Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Getting to know ... Amanda James



What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?
My recent one was romance, the previous one would fall under thriller I guess. It is quite hard to define as the thriller did have relationships at its core. I guess you could say romantic suspense? But then A Stitch in Time is time travel with a hint of comedy...sheesh. It’s hard!

What made you choose that genre?
Well, the thriller was a bit heavy and dark in places, so I fancied a change. I tend to write dark and light novels alternately. It isn’t planned, it just happens.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Normally anything from four months to a year. A Stitch in Time was the exception though – the first draft took six weeks!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I have no set schedule, though I do like to write in daylight hours. After about seven at night my thoughts just won’t stay on the paper. I try to write at least three hours or so each day. I don’t always manage it, but most of the time I meet my goal.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Sometimes they are inspired by the world around me like Righteous Exposure (the thriller). I was on holiday in Texas and noticed the contrast in living standards between most Mexicans and many whites.

The Mexicans or Hispanics were the ones with poor housing and menial jobs, the whites had humongous houses and flashy cars. Of course I realise there are many poor white Texans too, but the germination of the idea for the book came from there. What if a Mexican got the upper hand for once?

Sometimes they come from the title or elsewhere through the ether!

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I used to write lots of poems and short stories from the age of about 8 through my teenage years. I had a break when I had my daughter but idea was always on the back burner. My first book was a children’s book – still in a box somewhere, and I was thirty I think. My first full-length adult novel, I was thirty-nine.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to travel, particularly in the U.S. I haven’t been for a good few years though now, and I love being by the sea in Cornwall. I spend lots of time with my grandson and daughter too. Oh and I tend to spend too much time on social network sites with a glass of red wine on my hand J

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That there is always something new to learn and a different way of writing to be tried.

How many books have you written?
I am working on my sixth novel, but at the time of writing only two have been published. I plan to have more out very soon.

Which is your favourite and why?
I don’t really have one. It’s like kids, you love them all in different ways but none more than the other.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I dreamt of being a writer, but then practicalities dictated I should be a hairdresser. I went on to train as a teacher and spent fifteen odd happy years (well, happy-ish) doing that. Now I am at last living the dream.

What are you working on now?
A sequel to A Stitch in Time

Twitter – @akjames61


Bio
I had many short stories published in various anthologies since 2010.  One is Hipp-O-Dee-Doo-Dah a fundraiser for Children’s Hospices UK (Bridge House Publishing), and has a foreword by Michael Morpurgo. Another is 100 Stories for Queensland,
 an anthology to raise funds for the survivors of that awful disaster. I also
 have short stories published online and with Ether Books.

My suspense/crime novel Righteous Exposure was released by Crooked Cat Publishing in February 2012. And I am delighted that I now have my first novel in print, a romantic comedy A Stitch in Time published by Choc Lit Publishing in April 2013.

As well as entertaining the reader, I always aim to make a difference to their perception of a subject even in a small way. As a reader I like to be made to think, and feel that reading a novel should be a like dialogue between the writer and reader. If the writing has strong identifiable characters and is thought-provoking, then the story stays with the reader long after the last page is finished.

Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition
Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Writing Critique Service




Are you a beginner writer, looking for advice? A published novelist in need of full ms critique prior to submission? Somewhere in between and searching for advice on fiction or non-fiction? Why not investigate The Lorraine Mace Writing Critique Service?

Writers receive a report covering manuscript presentation, title, opening paragraphs, story resolution, dialogue, characterisation and an overall assessment. They also get back their original document marked up with track changes to show comments and advice directly on the text. The critiques cover not only where improvements are needed, but also detail what it is that writers are doing right! This is something that is often overlooked when work is appraised, but it is an important aspect in a writer’s progress.

Details for submission can be found on the website: http://www.lorrainemace.com/index_files/critiques.htm

Lorraine Mace is the humour columnist for Writing Magazine and a competition judge for Writers’ Forum. She has been a tutor for the Writers Bureau since 2007, and is the author of the Writers Bureau course, Marketing Your Book. She is also co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam of The Writer's ABC Checklist (Accent Press). Lorraine is the founder of the Flash 500 competitions (www.flash500.com) covering flash fiction, humour verse and novel openings, where she also provides critiques for entrants.

Writing as Frances di Plino, she is the author of crime/thrillers, Bad Moon Rising and Someday Never Comes.




Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition
Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Getting to know … John Hudspith



What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?
Erm, lemme see; there’s crows, UFOs, floating clowns, imploding toads, brain-sucking greylians, time-travel, paranormal powers, angst, love, and a weird otherworld – so I’d say that’s `Paranormal Sci-Fantasy`. But, what’s a genre, ay?

What made you choose that genre?
I made it up to suit my epic and multi-faceted story.

How long does it take you to write a book?
The first book in the Kimi series was a five year slog of learning what not to do. The sequel took five days to scribble in shorthand and six months to transcribe into something readable.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Birds and drugs. That’s songbirds in the garden along with my muse’s favoured drug: double strength black tea. Give me those simple things and the muse will play all day.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Way down deep where a million dodgy `what-ifs` lay like a jumble of jackstraws. I dig and trawl, examine each painstakingly and discard until I find The One that sparkles.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Probably around fourteen, at High School; I’d make comic strip books featuring the lewd or horrific, or sometimes a mixture of both, and they would get passed around and laughed and gasped at and gossiped about (and nicked by the teachers).

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I do like to think, stare, wonder, deconstruct mind circuits, dissect writerly knowledge to discover new, and maybe make the occasional case of wine disappear.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That good writing takes more than dedication.

How many books have you written?
Two in the Kimi series, with another fifty or so in my head arguing over who gets to birth first.

Which is your favourite and why?
The first, Kimi’s Secret - because it was done my way, and it’s not perfect, but you always love your firstborn more, don’t you?

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a special-FX wizard creating the amazing movie props and effects such as the staked vampires in Hammer Horrors or the transformation in American Werewolf, all done without CGI. That or a milkman. I liked the rattle of the bottles and thought Benny Hill was the man.

What are you working on now?
A supernatural chiller, for grown up children.

Bio
In the northernmost spire of his black-brick chateau, John Hudspith edits novels by day and scrawls scary stories by night. Kimi’s Secret won a highly coveted youwriteon book of the year award and has had huge acclaim in every room in John’s home.  John may look handsomely ancient but he’s really only 30. Five years to write a first novel takes it out of one’s mojo – that and the time-travel.

Published books: Kimi’s Secret and Kimi’s Fear



Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Flash Fiction Competition
Flash 500 Humour Verse Competition