Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Are you dying to write a crime novel?

Sorry for the terrible pun.  But if you do fancy you have a dastardly murder or terrifying thriller in you then why not head over to a site where plenty of crime writers talk about their experience.  The dark tunnels that slow them down, the blazing lights that clear the fog of the plot.

And you can book your holiday to co-incide with the festival.  2012 luminaries include Jo Nesbo.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Words and music

This week I've been catching up with some replays of Words and Music the BBC Radio 3 programme.  Usually goes out lateish on Sunday evening. 

An uninterrupted sequence with words and music combining and weaving in and out, it creates moments of delight and discoveries.  It reminds me all those years ago of listening to Alexis Korner, when I had no idea what might be coming next.

So a combinationof Nilsson's Helios Overture which I love, and a poem by Edward Thomas which I didn't know plus the voice of Hugh Bonneville produced a spine chilling experience.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Theories of the Modern Stage course

Nottingham Writers' Studio,: Monday, January 09, 2012 at 6:30:00 PM

10 week course led by David Kershaw, is aimed at scriptwriters and anyone with an interest in theatre.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Novel-Writing Booster Kit with Martin Davies

21st January 2012 10-3.45 at Mackworth Library Derby.
Martin Davies is the author of four novels, and his books have been published in the US and Europe as well as in the UK. His UK debut, The Conjuror’s Bird, was featured by the Richard and Judy Book Club and was nominated for Read of The Year at the British Book Awards. His most recent novel, The Unicorn Road, was chosen as one of The Times WH Smith Paperbacks Of The Year. His next novel, The Year After is due out in August.
For booking information see

Monday, 19 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

Keeping on keeping on with our writing

"You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist."

- Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Alt Fiction festival 14-15 April 2012

Early bird tickets have just gone on sale for the Alt.Fiction festival of sci fi, fantasy and horror, taking place on 14 & 15 April 2012 at the Phoenix in Leicester.

The festival, run by Writing East Midlands, provides an opportunity for writers to hear from their favourite authors, find out more about the world of publishing and learn more about the writing process, while networking with agents, publishers and other writers.

For more information:

Monday, 12 December 2011

Inspirational quotes for writers

'Flaubert wrote: "It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on an autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes."'

From Writers Almanac 12 December 2011

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Be honest - what's your best read of 2011?

It's that time of year again.

You know, when all the lists start appearing of what's cool, what's not, must haves, must sees and what's worse, must have read.

It takes courage for me to scan the list.  Because if I'm not careful I can end up feeling completely out of the loop.  A bit thick.

Sometimes I imagine sitting next to one of the recommenders at a dinner party.  The conversation turns to books and they start to say what the must reads for the year have been.  Already I can feel myself shrinking back into my seat knowing I'll be lucky to have heard of them let alone read any.

And then even worse they'll ask me what I've read this year and I'll have to confess to lapping up the latest detective novels, and re-reading Georgette Heyer for the umpteenth time.  Or going back to Anthony Trollope.

There'll be a silence then they'll probably turn to their other neighbour and freeze me out for the rest of the meal.

I jest... but not much.  I am past the age of feeling guilty for what I choose to read but there is an intellectual snobbery about, that dismisses much of what I might enjoy as mere light reading.  I spent my twenties wading through, 'serious' reading so I've served my sentence thank you.  Stream of consciousness novels hold no fears for me.

For the record, this year I have read one of the authors on a list - Alice Munro - her short stories are immaculate examples of the genre.

So my recommendations for what they're worth:
Non-fiction: David Bellos Is that a fish in your ear?  Wonderful, funny, learned look at translation. Did you know how they bring about simultaneous publication of EU laws in all official languages?
Fiction:    Donna Leon Drawing conclusions. Wins it hands down for the descriptions of Venice. And can I please find another Inspector Brunetti?

PS: Does it count I'm about to read the latest Murakami?