Jenny Greenteeth is coming to Liars’ League on Tuesday 11 August

I had a short story accepted by the London chapter of Liars’ League for their annual Women & Girls event. My story, 50 feet deep, which looks at what can happens when myth and modernity comes into conflict, is one of six. You can see them all online, either at the viewing party on Liars’ Leagues’ Facebook page from 19.30 on Tuesday 11 August, or on their website.

Jenny Greenteeth appears in my current project too, but as a secondary character. In 50 feet deep we get to see the world from her perspective. It’s not a nice place, unless you’re Jenny, but I enjoyed spending time in her world.


Camp NaNoWriMo: a month of focussed editing

I’ve been finding it difficult to turn up to edit my current project. If I don’t edit, it’ll never reach a point where I can give it to my Beta readers, and I won’t be able to move on to another project. Luckily, I saw an email from NaNoWriMo about Camp NaNoWriMo. If NaNoWriMo is a month of mad writing, Camp can be a month of mindful editing. I decided to sign up for the July camp, find a group and make myself do what I need to do.

We’re five days in and so far, so good. My little group is friendly and supportive, we’re all plugging away at various projects, some new, some old. Between my desire to prove myself reliable and my to do list, I’m moving forward. I have some hope that I’ll have a well-edited project by the end of the month. I should start looking for Beta readers.

#stayathome – and attend #BigBookWeekend

I’m quietly excited about Big Book Weekend, the digital book festival that runs this coming weekend. It’s free, sponsored by BBC Arts and Arts Council England and has a slew of big names speaking and performing.

The festival has a virtual venu with spaces like a book shelf, a café and a theatre. The box office is a natural first step and I look forward to finding out how it feels on the day. Will it be more interactive, more ‘real’ than a festival that’s a list of links?

I’m looking forward to Laura Lam, Neil Gaiman, and A.L. Kennedy to keep the list short and sweet. I’ll be watching around other crucial tasks like year-end accounting and editing my own novel. Fingers crossed for rain.

#stayathome – and attend a literary festival

I went to a workshop on world building earlier today. It was part of The Stay At Home! Literary Festival and used Zoom as a medium. Last week, I hadn’t heard of Zoom. Now it’s everywhere.

Laura Laakso, author of the urban fantasy crime series Wilde Investigations, talked to us about building your world without overwhelming the reader. Urban fantasy is often set in very near-real worlds with the details tweaked. There’s a lot of pleasure to be had both from the reading and the writing and world building is core to how the characters and plot works.

The workshop was fun, informative and interactive. We looked at different scenarios and discussed how we’d describe that particular world without info-dumping. For example, how do you tell the reader that the rain is poison without saying ‘hey, the rain is poison, don’t go out in it!’?

It wasn’t my first world building workshop but it was my first time on Zoom. Laura talked on the topic, questions came in on chat, and towards the end we had an open Q&A session with camera and voice. It worked really well. I enjoyed Laura’s style – digressions included – and was reminded about the rules of world building.

The Stay At Home! Literary Festival is on until April 11. The programme is a mixture of workshops, book launches, authors and poets; all free, all online.

NaNoWriMo 2018: week 3 sees my tricks for overcoming doubt used to good effect

If there’s something I know about NaNoWriMo it’s that I can do this. 50K words in a month isn’t a huge deal for me. I’m a fast typer*. What I don’t know, and looking at my previous posts, I’ve never known, is how to tell a story. So why do I do this?

NaNoWriMo 2018: week two I’m back in the groove

If the first week was all about loosing time and track, the second week is where I found I know how to do this and caught up. I’ve got a draft short story* and am working my way through the meat of my plot. I’m a little ahead of target (just as well, because I’ll lose Saturday to roller-derby).

NaNoWriMo 2018: week one gets off to a bad start

It’s that time of year again: National Novel Writing Month, affectionately called NaNoWriMo. Like last year, I’m writing something I’m plotted in the hope to get a glut of words around a story idea I can then edit into something like a novel. Last year it worked, kind of. (Final edits still pending but I’m hoping to start sending it out in January. Fingers crossed.)