Monday, 23 April 2012

Brympton Festival.

During the past few days this stunning house in Somerset has been the venue for the first ever Brympton Festival.

The first day, Friday 20th, was Diversity day with food and dancing from all over the world, and I went along, both as a host, and as a speaker. I was on a panel of past Yeovil Prize winners talking about what our success in the Yeovil Prize has meant to us as writers.

Unfortunately, due to work and other commitments, I was unable to attend on any of the other days, but I’ve heard only good things! There was an amazing line up of speakers with stacks going on so that we were spoilt for choice.

And the setting – the house was amazing – walls of antlers and huge fireplaces, but with the front door open a particularly cold wind blasted down the corridors and I couldn’t help wondering what it must have been like to actually live there!

I believe the organisers are planning to run it again next year. But this year’s festival is still going strong – last day on Thursday – so if you’re in the area I recommend you check it out. There are some more pictures over on my Events page.

Monday, 16 April 2012


The first draft is the caterpillar, munching its way through the vegetation, laying down words like layers of fat. It grows bigger and bigger, lumpy and spiny and vaguely formed, until it is huge and bloated. The first draft is complete.

Then comes the chrysalis - the editing process. The internal tissues are broken down and reformed. New structures are added, others removed. Flabby prose is deleted and replaced with colour and richness. A little fine tuning and it is ready.

The pupa splits open and the butterfly emerges, fanning its new wings in the spring sunshine – a creature almost unrecognisable from that clunky caterpillar. One final check and it is ready to fly.

Click on ‘send’ and off it goes.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Rise of the e-book

A couple of years ago when we looked for something on Amazon we would probably have a choice of hardback, paperback or audiobook. But now, with the rise of the e-reader we can buy our books as e-books too.

The more formats our books are available in then the more accessible they become and the broader the readership they can reach. There is more choice for readers as authors and publishers are making their backslists available as e-books – books which have otherwise gone out of print! And for authors in some genres – most notably romance – the advent of the e-book has opened up a wealth of new small publishers – and with them, new opportunities.

And look here. Two of the anthologies from Hadley Rille Books that I have had short stories published in are now available as e-books – Ruins Terra and Ruins Metropolis. For less than £1 you can’t go wrong!