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The Beauty Of Books…

August 24th, 2018

First, thanks to Roz for last week’s post. I’ve just started reading her book, ‘The Devil’s Dice’,  and I’m thoroughly enjoying it!

Talking about reading, I’ve had a bad back for the last couple of weeks, so I haven’t been as active as usual; so that  means I’ve had much more time to read. And have I used that time! Of the books I’ve read there are three that really stand out.

The first is ‘The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star’ by Vaseem Khan. It’s part of a series about a private investigator in Mumbai and his sidekick – a baby elephant called Ganesha. It does for India what the Number One Ladies Detective Agency did for Botswana. It’s not high literature, but it’s well written, heart-warming and makes you care about the characters. And it doesn’t shy away from the problems faced by the less well-off citizens of the country. I’ll certainly be dipping into the series again. Read the rest of this entry »




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Schadenfreude

November 17th, 2017

At the recent Hong Kong Literary festival Ian Rankin, author of the John Rebus novels, was quoted as saying that in a world of uncertainty, increasing violence and terrorist attacks people were turning away from grittier novels and looking for something more ‘kind and gentle’.

I agree that reading is a form of escapism. But I also suspect that there is a degree of schadenfreude among the reading public. We sit comfortably with our book of choice and enjoy the fact that we’re safe while the protagonists are undergoing all sorts of perils and problems. And it’s not a new thing. You only need to go back to the Bronte sisters. Wuthering Heights…Jane Eyre… very romantic but also very gothic. They must have sent an enjoyable shudder up the spines of many a well-brought-up young lady. Read the rest of this entry »




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Mind Mapping

October 13th, 2017

First, thanks to Lucy for last week’s blog. When you’ve spent so much time working on a book and getting your ‘baby’ ready to publish, you can sometimes forget that unless you market it properly, it won’t get the audience it deserves and that’s the last thing you need! So, read Lucy’s tips and follow the links she provides as they really do give you some useful information.

This week I’m going to concentrate on some advice that one of our Writers Bureau students, Geeta Vittal Rao, wanted to share with you. In addition to working on our course she is also studying with the Self-Publishing School and one of the aids to writing that they suggest is Mind Mapping. This is how she describes it: Read the rest of this entry »




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The Homemade Tart

June 16th, 2017

The Writers Bureau memoirs course helped me produce the draft for my first book, The Storm Within the Rose: My Family and Alzheimer’s. My next task was to turn this mass of words into a book people would want to read. With no publishing experience whatsoever I decided to self-publish completing each step of the process myself. It seemed slightly less crazy than trying to convince a publisher or agent that I, an unestablished author, had written a book that would sell.

So l started to create my book which I affectionately nicknamed my homemade tart. The filling was to be a mixture of sadness, humour, nostalgia, information and pictures, poured into a casing of chapters, headings, indented paragraphs, page numbers and front section before topping with an eye-catching book cover. Read the rest of this entry »




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Get Those Children Reading!

March 3rd, 2017

world book day 2017First, thanks to Kym for last week’s blog. I must confess to envying her the fact that she has a fully-fitted writing shed. I’ve always loved the idea of having a comfy little snug in the back garden where you can sit and listen to the rain on the roof, watch the birds (and cats!) and get on with your writing in peace and quiet. Perhaps it’s something I should put on my Christmas list – but I doubt Santa, or my long-suffering husband, will humour me.

Yesterday, when I was writing this, it was World Book Day. I always think this is a great idea because it gets children thinking about the books that they have read and their favourite characters. For those of you who are not familiar with World Book Day, it’s when children in schools around the country are encouraged to go to school dressed as their favourite book character. They pay £1 for this privilege and the money raised is used by Book Aid to send children’s books to third world countries where they may be in short supply and literacy levels need a boost. Last year over 60,000 books were sent to Africa alone. Read the rest of this entry »




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