I’m a great believer in Murphy’s Law. “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Why? Because humans have such a wonderful creative capacity and, simultaneously, an equally wonderful capacity to muck things up. (It’s just wonderful in a different direction, that’s all!).
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
On the face of it, times have not been good recently at Fryern. Grovers the Butchers has closed as has our branch of the Nat West. I’m always sorry to see an independent firm go, some history goes with them I feel, but, to my mind, the bank branch closure is a stupid decision. It’s not as if the bank wasn’t busy! [Read more…] about Keeping it Local – Community and Writers
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
Meet the Authors at Hiltingbury Extravaganza
Don’t forget the Hiltingbury Extravaganza is this Sunday, 17th September from 12 noon to 5 pm. Let’s hope for good weather and that all who go along to the Recreation Ground for this lively event have a wonderful time! [Read more…] about Writers at Hiltingbury Extravaganza 2017
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
Image Credit: Many thanks to Janet Williams for taking the signing photos at the railway station. Like many women, I can multi task but there is a limit and even I couldn’t take a picture of myself signing a book!
Many thanks to all who came to my book signing at our lovely railway station on Saturday 8th July. Particular thanks go to Mark Miller and Nick Farthing of the Three Rivers Rail Community Partnership, Hilary Stone for “manning” the drinks and snacks bar, Janet Williams, Richard Hardie and Daniel Symes.
[Read more…] about Why have Book Signings? Report from the Station – Allison Symes
My post last week was the first part of my interview with Martin Kryle, former local Liberal Democrat councillor and published author. His book Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, edited by Barbara Large , is now out.
Reviews are crucial for all writers and one for this book reads:- [Read more…] about Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway – Part 2: Martin Kyrle interview
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 love interviewing authors and reading interviews in publications like Writing Magazine. There is always something to learn from how other writers work.
One interesting comment about my recent joy of radio post came from Chippy when he discussed Desert Island Discs and felt it was a good show because it wasn’t just about people plugging things. The best interviews are those that encourage the interviewee to reveal more about what motivates them. [Read more…] about The Joy of Interviews by Allison Symes
I love Christmas, most of it anyway. I would love to see more goodwill being shown by the Christmas shopping crowds as we all try to buy presents and so on but that’s another story.
Being a Christian, the Christmas story and services have special resonance of course, though I know all would welcome the idea of goodwill to all men being practised by ourselves at all times of year (despite mankind failing on this count miserably so often, just look at the news for the proof, but the goodwill idea is a sound one and we shouldn’t give up on it. I don’t think it’s been given a long enough trial period!). [Read more…] about What I Like (and Dislike) about Christmas
Once upon a time almost every child found an annual under the tree or in their stocking and I have one given to me when I was about seven – The Christmas Stocking.
We carried on this tradition with our children who always opened their annuals at bedtime on Christmas Eve so they had something to keep them happy until morning. I always hoped they’d lie in bed and read instead of getting up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, but it didn’t work!
[Read more…] about Christmas Books and Local Settings
Christmas is, for authors and publishers, the most important time of the year for selling books and is a major lifeline for our bookshops.
With so few independent bookshops around now, it is nice to be able to share news of one that is not only continuing to do well but is also stocking local author Richard Hardie’s Young Adult novels, Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords.
[Read more…] about Local Author News: Richard Hardie
I regularly attend the Winchester Writers’ Festival, which was originally the Winchester Writing Conference started by Barbara Large, MBE.
I am glad to say I will be interviewing Barbara soon. Her help and encouragement to so many writers over the years, including me, has been phenomenal and much appreciated. [Read more…] about What Makes a Good Writing Conference?
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
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
Sandra Gordon, near neighbour and local poet, has recently performed some of her poetry at the New Forest Folk Festival as part of the Lines and Squares Poets.
She has also received the exciting news her work will be published in The North magazine in July. [Read more…] about The Poetic Life: Interview with Sandra Gordon, Part 1
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