Thursday, 18 April 2013
Monday, 4 March 2013
Monday, 18 February 2013
Saturday, 12 November 2011
I'm a bit late blogging about it, but it has taken me a week to:
b) Catch up on other stuff enough to get round to writing my own blog.
I was beaten to it first by by my co-tutor, Linda Newbery, on the excellent site: Do Authors Dream of Electric Books? To see what she has to say, just click on the link below and while you are there, have a look round, particularly if you are interested in publishing e books.
I was also beaten to it by Jo Wyton who got her blog up on the equally excellent Notes From The Slushpile http://notesfromtheslushpile.blogspot.com/ . Jo was on the course, so her perspective was particularly interesting for me.
I've tutored four Arvon courses now, and each one has been different, made so by the setting and by the people, tutors and tutees, who have been taking part. But they all had some things in common. They were all intense, hard work, but inspirational. There's something about a group of people with a common interest and a common purpose. Wherever you are at: just beginning, stuck in a rut, blocked, putting off the evil day before you get started, a week away on an Arvon course seems to free the spirit and untie the knots. It's an opportunity to be a writer, not a doctor, or a house wife, or a web site manager, or a lawyer, or a student, or whatever you are when you are at home, and to join with other writers, to learn from the tutors, who are all experienced writers, but also from each other. By the end of the week, Arvon has done its magic. Everyone seems to have made significant progress with the work that he or she brought with them, or has started something new.
I'm indebted to Linda for this snap of our last supper.
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
I was reminded of how lax I'd been by the Bookwitch when I met her at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She was there with her Roving Photographer, taking snap shots and storing away details to blog about us authors so I thought I'd reciprocate and mention her, instead of the other way round.
I was in Edinburgh at the weekend to do a series of events. I flew up on Saturday and my Sunday started at 10am with a ten minute reading in the Writers' Retreat. I could choose to read from any work so I gave my new novel its first public outing. It looks very different: no girl on the cover, no elegant writing. That is because it is very different. It is not historical but a contemporary thriller; the narration shared between a boy and a girl. It will not be published until February 2012. I'll be writing more about it as the date nears.
My main event was with Nicola Morgan, talking about Historical Fiction with Julia Eccleshare, Children's Literary Editor of the Guardian, as Chair. We had a good audience for an excellent session. You never know what you will find out about people on these occasions. Nicola, for example, has a deep interest and knowledge of the gruesome and gory. It does not do to judge authors by what you see. Afterwards we repaired to the Yurt (see below). The yurt is big kind of tent for us authors to hide in. There we met fellow author, Linda Strachan. Linda lives in Scotland, so I don't see her all that often. Edinburgh is a great place to catch up with people.
Monday was the first day of the Schools' Programme (Scottish schools start back earlier than their English counterparts). My time in Edinburgh finished with a talk about The Fool's Girl to a large, appreciative and very enthusiastic audience from schools all over Scotland, some of whom had got up at 5am to get to the Festival.
I was sorry to leave Edinburgh. There are so many things going on that I never get a chance to see. Maybe next time I'll get to stay longer.
Sunday, 29 May 2011
I decided that I couldn't add anything to the actual book. Somehow, a book is a finished thing - it is what it is - and can't have extra episodes added on to it. Besides, there is already a tavern scene in the book, so there is not really room for another. So I decided to write an episode from Pirates!, the phantom sequel. This book has never been written, but parts of it exist, in my mind, anyway. Even though I might never get to write it, I'd certainly thought about what might happen after the end of the book, but would I actually be able to go back to the time, the characters, re-visit a novel that was published eight years ago?
The answer was - no problem! It was like visiting old friends that I hadn't seen for years. They were there waiting for me. You can read the result at: http://vvb32read.blogspot.com/2011/05/triton
I really enjoyed my visit and maybe the girls will sail again one day. Who knows? Certainly looks like they are up for it!
Thursday, 14 April 2011
There is nothing like connecting with readers personally, but if this not going to happen for whatever reason, then the Blog Tour is an excellent alternative. The great thing about the Blog Tour is that writers can organise them for themselves, no longer completely dependant on the vagaries of publicity and marketing departments. Just as important, it is a way of making connections, growing awareness, building interest, not just in us and our books but in the bloggers and the sites that they work so hard to keep current and fresh.