Showing posts from November, 2012

Guest Post - John Paul Catton

The Voice of the Sword is heard in our land …   When I started pitching Voice of the Sword , I rather naively assumed mainstream agents and publishers would be interested in something new. This was a YA Urban Fantasy trilogy, I said, that had a fresh perspective; events and characters and inspired from Japanese mythology – a pantheon little-used in western fiction.   Unfortunately, I was entering a market where most agents wanted to hear about teenage girls swooning over pale and impossibly beautiful vampires. They had no interest in bizarre creatures such as the Tengu, the Kappa and the Yuki-Onna. I even had one email from an agent who said she knew nothing about Japanese mythology, so she couldn’t have “any confidence that she would love my work”. I rather thought that was the whole point. Isn’t that why we read books? To learn something new?     March 11 th , 2011 changed everything. I an a British teacher of literature working in an international school in Tokyo,

Food for thought at the Festival Of Romance by Hywela Lyn

The second Festival of Romance was held on the weekend of the 15th - 18th November in Bedford, a new venue this year, and a slightly different programme. The Book Fair is meant to promote the romance genre, and most of the authors present publish in both paperback and eFormat. I stayed at the Park Hotel, overlooking the River Ouse, and shared a room with Sarah Tranter, whose debut novel 'No Such Thing As Immortality' has just been published in E-format as well as paperback. It's always a delight to meet up with authors whom one has previously only met on-line, although we had met briefly the previous year.           I did not attend the ball on the Friday night, although I hear a great evening was had by those who did.   Most of the events took place on the Saturday, including a book fair in the corn Exchange.The place was humming with authors busy laying out their tables and it was great to see famliar as well as new faces.  I invested in some chocolates

Grey Wet November blog

It's a biliously grey November day, rain falling softly all morning (tolerable) and then working itself up to an undramatically dreary all-afternoon downpour - yellowish-grey sky with no hope on the horizon. It was during weather like this that I began work, many years ago, on TO SUMMON A SPIRIT - wading past soggy leaves drained of their Autumn colours, and watching the kids from the nearby secondary school waiting, in a damp and morose huddle, outside the newsagent's shop to buy their after-school treats ( only one customer at a time please... ) As in Pauline Fisk's recent fascinating blog on AuthorsElectric about her Young Adult novel 'TELLING THE SEA', weather and the landscape are great incubators of stories. Pauline's comments on re-publishing her previously published and well-reviewed novel were interesting, too, because we writers never really let go of our work - we're always polishing and improving, even after we're 'out there', which

Authors as "Wraith-like Creatures - Andrew Crofts

On a recent Guardian blog the literary commentator, Robert McCrum, analysed some of the "genres" in the book publishing market. One of the genres he identified was "Ghost Lit". "A surprising number of successful books," he wrote, "(bestselling memoirs especially) are written by ghost writers. But there are also ghosted novels, too. By definition these wraith-like creatures have no names and are known only to their fellow spooks – and the publishers who depend on them." It then occurred to me that “wraith-like creatures”, pretty well sums up the whole experience of being an author. Sitting in a Soho editing suite a couple of weeks ago, watching the rushes from the filming of my novel “The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride”, (freely available on  and soon to be Kindled by its original publisher), I was struck first by the changes which the scriptwriters had made to the original story in order to make it work as an episodi

Electric Authors of the Future: Who or What Will be Writing Novels in 2112? By Rosalie Warren

  I'm currently enjoying my first foray into writing science fiction for adults. A s I try to imagine what life will be like a hundred years from now , along with some of the wonderful things that computers m ight be able to do by then, I can't help wondering... who will be the writers of 2112? I' d like to think that people not so very different from ourselves will still be wrestling with characters, plots and dialogue. But I have a strong suspicion that we may have a bit of competition by that time - from electric authors of a different kind. Never, never, never, I hear some of you cry. A computer or a robot will never be able to produce anything that stands up a s a work of literature. At best, a parody, perhaps. S omething written to a formula, contr o lled by strict parameters. Fan fiction? But never, never, anything that might considered original or (heav e n forbid) win a major literary prize. Of course, there could be a market for the type of