Welcome to my writers blog.

Writing to entertain and encourage other writers. To keep you informed of events, workshops, retreats and conferences available for writers.

The Love of Dance

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


It was a wonderfully sunny day in Hertfordshire on Saturday - well it was in Bovingdon. It was the school summer fayre and the book auction was due. I was nervous. Would anyone bid! I could only hope they would. The fancy dress had finished, lots of happy children and loads of tears from those feeling dejected. Then the grand raffle began - the head began calling winning tickets, more happy folk. But what had happened? The playing fields and school yard were emptying. People were leaving in droves. Then it was my turn. To the few people standing around - where any interested in Darren Shan and the two signed books. I began with the first trilogy in the saga of Darren Shan - it went for £8 almost £2 less than the book price (disappointed? YES) then the second - book five Demonata signed with photo. Again this was disappointing -£8 when the cover price is £12. I've learnt from this, make sure that the publicity for the auction was much better.
I'm hoping to get some signed books from Jacqueline Wilson for our next auction but I'll publicise this one with more efficiency. I'm hoping the next time I mention this I'll be reporting a great profit for the school.
There was a good side to this weekend. I've started writing my fourth rewrite of Symidan which is now a completely different book. I only hope the publisher will like the new storyline. Time will tell.

Monday, 18 June 2007

A weekend of writing

Okay I may be in the minority here, but I loved this weekend full of rain. Not because I have a fetish for rain or water, far from it, but it gave me time to focus on my writing. I've managed to get two chapters written and every word seems to fit beautifully. Yes, I know I'll have to revisit it and rewrite parts but for a second draft - I'm pleased.
Now I have to do research on current circus tricks that a small insect can master and I'm away. This is a children's book. My adult thriller is growing menacingly, but in the most positive way. That is only a first draft and has a few years of writing to go. I've just entered a competition with this just to see if I'm on the right legs. Having never attempted this genre before. What's the worse they can say - crap! well I'm ready for that one. And that is after all how we learn. One thing is for sure, I'll not give up. There is a story to tell there, based on true life, with a few little extra threads flowing through.

Tip for the day: Write for ten minuets even if you don't feel in the mood. You'll soon find you can write on demand. A good skill to learn.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

While the rain is watering the plants.

So the rain has decided not to stop today, so there is nothing for it but to write - oh, what a shame. I love days like this. I can't do anything in the garden without drowning - I can't do the washing because I can't dry it, no tumble dryer, but that's a long story. Okay I'll tell you. I did have a tumble dryer out in the shed. A great place for it as my cottage only has a small kitchen. However the bumble bees also thought it was a great place and chose it as a home. They built an elaborate hive inside and I couldn't just turf them out. In the end I've just managed without. Anyway I digress. I suppose I could do house work, but then that is stupid when dad is due around tomorrow, why do it twice? All that mopping of floors when I'll only bring muddy water in from outside later. I guess the best thing to do is to sit down and get on with my latest children's novel and enjoy this time to write. My suggestion for any would be writer is to take every opportunity to write that you can. Even if you only get a ten minute slot - write. You might find you write something worth while or get rid of dross either way you'll keep you writing muscle working and that is as important as keeping your heart healthy. So go exercise your writing muscle. And don't forget to feed it - healthily of course!!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Winchester Writers Conference

Anyone interested in writing should investigate the annual Winchester Writers Conference. I've attended for the last five years and am attending again this year. Why you ask should I go? Well if you really are interested in writing and want to network, which is one of the most important parts of writing if you intend to look for publication, then Winchester is your place. You get the chance to chat with authors from many genre. Sit along side publishers and agents. Take the opportunity to brush up your skills with a two day workshop or attend seminars about something new. Whatever your interest in writing there will be something there for you. Not only that you get a chance to have your work judged, criticised and you might just win a prize. It is great fun, tiring but fun. Yes it is a bit pricey, but if you are dedicated to your writing it is worth every penny. I've entered four competitions this year - I'll let you know how I do. In the past I've been shortlisted (many times) and last year won the 12+ children's writing competition. I've sent in some experimental work this year and am looking forward to the reaction. Whatever way, win or not I'm looking forward to receiving my critique which will help my writing improve. Take a shifty at their website: http://www.writersconference.co.uk/

Darren Shan in St. Albans

A wonderful time with Darren Shan.

What a wonderful way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon – squashed in a small theatre in St. Albans with around 100 other Darren Shan fans. We were hot, sticky and dare I say there were a few odours drifting on the air once the air-conditioning was started up.Fans from eight to eighty were visible in the auditorium all enthralled when Darren took to the stage. We were treated to a reading from 'Bec' book four of the Demonata series. Darren gave such emphasis to his characters making the stomach tighten and the skin to crawl as we listened captivated by the scene unfolding before us. We then were treated to a snippet from the current book 'Blood Beast' which had us all eager for more. But it wasn't to be – well not yet the best was yet to come.Opening up the questioning, Darren was a wash with eager hands waving like a sea of snakes in the air. One by one the children quizzed and delved trying to get more information about characters, Darren and what will happen next. Darren neatly sidestepped some questions he wasn't prepared to give answers too, and happily offered snippets to keep everyone happy. The session could have gone on for so much longer but as is want with these things it was coming to an end - but what an ending. Darren surprised everyone by reading a choice section - from book SEVEN. Again it left you wanting more. But what of book SIX – well that is being kept under wraps. Darren is keeping that close to his chest. So everyone is now waiting for October when Book SIX (title unknown) will be placed on the shelves. I wonder how many seconds it will take for most of them to disappear? Thankfully Darren was prepared to sign books (as many as you had with you) have his photo taken and chat briefly. I think he would have been lynched had he not. The queue was immense. My group were towards the middle of the line. You may have noticed a couple of photo's if you are keen eyed.I'm hoping some of that talent has rubbed off on me.Darren thank you for a great afternoon.