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Showing posts from October, 2011

Who Is Mary Sue?

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A recent illuminating post from The Writers Vineyardmentioned a term I had not heard before. The “Mary Sue” heroine" is a female protagonist who is overly-perfect and lacking any flaws. The 'too stupid to live' girl.

My heroines don't quite fit that profile, but my novels are set in a more formal time and I cannot portray them as foul-mouthed, stroppy madams who defy every convention, consorts with whom they wish, and insults everyone as the mood takes them. Women who behaved so in the 1880's, unless they were very rich widows, would have been social pariahs, gossiped about, ostracised and possibly locked away from the world by their fathers or husbands.

In my last novel, I gave my Victorian Miss a conventional, if sheltered upbringing, a pliable nature and the belief everyone's life is like a fairy tale. More Jane Bennett than Scarlet O'Hara. As the story progresses, she begins to make sense of the world around her and how it works, learns that life is n…

Promotional Blogfest Today

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For someone who always finds promoting their own work difficult, there's a bit of help being organised today.

The blog of M A Leslie is holding a Blogfest for authors, where anyone with a novel to promote can sign up with a link for where to buy your books - the key being to get the word out so I am doing my bit here.

All you have to do is to click here: Blogfest and add your link to the list, then circulate the blog page to everyone you can think of. Also, write a post with some blurb about your book and with any luck, readers as well as writers will drop by to take a look at the list. The more books there are to talk about, the better.

Realistic Ambition or False Expectation?

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During one of my 'can't write' days, which are cropping up with monotonous regularity lately, I came across a blog offering writing advice - OK I Googled under 'I am a failed novelist' but that's how I feel today, and I found I am not alone. The following are 'reasons' I discovered in various articles and blogs.

This writing thing is starting to get to you

Yup, and all those comments like,  'What are you writing now?', when my last novel came out THREE Days ago!

Yesterday, you thought you were the next big thing. 

Um no,  not really, but I was hoping to appeal to a niche set of readers who like the past as much as I do, sell a few copies of my novel and have a reader sent me an e-mail saying how much they enjoyed the story. Is that too much to ask?

Today, you wonder if you have any talent at all
Precisely - I read and re-read my manuscript, tweak, alter, delete, modify, look at it from a different perspective and it still reads like a telephone di…

Trencarrow Secret Released as Audio Book

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Trencarrow Secrethas been released this week by Iambik Audio Books, another innovative Canadian company.  The manuscript is read by Ruth Golding, whom I think conveys the era and characters beautifully with her lovely rich voice.

Ruth says:

The characters are well-drawn and I had no difficulty in visualising them as I recorded the book. I particularly enjoyed recording the indomitable Aunt Margot, Isabel’s widowed aunt, and Isabel’s brother-in-law Walter who does, oh does so enjoy his food. All in all, a book that I think you will enjoy.
No violence, sex or swearing – makes a pleasant change!

Links:
Iambik are also running a 1st Birthday Contest, and win a chance of winning a title of your choice.
Trencarrow Secret Chapter One
Ruth Golding's Blog:

Can't Write - Need More Coffee?

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Beginning a new book comes with an all consuming obsession to get into the heads of my characters as I guide them through the scenery and lead them along a path where facts and historical details emerge to paint the scene.

Once the outline is completed, I 'live' inside the story, constantly writing dialogue as I drive or walk to the shops, creating characters' reactions to events, simultaneously unwinding the film in my head that is their life until it becomes so real, they begin writing their own story.

More than once I had a character who had died before my novel began, but in my efforts to make that person real to my readers, he kept insisting he needed his own voice. He won, of course - his voice was stronger than mine.

Then I reach the second and third draft, and suddenly the enthusiasm dims. Persistence and the slog of editing turn an adventure into a chore, where honing each plot device into succinct chapters that progress the story gets progressively harder. The co…

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