Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label articles. Show all posts

Monday 25 November 2019

Reading, Writing, Learning and Improving...

Only a month to Christmas Day and I've just started thinking about all that I need to do.

Usually that's because November is busy with family birthdays so I don't think about the festive season until they're over.

I'm determined to get the Christmas cards into the post sooner rather than the last few posting days- which usually happens.

Since I received my readers report back from the RNA's New Writers' Scheme I've read it again and analysed what I need to concentrate on this time- I've identified my weak spots...

There are other aspects in the historical that need further thought, so while I resolve those, I'm going ahead with my original plan to do my contemporary romance idea for the 2020 NWS.

So, I've been learning more about character arcs which has helped me understand the issues with my historical romance protagonists- and for my contemporary where I'd gone astray in the first draft.

I've got a better understanding of beats in the three act structure, but need to work on the middle 50% of the story.

Our Uninvited Guests: The Secret Life of Britain's Country Houses 1939-45 by [Summers, Julie]
Image from
As I've been able to set the new story up on Scrivener from the start (rather than half way through) it's given me time to identify changes I hadn't considered before, but need.

The good news is the first 25% of this one is doing what it should do, so I've begun the rewrite on those chapters, while I continue the outstanding research items.

My current reading is Our Uninvited Guests by Julie Summers.

It was pure chance that a Google search led to a mention of it in an article; then I searched for it on Amazon to find the kindle e-book on offer for 99 pence- a definite sign I should buy it! (It's now £3.99.)

An interesting read too.

It does have relevance; indirectly...

Have you ever gone looking for a book and found it's on offer just when you need it for research?

Sunday 28 April 2019

To Prologue or Not...

After taking a break over Easter to start sowing vegetable and herb seeds in pots and tubs, I'm getting back to the novel.

Moving to Scrivener was definitely a good move, I can concentrate much better using it.

I'm working my way through writing the new scenes (missing from draft one) and am now finding a few of those original scenes in draft one have changed, moved or are no longer needed.

I even have a scene that I thought I'd put in the first draft but hadn't!

On Friday I got together with a couple of fellow romance writers and shared my concerns over how I deal with a particular piece of important information, currently in the second chapter, that still comes over as an info-dump.

Working it out...
While a small part can be slipped in naturally in conversation (where it is now) I need to remove the rest but find some way to show the really important part. As the rewriting has progressed it still can't be worked in elsewhere.

(It has to be dealt with in the third draft...)

So I decided the only way to overcome the problem was to create a short prologue.

Prologues are like Marmite, love them or hate them.

I don't mind them if they are used for a valid reason, but did wonder if my decision for it was reason enough.

So I did some Googling and came across two articles that discuss the do's and don'ts of prologues. First there's a post from the Writers Digest and the Writers & Artists website...

Having had a couple more days to consider the possibilities, I'm sure it's right for the story, as the consequences of that moment will lead to incidents that bring my hero and heroine into contact and eventually together...

By the time I'm ready to go back and finalise the first couple of chapters (I'm not totally happy with them yet) I'll be ready to write that prologue.

Now over to you; what's your view on prologues?

Image by Geralt from

Sunday 25 March 2018

Podcasts - Share Your Favourites...

I know podcasts are very popular, and I have listened to a few writing-related ones, but I never seem to have the time to listen to them regularly, so I know I'm missing out on a lot of interesting and useful information.

I was catching up on a couple this afternoon...

So often now I hear podcasts mentioned on radio programmes, and elsewhere, that I thought they were younger than they actually are.

So many,
so little time...
Apparently the first podcast was created back in 2003. There was an interesting interview (in the Guardian from 2016) with Christopher Lydon; who along with software developer and Harvard colleague Dave Winer produced the first podcast.

If you want to create podcasts there's lots of information on the web. Here's some handy expert tips via Wired magazine.

Just as there are thousands of blogs about a wide variety of topics, there's just as many podcasts available, and of course finding the good ones can be difficult, so here's where you can help spread the word.

Concentrating just on podcasts that are about writing or writing related, I'd like your personal recommendations for those we should all be listening to-no self-promotion! 

If there are enough suggestions I may create a page on the blog for your recommendations, so please use the comments form at the bottom of this post to share details of your favourites, and a little bit about what it is that keeps you going back.

Even if you don't have a podcast to suggest you're still welcome to comment.

To start us off, here's my recommendation; the AskALLi podcasts from the Alliance of Independent Authors. They have four different shows so there's something for varying skill levels.

So over to you; who should we be listening to?

image from

Sunday 7 February 2016

A Few Prize Opportunities...

It was a busy week so I missed writing my Thursday post, so you'll be getting 2 for 1 today. :-)

If you are a young woman writer who writes articles, then you may be interested in the Cassandra Jardine Memorial Prize that was launched in 2013 in memory of the Telegraph journalist, who sadly died from cancer in 2012.

When it was launched in 2013 it opened to women aged between 18 and 25. The prize is seeking "creativity and potential in an original feature article."

If you're interested pop along to the Telegraph's Lifestyle section here, and check the criteria for entry, and what you're aiming for.

You can follow their link to read last year's winning entry.

Closing date: 31st March 2016.

*   *   *

If you read my blog regularly you'll know one of my annual features is the Diagram Prize shortlisted titles.

Odd book titles are suggested by readers, and could make the shortlist...

Well here is your opportunity to suggest an odd book title for consideration. You can either send your recommendations by email or on Twitter using the #DiagramPrize hashtag. Find out who to email or tweet to in this Bookseller article.

The shortlist will be unveiled 26th February, so there isn't long to make your odd title suggestions.

Self-published titles are eligible too.

But remember, the titles "must be unwittingly odd, not deliberately so."

*   *   *

Now, I need to get back to that short story-it's almost finished, a few final tweaks and it will be ready to go out into the world. I'll update you on my progress later in the week... :)

Monday 1 February 2016

Nothing is Wasted...

Every writer knows the value of carrying a notebook or some device to record those moments we all get when an idea pops into our heads; we see something that attracts our attention, or we overhear a conversation and there's a line or phrase we just have to use in a story.

I've been known to be walking down a road in the city centre, hearing someone on a phone, stopping and then sidling to a discreet position to casually remove a notebook and pen, before madly scribbling down the words that attracted my attention- and listening for more.

Many of these 'moments' disappear into my notebook and don't emerge again until I'm reading through them weeks or months later.

Others stick in my mind, then years later other thoughts immediately bring that long ago note to mind and a story starts to emerge.

Many years ago- before the tram lines were put in Nottingham city centre- I overheard a phone conversation, and put a single line of dialogue in my notebook. It was asking for a story, but none of my ideas worked, so it was stored.

Last week at the informal NWC meeting in the pub, in conversation I mentioned the comment I'd overheard. We all laughed- because it did sound funny- and back it went into my mental filling cabinet.

Then over the weekend I was reading an article by Patsy Collins in last month's Writing Magazine (February 2016 issue) '101 Ways to Inspire Ideas'. I've no idea which one or more of her ideas started it, but two voices began holding a conversation around the words I'd heard all those years ago...

There's a competition I want to try writing it for, with a deadline in March. Whether it is good enough, or finished in time, I don't know, but I have to try... :D

Image courtesy of Ventrilock &

Thursday 13 November 2014

It's November So It's Bad Sex in Fiction Time...

I admit, I do enjoy reading about the shortlisted entries for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award-the winner is announced 3rd December.

Some years the entries get more publicity than others, and I suspect 2014 might get more than usual as there are a few well known names among them: Kirsty Wark, Wilbur Smith and Michael Cunningham.

You can read the shortlisted entries in this Guardian article. You can even take part in their own vote on who you think should win.

If you have missed this before now, the Literary Review's purpose for the award- in it's 22nd year- is to bring attention to, "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them."

Now admittedly, these extracts are only a small part of the book- I've just had to rewrite that sentence, as my original words sounded like a deliberate double entendre... :D

This year's nominees include Man Booker Prize winners, current and past; and a former winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Fortunately these high tokens of literary esteem don't take bad sex scenes into account in the judging process.

Having read through each extract in this Guardian article I went from thinking that Kirsty Wark's wasn't that bad, but as I read the rest it quickly became: good grief, that's really bad- and the really bad ones- five in my opinion.

My nominations for possible winners: 'From 'DD-MM-YY' In Things to Make and Break', by May-Lan Tan, and 'The Hormone Factory', by Saskia Goldschmidt.

You can find out more on the Literary Review webpage here.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Story Ideas from Memories...

I'm looking forward to September arriving so I can get back to a set routine, and stop causing annoyance to my blog readers, due to my regular posting slots going awry.

All writers get ideas for stories from different sources and I thought I'd share with you a recent inspiration.

I'm very much a visuals person. When characters or situations arrive in my conscious I'm always presented with a scene from the viewpoint of one of the characters involved. Pictures will often get my brain ticking over...

I was looking at a few news pieces in one of the online national newspapers, and an article drew my attention, because it was about a place I'd visited a number of times when I was a child/teenager. The Dreamland amusement park in Margate, Kent.

Like many seaside places over the years, their parks have gone into a decline, run-down and then closed; but the visual archive in my memory still has pictures of the place. They just needed something to remind me.

After a day on the beach, first stopping to brush the sand off my feet, so I could put my white socks on, and then my sandals, we would walk along the prom to go into Dreamland for an hour.
I remember the various slot machines and the general pinging and clattering of coins going into or coming out of the machines.
Then out the back doors into an area where you could get a drink, a cup of tea or coffee, and observe various rides.
I remember greenery and big rocks mixed together as a moving object rides by. The areas beyond that didn't stick in my memories, but I suspect that's because that first outside area I saw-in my young mind-was to me, a jungle, a sparse jungle with hindsight...

I've since discovered that a few of my writer friends have their own memories of the place too.

So now I have a character on the outside looking in. I don't yet know her name, or age, nor what her problem is- perhaps she has a decision to make?

It was fun revisiting my childhood memories, and perhaps some of them will turn up in my mystery lady's story...

Have you ever read about a place you knew when younger, and used it as inspiration?

Friday 6 July 2012

E-book Piracy and DRM (Digital Rights Management)

Writers are very aware of piracy.

We've seen what happened with the music industry and we want the publishing system to avoid the same thing occuring with e-books.

But the issue that divides many writers and readers is DRM- digital rights management.

Who hasn't borrowed a book from a friend, because they've suggested you'll like it?

With DRM on an e-book you can't do that, the system prevents you from loaning that e-book to your friend or friends. It also means you can't usually read it on any other device capable of reading the e-book- as you have actually bought it for your preferred reading system...

You can understand why the big six publishers chose to go with DRM. They are a business and you don't grow your business by neglecting the fine detail and allowing someone to steal from you.

In other words the publisher doesn't want to put a book out that can be ripped off within hours of it being released into the market and losing income.

Perhaps the important difference is whether you're talking DRM on fiction or not. Fiction books are going to make more money for the pirates than non-fiction.

This article by Rod Younger of  Books4Spain, suggests that reasonable pricing of e-books and accessibility would reduce piracy.

Now I agree e-book pricing (non-Kindle) is daft. But until the agency pricing issue is resolved once and for all, and a balance is found, cost will be an issue.

Sadly some Kindle authors have had their books pirated, but keeping a watch is important and helps.

I recommend you read this piece by Rosie Fiore freelance writer and author of the book 'Babies in Waiting', that I came across on Twitter today, 'dear stinkle01, you're a thief.'

We've all seen the 'reasons' given by those who download pirated e-books; look at any newspaper article online on the subject and you'll see those same excuses left by commenters.

Too many think that they have a right to get the books for free, like music. Well they don't.

We have to start educating children in primary school to understand that piracy is wrong, so they don't grow up thinking they can get everything for free.

Those who pirate will carry on doing so until they are caught. Those who knowingly download pirated e-books are not going to suddenly turn round and say 'ooops, I've been naughty, I promise I won't do it again.' and start buying the genuine article.

DRM has its drawbacks for the genuine e-book buyer, but it does help the author who has worked hard to get a publishing deal and is trying to earn a living from their work.

Take away DRM without a robust system of protection to replace it, and you're as good as saying to the pirates, take what you want...

Monday 26 March 2012

Cooking and Kitchens...

My usual weekend baking session went a little awry yesterday- me at home with the evening meal almost ready (I was planning to make the lemon drizzle cake after dinner) when my husband rang to say the car had broken down and they were waiting for the recovery service.

So the cake never got done, so one of my sons got to take chocolate cake in his lunchbox today instead of lemon drizzle cake...Not that he minds, but I'd like some of the chocolate cake for myself.

The cake-making got me thinking about the cooks of the past and how hard it must have been providing food every day, even for a small household.

We take it for granted that we can pop to the shops for a loaf of bread, a pint of milk or half a dozen eggs, but have forgotten how much time and effort those few items would have taken to obtain in the past- and that's before you even start cooking with them.

Quite a few larger homes open to the public now have kitchens you can visit and they're well worth spending a little extra time looking around. They echo the past in a way grander rooms sometimes don't.

A long time ago I lived in a house that had a small pantry in the kitchen, and it had the wonderful stone shelf for keeping food cool. It's such a shame that many of the houses that still have them, often rip them out during kitchen modernisations.

I was brought up in a late Victorian terrace house which still had a small scullery attached to the kitchen- with a view out to the coal bunker... I became quite adept at cleaning the ash out of the living room fireplace and laying a new fire. :-)

You can see an abandoned Victorian kitchen that was discovered in a basement of an old stately home here. Or on a grand scale there's the Tudor Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace.

For some good illustrations of kitchen objects have a look at this website- Old and Interesting.

Shire books has a section, Household Bygones, which has a selection of books- fire grates and ranges, old cooking utensils and table knives and forks among them.

If you want to look at some old recipes or 'Receipts' as they were called, then you'll find 'English Housewifery' by Elizabeth Moxon, on the Gutenberg website, interesting.

If you've visited any old kitchens open to the public, then please share your recommendations for a visit.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

A New Type of Blog Post Coming Today...

As those who know me well will tell you, I find useful or interesting news items on books, words or related publishing aspects, and relay them to my writer friends, who may also find them of interest or useful.

Since I joined Twitter I've found a lot more digital sources of opinion and information.

So as part of my rethink, on how I'm blogging and using other social media, I've decided to have a blog post specifically for writing/book related news/issues. Just in case you've missed the pieces on your own travels.

I will probably do this twice a month- dates to be decided- and give you the links to help.

I hope you'll enjoy this and find it useful, and perhaps contribute your thoughts in the comments section, or just say you've enjoyed-or not- reading it...

Friday 9 March 2012

Is the Recession Good for Some Writers?

As I was out food shopping today, I noticed more price rises. By making a few changes in my weekly purchases, I can still afford the occasional book- their prices don't seem to be rising the same amount.

In fact, there seems to have been a surge of small pocket type recipe books covering, baking to quick meals, and all aimed at showing the consumer how they can eat well but at reduced cost...

A couple of days ago, I went to a publisher's website intending to browse some cookery books- I'd received an e-mail newsletter.
I came across a few of these pocket type books (to be published very soon) and looked to see who the author was. Well I was a bit taken aback when it said the author was to be announced...

Now it's only my suspicion- but have they rehashed an older work/s, updated it and added some enticing pictures of the completed recipes? Are they looking for a recognisable 'name' to go with it to boost sales?

I could be entirely wrong, but that's the lurking cynic in me!

But when there's a trend that will last for some time (as this recession surely will) publishers are sure to join in. It's business and they're part of it.

For the average (but brilliant :-) ) writer, the current recession is going to be a challenge, when magazines are either paying less than a few years ago, or doing more in-house. Then there's the reduction in short story markets; with the 'only previously published' restrictions implemented by a few...

It means the competition for both previously published, and those trying to get accepted for publication is going to be high.

Even simple things like entering competitions, your writing skills can give you an edge.
E-books are a different matter- especially if you have your own back list. If you've published to Kindle, or other digital outlets, you can control your asking price, up or down; even offer your book free for 24 hours and promote, promote promote.

For many writers these tactics have brought increased sales, so there's income from royalties- but there's no guarantee, and some genres sell better.
Though in long term planning, hopefully many of those readers will go on to buy the writer's other books- and I'm sure it's a good idea to be able to demonstrate a following for your work when you get the interest of a publisher.

The public may not be buying as many tree books, but e-book sales are on the rise, so a little judicious planning by digital authors can pay.

If you have any views on the subject, then you're welcome to share them in the comments section.

Friday 13 January 2012

Non-Fiction, Apostrophes and Sad News...

It's been a while since I did a round up of interesting items I've come across while scanning the literary news, so here are a few links for this weekend...

I came across a short piece on the Bookseller website about the 'stand-out' books commissioning editors are looking for this year.
The Andrew Lownie literary agency have the views of twenty editors on what they are hoping for this year in non-fiction.
* * *
Apostrophes- especially when they're missing or in the wrong place completely.

Well there's been mixed views on bookseller Waterstone's intention to drop the apostrophe in their name. Managing Director James Daunt said that it was "a more versatile and practical spelling" for the digital age of e-mails and URLs.

You can test your skills with apostrophes at the start of  Philip Hensher's article 'Leave the apostrophe alone – it makes sense' in the Telegraph online. Admittedly now that Waterstones is no longer owned and run by its founder Tim Waterstone, the remaining bookstores are technically Waterstones...

And after all the comments about them changing the big W to a small w in 2010...Well they're going back to the big W.
* * *
Sadly, the death has been announced of crime writer Reginald Hill. His Dalziel and Pascoe characters were brought to the screen by actors Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan.

Though I haven't read any of his books (crime fiction not being my preference) I tried not to miss Dalziel and Pascoe when it was on the BBC.

What was probably unknown by many (including me) was that he wrote other work using a number of pseudonyms.

Monday 19 December 2011

E-Book News Before Christmas...

As there are sure to be numerous e-readers being unwrapped this Christmas, I hope some of your books are bought to be read on them...

According to some commentators downloading e-books seems to have become a Boxing Day activity...

2010 and into 2011 has seen ups and downs in the e-book world. First the furore over some publishers moving to the 'agency model' for pricing of their e-books-which resulted in temporary unavailability of their books on the websites of Waterstones, The Book Depository and Amazon until agreements were brokered...

Earlier this month the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) announced that they were closing their investigation into e-book sales (and probably also the agency model issue). They began this investigation in January this year, and not long after that the European authorities raided the Euro based offices of some publishers, for their own enquiries into possible competition violations.

You can read my past blog post about this subject at the time here and here.

The OFT have closed their investigation citing "because the OFT believes, following discussions with the European Commission, that the European Commission is currently well placed to arrive at a comprehensive resolution of this matter and will do so as a matter of priority." Read the Bookseller article here.

Perhaps the OFT discovered during the course of their investigations that it was too big an issue to handle by themselves (but that's just my opinion).

If you have the time it is worth reading the article by Juliette Garside from The Observer and Guardian website. Apple's need to avoid drowning in the Amazon ocean has also brought them into the investigation too.

I've certainly noticed a difference in prices for print versions of books compared to digital this Christmas. But whatever the Commission's results,  2012 is certainly going to be an interesting year for digital.

And if you do get an e-reader for Christmas, enjoy. :-)

Friday 28 October 2011

Reading or Writing?

I was trying to decide which of two ideas to blog about today. First, I thought I'd share my latest writing dilemma, trying to write 250 words on a set theme, but then I saw an article online and thought I'd prefer to chat about the idea discussed.

So the 250 word issue will be Monday's post.

The article that caught my attention was 'I’m not ashamed of what’s loaded on my e-reader – are you?' by  in The Telegraph online, book section.

Now this appears to have come about from a survey- though who compiled it isn't mentioned, so judge it how you will.

" Meanwhile, a quarter of us are too embarrassed to admit to owning the e-books we are actually reading – mainly thrillers, mysteries and fantasy."

I find that admission surprising as the people I know with e-readers wouldn't be embarrassed to admit owning such books in digital form. So perhaps the people who answered the survey were high-brow types whose usual (admitted) reading matter is literary fiction...

It's understandable that sales of erotica in e-book form would have increased. In the view of some of the population, anyone seen reading erotica (with their revealing covers) might be considered disgraceful- to put it politely. While many readers and writers know that it is a popular genre, and if you want to buy it and read it then, fine, no problem.

There are likely to be quite a few classics that have been downloaded for free, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and the Brontes among them. I know I have quite a few classics on my e-reader.

Here is a small  selection of e-books I have on my pocket reader currently- I have more in my reader library that I've read and taken off my reader, so I only have the ones on there that I'm reading, or have yet to read.

  • Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo- Alexander Dumas (I read this as a teenager, along with The Three Musketeers).
  • Delight and Desire- Joanne Maitland.
  • Diamonds and Pearls- assorted writers (brilliant book).
  • Four in Hand- Stephanie Laurens (a favourite, always makes me smile when I read it).
  • Georgette Heyer's Regency World- Jennifer Kloester (I have a book copy too).
  • Innocent Courtesan to Adventurer's Bride- Louise Allen.
  • Loves Me, Loves Me Not-Romantic Novelists' Association (another must have).
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams (I've actually finished it now).
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell-Susanna Clarke.
  • The Uncommon Reader- Alan Bennet.
  • The Unlacing of Miss Leigh-Diane Gaston.
You get the idea. I won't bore you with all the current 71 books...:-)

So what books have you got on your e-reader? Are there any on your e-reader that you would not want to admit to owning? (If there are, you don't have to tell all.)

Now I'm off to browse some e-books by a couple of authors I haven't read before...

Saturday 15 October 2011

Yes, I Am A Writer...

I do know some writers who would deny themselves that description, but the majority of my writing acquaintances accept it.

Friday evenings I browse the online newspapers for book related items that might interest friends and provoke discussions. That was how I came across this article  'Am I a writer' in the Guardian books section by Rick Gekoski- who has had a number of non-fiction books published, and is also a book dealer.

His daughter, a forensic psychologist with numerous articles to her name ( and also a published author) said to him she was not a writer.  " "It's just a job of work," she said. "There's no art in it, no imagination or creativity, and no fuss. Writers always make a fuss.""

Now perhaps that is the scientist speaking, but is 'art' the difference between factual writing and fiction?
Do writers make a fuss? Though we don't have any explanation of what type of fuss she means, so perhaps we can ignore that statement...

I suspect it is really about how we define ourselves and the terms 'writer', 'author' and 'novelist'.

This is my personal view of those terms, so they won't necessarily reflect another person's opinion, or the dictionary definitions.

I am a writer because I write (with an aim to be published). Perhaps that moment when we say we are a writer-when someone asks what we do- is when we embrace the description and accept the mantle of writer as part of our identity.

When it comes to the difference between an author and a novelist, is it only me who feels that an author is anyone who has published a book, while the novelist is a term more applicable to writers of 'literary' fiction?

I'm interested in finding out how you view both yourself and the terms mentioned, so please share your views.

Friday 12 August 2011

Are Hardback Books On the Way Out?

Reading an article by Alison Flood in the Books section of the Guardian online (Friday evening) I saw this headline 'Hardback sales plummeting in age of the ebook'.

"Sales of adult hardback fiction have fallen by over 10% this year alone, with e-books now accounting for 13.6% of US market."

The US has had e-book sales a little longer than we have in the UK, so this may explain some of the figures, but it could also be an indicator of the future in the UK too.

Already there have been rises in the recommended retail price of hardback fiction - 0.9%, so year on year 15p, according to this article on the Bookseller website (5.8.11).

The 'celebrity autobiographies' that appear in the run-up to Christmas are always hardback and when you see the prices they're starting at, it's not surprising the booksellers quickly put their eye-catching discount stickers on the covers and heavily promote their availability.

I wouldn't pay £20-£25 for them and I'm sure a lot of readers agree...

I do have a lot of hardback non-fiction but even I baulk at the prices being asked, so favoured books tend to be bought for me as a birthday or Christmas present by my family.

Even when I've seen the latest novel by one of my favourite romance authors available in hardback, I will wait for the paperback version to be released.

Though I know that in some genres die-hard fans will buy every new novel (by their favourite author) in hardback when it's released, and if they can get it personally signed, even better...

I've always thought that going straight to paperback was possibly better than having a hardback that sold poorly and never got the chance to go to paperback-because the HB sales weren't positive enough.
But perhaps it would be harder to get a paperback deal in the first place in that scenario...

When it was a choice between a book in HB or PB (assuming both formats were available) then it was only dependant on the personal preferences of the reader.

Now that same reader has the added choice of an e-book and perhaps even an audio book too. Personal choice still comes into play, but sales are now more diluted.

We all know publishers need to make money; without it there wouldn't be any writers taken on.
But with costs rising will it get to the point where only best selling authors get their latest novel published in hardback, or will hardbacks become the domain of non-fiction only?

So what's your view on hardbacks? Love them or hate them? Non-fiction only in hardback format?

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Up and Running, News and Murder...

Well I'm back in the land of computer access and what a difference Windows7 makes. Pages load instantly, images too.

I've still got to put a few programmes back on the computer yet, but I'm secure and able to access the web.

Unfortunately I can see it will take me some time to get used to finding where everything is- but luckily one of my teenage sons is acting as technical advisor as I go along...

Now for a bit of writing related news.

Short story magazine writer Vivien Hampshire has a three page article (in the September issue of Writing Magazine due in newsagents from tomorrow) on the responses she received from the editors of the assorted women's magazines.

It makes interesting reading and not all the news is bad...

Anyway I'm off to get the rest of my programmes loaded and while that's happening I need to read through my part for the murder mystery I'm taking part in tonight-I do know I am not the victim... :-)

Monday 25 July 2011

Reorganising- I Found...

I've been getting on with the sorting out I mentioned recently.

There's been a lot of shredding and recycling going on in my house over the weekend and the bin for dry recyclables is filling up quickly, unfortunately it isn't due for emptying for another week.

I have to admit that I don't like throwing magazines and newspapers away. I will, but only after I've checked that I've removed interesting items for future reference- and of course they then sit there waiting to be used or filed for future use...

So in my effort to get organised and make space for these items I've started on the book shelves, well the cardboard magazine files that I started with some years ago. And as I realised when I pulled out the first one, it was some years ago- 2004-5... That's what happens when something is so tidy you forget it's there.

I went through a dozen magazines, cut out snippets, pages, stapled where needed and then discovered I'd run out of the thin clear plastic A4 covers.

Well I did find a few interesting items. A piece about Priest's Holes and a short list of properties that contain them. I'm considering if I can put one of these 17th C. examples to use in a story set in a later time period.

Another item about the changing face of beauty and the power beautiful women could wield as a result.
Clever women throughout history have gained power by using their looks and their bodies to get what they wanted, and who could blame them when men decided their futures, and usually their views weren't considered at all.

I think I'm going to need to have a box just for the items that spark ideas as I go through- thank goodness for post-it notes.

Next for cannibalising are the old family history type magazines, and I know there are always useful and inspiring articles in those.

So I've made a start. Now I just need to be ruthless...