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Showing posts from February, 2017

On unsung community heroes

Today, I struggled to come up with a blog topic. It’s not like me, and I would perhaps have been better spent going off and doing some writing instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, but I didn’t. Why not? Well, Friday is kind of the day I pop up blog posts (the additional ones are just when I need a rant.) It’s the day I aim for. And, since more than a few people seem to read the blogs, I vaguely feel it’s something I should keep up. That’s even before I begin to count the hours I’ve spent building the blog in the first place – and when you build something of your own, with your own time and energy, there is a personal onus to keep it going, somehow.
This week, Marc Aplin of Fantasy-Faction put up a heartfelt post http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/will-fantasy-faction-shut-down about the time he spends on the community and the impact it has on his life-outside-Fantasy-Faction, as well as the stresses it brings. I think it’s a post any of us could relate to. Similarly we have se…

On trusting yourself

In my other life, I'm a management consultant with an emphasis on personal skills and the theory to support our personal approach in the workplace. (Still awake, eh?)

Last week, I had the pleasure to get out - out, I kid you not! There is life beyond my desk - to visit a writing group for an author Q and A. I answered in my usual way - a mix of what I do when and lots of practical advice. I don't, really, do writing advice - what works for me works for me, and most likely won't work for anyone else. I don't give definitive answers, but ask more questions and give supporting theory to guide peoples' choices as to what they might want to decide to do themselves.

It occurred to me this morning as I stared at my keyboard there is a key component of personal capability skills that I've never talked about in my blog, and it's so important.

It's about trusting yourself. Trusting yourself to make the right choice. Trusting that if you have alarm bells ringing y…

At least it's not boring - where writing can take you

I’ve written before about the realistic chance for a writer to get much money from writing. It’s all very true but it’s also a bit depressing.
This week, I thought I’d turn my thoughts to some of the more rewarding aspects of being a writer. (Introverted writers might want to look away, right now, as some of these are quite bouncy events – but there is plenty in this list that those less inclined to swing from the rafters will still enjoy.)
I’m not bored. Not any more. Writing, it seems, is interesting to people. Other writers interest me, even though I know they’re pretty much exactly the same as anyone else I’ve ever met.
Here are just some of the fun things – or, at least different (some of these were downright terrifying) – writing has enabled me to do.
Meeting other writers, including those I look up to. Shall I admit to who I fan-girl squeed over? Okay – it was Pat Cadigan. I met her at my first convention, along with lots of other writers, and it was fantasti…

Getting hearts racing, an interview with fantasy-romance novelist Suzanne Jackson

Today I'm chatting with Suzanne Jackson, whose debut novel has been picked up by Venus Ascending, a new fantasy/sci-fi romance imprint headed up by Teresa Edgerton. I'm lucky enough to be a critique partner of Sue's, and can confirm that this book is something special with a great, unique world, sumptuous writing, a fantastic female lead, and the so-bad-he's-irresistible Nicholas Jarrett.
So I thought I'd be the first to nab the elusive Suzanne and find out what makes her - and her world - tick.

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Firstly, tell us a little about your world, and how you've managed to marry fantasy with romance?


Hi, Jo. Thank you for inviting me onto your blog for my very first interview. I’m thrilled to be able to talk a little bit about my book and characters.
The Beguiler is set in a fantasy world similar in many ways to Georgian England. Many people are superstitious, with goo…

On having a fun project

When we first start writing we normally have a project in mind, one that we've been wanting to write for ages. One we're passionate about, that keeps us awake at night, mind brimming with ideas.

Once we become more professional at writing, things change. Or, at least, they have for me.  I still love the stories I write - or I wouldn't write them; the thought of revisions and edits in something I already hate doesn't bear thinking about. But I write them with more of a focus on the market, on getting the story right and well structured. And that all makes it, whilst very satisfying, a little less fun.

Abendau was the story I first wanted to write - and I was lucky enough to get that story out and for people to tell me they like it (mostly). But it was never written for the market per se but for me. It is my fun project.

And so it is that I trundle along through my New Thing, enjoying it but doing a lot of frustrating not-sure-what-happens-next-or-even-now writing. But i…