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Showing posts from August, 2019

How Do You Cope with the Business of Being a New Author ? #YouBeneathYourSkin

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I'm a new entrant to the Authors Electric group of writers/ bloggers. 

Not just that, I'm also new at this thing called authoring. 

My debut literary crime novel You Beneath Your Skinis due out on the 17th of September, 2019 with Simon & Schuster IN. As anyone who has done this can probably imagine, my life is all mayhem at the moment. So many uncertainties, to-do lists a mile long, everything running way behind schedule.


When I started writing more than a decade ago, I hadn’t a clue a writer’s life could be like this. Naively, I just wanted to tell stories, enjoy writing them, and maybe share with a few friends. Wanting to learn better, I went ahead and joined workshops, communities, took classes. My writing improved, I began to have stories published in anthologies and journals. Then I made a decision that changed my life. Writing a novel.

Again, as novelists know, it is an agony and an ecstasy, a marathon (unless you get one gargantuan lucky sprint) and a constant in your l…

Living narrative: N M Browne ( first published ABBA 2010)

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Do you live in narrative? Are you someone who always has a little voice in her head interpreting,describing, novelising your daily life?

If you have such a voice are you a) mad? b) possessed? or c) a novelist.

I now think the most usual answer is c) but as a child I did worry that it was a) or b). No one ever talked about it and, fearing that this endless descriptive flow was at worst mad and at best pretentiously self indulgent, I never raised the subject. I identified with Joe Marsh and Ann of Green Gables, and even most disturbingly with the ghastly girls of the Chalet School and as they apparently thought in well structured sentences so did I.

Later, when I was older, I became concerned that this measured ( third person) narrator’s voice mediated my experience, distanced me from living in the moment and prevented me from responding instinctively to people and situations. I am not sure that was true, but nonetheless ‘I resolved to give it up’ ( I am pretty sure of that because back th…

Iris Murdoch, Alzheimers and Picture Books, by Enid Richemont

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Many, many years ago, I was given this book by someone who knew I was a fan of Iris Murdoch's writing, which I once was. I remember being devastated by her diagnosis of Alzheimers from which she would eventually die.

Somehow, it seems, I never read this one, because glancing through it, nothing was at all familiar. From time to time, I prune my book collection, but very incompetently, so I thought I would check out this one, especially as it was a lazy, hot Bank Holiday.

My reactions to it were weird - it was like meeting someone I'd had a passionate affair with a very long time ago (this happened to me in real life, once, too, and it was a very uncomfortable experience as 1. age had not been kind to him, and 2. he had, astonishingly, considering his talent and intellect, become a born-again Christian on a rather pointless mission to save my soul.)

Back to Iris, though (the film based on her life, "Iris", was heartbreaking.) The knight reminded me that I was becoming a …

Discovering a Brand New Literary Masterpiece - Andrew Crofts

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Imagine for a moment that you have just written a literary masterpiece, but it does not fall easily into any particular genre. It can’t be filed under “crime” or “romance” or “erotica” or “thriller”, any more than Catcher in the Rye or Lord of the Flies can.

To make matters worseyou have no author “platform” from which to promote it and there are a trillion other books already out there, screaming for attention, the vast majority of them nowhere near to being in the same league.
For the book to be a success you are entirely reliant on people reading it and then telling other people how wonderful it is and that they should definitely read it too. But how do you get to those initial “influencers”? Even if you have an enthusiastic publisher who gets you lots of glowing reviews on Goodreads and in bookish blogs, will that be enough to kick start the process?
Probably what you need is one really great profile piece somewhere where there are lots of readers who actually like full length bo…

Ma on my Facebook Wall, in August

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Rituparna Roy 29 August 2014
My mother, the closet writer, has come out at last! 
At 70, she has published her first book of fiction in Bangla – “Mukh-Michhil” (A Procession of Faces). It is a collection of 45 short-shorts (or ‘Anu-golpo’, as they are called in Bangla). Initially inspired by the popular Bengali writer Banaphool’s ‘Natun Golpo’ in the late 1970s, she has been writing off and on in this genre ever since. 
Encouraged by her uncle, the well-known author Manoj Basu, Ma actually started writing in the 60s – when she studied and taught Bengali literature - but except for some sporadic submissions in magazines, didn’t publish till recently. She has never stopped writing, though. She is blessed with an inexhaustible fount of creativity: gathering dust in her desk-drawers are some 200 poems (poetry is her first love), 150 limericks, 40 stories and 2 unfinished novels! For many years now, I've been coaxing her to take them out, with my sister and father later joining the choru…

How Humans F*#ked Up -- A Review By Susan Price

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Tom Phillips published this book, Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up in 2018.
Then and now it could hardly be more relevant.

Everywhere in the 'western world' or 'the developed world' people with half a brain are asking themselves: How the f*ck did we get to this? What the hell happened?

In this book you will find part of the answer.

It begins with a prologue about Lucy, the famous Australopithecus, and how she ended up as one of our most noteable museum exhibits by falling out of a tree and dying. The fractures to her bones suggest that's what happened to her -- in fact, that we were f*#king up even before we were fully human.

Except that, this being a history of bungles and failures, another group of experts claim that the fractures were all post-mortem. Take your pick. There are plenty more undoubtable examples of what the cartoonist Martin Rowson calls 'fur-cups' and, indeed, wordlessly illustrates as such. (One of the pleasures of Rowso…

The rain it raineth ... Jo Carroll

All over the world the climate is changing. But this is not a post about the threat that is global climate change. Rather a whinge about the vagaries of the British summer.

There has, in recent years (2018 excluded) been a pattern of glorious weather while young people sit exams and then the heavens open as soon as the schools break up. Parents wrap must wrap little Susie into raincoats and wellies and try to look enthusiastic about trips to the park.

But this year ... well, the initial pattern was the same, with the inclusion of serious winds and storms that sent even the hardiest parent scurrying for cover. However, there has been one major difference: the weather forecast, in recent years increasingly trustworthy, has become so unreliable as to be almost useless. I know that low pressure has dominated, and with it comes prolonged periods of rain followed by sunshine and showers - and so timings can be a bit hit and miss. This year, with such a forecast, I set off with my fleece an…