Showing posts from January, 2020

Has Blogging Helped You as a Writer?

I've been a blogger for a dozen years now--I started blogging in 2008, as a daily writing practice. Daily (w)rite has grown since then--from the initial days of crickets to the more than thirty thousand followers today. That sounds like a half-decent number, but engagement is always much lower than the number of followers. It took years of blogging to build the small community I have today-- of all my followers, I possibly have about 200 bloggers who I regularly/ semi-regularly interact with on the blog and over social media. Others drop by less often, and my interactions with them is sporadic at best. The best thing about blogging was the amount of information exchange. The guidance on book marketing and the writing life has also been invaluable. I follow blogs by other writers and publishing professionals, and the generosity of their sharing has made it possible for me to carve out a path for myself as best as I could, learning from others' mistakes, and hopefully,

New Year, New Cover -- a Guest Post by Sue Purkiss

Our guest author for January is Sue Purkiss, whose claim to fame is that she's met Arya Stark! Below, she discusses something that gives a lot of indie authors headaches -- covers! Emily's Surprising Voyage In October, I was invited to a book fair in Corsham, with Sharon Tregenza, Jasbinder Bilal, Chris Vick and others. It was good fun - and it gave me some food for thought. I had a number of books on display. I'm not a particularly prolific author, and I'm a bit of a butterfly - my books are all quite different. I've always seen this as a disadvantage, but on this occasion, it turned out to be be a good thing, because there was something for (almost) everyone: Spook School and two similar funny fantasy stories for younger children; Emily's Surprising Voyage , which is a story set on Brunel's ship the SS Great Britain in the 19th century, beautifully illustrated by James De La Rue; Jack Fortune , which is a middle grade historical nove

The World Divides: N M Browne

The World divides into people who bisect the world into categories and those who don’t. I have always belonged to the former category because I like the melodrama of it. The world divides into those who love their coffee black and strong and those who don’t. Obviously, there is an implication that the only choice of any merit is that shared by the speaker or why else would they chose such an excessively self-important way of presenting what is nothing more than a mild preference for one food, book, life -style choice over another? Sometimes the divide is more useful as in Hollingdale’s [1] division of children’s critics into book people ( those concerned with literary quality) and children people, ( who prioritise its effect on the child) but in general I recognise my propensity to think this way as a failure, a reminder of the arrogant intellectual certainties of my youth, or worse, the totalitarian mindset of those who are not with us are against us.     Writers are the worst k

New Year, World War 3, twins and the forgettability of some novels, by Enid Richemont.

Happy New Year to you all (here are some lizards having a party with some rather nice-looking cake to help you celebrate) although by the time this blog comes out, the new year will already be almost a month old. It began badly, with the probably illegal assassination of a very bad man. I have no tears for him, but it happened via very Twenty-First Century technology - the attack directed from very far away from the target - reminding me disturbingly of the ethical issues raised in the film "DRONE", and of how we sat in the cinema rigid with fear for the little girl who kept returning to the target zone in spite of heroic efforts on the ground to keep her out of it. This guy was no innocent child, but he was in another country, and this was an invasion of its air space. Once, a long time ago, an equally unlovely guy called Hitler decided to invade Poland, thus starting the second world war. None of the protagonists in the current drama wants an outcome like that, but som

Bookshelves Gathering Dust - Andrew Crofts

My wife, a prolific reader, is one of the “I like the smell of real books” brigade, whereas I am one of the “I like the convenience and back-lighting of Kindle on my iPad” folk. My wife’s approach to book buying, (and of course mine until the Kindle Years arrived), means that we have multiple shelves of the paper variety, some of which are now showing their age with brown liver spots of dust. We have reached the age where we are thinking about downsizing in the housing department and have decided that we are going to have to clean off the dust to display them in a way that makes the house look more desirable to potential buyers and then decide which ones we want to move with. I have pointed out that this daunting task would be even worse if the two hundred or so titles on my Kindle were living with us in paper form, but my wife appears not to be listening as we empty the shelves into piles on the floor, dusting, wiping and vacuuming as we go. Some of the dust on

GARIAHAT JUNCTION - Acknowledgement

My first work of fiction - GariahatJunction , a collection of short stories - is just out! Published by Kitaab International (Singapore), it is available online on Flipkart (within India) & on Kitaabstore for global customers. Sharing a bit of the book here...!                                    ACKNOW LEDGEMENT Everything in my life can be traced to my late mother - Kalpana Basu Roy - including my fiction. The long “back story” of my fiction writing has a lot to do with her – with her instilling in me a fascination for sto ries as a child, sharing with me her love of literature, music and all things beautiful and bringing me up in a home whose most prized possession were its books. But more than anything else, it has to do with her relentless faith in me as a writer and her urging me never to give up my creative impulse. In this, she had led by example – by publishing a book of fiction, Mukh-Michhil , at the age of 70! Though I have read fiction

A Feasting of Trolls -- by Susan Price

The Wolf's Footprint Of all the books I've republished as ebooks and POD paperbacks, my best seller, by a long way, is The Wolf's Footprint. I have no idea why but month after month it outsells all my other titles by 100 copies and more. Since it's written for the 8-10 age-group, I decided that it would make sense to re-publish all my other titles that were published for that age-group. I've just added another: A Feasting of Trolls. A Feasting of Trolls by Susan Price A Feasting of Trolls was originally published by A&C Black in 1990. They commissioned it for their Comets series and since I had to come up with a story in a short time I turned, as usual, to folklore. There are several old legends about supernatural home-invasions at Christmas or the New Year and I took bits I liked from different ones to make an original story. It has a little of 'The New Year Visitors,' a pinch of 'King of Cats ,' a smattering of tales about mo