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…
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
Gill talked about why she wrote this book (it is based on her late mother-in-law’s life) and shared the difficulties in bringing it to publication. In Part 2, Gill shares what she feels are the joys and woes of writing historical fiction, gives useful advice to those new to this genre, and reveals what happened as a result of the book. This includes the development of material for use in schools. Now over to Gill…
[Read more…] about The Joys and Woes of Writing Historical Fiction – Part 2 of Gill James Interview
Gill James is a prolific writer and publisher. As well as running Bridge House Publishing, Chapeltown Books and Cafelit (along with Debz Hobbs-Wyatt), Gill has written dozens of books ranging from science fiction (The Tower Trilogy) to historical fiction (The House on Schellberg Street). She has also been a university lecturer in creative writing. [Read more…] about Writing Historical Fiction – Interview with Gill James Part 1
Given publishing is a tough business and it is the hardest it has ever been for a writer to find a publisher and/or agent, why on earth would writers want to form groups? Surely they should focus on their own books?
Ironically, it is because the world of publishing is so tough, that writers forming co-operatives is (a) becoming more common and (b) a fantastically sensible thing to do. [Read more…] about Writer Co-operatives
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
My post last week was all about Classic Books but the problem with this topic is it will be inevitably biased towards fiction. Tonight’s post will redress the balance.
I look at why reading non-fiction widely is vital for fiction writers (as well as being a great thing to do given it widens your reading “diet” and general knowledge). [Read more…] about Fiction -v- Non-Fiction? No Contest!
Name a classic book from any genre, any period, any author. I’m willing to bet certain names and stories cropped up in your thoughts immediately. If there was an all-time list, entries would include Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, Bronte, and Hardy. I’d be surprised if many, if not all of these authors, were not on your bookshelves somewhere. [Read more…] about What Makes a Classic Book