About Writing, Life and Writing About Life

Posts tagged ‘literature’

Be An Author Extract – Contributors

Over the weeks ahead, I’m going to be sharing a few extracts from my latest book, Be An Author. First, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit more about the book.
This book grew out of my work with the Charmouth Literary Festival, which we run as a festival with a difference, because the focus is on people who want to write. Once I decided to write the book, I did some research at my local Business networking group Business Xchange in Dorset, and amongst my contacts. It turned out that many of those I spoke to wanted to write, but were being held back by fears – most of which were unfounded.
In Be An Author, I set out to challenge some of those fears, and debunk the mysteries of writing. In order to do so I wanted to talk to other authors, so it was not just my voice being heard. I talked to authors who are working hard on making a name for themselves – some going it alone, others now with traditional publishers. I’m now going to introduce you to those contributors, who gave their time to answer my questions so that you could be inspired on your writing journey.

Sallyann Sheridan
Sallyann’s background is as a copywriter. She has written advertising copy for national companies, book cover text for publishing houses, and then moved on to writing for herself. She has written a number of non-fiction books including The Magic of Writing Things Down, numerous stories and feature articles for magazines and in 2009 her first novel, If Wishes Were Horses, was published. Her lastest book Relax is available as a download from her website with its companion relaxation audio Let Go.
You can find out more about Sallyann at www.sallyannsheridan.com.

Simon Hall
Simon Hall is a crime reporter for BBC TV in the South West. Intrigued by the similar skills required in journalism and police work, Simon created the ‘TV Detective’, and has written a series of mysteries involving this character.
Simon self-published his first book, before securing a publisher for the subsequent books. Simon still works full time and regards writing and promoting his books (one of which has now been adapted into a stage play) as one of life’s great pleasures.
Simon is online at www.thetvdetective.com.

Wendy Knee
Wendy is a life coach, adventurer and inspiration to all who know her. Having lived a full life with many ups and downs, Wendy came to writing in her sixties with a little book called Never Die Wondering. This book continues to enjoy success – and to change people’s lives – and has since been joined by a companion, Get Cracking.
Wendy is now working on Travels with Granny – the story of both her own travels and how she is sharing that love of adventure with her grandchildren.
See more at www.wendyknee.com.

Linda Parkinson-Hardman
Linda’s writing came out of her social enterprise The Hysterectomy Association. Having done research which showed that women given information do better after hysterectomy and that this information was not widely available, Linda plugged the gap with her online support. This was followed by several books on the subject including 101 Handy Hints for a Happy Hysterectomy.
Harnessing the Internet in its early days, Linda also knows more than most about all things web related. She now teaches and consults on web-based business. Her latest non-fiction book LinkedIn Made Easy helps you get the most out of the most prominent business social network. Linda has now branched into fiction with her first novel, Woman on the Edge of Reality.
Not surprisingly, Linda is online in several places including www.womanontheedgeofreality.com.”

These people have all inspired me to continue with my writing, and to look towards what more I can do in the future. I hope you will enjoy reading some of their words over the coming weeks.

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The Etiquette of Book Reviews

This is the first of several posts on topics raised at the Charmouth Literary Festival last Saturday about issues that come up for writers – or issues that I noticed on the day.

Today I’m thinking about book reviews. One of the audience, himself a writer, shared that he had problems with other friends who are also writers. The first problem was that they seemed to expect him to buy their book, and the second was that they then put pressure on him to post a review on Amazon. All of this seems to me distinctly unfair and stretching a friendship too far. That set me thinking about the etiquette of it all. What is acceptable and what is not? (more…)

Charmouth Literary Festival – Sat 8th September 2012

Final preparations are under way and the excitement is building. Next Saturday will be the 3rd Charmouth Literary Festival – a free one day event for people who write. This year we have responded to those who were frustrated by not being able to attend sessions which clashed, so all events are held at the same venue – the St Andrews Village Hall on Lower Sea Lane. There is parking to be found just after the hall on the right in St Andrews Road car park, or you can park on The Street (space permitting) and walk along.
The festival will be particularly exciting for me as it marks the launch of my second book – Be An Author. This is a book to inspire fledgling writers to take the step into publication and sharing their words with the world. In it I aim to debunk many of the myths that have grown up around the publishing world, and give an insight into how life is for the average author starting out today.
Other items on the bill include sessions on Flash Fiction, Writing a Memorable Memoir and a Poetry Workshop. There is an optional short writing excursion at lunchtime and the local writers group Jurassic Writers will be hosting an interactive writing session over the lunch break. All in all a fun packed day for anyone who enjoys putting pen to paper!
Hope to see you there. If you’re not able to come along, you can still join in with our Flash Fiction competition. It only costs £1 to enter and all proceeds will go directly to support next year’s festival, allowing us to keep it free for everyone to attend. You can find details of the competition here on the festival website and the closing date is Saturday 8th September.

How Forgiving Are You As A Reader?

As I mentioned before, I am enjoying using my new Kindle to explore independent authors and self-published books. I’m really enjoying it, too, and am finding some great ways to find these books. It has, however, brought up the issue of quality again. I wrote on here before about the importance of editorial input, but it seems that there are plenty of books out there which haven’t had much if any of that kind of input.
Of the two that I am particularly thinking about, the first had some typos, grammatical errors, and problems with sentence structure which made the sense difficult to follow. All of these are mistakes that I regularly make in my writing, too, as does everyone I believe when they are in the flow of creation. I do try hard to eliminate them on editing, though, and my husband is especially good at spotting them too. I loved the story in this particular book and forgave it, but had to keep on doing so throughout the story, which I thought was a shame. When I reviewed the book, though, I couldn’t bring myself to mention it. Am I a coward, or just sensitive to how it feels to have negative aspects commented on so publicly?
The one I’m struggling with at the moment is a consistent mis-spelling of the word ‘prized’ meaning ‘held to be of great value’ as ‘prised’ which should mean ‘removed from a tight grip’. The same applies to ‘prise’ for ‘prize’ and so far it keeps cropping up in the book. It’s making me trip up every time I come across it. What I want is to be able to read smoothly without really thinking about the words individually, and things like this stop me in my tracks.
So I’m wondering how others feel. Do you mind errors in books? Does how much you pay for them make a difference to how you feel? Is it fair enough for a self-published book to have some errors as they do not have the resources of a publisher – and are traditional publishers immune to errors in books? Or should a self-published author not have the temerity to put out a book unless it has been checked over by someone else? I would love to hear what you think in the comments, and as I am still working on my self-publishing download what you think will benefit self-publishers of the future too. I’m going to add a little poll too, so that we can build up a balance of opinion.
Thanks.

Embracing the Kindle – Never say Never

As you may know, I’ve been working on my next book, which will be launched at the Charmouth Literary Festival in September. It’s called Be An Author, and tells the real story of what it is like to write and publish a book in today’s world. The last chapter I wrote was the one on ePublishing, and here is a short extract :
“I have not yet embraced the digital book at all. I don’t have an eReader and I hate reading books on the computer screen so I don’t do it. For people like me, I believe there is always a reason to have a print version available – unless and until the balance tips so far that print becomes obsolete.” (more…)

Temptation from New Ideas

I’ve never wanted to write fiction. That’s what I said when I started this blog. That is, until a conversation with a friend prompted a brilliant idea for a book. A sort of semi-fiction book based on a true story back in my husband’s family tree. I want to have a go at writing it so much it almost hurts. (more…)

Who Are Your Readers?

Continuing from yesterday’s post on Why Self Publish? This is the next step – identifying your potential readers.
“As tempting as it is to say ‘Everyone should read my book’ or ‘This book will appeal to a broad market’, this is not really very helpful to you. What you need is to know more about the people who will read your book. (more…)