Posts

Showing posts from August, 2022

Prescience, or perhaps just bad timing, by Neil McGowan

I’ve come to the conclusion I’m either prescient, or just suffer from incredibly bad timing. Or, perhaps, it’s neither, but a form of pareidolia. Back in early March 2020, I put the finishing touches to my first Young Adult novel. The plan was to work out a plan to do some pre-launch marketing, try and build up some pre-orders, basically all the usual stuff we do as writers when we have a new book coming out. (I use the term book loosely, to include chapbooks, poetry collections, short stories, and so on.) I’d sketched out a few drafts of what I thought would make a good cover, worked on the blurb, written a synopsis, and was all good to go. A week later, we went into lock-down as Covid cases began to skyrocket. Normally, this would be a gift to a writer – all that time at home to write. (You’d think, anyway, but that’s a post for another time.) My average commute was around an hour each way – I never considered it totally wasted as I often cycled and used the time to let my sub-cons

And the winner is... by Joy Kluver

Image
 ... not me, obviously! I didn't stand a chance against Richard Osman. He wasn't there so I couldn't even get a photo with him. And that trophy was whisked away quickly so any plans to steal it were thwarted. Not that there were any plans. Thoughts maybe but no actual plans. Still, it's a great honour to be nominated and on the plus side, I didn't have to lug home a heavy glass trophy. Not winning didn't mar the experience of the Theakstons Crime Writing Festival though. It was great to see old friends and make new ones. I might not have won but I did a giveaway on Twitter for people to find me at Harrogate. One couple studiously followed my location tweets and eventually found me in the queue for a panel. In my relief to hand over the heavy bag of books, I forgot to sign them. So they had to find me again! When in Harrogate, Betty's is a must. Their hot chocolate was divine as always but I did find another cafe that also served superb hot choc! They even ha

A place to write, in the right place? by Debbie Bennett

Image
So after  May's post about conservatories and scaffolding , I can report that the new conservatory is rather impressive. Wickes had an offer on decking, so we did that at the same time too. Getting the glass roof in place required the help of a friend who had the sucky-pad things they use to handle glass (in return Andy fixed the electrics in his mobile chip van - the complexities of small village living in England!). Carpet went down last week and we've just ordered a small sofa bed, so finally we will have useable extra room with a nice view of the garden and somewhere to go with my laptop. I've noticed over the past six months or so that I've stopped using my desktop pc completely. When we moved here, I couldn't contemplate not having my own desk, with my little supply of pens/stationery/desk tat. It was bad enough giving up my study. But then we had covid and we were all working from home, and even though I had a desk in the dining room end of the lounge, I ende

Making a Fiasco out of a Tragedy (Cecilia Peartree)

Image
 As mentioned in a previous post, in June 2022 I took part in a short story writing challenge. One of the writing prompts suggested taking inspiration from 'Romeo and Juliet'. I suppose in a way my story did that. But because I have always hated the plot for that particular Shakespeare play, with its pointless feud, silly deaths and ridiculous ending, I attempted to do what I have been ranting about the new Netflix version of 'Persuasion' for doing, and gave one of the characters some 21st century attitudes to see if that would help me come to terms with the play. And here is the result. Feel free to look away now if you love Shakespeare (actually I love all the rest of Shakespeare except this one). Illustration  69482079  ©  Ольга Калиниченко  |  Dreamstime.com Juliet and Benvolio Juliet gave a long sigh as she came to her senses again. Now she could get on with the rest of her life, the life she planned to share with Romeo. She struggled to sit up, and as she did

How to be a PRIMADONNA! -- Sarah Nicholson

Image
I first found out about the Primadonna Festival last summer, I spotted something online and then an advert on a local roundabout caught my eye. It happens in Suffolk, just on my doorstep so last year I went along for a day to check it out. This year I bought a whole weekend ticket and had an amazing time listening to some great speakers and even participating. Primadonna is a festival of books, ideas and inspiration established 4 years ago to promote “the world as it should be, for one weekend” the line-up “gives prominence to women, people of colour, LGBTQI+, working class people, and disabled people”. There are sessions for writers, activities to soothe the body and soul, great conversations to stimulate, as well as activities for the kids and a marketplace of yummy food and hand crafted, recycled and sustainable goods to buy. This year I listened to Joanne Harris and Sarah Shaffi talk to Paul McVeigh about the pretentiousness of publishing. I learnt how to write a killer

Reading to Write --- Peter Leyland

Image
  Reading to Write   When the green book containing my INSTED article “The Companionship of Books”, dropped onto the doormat, I was over the moon as the expression goes. I wanted to play my favourite records at full volume; I wanted to take my wife out for a slap-up dinner. I felt so inordinately pleased with myself that I gave our cat Monty some extra Dreamies. Recognition is such a wonderful thing for us writers.   As most writers do I love reading as well as writing, and recently, before we went on our wedding anniversary trip to Corfu, I bought two of the books that have featured on Authors Electric and which had intrigued me as a reader. These were,  Life in Art and Practice  by Mari Howard and  Sex Pro!  by Reb McGrath. The following comments are not   reviews but my thoughts on the books, how I read them and what they made me think about, answering for myself the important question of, 'Why we read?' - something I had looked at in the article referred to above.    So I p

Six Romantic Heroines who have No Need to Search for an Author: Griselda Heppel Ruminates on the Greatness of Jane Austen

Image
I have fellow Electric Author Allison Symes to thank for my ruminations this month. Her post a couple of weeks ago on her dislike of Fanny Price in Mansfield Park unleashed a lively debate on Jane Austen’s heroines, and why we love some more than others. It struck me then that the fact we can argue about this at all is down to Austen’s genius in creating six romantic heroines, all struggling within the confines of the same social framework, and all so different from each other.    Not what Jane Austen does. Photo by Dmitrii Fursov Ah yes, that social framework. Let’s get one thing out of the way first. I have no time for anyone who holds the extremely-unoriginal-but-frequently-voiced-with-Great-Smugness-by-persons-who-think-they-are-the-first-to-do-so-opinion that Jane Austen is not worth considering because she didn’t set her novels on the battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars. That point of view simply cannot grasp that Austen’s greatness lies, not in recounting military campaigns sh