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Showing posts from June, 2012

My Characters Won't Talk To Me!

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I always envy those authors who, when asked in interviews where they obtain their inspiration for their story lines and character personalities, say: 'They lead me along their own path and I simply follow and write down what they tell me. I go where they want to go and do what they decide to.' 

Well my characters don't do that - at all. They sit on my screen staring at me with plaintive looks on their blank faces [because I haven't given them features yet] saying, 'Well, don't just sit there - what do you want me to do? How should I think about this situation?' 'How do I feel about this? Do I laugh, cry, panic - what?' 'Where am I?'

They are like actors who keep asking what their motivation is for a particular scene and keep taking coffee breaks because they just cannot get into 'the zone'. I have to do everything, from pick their eye colour to organise their thoughts, politics, sexual proclivities and even dress them. They have n…

Sudeley Castle

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This week I fulfilled one of my promises I made to myself when we arrived in Gloucestershire and visited Sudeley Castle at Winchcombe. Not such a feat as it's only about eight miles away, but these things take planning.

The origins of Sudeley Castle go back to the year 500, when Roman villas were built on land around the area, followed by Anglo-Saxon tribes – the Hwicci – who settled the Severn Valley. Next, Winchcombe became the chief city of Mercia under King Offa.

The castle is mentioned throughout all the interesting times, often with the current owner picking the wrong side in any fight going, from the Norman Conquest, to the Civil War. In 1139, John de Sudley joined the Empress Mathilda's side against King Stephen, and in 1170, William de Tracy of Sudley was one of the four knights who murdered Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Then in the Wars of the Roses, the then owner, Ralph Boteler was a Lancastrian.

It's more recent, and more interesting history, for m…

Pseudonyms

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As a writer, you naturally want to make a name for yourself. 
So says the first line of an article on writing under a pseudonym. But do I?  My experience of many authors of my acquaintance is that we have a more altruistic reason for writing. Not to be rich and famous – well maybe the rich bit would be nice, but fame? That’s a dangerous thing to be in this world of internet stalkers and tweeter trolls.  Even some of the lesser known writers I know have received unnerving e-mails from strangers. 
So fame I can do without.  However, a pseudonym is something I have considered lately. The reason for this is because I am a relatively new author and my four novels are a mixture of genres that vary from 17th Century fictional family saga to Victorian gothic romance.  
My agent tells me – and she knows these things – that publishers like to categories their authors – they need to know what they are getting and to whom to market that author’s work. Thus I confuse them. 
My latest novel due for rel…

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