September 25th, 2015
Lawrence Pagett begins the story:
I had writer stamped all over my hands (and face) from age eight.
My silver-haired grandfather revealed his old mechanical typewriter and set me down to learn the art of touch typing. My first short story suitably followed telling the tale of the Swiss skiing boy, Jan.
“Clack, clack, clack. Ding!”
At the end of each line a silver bell would chime as you pushed the lever to descend the page.
The heavy slate metal contraption’s smudgy ink-soaked ribbon printed in a slightly irregular fashion. Black smudgy hands and face were common place.
If you tapped the keyboard inaccurately your finger would get stuck between the keys and on occasion you would accidentally hit two keys at once causing the thin metal strips, each containing a letter, to vie for position on the page and even get tangled together. Read the rest of this entry »
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September 11th, 2015
In October 2003 my first book, One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human was published by Hodder & Stoughton. I never dreamed that twelve years on this first book project of mine would still be delivering surprises, especially after the surprises it gave me at the start of its life. Its initial print run of 10,000 copies was snapped up by book retailers within the first two weeks, and by December 2003 it was on the UK bestseller lists. Within the space of three months the publishers had printed over 100,000 copies. Read the rest of this entry »
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August 15th, 2015
You may well think: so if she’s a novice, what’s the point of reading further? But I can actually comment, as an MA student and a pupil of the Writers Bureau course and, like all writers, I am eager to share my thoughts and pass on these tips.
1. Show don’t tell
Above all else, this phrase was drummed into me at every turn. Give your reader scope to use their imagination. Imply, don’t be too explicit, or you will kill the magic in your story. Read the rest of this entry »
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April 17th, 2015
First, I’ve got to say I loved Phil’s photo that accompanied Monday’s post. Keswick is one of my favourite places and it’s hard to beat Castlerigg stone circle early in the morning when you’ve got it all to yourself.
Next, Thursday is World Book Night when 20 books are selected and then 80,000 copies are distributed to people who wouldn’t normally read for pleasure or own books. It’s run by The Reading Agency, a national charity, and an army of volunteers distribute books in their communities.
Have a look at the books that will be given out – they’re quite an eclectic mix. So why have these particular books been chosen? According to the organisers they have been selected because they are all ‘good, enjoyable, highly readable books with a strong compelling narrative’. Just the sort of thing to get someone who’s not a regular reader hooked!
Incidentally, you might win yourself a set of all 20 if you tweet them (@worldbooknight #reading journey) and tell them about your own reading journey – the book that first turned you on to reading, the books that have inspired you and how reading has shaped you. Read the rest of this entry »
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April 3rd, 2015
I’d always loved writing short stories, ever since I was a little girl and as I grew up I kept on writing. I was fortunate enough to win a couple of small competitions but when I tried to write for the women’s weeklies and other national magazines, I received rejection after rejection. So I put my dream of being a writer to bed and focused on my career as a bank executive.
After an accident, I couldn’t carry out my job anymore and had to spend a long time recuperating. It was then that I saw the ad for The Writers Bureau. Read the rest of this entry »
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