Showing posts from June, 2019

From India to Iceland - guest post by Jonaki Ray

“You have exactly one minute to catch the bus!” the woman at the airport told me. “Is there enough time?”, I asked, alarmed. “Oh yes, it’s just outside. Go out and towards the left.” I crammed my wool cap on my head, put on my jacket, and ran outside with my luggage cart. Outside, a parking lot filled with cars, three people smoking in a group, and a few buses could be seen. But, I couldn’t see my bus and within seconds, the icy wind made my eyes water and my glove-less hands tingle. As I circled around the parking lot, my anxiety took over, aggravated by the cold. What if I don’t find the bus? What will I do? I didn’t have enough spare cash…what if the bus leaves me behind? I had just landed at Reykjavik and had pre-booked a bus to pick me up at the airport and drop me off at the hotel, which was about 45 minutes away, through an online website. Fortunately, the bus was waiting, and when I finally figured out that “left” meant the left side of a road outside the parking l

The Present is Another Country: N M Browne

Being a bit sixth century... I have been thinking a lot about age recently. Not because I am old, you understand, or at least not exactly. I’ve been thinking about the impact age has on language and experience and how much that matters when developing a character on the page.   Everyone comes from somewhere; a place, a time, a set of values and part of being a writer is, I think, developing an awareness of that. We can learn to speak in other voices, but only after we have first recognised the implicit bias of our own. I don’t think that bias is a problem by the way, it is part of an author’s voice, but, if we want to change that voice to convey a different set of experiences and attitudes it takes effort, research and careful observation: it is really tricky – two words which in themselves date me and my voice to a very particular twentieth century middle class milieu.   These days the gap between me and my would be YA readers is almost a chasm. I live on the anal


The other day, looking down from an upstairs window at my North London street, I noticed a lush green tree with huge scarlet blossoms - how could I possibly have not seen it before, and whatever was it? And right now, in my garden, there's a shimmering turquoise veil over part of my fence, almost iridescent. A stage magician pulls a flock of doves out of a top hat, and they fly away - it has to be magic, but we know it isn't. We want it to be magic, though, and once there's an explanation, what we've seen is somehow spoilt, however clever. We feel cheated. My exotic tree in which I totally believed for a few moments was an ordinary London plane seen against a scarlet car, scarlet and green being complementary colours, the combination of which produced the dazzling 'blossoms'. The shimmering veil on my fence was old, green netting catching the sunlight against deep shadow. A few years ago, someone wrote a book about the proliferation of magical 'healers'

Launching a New Book by Andrew Crofts

Well that was fun. Publication Day for “What Lies Around Us” started with a spot on BBC Breakfast. I usually find television studios a bit daunting but this one, consisting of two people chatting on a sofa, watched by one distracted looking cameraman, was totally chilled. It was my first visit to “ Media City ” in Salford , which is a little on the bleak side but in fairness I only really crossed a square from the Holiday Inn to the BBC’s front door. Female First , an on-line magazine then published an article by me on “Ten Things you didn’t know about ghostwriting”, with a big plug for the book, and reviews started to come in on a succession of book blogs. I have written before about how much I like the idea of book bloggers and the fantastic reviews I received this time have reaffirmed my enthusiasm. They have furnished me with an abundance of boastful quotes which I can splash all over my website, and any other flat surface I can find.  There was only one

This may be my last AE post | Dipika Mukherjee

I will be writing a fortnightly column for The Edge, Malaysia, from July 2019 is onwards. Loosely structured as literary postcards from everywhere, this opportunity will allow me to address my readers in a country I write about most frequently, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  The Edge published two of my articles earlier this year, including one about a residency at Rimbun Dahan which became a cover story . So I have tested the waters ... and it feels warm and welcoming!  This is a Malaysian newspaper that I have a lot of respect for as it stood up to government bullying during a politically fraught time; it is the newspaper that appeared with a black cover page to protest censorship, and features in my short story, Doppelgänger , in 2015. I have been writing for Authors Electric since October 2016... almost three years! I was invited to join by Umberto Tosi, and my first article was about my brother's accident . This post felt cathartic and vulnerable in a way