White Dog review.

I came across this Jack Irish thriller in the library and didn’t realise it was the fourth in a series and possibly the last book Peter Temple wrote. I was blown away by the writing style and have vowed to try all his other books. The setting is Australia but the plot is so neat and fast with original descriptions and a vein of sharp humour written in short pacey sentences I read it in two days. Apparently the first Jack Irish story is Bad Debts and another of his prize winning novels is The Broken Shore. He could be my favourite author. Watch out for more reviews in future.

The blurb tells of an investigation into a murder which is ‘far from swift and painless.’ Try one of his books and let me know if you agree with me.

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Editing talk

West Sussex Writers had a talk on editing by Sarah Palmer last night. She did two excellent things ONE she asked the audience and included them throughout and TWO she had handouts for us to take away at the end of the talk.

Although she is an editor she slanted her talk towards self editing as she probably knew many of us found the idea of spending a lot on professional editing cost too much to make our work pay.

Her emphasis was on narrative drive and gave me a lot to think about as I believe I was following the arc but had never re read my novels to check whether that was so. Proof reading I can understand but consistency of character and dialogue I assumed happened naturally. Now I feel like going through my previous works to  see if that is really so. We were introduced to the different edits, structural and line and , of course, warned not to send off anything without someone else reading it first. Oh, to stop being so arrogant that we think reading something three times means it is perfect! I’m as guilty as anyone and it is so disappointing when one finds an error in the printed copy.

This morning I started a new story. Meeting up with a group of writers is always stimulating. Twenty five copies of Coconut Ice sold already. Things are looking up!

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‘Coconut Ice’ mmmmm

The book launch of Coconut Ice went down well yesterday, although I was glad we had chosen an intimate venue as the public did not arrive in droves. We sold ten copies, which is reasonable for something as unpopular as a poetry book. ( I usually sell 14 novels at a launch) I supplied some real home made coconut ice for customers to sample, but a few did not like coconut so I brought some home. It’s very naughty, almost all sugar, but I only made small slices!

I didn’t realise how tired all this planning was making me as we have the charity Gig next month and we need posters and tickets and advertising for that soon. Not much time for writing although I have written one short story and may try to do another this month. I’m sleeping through TV programmes in the evenings. It’s a good job I didn’t care ‘who-done-it!’bookwormclipart

News and Views.

Oh, to get back to writing. Real life isn’t much fun at present. I saw the dentist this morning and she said I would need a root filling and crown- only about £800. I have been moving people onto a new email. I’m trying to have one for friends and family and one for business and publicity but there are some people on both.

I think I’m due a holiday. Anyway I did get a prescription for the pain in my tooth and warnings not to eat anything hard until it can be fixed. No more flapjack , then? I need to work on my short story as it might be a tiny bit too long for the summer event. There may be a gap in my posts until after May 7th. Roll on the book launch!

Meanwhile , Sticky has a launch of his own today “Scooterboys, the Lost Tribe” I hope it goes well.

Gmail back!

I wonder how I got Gmail back? Could it be that someone, somewhere read my complaint? You never know who sees your posts, do you? Anyway, after setting up a new email I now have three to play with and have to decide which to use for what. I feel it was emailing from my phone that upset things so I’m worried about doing that again but I use ‘share’ and post to my computer from the phone using email. I probably should do it another way.

Today I visited the UK Southern Book Show. There was a wonderful variety of children’s books and they looked so colourful and well produced. I bought two and treated myself to a history book. One seller had come all the way from Cornwall. I hope she found it worth while. Our book is not out until May 7th so I didn’t have a table.Maybe next time.

No Safety Net

As a novelist-do you use an editor? Writing without one is like home schooling your children. It can work, if you treat it seriously.A professional editor is an expense many self published authors try to do without. Personally, I had n assessment for my first three manuscripts then, going on what I had seen them do, continued on my own. However, I always use beta readers and have outside help with proof reading.

Recent discussions on editing have alerted me to the detail required for the job. A good editor considers characterisation, structure, plot, continuity and style, giving an assessment of whether the story captures and holds the imagination of a reader and suggests cutting unnecessary waffle to keep the action tight. People who add nothing to the story have to be eliminated or merged. Points of View should be adhered to whether they be first person, third person or omniscient narrator as a multitude of voices clamouring to be heard can spoil a good story. The balance of internal thought, dialogue and description should be kept and characters should act consistently. Can the reader differentiate between them or will they get Millie and Maisie confused?

A professional editor will also ask who the book is intended for and, while for most of us it is just something we want to write, if we want to be commercial we should listen to advice. I intend to learn more about editing as I believe it could be even more important than marketing!bookwormclipart

SWWJ meeting

The local meeting of the SWWJ in Chichester was a very enjoyable and constructive day. We began with refreshments and then discussed venue options with some folk supporting the status quo while others suggested Liphook or the Yacht Club in Chichester. It all depends whether we want to change the activities and find a free venue with lunches or keep to the options of packed lunch or finding somewhere else to eat. We do need to be close to public transport as not everyone is a driver.

We moved on to the programme for meetings and, while it was suggested we bring work in progress to read the general consensus was that we enjoyed having a speaker, as long as there were enough people to support the cost and we could revert to the half day workshops that we used to have a few years back.

In the afternoon Margaret Mounsdon told us how she became a successful author of Pocket Novels, with examples, and fired our enthusiasm for the genre.

It was great to meet up with members from all over the South East and, hopefully, we shall look forward to more such meetings in the future, wherever they are.