Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Woke up this morning to the news that the anthology I am included in, will be available in August. In the words of Pop Larkin - 'Perfick.' Also, a note to say my cheque is on it's way. I've sent my children's fiction story to the Naomi House Children's Fiction Competition, it's nice knowing my entry fee is going to charity. Sent my signed contract and a long list of revisions back to the educational publishers. Sadly, it is unlikely I will get any writing done today, I really must do some cleaning. But I am hoping to meet a fellow writer for lunch and to hand over her Birthday card.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Guest blog from the awe - inspiring William George Sutton.
The premise of your latest work
Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square:
A new constable is summoned to Euston Square where a hydraulic crane has burst: a man lies dead, but it’s only a tramp, and nobody seems to care.
1860. They’re building the first Underground line. Sounds normal now, was mind-boggling then. Simultaneously they’re building the sewers that transform London from a stinking morass into today’s city.
But if you were one of those dispossessed by the march of all this progress, how would you feel about the gleaming banquet at Farringdon Station scheduled for opening day? Mightn’t you wish the odd prince to choke on his Chablis?
What led you to write?
Is there a key person or group that has inspired you in the process of writing?
I got immense help from Jason Bermingham in São Paulo. We used to sing in pubs. (Jonny Cash and the Beatles: “You’re so exotic,” they said, which just shows that exotic is a relative term.) Jason’s a writer and has a brilliant ear for language. Invaluable advice; great writing companionship.
These days I get a lot from performing with friends through the ReAuthoring project. They’ve sent me to write in fields, shout on poop decks, play in restaurants and act weird in libraries. After that, sitting at home writing ain’t so hard any more.
How do you envision your work will impact your readers?
They will hear choirs of angels singing the square root of minus one and be elevated to a higher plane of being.
What was the overall message you wanted to convey to your audience?
I wanted to tell a story about love and loyalty. If someone you admired was doing something you couldn’t accept, how far can you be loyal? If they wanted to shock the world out of its lethargy with a violent act…
What process did you go through to build the narrative of your book?
I tried to pull apart several novels I admired. Not just old ones (the Moonstone, Great Expectations, Heart of Darkness), but recent ones too (Iain Banks’ Complicity, Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Paul Auster’s Leviathan). To look at the characters and how that emotional network drives the action.
I wrote a massive detailed synopsis, frustrating when you just want to write the book, but it proved crucial. Having the shape of the narrative took the pressure off and allowed me to have more fun.
Can you describe the pivotal event that led you to write your book ?
I was living in Brazil. My landlady was an Anglo-Brazilian lady fallen on hard times: hence the dodgy lodgers, and she only had the maid in occasionally. One day the maid didn’t turn up, but her daughter came in instead. I asked why. The maid had been killed in a car crash, my landlady told me. I didn’t speak Portuguese well and I asked how to say I was sorry to her daughter. My landlady told me, but frowned and added, “But really you don’t need to. These people, they don’t feel these things so much.”
Are there any tips you can share on what parents can do to foster the love of reading and books?
Read books. Enjoy books. Put down your phone. Read books you enjoy. Don’t lecture about it.
What aspect of life do you want your readers to know about?
Describe the role books played in your own life.
Large, loud, looming, lovely, lolloping, lubricious, grounding, groovy, gratifying, goggly, googly, giggly, grand.
Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square
William Sutton is a writer, musician and Latin teacher who lives in Southsea.
“Genuinely funny.” Michael Gardiner Scotland on Sunday
“Thoroughly enjoyable.” Allan Massie The Scotsman
"First-rate Victorian crime fiction." The Herald
Monday, July 22, 2013
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013
Sunday, July 14, 2013
I was thrilled yesterday when my Facebook friend and author, Shirley Goldencalmly walked into my writing group - The Writers at Lovedean. It was great to meet her in person. I have read and admired Shirley's work but it was very different to hear her read aloud.Shirley GoldenI’ve had around seventy short stories accepted for publication in various places, in print and online, including, 'Dream Catcher' and 'The Yellow Room'. My work has appeared in anthologies, some of which are listed below. Further stories are posted on '1,000WORDS' and 'The View From Here' or can be downloaded to mobile devices from 'Ether Books'. I was delighted to win the Exeter Writers Short Story Competition, 2013.What the Dickens? Magazine Collection - eBook anthology, 2013Blood Ink: Crime Unleashed - Chapter One Promotions, 2012Fear: A Modern Day Anthology of Horror and Terror: Vol 1 - Crooked Cat, 2012Voices of Angels: An Anthology - Bridge House Publishing, 2011Ways of Falling - Earlyworks Press, 2011Can you share the premise of your latest project?I'm currently working on a fantasy novel, which starts when a professor discovers a way of adapting cells to be more resilient to diseases, but in the process, creates vampire-like side effects. It will delve more deeply into vampires and their mythology as the novel progresses but I only have a vague notion of where I'm heading with it at the moment. Also, I always have short stories and flash-fictions on the go. A recent short story I wrote deals with the fears of fatherhood but it is only in its initial drafts.In particular, what led you to write?Ah, voices in my head! Since childhood, I always had a dialogue of sorts running through my mind, creating scenarios and characters.
Is there a key person or group that has inspired you in the process of writing?One person who has been important in terms of helping me to shape my work is a writing tutor. She is a poet and playwright and taught me the value of using economical language.
How do you envision your work will impact your readers?I guess different stories will have different impacts. In general, I hope I'm able to move people, or create tension and fear if that's the aim; ultimately, I hope to entertain in some way.
As you embarked on writing your book, what was the overall message you wanted to convey to your audience?I'm not sure I have an overall message. It's more about taking a character on their journey and seeing how they respond to different scenarios or if they change.
What process did you go through to build the narrative of your book?It often starts with a single idea and then the characters begin to emerge. I'll jot down a rough outline in terms of the story, but I'll begin writing without a definite plan. If the story flows, things happen that I don't necessarily anticipate, which is a great feeling.In every author’s experience, there is often a pivotal event that results in the creative process. Can you describe the pivotal event that led you to write your book ?I don't know about a pivotal event as such because, as I said, the urge to write has always been there. I suppose having more time ultimately led me to complete a novel; before this, I regarded it as a hobby.Are there any tips you can share on what parents can do to foster the love of reading and books?Perhaps rather obvious ones, but to be led by the child's interests in terms of story selection, and I think reading to them from a young age can instil a love of stories.Describe the role books played in your own life.My sanctuary! Where I go to get away from the day-to-day, which is probably why my preferred genres are fantasy/surreal, sci-fi and historical fiction.Website: www.shirleygolden.netAmazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shirley-Golden/e/B006DXIKX2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_2Twitter: https://twitter.com/shirl1001
Friday, July 12, 2013
I am honoured that fellow writer Sue Hampton is my Saturday guest blogger. I first met Sue when she visited The Writers at Lovedean. She is a lovely lady and a talented writer.
I write for 6 – 16 year olds but also have an adult novel, ARIA, available as an e-book and audiobook and inspired by Jane Austen but set in present-day Florence. I have sixteen novels published by Pegasus. As a full-time author I spend some of my time visiting schools to lead writing workshops.
I was a teacher who wrote poems, school plays and paragraphs to use in class to illustrate writing techniques. I’d always wanted to be an author but worked an eighty hour week. Then I wrote THE WATERHOUSE GIRL one summer, drawing on my own experience of alopecia but adapting from life. My character isn’t me.
I’d made contact with Michael Morpurgo just to tell him I‘d felt the power of his stories in the classroom and his kind reply encouraged me to approach him again and ask him to read my manuscript. I thought my life was about to change when he rang to tell me he loved it, it was beautifully written and had moved him, and he’d put it into the hands of his editor at Harper Collins,recommending it. Months later Harper Collins rejected me, even though the editor concerned sent me a handwritten letter in which she agreed with Michael that it was beautifully written. It was all about the market – and eleven or twelve years later, it still is, more than ever before.
After my dad, who was a poet and playwright who never achieved recognition, Michael was my inspiration because his stories matter. They’re not froth. They strike deep and are powerfully emotional. I write because I love words; novels and characters that become real to us enrich our experience of life. Stories make us bigger people. I don’t write for the commercial market which would restrict me and expect me to follow trends. I’m interested in timeless themes rather than bandwagons.
So when I wrote POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCES, my seventeenth novel, published by Pneuma Springs, I used Royal Wedding Day as a one-off setting for changes in the lives of my young Londoners – including the big ones, love and death. It’s a YA novella, with adult characters around the sixteen-year-olds, and all the action takes place over twelve hours, which is a challenge I’ve had in mind since reading Mrs Dalloway! Once I’d found my characters, it grew quickly and they took control as they always do, but a little plotting proved necessary when it came to the circumstances in the title.
I still re-read my heroes: George Eliot, Dickens, Tolstoy. I admire Carole Shields, Anne Tyler and Siobhan Dowd (who died tragically after four children’s novels). Writing is very much a full-time job, even though it doesn’t make me a living, and it’s a privilege.
You can buy a copy of Sue's new book at...