so on. Almost anything can be listed if you try hard enough!
What can be a pain is not knowing what the best and worst options are at times – and this does go for writing and publishing too. When you are starting out as a writer, where do you go to for advice? [Read more…] about The Best and the Worst
I thought a lighthearted post would be appropriate as we head rapidly through August.
By the time this goes up, I will be on my way back from the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School, having had good opportunities to learn, meet old friends, make new ones, and come back buzzing with ideas and even more enthuasism for the projects I’ve got in mind over the next few months or so. [Read more…] about Books That Should Have Been Written – Allison Symes
By the time you read this, I should be on a train heading to the wilds of Derbyshire to enjoy my annual week at the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. [Read more…] about Getting Away From It All
Following on from last week’s opener to this two-part series on blogging, I continue to share thoughts on the topic from some of my fellow writers. [Read more…] about Why I Blog – Part 2
It’s funny how certain types of writing remain popular, even though the format in which they are presented may change over time. Keeping a diary was something I did when younger. These days I blog! Most of us who kept diaries had no thought of publication (just as well too, you would have had to have been incredibly lucky here). [Read more…] about Why I Blog
Don’t forget the inaugural Hursley Park Book Fair takes place this weekend.
Amongst the authors taking part are Richard Hardie and I. Two former interviewees of mine, Anne Wan and Felicity Fair Thompson, will also be at the event. [Read more…] about Reminder Post: Hursley Park Book Fair – 23rd and 24th June 2018
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