Showing posts from June, 2013

The Word Smith and Me - Guest Post by Louise Hart

          If my life were a song, Morrissey would sing it.           When I sat before my chunky television set on Friday 4th November 1983, my life changed forever. For framed within a seemingly impenetrable screen, was a figure who reached into my narrow existential realm and told me that I was okay. When you are fifteen and believe yourself a freak, you long for affirmation. Morrissey arrived just in time to save me from isolation and reassure me of my uniqueness.           Like many lost souls of the Thatcher generation, I clung to the poet of pop, believing that his voice mirrored my own. When Morrissey sang I heard, not violins, but my own concerns and preoccupations reflected back to me, in the form of his song lyrics. I had fallen in love with words and I was never to recover.           Morrissey’s lyrics struck my ears like a synthesis of aural honey and acid; he spat out words with proletarian divinity and relieved himself, like a backstreet urchin, on the non-believers

Beacon Literary Festival by Hywela Lyn

 This year villages in the area where I live, in the lovely Chiltern countryside, laid on the first 'Beacon Literary Festival on Saturday 22nd January.  It was not the sunniest of days so it was just as well there was a lovely marquee awaiting both the authors and visitors.  There were several very heavy showers, but thankfully not enough to deter the visitors. There were several local authors present at the book signing table, and it was lovely to chat with them and with the visitors of course. To my surprise  I sold six books which made the day even more worthwhile. There were also two book panels, chaired by another local author, and member of the Chiltern Writers Group, to which I also belong, and there were some interesting and lively debates in response to some of the visitors' questions. There was a ghost story contest for local children which I was honoured to be asked to judge. Not an easy task except for the First Prize Winner whose story was so wel

On not being able to write, among other things... Enid Richemont

Back in March, before I suddenly took on the totally unwelcome, ugly, and unwished for status of widow, my head was full of ideas, plots, images. My first picture book: '...and Nobody Noticed the Mouse', was due to come out, with TopThat! in September, and a second: 'Quicker than a Princess', had been accepted for publication by the same publisher for some time in 2014. My only other picture book text had been 'DOUBLE DRAGONS', which was really part of an anthology, so I was delighted to have sold two stand-alone stories. Things felt good. Since David died, I have done no writing except for that single, previous May blog for Authors Electric, which was mostly devoted to him. This will be my second. Writing a monthly blog, I tell myself, is probably a healthy discipline. Whether I can continue doing it remains to be seen. I said no writing , but that's not entirely true. I have been writing letters to my man. This was David at Christmas, opening one o

A "White Glove" Service for Authors - Andrew Crofts

There have been rumblings recently of “mysterious and secret” deals being done between Amazon and some of the biggest and brightest literary agents. They are calling it their “White Glove” service, and from the point of view of authors whose agents love their books but are unable to persuade traditional publishers to take them on, it’s a brilliant innovation.           Last year I wrote a novel, Secrets of the Italian Gardener , set inside the palace of a dictator about to be overthrown in the Arab Spring. The narrator is a ghostwriter who, while inside the palace writing a book for the dictator, meets a wise, elderly Italian gardener who gradually unravels the story of who really holds the power and wealth in the world. He literally discovers "where the bodies are buried". As the rebels draw closer to breaching the palace walls the ghost is also struggling with his own breaking heart. I have spent much of my ghostwriting career amongst the dictators, politicians, arm

Performing one of my poems - just a bit of fun really.... by Rosalie Warren

Coventry Writers' Group, the wonderfully supportive and excellent writing group to which I belong, has just, for the second year running, put on a performance of our work as part of the Coventry Literature Festival. We performed at the Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon, Coventry, who very kindly hosted us and even made some of our costumes. We read and acted out a variety of short stories, short plays, poems, factual articles and timely advice from Coventry City Council on how to deal with a zombie invasion. And that was just the start! The photo below shows us in action at our dress rehearsal. Photo by Derek Medcraft My offering was a short and (I hope) humorous poem about the trials and tribulations of an aspiring writer who is rather premature in trying to sell her work. She is enthusiastic and slightly mad (so lots of acting needed there!) It has some slight relevance to what we Electric Authors are trying to do... so my apologies and please don't be offended, anyone. I

Eclectic Electric: A New Review Site

Writers read. Me, reading at home           Whenever you meet a writer, you can confidently predict that they read. A lot.           The reason they wanted to write in the first place is because they loved reading – it’s a sure bet. Take it for granted that they learned to write by reading avidly - reading anything and everything - classics, thrillers, comics, magazines, newspapers, romance, sci-fi, plays, poetry, satire. Sauce bottles, cereal packets, lists of ingredients. Instructions on how to operate machinery.           As with anyone who practices any craft, they develop a keen appreciation of its tools and techniques. A good cook, for instance, notices the way flavours are combined and quickly learns, from observation, exactly when to stop applying heat to a steak or fish. It’s an education  to attend an art show with an artist - sometimes they'll almost ignore the works, so keenly aware are they of the medium used, the size of the brushes, the way t