Showing posts from February, 2024

Topics for children's picture books - death? by Sandra Horn

First of all, thank you so much Griselda Hamway, for gifting me this date when I'd failed to blog on 20th. Our very much loved choir leader, Pauline, died recently. She’s had inoperable brain tumours. One afternoon soon after her diagnosis, I shared this poem with her.  CONSERVATION OF MATTER I am closer, now, to my after than I am to my before. This lively mass of atoms I now know as ‘me’, was here at the beginning; scattered after the Bang, then gathering, dispersing, re-grouping times out of mind, shapes out of imagining: Slime-mould, starlight, dormouse, willow tree, man, beast, parasite, building block, blade of grass, hover fly, china clay, drop in the ocean, grape-pip, earthworm, raincloud, prickle, soot – and when I break, dissolve, when I am no longer me – the atoms will re-form to be slime-mould, starlight, dormouse, willow tree? I wrote it to comfort myself and was so relieved and pleased that it comforted her too – and she asked me

The Brontё Girl by Miriam Halahmy

  The Bronte Girl by Miriam Halahmy A guest post today, from Miriam Halahmy, a good friend from the 'other SAS', The Scattered Author Society... “ I’m just going to write because I cannot help it.” Charlotte Brontё. My new novel, The Brontё Girl, Zuntold Books, March 2024, is set in Haworth in 1847, the year of the publication of Jane Eyre. Kate, 15, comes from a very poor home in the village. But she has ambitions to write. She is offered work at The Parsonage, home of the Brontё family and comes to the attention of the sisters, especially Charlotte. Encouraged to borrow books and pursue her desire to write, Kate knows she is in a house full of secrets. Gradually she is thrilled to realise the sisters are also writers. But poverty and gender stand in Kate’s way and Luke Feather, who wants to marry her, believes writing stories is a waste of time. As an important friendship develops with Charlotte, Kate begins to embrace the radical ideas of equality and the needs of women. B

Beating the Ghost Drum Louder -- by Susan Price

    Last month, I wrote about how I finished the rewrites for Ghost Drum, back in 1986, on an Amstrad word-processor, and how it's now being re-published, after nearly forty years, as a Faber Classic. I was chuffed enough about that. Happy days, I thought. A few days ago, my Faber editor got in touch to say that, in that month, their entire initial print-run of 2000 had sold, and they were re-printing. Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs. Both Hatchards and Waterstones, I'm told, have asked for 'minor tweaks' to the cover -- and that's the new version above, duly tweaked. It has a darker, more dramatic background than originally. 'Sales', I'm told, have also asked for changes to the cover -- which hardly ever happens in subsequent print runs, says my editor, and so is a clear sign that Sales have confidence in, well, sales. The new cover is to have-- wait for it-- Embossing! And-- wait some more-- 'spot UV.' I had no idea at all what