Sunday, 29 March 2020

Coming soon ...

to a speaker near you!
Wednesday April 1st sees the launch of my new podcast. Every weekday at 11.00 am you'll have the chance to catch up with Alison and her life as a 50-year-old.

Each episode will be around fifteen minutes and will be available on the website after broadcast. 

I hope you get the chance to tune in! And please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Listeners wanted!

All you lovely people out there! I know you're bored and looking for something to amuse you so may I suggest listening to the first episode of my podcast? It's also the test episode so I can amend it as necessary. But to know what needs improving I need people to listen and tell me!

This episode is about eighteen minutes long. All comments - constructive ones only please - will be appreciated.

I'm releasing this as a serialised podcast in order to create interest in the sequel. (And to sell millions of copies of both obviously.) (And to become rich and famous and have George Clooney star in the film version.)

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Kill your darlings

I am omitting the very sad bit I had planned for later but this section, I think, isn't sad enough to create a blip in the reader's enjoyment, but simply adds some background, and helps us to understand the characters more.

I am now - amazingly - on 85,692 words, and still have a largish chunk to write. This means it will be significantly longer than volume one unless I decide a huge amount of editing - in the deleting sense - is necessary.

We shall see. I am not good at editing. There is a famous quote you have probably heard often used by writing teachers: kill your darlings, meaning get rid of all those precious but unnecessary words. I find that hard. Maybe that is why I am not a best-selling famous author.

As to the origin of the quote there seems to be some confusion. Was it Stephen King? He definitely wrote it in his book, On Writing, but was he quoting William Faulkner? Or was it originally 'murder your darlings' as said by Sir Arthur Quiller-Cough in a lecture towards the beginning of the twentieth century?

Whoever first said it is irrelevant to the reader but it remains desperately painful to the writer.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Darkness in the humour

My Work In Progress, like the original is amusing, at least I hope it is. That's the intention

But even funny novels need a bit of darkness on occasion to ... to ... make the reader appreciate the humour? So I've written a serious bit. I plan another sombre moment later unless I decide one is enough.

I've spent the afternoon working on it and it's quite upset me. I hope it has the same effect on my readers. 

I didn't know about this surprising turn of events until the day before yesterday when it revealed itself to me.  Don't you love it when that happens? When the plot writes itself?

When I was doing a writing course the tutor told me off. She said, 'You create a wonderfully poignant scene and then you ruin it by throwing in a joke.'

She might not approve of mixing seriousness and humour. What do you think? Do you agree that a bit of seriousness goes down well in a light-hearted novel?

P.S. I tried to write the adjective from the word humour but, for the life of me, I couldn't work out how to spell it.

P.P.S. Cartoon has no relevance to anything but it made me laugh.

Monday, 9 March 2020

A belated Women's Day post

Yesterday was International Women's Day as you will know if you were on social media at all. There was a multitude of posts about women writers so I thought I'd join in and write about one of my favourite writers and probably favourite character.

I first met Janet Evanovich and her bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, in the library. That must have been in or around 1995. Since then there's been about a book a year and I own them all. Unusually for me most are hardback copies. Husband has bought the new release each year for my birthday or Christmas. 

Some of the later ones are a little disappointing - probably to be expected when it's number 25 in a series: it's hard to keep the pace going. But the basic characters never fail to make me laugh out loud - a rarity from the written word.

Stephanie Plum is a New Jersey girl who got into bounty hunting when she lost her job in a lingerie store. Her cousin, the seedy and dubious Vinnie, is the owner of the Bond enforcement business and family ties are strong in the Burg. 

Stephanie is cute but also determined. She's helpless in many ways and does have to rely on being rescued by men occasionally but when the men are as gorgeous as cop Joe Morelli and bond enforcement agent - and quite possibly superhero - Ranger, who cares?

She goes into some horrendous and scary situations, having to fight her own fear to do so. But she's aided by Lula, a larger-than-life doughnut-loving hooker, who may give up the prostitution but never the tight/short clothes, which have to stretch to fit her ample body.

Stephanie frequently goes home for lunch with her parents - meat loaf is her mum's speciality - and Grandma Mazur, who loves nothing better than a viewing at the local funeral parlour. 

I think I love the books because I want to be Stephanie. Not just because she's gorgeous and has two fabulous men hankering after her, but also because she dares to give things a try. And she's brave. 

And I've just realised Husband failed to get me my usual last year so Twisted Twenty-six still awaits me.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

A to Z blogging?

This week I read about something that has, apparently, been going for a few years but is new to me: the April A to Z Blogging Challenge.

The challenge is to blog each day in April on an alphabetical theme. My first thought - for some strange reason - was 'but there aren't enough days to do the whole alphabet.'

Yes, I know. Not only are there enough days but you have Sundays off too.

I'm thinking about taking the challenge and have already started coming up with topics, vaguely writing related, for the letters for the alphabet.

My only concern is that, according to the website, on upcoming dates, March 16th is Theme Reveal Posts. I'm not sure if that means there will be a theme that all entrants write on or whether ... well, I don't know. I suppose I could ask. Hm, yes, I'll do that before I sign up.

Have you ever taken part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge? Do you think you will this year?