This is my look back at the recent Hursley Park Book Fair. Many thanks to Glenn Salter (aka author Simon Fairfax) for organising the Fair. So much hard work (and generally unseen at that) goes on behind the scenes to make these events happen. For an inaugural event, I thought the Fair worked well but more on that shortly…
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
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.
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)
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
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
It doesn’t matter what your “artistic bent” is but creativity is good for physical and mental health. There is, of course, the joy of creating something that has not existed before (whether it is a story, a new garden plot, a piece of music, a cake or a painting or what have you), and there is the enjoyment of getting to that finishing point.
Better still is the joy of going on to create another piece of work and going through the whole process again. Then comes the satisfaction of watching your work improve as you gain more experience. [Read more…] about Creativity is Good for You
Fiction is a strange beast. Fiction writers make up new worlds (see science fiction and fantasy) or write alternative histories to those produced by our own. (Many a thriller, including Robert Harris’s Fatherland is based on the “what if we’d lost WW2?” theme).
We make up characters and those of us who write fantasy, as I do, bring in magical elements but what do all of these things have in common? There is at least a grain of truth behind each and every one of them. Readers pick up on that. [Read more…] about Facts and Fiction
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
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
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
Image Credit: All images kindly supplied by Anne Wan.
This is a slightly strange post from me as I’d hoped to go to Anne Wan’s recent book launch in Southampton but was, unfortunately, able to do so in the end.
However, I share my thoughts below on what a book launch means to an author and the work involved behind the scenes. I then hand over to Anne for her report on her special night.
[Read more…] about Book Launch Report: Anne Wan at Waterstones, West Quay
It is one of those oddities where writers, so often renowned for leading a solitary life chained to their desks scribbling away for all their worth, also know they have to “put themselves out there” and spread the word about their writing. Well they do if they want any sales!
Some writers take to the spreading the word idea readily and get right into the spirit of things by taking along props. I know a crime writer who takes a noose to her events – and you should see what is on her tablecloth. Let’s just say it wouldn’t pass the old Daz advert for being “whiter than white”! [Read more…] about Writers Getting Out and About: Book Fair 2017