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
I love books. No surprises there. It would be an odd kind of writer who didn’t love books. My problem? The age old one of the bibliophile – where do you put them all?
My answer is to every so often have a clear out and take books I no longer require to a charity shop such as Marie Curie at Fryern.
This is where I love the Kindle. No clear out really ever necessary and it is so easy to transport 10, 20, 100 books on it! Still, some things don’t change regardless of technology. You can still only read one book at a time! [Read more…] about Collecting Books
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
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
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…’
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
I write mystery novels set in and around Winchester – and sometimes even in Chandler’s Ford!
Chandler’s Ford has been home since 1981 when we moved here from Surrey for my husband’s new job. I come originally from Poole and my husband comes from Oxfordshire. When we moved here our son was twelve and went to Thornden, followed in due course by his sisters: our elder daughter who was ten when we moved here and went into the top year at Hiltingbury Juniors, and the younger one, who was five, who started school at Hiltingbury Infants. [Read more…] about Introducing Myself – Nicola Slade
Michael Ondaatje writes a good story and some fine poetry. I have enjoyed his ‘Cat’s Table’ and ‘Running in the Family’. ‘The English Patient’ is his best known work.
I had been reading ‘Running in the Family’ about Michael’s early life in Kegalle, Sri Lanka. Michael Ondaatje left Sri Lanka at the age of 11 in 1954 and after a few years in England he moved to Canada in 1962 where he is a respected literary figure. The Ondaatje family had a coconut estate in Kegalle called Rock Hill where Michael spent his childhood. [Read more…] about Michael Ondaatje – Author
I had the great joy of meeting Barbara Large at the Winchester Writing Conference (as it was known) many moons ago. Now known as the Winchester Writers’ Festival, this three day writing event was started by Barbara in 1980. She led the conference until 2013.
Barbara is as busy as ever and runs workshops. [Read more…] about The Writing Life – Barbara Large, Part 1
Just a quick reminder that Barbara Large’s new creative writing workshops start later this month at The Dovetail Centre.
Further details below. [Read more…] about Reminder: Creative Writing Classes at The Dovetail Centre
It was a wonderful production. [Read more…] about Timeless Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Thornden Hall
The book of Kells is an illuminated book of the gospels written in Latin by monks from the Columban Abbey of Kells, a place north of Dublin. Some of the folios were scribed in Lindisfarne and Iona. The book was probably completed about 800 AD and kept in Kells until the Abbey was dissolved in the 12th century. Now it resides in Trinity College, Dublin.
I saw it there while attending a conference about publishing. We complained, as all authors do, about the difficulties of publishing. The modern author has life easy compared with the difficulties of publishing 1200 years ago
Barbara Large will be running creative writing classes at the Dovetail Centre in Chandler’s Ford from 21st September 2016.
This is great news for any writer who is looking for the mutual support creative writing classes can give and who want to develop their skills. [Read more…] about Barbara Large: NEW Creative Writing Classes in Chandler’s Ford
Further to my interview with Jacci Gooding last week which focused on her adventures in self publishing, this post now looks at Jacci’s writing life.
She also reveals what she looks for in a good story as she prepares to launch her own short story collection, A Collection of Unsettling Short Stories. The anthology will be available as an ebook, as a paperback and in audio formats. [Read more…] about Interview: Jacci Gooding – The Writing Life
One of the things I love about writing for Chandler’s Ford Today has been the chance to interview fellow authors, to share news from the publishing world and so on.
Today I talk to Jacci Gooding, who I met at the Winchester Writers’ Festival. As well as learning a great deal from talks at conferences like this one, the other big joy has been making friends with other writers and knowing you are not alone out there. Mike Sedgwick touched on this theme recently with his post about the Secret Lives of Chandler’s Ford anthology. [Read more…] about Interview: Jacci Gooding – Adventures in Self Publishing
World Book Night is on 23rd April each year, this being the date of William Shakespeare’s birth and his death.
World Book Night also links to the day of the death of Cervantes (author of Don Quixote), Spain’s literary hero, St. George’s Day and UNESCO’s Day of the Book (which I think is a fantastic title). [Read more…] about World Book Night 2016 and the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare
The natural follow up to my recent post about favourite forms of writing is about my favourite forms of reading in all its forms – non-fiction, fiction, poetry, books, magazines, e-books, newspapers.
It also takes a brief look at reading habits given it is not just a question of print media any more for sources of reading material. [Read more…] about How Have Your Reading Habits Changed?
What are your favourite forms of writing? Fiction? Non-fiction? Poetry?
Do you ever think when you pick up a pen or put fingers to keyboard we are all following a tradition going back thousands of years? Or appreciate how important writing, in all its forms, is for cultural reasons? Or how dangerous writing can be? [Read more…] about Writing, Blogging, Social Media…What’s Your Favourite Forms of Writing?
I love the word serendipity. It has a lovely meaning and a great sound.
This post, I think, can be thought of as being a case of serendipity.
I was planning a post about the joy of libraries for some time and then read Mike’s wonderful article from Sri Lanka about renovating the school library, which confirmed to me I should go ahead with this now. [Read more…] about Sharing the Joy of Libraries
In the days before Google, people used to call their librarians with questions.
“What kind of an apple did Eve eat?”
“Why do 18th century English paintings have so many squirrels in them, and how did they tame them so that they wouldn’t bite the painter?” [Read more…] about Hampshire Library Consultation: Have your Say