It’s great to see so many of you here today – thank you for sparing the time to come along. There will be chocolate profiteroles and cream when I’ve finished speaking – so I’ll keep it short!
One Day For Me contains some of my writing successes from recent years – eight stories that have either won or been shortlisted in UK national writing competitions. The subject matter and characters are varied and include Wallis Simpson, an abused wife, a young girl making money from lost property and a pro-athlete struggling with the demands of her career.
I’m proud of these stories and I’d like to share them with you.
Of course, I didn’t work in isolation. I want to say a big thank you to my writing buddy, Helen Yendall , who read many of these stories when they were still a work in progress.
I also want to thank Marilyn Rodwell of the Birmingham RNA and our anonymous erotic writer member, who between them organised an inspiring workshop on e-publishing – without which I would never have got this project off the ground.
Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the followers of this blog who took the time to comment on my original cover design. I learned a lot from you all (which I will summarise in another post) – and I hope you agree with me that the finished cover is a vast improvement!
I now declare One Day For Me launched!
Now the waiters will circulate with the profiteroles – enjoy!
On Saturday we had a really interesting meeting of the Birmingham Chapter of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. There were 8 of us around the table in the Edwardian Tea Rooms of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and one of our member’s exploits took up most our discussions.
She shall remain nameless, since for obvious reasons she writes under a pseudonym, but she is making around £800 a month selling her erotic e-books, mostly to the US markets. Bear in mind that she fits this around a full-time day job and a family -it makes me wonder why I am slogging away trying to get the odd story accepted by a women’s magazine or shortlisted in a competition!
Our successful author currently has 67 stories for sale, ranging in length from 3,000 to 10,000 words. Apparently the secret of her success is to keep up with the latest trends in erotica – for example monsters are the ‘in thing’ at the moment (the mind boggles!).
She self-publishes the e-books, formatting them and designing the covers herself. As you can imagine, we were all agog to learn her secrets and she has promised us a workshop in January…
Talking about the mind boggling, I caught the tail end of a Radio 4 program – ‘When Harry Potter Met Frodo’ - about Fan Fiction this week. The presenter was talking about Slash Fiction. This is a sub-genre of Fan Fiction and involves choosing 2 of your favourite male characters from existing works of fiction, bringing them together and letting them have an affair (at least that’s my polite way of putting it!).
So, if you want to write what the market wants – now you know!
“When you write poetry, imagine looking through a small window. Focus on just one aspect of the scene,” advised Alison Riley on a recent ’Poetry Stroll and Write’ which I stumbled upon whilst on holiday in Castleton, in the Peak District.
As I’ve said before, I am not a poet but anything remotely writing orientated always grabs my attention, so whilst my husband took himself off for a walk, I joined the poetry session.
Alison was full of good advice.
Whenever I attempt a poem I immediately start worrying about its form – rhyming? free verse? sonnet? etc. Alison suggested that I forget all of this and instead let myself go with some free writing about what was around us.
“Don’t worry about form or rhyme,” she said. “That can all come later.”
I managed some disjointed phrases about the mountain rescue van parked nearby. It definitely wasn’t poetry but Alison reckoned that with a bit of polishing it could become a reasonable poem.
Alison then showed us the poem ‘Resolution‘ by Jo Bell. It’s about Castleton at New Year and, sitting there in the quaint old village where it was written, it was extremely evocative. I began to feel that maybe I too could write a poem and, back in our rented cottage, I did. It’s about the ‘coffin route’ from Edale to Castleton (before there was a church in Edale, the corpses had to be carried over the hill into the next town for burial) – at the moment it’s just a rough version in my notebook but maybe one day I’ll dare to bring out into the light of day…
Thanks for the inspiration, Alison!
Alison Riley organises the Derbyshire Stanza of the Poetry Society.