26 November 2010


Having got over my recent nerves at reading some of my work for Jam Radio, I have just come home from reading an extract of Driftwood at my local Borders store. 
Yes, it was all arranged, and the staff did know I was reading.  It wasn't a case of rocking up and standing in the middle of the store while people gave me a wide berth, wondering if I had escaped from an institution.
It was all very civilised actually.  There were four of us reading, and the lovely staff of Borders had tables and glasses of water for us, as well as a huge board outside the store advertising the event.  I did a double-take when I noticed a photo of myself as I walked past the board into the store. 
Everyone was very polite, clapped at the appropriate place, and didn't ask difficult questions at the end.
I might even do it again.  If I get asked!

24 November 2010

Jam Radio recordings

About this time every year I promise myself that things are going to be different.  That this year I will be organised.  That everything will be accomplished in good time, allowing me to actually enjoy the tasks, rather than feeling as though I've come last in every race.  
Suffice to say I haven't even made the promise this year. 
It's two weeks since the last post - oops and apologies, and I won't bore you with the litany of other things that are falling off the end of the list, as I'm sure you have your own long list.
On to happier topics. 
In previous postings I've mentioned the Creative Hub, and group of fellow writers I've been working with this year.  Recently we did some readings for Jam Radio, and those are now on their website.   
Happy listening, and once again thanks to Emma and the folks at Depot Artspace.

09 November 2010


A recent posting was on the recording we did for Jam Radio.  For that I decided to read the opening sections of a work in progress.  Until last week it was still without a title, although I started it about a year ago, and am three-quarters of the way through the first draft.  To be fair (to me!) I've done very little on it most of this year.  My excuses include that I've been editing another novel, Ordinary Day, and doing some actual paying work (which has been busy this year). 
I digress - while practicing the reading a title for the novel came to me in a flash of inspiration.  Though maybe not so much a flash as a flicker, because it had been staring me in the face for some time, as it is the name of the village in which I've set a lot of the story.   I'm so thrilled I've finally decided on my working title I shall keep it to myself for a while longer!

05 November 2010

Driftwood Review

It's been an exciting week.  Yesterday Craig Sisterson posted a review of Driftwood on his blog Crime Watch.  The review was written by guest reviewer Jeannie McLean, who writes young adult crime novels.
You can find the review here and Jeannie's blog I did do it! Confessions of a Crime Writer here.
Thanks Jeannie and Craig. 

04 November 2010

Jam Radio

Last night was another new experience.  The Creative Hub writing group I belong to went to Depot Artspace in Devonport to use their studio to record extracts of our work in progress.
It took me several days just to decide on the extract.  A short piece that was complete in itself.  Not too much dialogue, as I can’t do different voices, or accents.  Not too far into the manuscript or I’d need a long explanation on what had gone before.  That was Ordinary Day out the window.  Eventually I decided on the opening sections of the novel I started early this year, which is in first draft and about two thirds complete.
Then followed rehearsals at home to make sure I could read it without stuffing up (and also that it wasn’t too long – 7 minutes maximum).  My way of writing is to finish the novel before doing any editing.  So this work hadn't been edited at all. 
Ironically reading aloud is part of my editing process.  You find the missed words your brain kindly inserts for you when reading silently, the word repeated several times in a paragraph, or the tongue twister phrase.  Some of the culling I did will remain for the next draft, some was just to make the reading easier.
It was a great experience, though nerve wracking beforehand.  I dread to think how anxious I’d be for an interview on live radio, knowing this reading could be edited if I stuffed up helped enormously.  Ten of us crowded into the small control room, plus Emma in charge of the controls, to watch as each of us had our turn in the hot seat.
As with many things, it was a great experience once it was over.  But once it was over I wished I could do it again, because naturally it would be so much better the second time!
Depot Artspace is a great place with some beautiful artwork – see a photo of the main gallery here. It will be a week or so before our work is on the website, but I’ll include the link on this blog.