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
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)
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
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