January 12th, 2017
As I write this, I’m watching the snow come down, settle and then melt away. It’s a very half-hearted attempt! But it’s certainly miserable for anyone out in it and it’s times like this that tempt even the most industrious writer to have a ‘duvet day’.
My advice is: don’t fight it. The odd day’s loss of production can soon be made up and it’s the ideal time to curl up and have a good read. Most successful authors agree that if you don’t read, you’ll never by a competent writer. Stephen King is quoted as saying: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Read the rest of this entry »
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October 21st, 2016
First thanks to Sophia for last week’s blog. I found her list of online tools fascinating, but confess to being a bit worried by Write or Die. When I came to have a closer look, however, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. They’ve even introduced a ‘Reward Mode’. A picture of a cuddly kitten? Images of the designer shoes you’re lusting after? Mug-shot of your favourite author? You choose if you hit your word target. That sounds decidedly less scary than the ‘consequenses’ which they originally threatened if you dared to procrastinate!
This week I’m going to revisit a subject I’ve mentioned before – literary festivals. According to a London Book Fair report there are now more than 340 of them held each year in Britain and Ireland alone. It makes you wonder whether some authors are now spending longer attending literary festivals and beavering away on social media to drum up sales than they are on their writing. If you’re considering giving up the day job to become a full time writer it might be worth considering all the other ‘obligations’ that you’ll need to fulfil. With publishers’ promotional budgets being slashed there’s definitely more required of an author than just being able to turn a good phrase. Read the rest of this entry »
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August 19th, 2016
Last week I promised to let you know the winners of our Limerick Competition that closed at the end of July. So, ta-dah! Here they are.
First place was taken by Anthony Watts (pictured) from Somerset.
A scone is a scone is a scon,
Depending on whose side you’re on.
When writing in verse
This can prove a real curse
(Should you rhyme it with Joan or with John?) Read the rest of this entry »
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August 11th, 2016
I was reading an interview in the paper last weekend with best-selling author James Patterson. To date he’s sold more than 350 million books – but he was rejected by 31 publishers before his first novel ‘The Thomas Berryman Number’ was published in 1976. So, if you’ve had your fair share of rejections, don’t despair!
When asked what advice he’d give to others he was quoted as saying, “Writers always ask me how they should market their books. My advice is, don’t worry about that. Just start your next book. Just write.”
Sounds good, but I suspect it only really works if you already have a publisher, are earning lots of money for them and you are famous. For us mere mortals, in an age where getting an agent, let alone a publisher, seems nigh on impossible, I don’t really think it works. Publishers are having their promotional budgets cut all the time and the onus to generate self-publicity is falling more and more upon the author. And if you choose to self-publish, you’ve no alternative but to use every means at your disposal to reach the reading public. The thought of sitting at home beavering away at book after book may sound comforting but it’s not going to get a novice writer noticed. Read the rest of this entry »
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June 3rd, 2016
Have you picked up on the fact that a Gobblefunk Dictionary is being released to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth? As you probably know, he loved using made-up words in his writing – because it added colour to the stories and also to keep his readers on their toes.
My favourites include delumptious (delicious), ucky-mucky (messy) and squibbling (writing). The dictionary will contain over 8000 words – many that appear in his books but also some from the archives, which never saw the light of day – and it’s taken five years to put together. Read the rest of this entry »
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