Thursday, 29 March 2012

New picture

Here's my new picture, taken in the garden.  The other one was taken a few years ago, so thought I'd better update it.  Alan took this when we got home from work.  I always like to sit and have a read of my latest magazine with a cup of hot chocolate.  Good way to finish the day off.

My other blog is here.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Article writing.

If you're following Patsy's blog tour, she's here today. Tracy Fells blog.  Anyone who follows my blog will know that I'm always trying fiction writing, though I have had more success with articles.  I'm busy writing one up at the moment for The Great War magazine.  The editor has given me the go ahead for it, but I'm still brushing it up, so will tell you more on that later.  Also, I have an idea for an article that I'm typing up, and due to submit to a writing magazine. 

My first article was in Take a Break.  They wanted romance in the workplace, so I sent a few photos and a couple of pages.  It was fab when the editor rang.  I ran round the house jumping onto the settee.  It's true to life stories that editors seem to like best from me.  Thing is, this can have drawbacks.  When I wanted to take a picture of my mother in law's neighbour in her garden recently, she hid her face and ran into the house shouting, "No, no, I haven't brushed my hair yet."  My daughter said, 'that's because they know you as the lady who writes to magazines.'  She probably thought she'd end up in Woman's Weekly.  It had crossed my mind, so I can't blame her.  Nice to know they have such faith in me!!
Donkeys on Blackpool beach.  Aren't they cute?

Friday, 16 March 2012

Escape to the Country.

I would like to welcome Patsy to my blog, talking about her debut novel - Escape to the Country.
If like me you've read Patsy's stories already, then you will be eagerly looking forward to reading this.  Over to Patsy.

Can you judge a book by its cover?

Publishers spend time, money and effort producing covers for books, although it would be quicker and easier to simply print the title, author name, ISBN and price onto a plain background. Doing that would be of some help to the reader. If we already knew the author's work we could guess whether we might like to read something else by them. The title might give a few clues - 'The Princess who Seduced a Bricklayer' is likely to be rather a different story from ''Zombies on a Spaceship'. I don't think that would be enough to tempt most people to read a book they hadn't heard of by an author they hadn't heard of.

How about printing the title onto a genre specific background colour? Pink for romance, I suppose and something the shade of putrefying flesh for zombie stories and blue for erotica. But I digress... This doesn't happen; books have cover artwork on the front and writing on the back. Does any of this matter?

The blurb on the back is probably the most read part of any book. I'm sure it's not just me who bases many of my reading decisions on those few paragraphs. While it's true that decision might be not to read, in the long run I think it's better for everyone if people don't repeatedly buy books they don't enjoy.

What about the cover artwork then. What can that tell us? I used to think the answer was 'not much' until the publishers of my book 'Escape to the Country' asked me for suggestions. It hadn't occurred to me I'd get a say (I understand new authors often don't) so I wasn't prepared. There's an important scene in the book that's sort of repeated so I felt an illustration of that would be good - and said so.

Then I panicked. The scene I'd described was dark (black and brown, not suicide pact like) my book is light and romantic. People who liked the cover might not enjoy the story. I tried to think if there were any books I'd read just after glancing at the cover. There were - I first discovered JD Robb because there was an image of a snowdrop on the cover of one book so I picked it up (and then read the blurb on the back - but I'd not have got that far with a sci-fi book if it hadn't been for the snowdrop). There were other examples, all of them involving something pretty. My cover wasn't going to be pretty!

Fortunately Phillip Grizzell who actually designed the cover isn't an idiot. He used my suggestion to create something that I feel sums up the book quite well. It's fun, light and romantic - I hope readers will agree the story is too.

Thanks for that Patsy, look forward to reading your book.

My other blog is here.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Tagged by Teresa.

Just noticed I've been tagged by Teresa, thanks for thinking of me Teresa, here's the answers to your questions.

1.  No, I love being me, and if I wasn't me, I would want to be me. (big headed eh?)
2. I always have breakfast with my hubby, and that's how I like it.
3. English, reading and story writing were my favourite subjects.
4. I don't watch much t.v. except I love itv 3 with the old programmes on like Poirot, or Doc Martin.
5.  I definately believe in ghosts, we have someone who walks up our stairs at 10 - 2 a.m in the middle of the night.  Maybe it was someone who worked nights.  It's very distingtive though, but not scary at all.
6. Star treck, haven't a clue on that, except that I love little r2d2.
7. My zodiac sign isn't the wandering saggitarius, nor is it the well balanced Libra.  I'm not the creative and artistic aquarius, nor am I the home loving Cancerian. I do love my home though, and I am an earth sign.  Have you guessed it yet?
8.  I'd be Huckleberry Finn from Mark Twain.  I love the adventures he and Tom from 'Tom Sawyer got up to. It would be great being outdoors all day long having fun.
9.  I'm not keen on artichokes, though to tell the truth,
10.  I haven't tried them, but probably won't as they look prickly and unfriendly.

There's my questions, now to tag someone.  As most people have already been tagged, I'm going to tag my other blog, as it's the one I use most.  My question is:- Which Charles Dicken's book do you like best.