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
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
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
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.
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
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by Allison Symes.
A group of regional writers took part in the Winchester Discovery Centre’s 10th anniversary celebrations on Saturday 25th November. [Read more…] about Winchester Discovery Centre – 10th Anniversary Celebrations
Image Credit: Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by Allison Symes
Book events can be like buses. None for ages, then two at once! This week’s post is about Richard Hardie’s book signing and reading event at Eastleigh Library last Saturday, 14th October. I was able to get to this event and was promptly enrolled into Richard’s Temporal Detective Agency as a result but more on that later. [Read more…] about Book Signing Report: Richard Hardie and Eastleigh Library
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
I interviewed Anne Wan, local children’s author, earlier in the year and discussed with her the joys and woes of writing children’s fiction.
As I mentioned in my piece on Why Children’s Fiction Matters, all writers of adult fiction, including me, owe children’s writers a huge debt.
Nobody just “comes into” reading. There is nearly always a lifelong love of reading which has been encouraged and nurtured, but to have that, there must be the great children’s books that have rightly gone down as classics in their own right. [Read more…] about Anne Wan: Book Launch – Friday 29th September 2017
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
Sshh – do you want to know a secret about Chandlers Ford? You may not be aware that last year, we were thrilled and proud to publish a collection of short stories called “Secret Lives of Chandlers Ford” . Together with my writing chums, Maggie, Catherine and Sally, we spent a year researching, writing and publishing our first anthology of short stories: “Secret Lives of Chandlers Ford”. We wanted to write stories that were locally set and derived from the happenings and history of this lovely area. We also wanted to reflect Chandlers Ford modern and diverse characteristics. [Read more…] about Sshhh – Do You Want to Know a Secret about Chandlers Ford?
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
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…’
I am thrilled to announce my debut flash fiction collection, From Light to Dark and Back Again, has now been published by Chapeltown Books. It is available in paperback and in Kindle format via Amazon and, of course, directly from me but more on that later.
The stories range from 100 words tales to 500 words to 750 and there are one or two which just creep in as flash fiction, being just under the 1000 words limit. This is generally recognized as the cutting off point between flash and standard short story lengths. [Read more…] about Published – My Debut Flash Fiction Collection