Monday, 28 November 2011
The arrival of my author copy a few days ago reminded me that I ought to post on the subject of my latest publication - a short story entitled “Conned” in the new Crime Writers’ Association anthology “Guilty Consciences”.
The CWA anthologies have been an annual event for a few years now and this one, like the last, is edited by Martin Edwards, who writes two excellent crime series, one set in Liverpool and one in the Lake District. This year’s stories include (other than mine) contributions by Robert Barnard, Ann Cleeves, HRF Keating, Peter James, Jane Finnis and by Martin himself.
Martin very generously described me in the introduction as being amongst “the most gifted members of the new generation of crime writers”. It is of course always an honour to be invited to contribute to the anthology and to join the very distinguished list of those who have had stories included in the past.
The cover has the names of the contributors in the shape of a dagger. I, it transpires, am the sharp bit at the end, which I also rather like.
The anthology is available at bookshops and on Amazon
Thursday, 24 November 2011
We are lucky to have Ann Weisgarber - double Orange nominee among our ranks. In case you hadn't noticed, she's on a blog tour at the moment with "The Personal History of Rachel DuPree". It has just been optioned for film by Viola Davis, star of The Help. What great news, hope it gets made, it would be a great film.
Ann Weisgarber’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Tuesday, November 1st: nomadreader
Wednesday, November 2nd: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, November 3rd: Linus’s Blanket - author Q&A
Monday, November 7th: A Bookish Libraria
Tuesday, November 8th: Man of La Book
Thursday, November 10th: Unabridged Chick
Monday, November 14th: Book Dilettante
Tuesday, November 15th: Book Chatter
Wednesday, November 16th: She is Too Fond of Books- Spotlight on Bookstores guest post
Thursday, November 17th: Book Club Classics
Friday, November 18th: Historical Tapestry - guest post
Monday, November 21st: Raging Bibliomania
Tuesday, November 22nd: The Brain Lair
Wednesday, November 23rd: Broken Teepee
Friday, November 25th: Historical Tapestry
Monday, November 28th: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, November 29th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, November 30th: Elle Lit.
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
- Yoghurt can be all things to all people. Sometimes people want exciting, adventurous yoghurt. Sometimes people want soothing, soft yoghurt. Sometimes people even want Greek Yoghurt, which explains why Captain Corelli's Mandolin was such a success.
- Commercial yoghurt is looked down upon by yoghurt purists. Yoghurt with chunkier fruit pieces is usually considered to be harder to get through, but more rewarding when you reach the end of the pot.
- Celebrities should be stopped from making yoghurt. They foist their horrible yoghurt upon the rest of us. That, or they lie, and get a professional yoghurt maker to secretly make their yoghurt for them. This is despicable. Everyone please stop buying these celebrity yoghurts before all the old-school yoghurt-makers go out of business.
- In modern times, yoghurts come with accoutrements, such as little corner helpings of crunchy flakes. Or yoghurt comes in over-processed tubes, to be sucked down and instantly discarded. We are dressing up our yoghurts, but surely traditional yoghurt is the best? However, it is good to be open to changes in the yoghurt industry. Eventually yoghurt-makers will no longer need packaging and will simply squirt their yoghurts directly into the consumers' mouths. This is to be desired. Apron sales will also go up.
- Yoghurt buyers are very susceptible to yoghurt packaging. Women yoghurt buyers like pink pots. Men yoghurt buyers like manly pots in bigger sizes. It used to be true that nobody over the age of twelve wanted to be caught eating a child yoghurt in a ridiculous brightly-coloured little pot in public, but nowadays it's much more acceptable to say you like child yoghurt. Getting in touch with your inner toddler, or some such rubbish. Still, child yoghurts are lots of fun, aren't they? That Harry Potter yoghurt was excellent.
- But, however you take your yoghurt, it will always be a very cultured thing to do.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Anyway, the other day on the blog I was musing about how the five people I'd meet in heaven would probably be the people I least wanted to see (forgive me for coming over all Sartre there). And that made me think - what if I could choose? On the basis of wanting to learn something about how they did what they did? So I could become a better writer? Although, obviously, I'd be dead myself at this point and probably not likely to pick up a pen again.
Hang on, that raises another question - would it be heaven if I couldn't write in it? Or would it be heaven if the desire to write was taken away? Blimey. Too many questions. So here's the game.
Name the three authors you'd like to meet in heaven. I'm going for three because I can't spend all day on this. I'm writing a new book, you know.
Rule out Shakespeare. Shakespeare meets you at the gate, okay? In writer heaven, he's Saint Peter. So can you name three dead writers that you think could teach you something about your craft? Who would they be? Here's mine:
1. George Eliot. Because although I'm writing surreal crazy stuff at the moment, and have written crime before, all I actually want to write someday is Middlemarch. How did she create that town, and sustain it, and make us care for every single person in it? I have trouble making the reader really care for one.
2. Dylan Thomas. Because he had the gift of putting music in his poetry. And because Under Milk Wood has the best opening monologue of any play, and I include Henry V in that assessment. How do you write something that makes the readers hold their breath?
3. Graham Greene. Because he made the moral processes of the mind so clear to his readers, when I just get tangled up in a sticky web of emotion when I attempt that. Writing a clear psychological intent through a character without making it obvious, and without deviation - that's real skill.
So there you have it. Who would you like to learn from? And would it be heaven for you with or without the desire and the equipment to write?