Writing Magazine

bookwormclipartI was reading this month’s magazine when I came upon a little piece about me and my books. It was such a long time since I sent it in I had forgotten all about it.

I should have added a web address but otherwise it was fine, although I always think other writers cannot possibly read books by all the authors who submit to Writing Magazine. Just occasionally a review or a story might make a reader search out more by that writer and one can hope that a publisher might be curious enough to find out whether one would be a good bet for promotion.

Having been told once that my work was’not commercial’ I gave up sending to agents. It is enough to constantly be asked for another book by the folk who do buy a copy. It will be interesting to find out if anyone shows an interest at the UK Southern Book Show on 28th October at Field Place, Worthing. It should be a great showcase.

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Planning ahead

Still not writing, but I am planning. First we have the UK Southern Book Show in October and I have to give a ten minute talk, then we have a charity gig in November when the Sea Scribes and the Friends of St Barnabas in Worthing are combining to entertain with stories, poems and songs. Although my singing is atrocious I have been trying to learn a song to sing at the folk club we attend , on an Open Mic night.

The rest of the time I am designing posters and advertising. I don’t have a publishing package so I do it on Open Office. I really should get some more book marks done, or at least, some up to date business cards.

I’ll try to load up one of my recent efforts.

A Bend in the Lane flyer

Review: “The Second Coming.”

Maybe I’m a bit daring , writing a review of this book on an international blog but John Niven’s book both shocked and enthralled me.

This was political satire disguised as humour and I’m glad I picked up the red cover version as I thought the one with the face tasteless, but then the whole book is designed to upset and provoke.

A swearing and disappointed God sends his musical son back down to earth to try to tell people to stop fighting and be nice to one another. In order to become noticed Jesus (JC) enters a talent contest. Does he change the world? What do you think?

Set in the USA and taking pot shots at Christianity throughout this is a story designed to make one think. Unforgettable.

Promotion through talks

What a great start to the week. I gave two talks on ” My Life and Works” and sold five books at each. The audience at these social gatherings are always so kind and friendly that they are a joy to do, even if I do have a half hour walk to a train station pulling my trolley. My fault for refusing to take the car!

It is always interesting to discover which part of the talk interests them most and it is usually the fact that I used to tutor dyslexics. It is amazing how many people tell me of someone in their family with the same problem and the stories about help or lack of it depending on where they live.

Tonight I am taking some poems to a folk club as they sometimes allow me to recite.Hopefully by Saturday my printer will be operating and I can start advertising our next Charity Gig. Pity I’ll miss Crawley Book Fair but I do like my annual weekend in a hotel and this time it’s Cardiff.bookwormclipart

Sea scribes books.

sea-scribes-at-windmill.jpgOn Sunday the Sea Scribes had a stall at a craft fair at the High Salvington Windmill. We were displaying our books and offering to sign them.

People came up and expressed an interest, one lady said to me “I have read one of your books and enjoyed it,” but she didn’t buy another. Maybe it was because our pitch was next to a stall selling second hand books for 25p each!

It was a beautiful day and the entertainment was good, a bunch of Morris Dancers and a mechanical organ. The non fiction books always go down well, especially if they have ‘Worthing’ in the title. Never mind, we made some good contacts with a local charity and look forward to working with them on an event of our own later in the year.

I was cheered today when a friend who had bought one of my books a year ago said she had started to read it although she didn’t usually read books. That was “Never Run Away” and it does seem to chime with people. How many women have secretly wished they could?

Doubting

Have you ever got to that stage when you are starting a new project but you aren’t sure if it is good enough to continue?

I have a couple of unfinished novels packed away somewhere but this is a different feeling. I think it needs to stew in my imagination for a while until I have enough to start writing. When your work is character driven, as mine is, you need to be really certain about your characters before you put them into a situation. Then they usually behave consistently and the story makes sense. I need to flesh out the personalities and backgrounds of the people in my next book before I concentrate on the plot.

Meanwhile we have a Craft Fair on Sunday where I am taking a few of my most popular novels, “Never Run Away” and “Never Pretend,” as well as the latest two, just in case there are some local readers who would be willing to purchase them. I think there will be a number of second hand books for sale so I don’t hold out much hope.

The more I read the less confidence I have in my own work. For one thing, most books I enjoy are twice as long as the ones I write. What is it, I wonder, that makes it possible to keep a plot going that long? If it is, as I suspect, a deeper understanding of what the characters are thinking and feeling, then I have to introduce that. If it is a broadening of the plot to include more related events, I need to try that. It gives me something to aim at and I’ll let you know if any of it works!bookwormclipart