Time away from usual routines is a necessity. Whether it is for holidays, taking time out to go for a really good walk with the dog, time to think, to take a metaphorical deep breath and refresh your batteries, is vital.
How do you decide something is a good story? Do you judge that by the genre or by the quality of the characters?
For me, the latter is by far the most important criterion. Really good characters stay with you long after you’ve finished reading or listening to the story.
I conclude with contributions from Bridge House Publishing/Cafelit colleagues, discover what two fine Scottish crime writers would save if push came to shove (that’s an apt expression given what they write!), and will finally answer the questions myself. [Read more…] about What Books Mean To Me – Part 3
Any writer will say to write well, you must read well (and widely). Every writer I know is as happy to talk about the latest great book they’ve read as well as what they’re working on. Why would you write if you didn’t love books and stories in the first place? There are two sides to this coin.
Image Credit: A big thanks to my guests for supplying photos. Unless otherwise stated, the book and library pictures come, as always, from those magnificent people at Pixabay.
I make no apology for the pun! Reading aloud is encouraged in youngsters to help them develop their vocabulary and rightly so but, unless you are a performance poet or oral storyteller, this habit is forgotten in adulthood. I think this is a shame. I find it is a real treat to be read to and it makes a lovely connection to the old oral storytelling tradition too. [Read more…] about Reading Aloud Allowed (and Local Author News: Allison Symes)
Can someone ever define what a good book is given everyone has different tastes in genre? I think so. [Read more…] about What Do You Look For In A Good Book?
Why is the weather always a topic of conversation in Britain? I think this is due to:-
1. We have such a variety of weather (and often in the space of one day), it simply has to be talked about. I’ve experienced a wide range of weather in the space of an hour especially when I’ve been in Scotland. They’re hardy souls there for a reason! [Read more…] about The Weather and Its Uses in Fiction
It is a pleasure to welcome back Anne Wan to Chandler’s Ford Today and also to welcome her illustrator for her latest book, Manners Fit for the Queen, Sally Goodden. [Read more…] about Picture Books and Other Hooks: Interview with Sally Goodden and Anne Wan
THE QUEEN, CHANDLER’S FORD LIBRARY, ANNE WAN, AND SALLY GOODDEN
What do the above have in common?
They will be appearing in Chandler’s Ford Library on Saturday, 2nd February 2019 between 10.30 am and 12 noon.
Hang on… let’s revise that a moment. [Read more…] about BOOK EVENT NEWS: Anne Wan / Sally Goodden – Chandler’s Ford Library
One of the things I love about this time of year is that it is a wonderful time for stories. The weather’s cold and grim, it can be getting dark by 3.30 pm (which I find depressing), there’s not much on TV, so what could be better than keeping cosy and warm while reading a good book?
Naturally the publishers try to tap into this. It is with very good reason the Christmas book market is a major “pay day” for publishers and long may that continue. Book sales now should help fund the discovery of other writers and fabulous books later. [Read more…] about Christmas Stories – Allison Symes
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