Thursday 31 October 2013

Bellweathering Facebook: Advice Wanted

I'm happy with my blog and with Twitter. But, oh Facebook. I'm not sure what I'm doing with you. 

So I thought I'd try a little bellweathering. Looking at writers who seem to be doing well on Facebook and, well, copying them (or being inspired by them if you prefer). 

Are you on Facebook? Are you happy with your profile there? Do you have any advice or pointers to good resources for making the most out of Facebook?

edtited to add: I've just set up a Writers page because apparently you can get stats on pages. I'm learning. But I feel a bit shy about inviting people to like it, so it's a secret page. 

Monday 28 October 2013

Interviewed at 'In Media Res'

Milo Fowler has kindly interviewed me on his blog, In Media Res. 

  • Marvel at my strange writing process. 
  • Gasp at the amount of research I do for one story. 
  • Be surprised at the number of hours I have to write each day. 

Thanks, Milo

Friday 25 October 2013

Take Risks With Your Fiction: Is that Good Advice?

I am fascinated by writing advice.

If I were to give any, it would be a very terse

Write More (echoing Jay Lake) .
Submit more.
Enjoy it.

But, boy, do I love thinking about other people's advice. Maybe it's a procrastination thing. I ought to be careful about that.

What I'm wondering about at the moment is this, very popular bit of advice: To be a great writer, you have do take risks with your fiction. To improve you need to move out of your comfort zone.

What do you think about that?

What about this instead: To be a great writer, don't take risks but concentrate on what you're doing and get really, really good at it?

I wouldn't say I take risks. Oh dear, that makes my stories sound very dull. I know what aspects of life I want to explore. I know what effects I want to achieve. I'm not saying I can't improve. But I feel happy on the path I'm on.

What risks do you take? What kind of risks can you take with fiction?

Do you have any examples of writers who've talked about the risks they've taken-- and the positive results they've gotten?

Tuesday 22 October 2013

How Does a Writer Write? Jay Lake's 'Process of Writing'

I found Jay Lake's blog when I was a newbie tadpole of a writer, and I found him inspiring. Five years down the line, he's still inspiring me.

This is a collection of blog posts about process. And I'm such a process junkie. I mean how do writiers write? I meant exactly? What do they do?

When I read him, it's as if he's crystallising all my nebulous thoughts about story into perfect sense.

I can't recommend this one enough. You can buy it from Amazon here. 

Friday 18 October 2013

Easy Book Club Snack Menu

I get a lot of blog readers looking for book club snacks. I hosted my book club, last night. So here is my menu. It was pretty easy:

For 10 guests

baked camembert plus red and yellow pepper strips
150g Fancy Crisps
dozen mini cheese puffs (cooked from frozen)
breadsticks and cheese biscuits
honey and mustard glazed sausages
spinach dip
white bean dip


Spinach dip
150g soft cheese
150g frozen spinach thawed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
Whizz them altother with a blender. I make double quantities as it makes a good pasta sauce for the next day

White Bean Dip
150g soft cheese
200g cooked haricot beans from a tin or jar
pepper to taste.
Whizz them together in a blender. If you have herbs they're nice to add. I added lemon thyme.

Baked Camembert
Remove wrapping from cheese, put it back in the wooden box.
Bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes until the cheese turns runny.
Serve with crudit├ęs.
This is the best and easiest recipe ever. I also like to serve it with roast lamb.

Honey and Mustard Glazed Sausages
Cut 6 posh sausages into bit sized pieces
Bake in a medium/hot oven until really brown (about 1 hour)
Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard.
Bake for another 20 minutes.
I like them really brown and gooey

Sunday 6 October 2013

Friday 4 October 2013

Creepy Freebie.

Hi. If you're looking for my Creepy Freebie, please nip over to my Kelda Blog.

Yes, I have two.


It's confusing.