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Sex-And-Shopping Novels

April 29th, 2016

maestra-blogIf you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while you may already be familiar with my views on 50 Shades of Grey. I found the first book not particularly well written, not particularly interesting and not particularly erotic – and soon decided that life was too short to read the sequels or watch the film. So why, you might ask, have I now downloaded the latest heavily publicised erotic thriller Maestra, by L S Hilton. The truth is, I couldn’t resist the hype in the Guardian and The Sunday Times.

I’m now half way through and so far I can report that it goes along at a cracking pace with a reasonably interesting plot. It’s well written and isn’t all about sex – but where it does crop up I suspect the terms used to describe it would certainly make Anastasia Steele’s ‘Inner Goddess’ blush. The main negative:  I’m finding the constant lists of what the ‘heroine’, Judith, buys and the designer name-dropping incredibly irritating. At the end of the day, it’s a glorified sex-and-shopping novel and I suspect I won’t be panting to read the proposed sequel. Read the rest of this entry »




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Make Crime Pay

April 22nd, 2016

debut-blogI can’t say that I’m particularly interested in reading crime novels, though if one is recommended or catches my eye I’m more than happy to give it a go. But I have noticed, when I visit my local library, that the crime section seems to be growing and there’s an insatiable appetite for it on Amazon. Plus every time you turn on your TV the channels seem packed with crime dramas, both original and based on books.

So I thought I’d have a look at The Crime Writers’ Association Not everyone can join – you have to have a crime novel or non-fiction book published before you can apply for membership. They don’t accept self-published books or ones where you’ve contributed towards the cost. But they do accept plays, screenplays plus radio and TV work that has been professionally produced.  And if you’ve got a valid contract for a book that will be published within the next two years you can become a Provisional Member.  Benefits of being a member include networking with other writers and useful contacts; conferences and other events; their monthly magazine; a free tax helpline (not to be sniffed at when you’re starting out) and the opportunity to sell your books through The Crime Readers’ Association. Read the rest of this entry »




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Taking Sitcoms Seriously

April 15th, 2016

Scots-Magazine-September-2013-blogYou don’t see that many competitions for humorous work, but I’ve got a good one for you this week. The Sitcom Mission holds a competition each year for 15-minute sitcoms and the best four are then showcased at The New Diorama Theatre in London in front of the British TV and radio comedy industry. The central aim is to get the winners commissioned for TV, radio or online.

The fee for basic entry is £10 but there are various other options where you can pay more but receive a critique/advice on your work. The closing date is 15th May. Read the rest of this entry »




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The Bard Goes First Class

April 8th, 2016

venus-and-adonis-blogI know you’d be hard pressed to miss the fact that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, as there’s been so much coverage on TV, radio and in the press. But I do love the idea of having 10 first-class stamps, each giving a well-known quote from one of his works. They’ve chosen some great ones and here they are:

Much Ado About Nothing:  There was a star danced and under that was I born.

Venus and Adonis:  Love comforteth like sunshine after rain. Read the rest of this entry »




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Six Mistakes To Avoid When Self-Publishing

April 4th, 2016

barcode-blogWhen I first started watching this clip I must confess to having reservations. I thought the content might by ‘too American’; I felt that Grace spoke rather too fast and she seems fond of a pet hate of mine – using your fingers to put ‘inverted commas’ around what you are saying.

But when I’d watched it through, I certainly warmed to her and I think the advice she gives is really sensible. Here are the main points she makes, and you can’t argue with any of them. Read the rest of this entry »




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