Saturday, 31 March 2012

For Anne Tyler fans...

A rare interview here. You can listen to the full version (after a short advert!) or read the summary. You can also read an extract from her new novel 'The Beginner's Goodbye' and look at photos of places in Baltimore that relate to her novels. I devour anything by Anne Tyler and can't wait to read her latest book.

Friday, 23 March 2012

A visit from Carol E. Wyer

This week our local writers' group welcomed Carol E. Wyer as our guest speaker. Carol gave an entertaining talk about how she drew on personal experience of facing fifty for her debut novel 'Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines'. Published by YouWriteOn in 2011, the novel takes the unusual form of a blog written by the main character.

It is always lovely to meet writers who are generous in sharing what they've learnt along the way. Amongst other things, Carol discussed the trend towards digital publishing, and the relative ease of producing eBooks, especially in Kindle format. This reminded me, yet again, that I'd threatened to put my Pocket Novel onto Kindle and still haven't done it!

Social media has been crucial in the marketing and promotion of Carol's book. She continues to write on the themes of 'Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines' in her own blog Facing 50 With Humour.

Here's how Carol describes the novel.

"Amanda Wilson can't decide between murder, insanity and another glass of red wine. Facing 50 and all that it entails is problematic enough. What's the point in minking your eyes, when your husband would rather watch 'Russia Today' than admire you, strutting in front of the television in only thigh boots and a thong?

Her son has managed to perform yet another magical disappearing act. Could he actually be buried under the mountain of festering washing which is strewn on his bedroom floor? He'll certainly be buried somewhere when she next gets her hands on him.

At least her mother knows how to enjoy herself. She's partying her twilight years away in Cyprus. Queen of the Twister mat, she now has a toy boy in tow.

She really shouldn't have pressed that send button The past always catches up with you sooner or later. Still, her colourful past is a welcome relief to her monochrome present; especially when it comes in the shape of provocative Todd Bradshaw, her first true love.

Soon Mandy has a difficult decision to make; one that will require more than a few glasses of Chianti."

'Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines' is available from bookshops, online, and also as an eBook. For further details, Carol's website is here.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

International Tree Foundation

I wish I could remember for sure which blogger posted the link to a recent short story competition run by the International Tree Foundation. I would like to say a big thank you to that kind person, as I have won second prize.

In the picture on the left you can see some of the lovely contents of my prize goody bag. (There was also a nice green tie, but my husband has already taken to wearing it and he's gone out!) For the competition results and three top stories, just go to this page on the International Tree Foundation website.

It may have been Patsy who originally mentioned the competition. If not, I think Patsy deserves thanking anyway, for all the competition details she shares with us. Well done Patsy - keep it up!

Yesterday I met two writing friends in London. We spent most of the day in the Victoria and Albert Museum, admiring beautiful gems in the Jewellery Gallery, seeing the famous Great Bed of Ware, and of course buying the obligatory postcard and fridge magnet in the shop.

Here's a heron who was posing perfectly in Kensington Gardens on my way from the station.