Friday, 8 April 2011

Writing from Life by Lynne Hackles.

Browsing among my bookshelf recently, I spotted a book by my blogging friend Lynn Hackles.  Writing from Life is all about how to turn your life into work that will sell.

It was interesting to read that Lynn had her first acceptance by Woman's Realm, same as me.  My letter was about garden thistles which looked unsightly.  As a gardener, I try to find a beauty in all plants.  For instance it's the emblem for Scotland.  Maybe someone from Scotland lived in our house before us, I doubt it though as this was a really ugly thistle.  I cut them, dried them in the shed, then sprayed them silver, and they were a unique Christmas decoration.  That letter earned £5.00.

Lynne's book is full of tips and great advice such as keeping a track on what you send out, where you've sent it and shopping for characters.  I'm lucky as I work in a shop.  I call it 'the little shop of inspirations.'  A lady came in the other day, one of those who looks like a man dressed as a woman, in a tight leopardskin coat, fake tan, tons of jewellery, bleached blond hairdo.  She was looking for someone, then went on to tell me she was 'bursting' for the toilet.  She seemed a bit strange to me, so I sent her along to the hairdressers up the way.  I thought of Writing from Life, and immediately knew she would go in the little book when she'd gone.

There is so much information and useful chapters to the book.  Every writer should have a copy on their bookshelf.  I'm sure everyone has it already.  If not, I would recommend it highly.  Thanks Lynn for writing this. 

After reading Lynn's book, I wrote a couple of letters and sent them out.  Surprise surprise, today I came home to a £20.00 cheque.  I've had to make an enquiry as to which letter it is.  Will keep you informed.  So now I have a character for my next story.  Watch this space...



  1. Congratulations on your sale. Let us know when and where it's published.

    I agree about Writing From Life - Lynn's written a terrific book.


  2. Suzy, I'm intrigued. Why would you send someone who was bursting for the loo to the hairdresser's? Where would you send someone who wanted their hair cut?

    Talking of Woman's Realm, they bought nearly all my stories, and I missed them greatly when they folded. Does anyone know what happened to lovely Sally Sheringham? I lost touch wiht her, and would love to get back in touch.

  3. I love Lynne's book too!

    And you did give me a laugh about your customer!

  4. We get customers like that all the time in the library - in fact I really must write a story based in a library!

    Well done on your letter sale, do let us know when it's going to turn up :o)

  5. Love the story about the lady in the shop, Suzy! And thanks for mentioning Lynne's book, which I haven't yet read.

  6. Hi Suzanne,
    Just read Edwin story. Lovely, sat with tears streaming down my face in the shop. That's the kind of story I am aiming to write.

  7. Hi Frances,
    She looked dodgy, like the kind that when I took her through the shop to show her where the toilet was, her gang would come in and rob the shop. Well, I am a writer, I've got a vivid imagination. I feel a story coming on. I too loved Sally Sheringham, we could google her couldn't we? Another reason I sent her up to the hairdressers is because our toilet leaves a lot to be desired, and she looked like she'd just come up the motorway from London.

  8. Hi Teresa,
    How come you haven't written your 'how to' book yet? You're busy writing those stories I love that's why I expect.

  9. Hi Karen,
    I would love to read your library story. It's amazing the people we meet everyday isn't it?

  10. Hi Rosemary,
    Lynns book is the kind that you keep by your side, and refer to all the time. It's amazing what a confidence boost it gives.

  11. What a lovely surprise to find such nice things written about my book. Thanks for all the comments.
    I am pleased to tell you that Writing From Life sold out and has been reprinted. It now has a different cover and is a first for me - a second edition.

  12. Well deserved Lynn, it's a great book.