Today I am thrilled to have posts from Patricia M Osborne and Jan Edwards. Both have written quite different, but unique posts that I hope you’ll enjoy.
What does 2018 have in store for me? – Patricia M Osborne
As 2017 comes to an end, what lies ahead for me as a writer in 2018?
On March 4th, I shall attend my first book fair in Worthing at the UK Southern Book Show. Here I’ll be joined by many other writers of varied genres. I expect the day to be more about networking with other authors than selling books but of course I hope to sell a few of them too.
Around late spring, early summer, my plan is to release my work in progress, The Coal Miners Son, the next book in line to my debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga. The Coal Miners Son may be read as a stand-alone or may follow House of Grace. Its not a sequel but runs alongside.
House of Grace is split into two parts and tells the story in the point of view of Grace Granville, as a sixteen-year-old and later as a woman in challenging circumstances. The Coal Miners Son makes use of two narrators. The first, George, communicates his version of events as a nine-year-old which interweaves with Elizabeth, Graces sister, the second narrator. Readers dont find out much about Elizabeths story in House of Grace so there will be some surprises about her life along the way. A third in the series is planned to complete the trilogy.
In 2014 I embarked on a new journey in my creative writing and began an MA with University of Brighton. I took the slow route to enable me to continue writing and build up my portfolio. To date I have studied varied subjects over six modules, leaving only the dissertation. I start the dissertation module in February, and by the end of 2018 I hope to have been awarded my new qualification.
The theme for my dissertation project is likely to be Fairy and Folklore which I look forward to researching. From that study, I aim to compose a poetry collection with the view to publication. However, the results from the research should also stand me in good stead to use for projects such as future novels, short stories, and poetry. Fantasy is a genre I want to explore in my writing life.
A new qualification isnt the only exciting thing Im hoping for in 2018. Other projects I propose to finish are two poetry collections with a view to publishing. The first consists of a timeline based on a Victorian Park near me, where I spent time as Poet in Residence for my MA Community project earlier this year, and the second a nature anthology including bird sequences. I also hope to study Ornithology to bring enhanced life and imagery into my poetry.
To sum up. What do I hope for in 2018 as a writer? I hope to write lots, sell more books, compile three poetry collections, make new author friends, gain my MA qualification and in the process, lose myself in different imaginary worlds.
Patricia M was born in Liverpool and spent time in Bolton as a child and now lives in West Sussex. Patricia is a novelist, she also writes poetry and short fiction. Her poetry and short stories have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She is studying for an MA in Creative Writing with University of Brighton. Her debut novel, House of Grace, a family saga, was released in March this year and may be purchased from Amazon.
House of Grace blurb
Its 1950 and all sixteen-year-old Grace Granville has ever wanted is to become a successful dress designer. She dreams of owning her own fashion house and spends her spare time sketching outfits. Her father, Lord Granville, sees this frivolous activity as nonsense and wants to groom her into a good wife for someone of his choosing…
Grace is about to leave Greenemere, a boarding school in Brighton. Shes blissfully unaware of her fathers plans when she embarks on a new adventure. The quest includes a trip to Boltons Palais where she meets coal miner, Jack Gilmore. Graces life is never the same again.
Travel with Grace through two decades as she struggles with family conflict, poverty and tragedy. Is Grace strong enough to defy Lord Granvilles wishes and find true love? Will she become a successful fashion designer? Where will she turn for help?
House of Grace is available to order in paperback and kindle versions on Amazon: http://mybook.to/HouseofGrace
Facebook: Patricia M Osborne, Writer
UK Southern Book Show:
Jan Edwards – Those New Year Words
So here we are in January 2018 and how many of us did the usual thing and set goals for ourselves with those pesky New Year Resolutions (NYR)? Were they genuine promises to yourself? Do you take them seriously or are they made in the full realisation that they wont last beyond Valentine’s Day?
NYRs are an ancient tradition that at can be traced back at least as far as Ancient Babylonia. I suspect most of us approach them as aspirations rather with any genuine conviction. We want to get fit, lose weight or perhaps change our job. We mean well and intentions are quite genuine, yet made in the full knowledge that many if not most people forget them in very short order.
At the start of 2017 my own goal was to write 1,000 words of the next Bunch Courtney novel every day. Unsurprisingly, to me at least, I admitted defeat quite early on in the year. My aims were far too specific and far to open to sabotage by the vagaries of life. In my defence this was due to a dire conjunction of moving house and a family illness. I did manage to launch my latest title, Winter Downs, in the midst of all of that, but fresh words on a page were mostly confined to short stories and rough drafts for the follow-up novel. In retrospect, my NYR was never going to be attainable, and I knew that, yet it still left me feeling slightly disappointed with myself.
However, what I had not taken into account was all of those blogs, Q&As and online interviews promoting Winter Downs; something in the region of 35 to 40,000 words in total. Plus there were my regular blog spots and several short stories of 5,000 words each. All of these things had to be slotted in between hospital visits, decluttering the house (a full time job in itself) and the packing of boxes.
I do realise that I also spent a lot of time when not doing those things noodling about on social media. Keeping up with newsfeeds and blogs and research all takes time. There is the research and fact checking for my fiction, reading up on latest promo techniques, and of course seeking out the best things to read by other people. I love all of that interaction. I often see and hear many writers calling it a thief of writing time and in some ways perhaps it is. Yet without it I would not be sitting here typing this blog, and none of you would be sitting there reading it. Social media can become prevarication on tap, the modern equivalent of cleaning behind the toilet for many a writer if their blogs are to be believed.
I may not have written 1000 words a day toward the next novel during 2017, so technically my NYR was broken, but I cannot view it as a fail.
In 2018 I am resolved to write every day. Whether that is two dozen words or two thousand, fact or fiction, does not matter. All of those words are important in their way and they all count.
Happy New Year to one and all, and may all of your NYRs be attainable ones.
Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands (UK). Her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, EU and US and include: The Mammoth Book of Dracula; Mammoth Book of Moriarty; Terror Tales of the Ocean and the MX New Sherlock Holmes Vols V, VI and VII. She was part of the script team for the Dr Who: Deamons of Devils End DVD and anthologies.
Jan has two novels in print: Sussex Tales and Winter Downs, with a new novel due in 2018. She also has two collections out, which showcase some of her many short stories published to date: Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties (supernatural) and Fables and Fabrications. She is also an editor of anthologies with Alchemy Press and others.
About the books:
Bunch Courtney Series, Book One: Winter Downs. “When Bunch Courtney stumbles upon is the body of her friend Jonathan Frampton the shotgun at his feet speaks of suicide. Bunch is not convinced but has a hard time persuading Chief Inspector Wright otherwise until the second body, and the third. In the winter of 1940 a tiny rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape with an ice-cold killer on the loose.”
Bunch Courtney Series, Book Two: In Her Defence. (Scheduled for September 2018) “It is May of 1940 and one by one the countries of northern Europe fall under the German occupation. A steady flow of ex-pats and refugees are pouring across the sea and the new PM, Winston Churchill, is promising internment. Amongst them is Bunch’s school friend, Cecile Benoir fleeing Berlin where Professor Benoir had lectured for so many years. Then the Prof is murdered. Is this a xenophobic crime or does someone have more personal reasons for seeing Professor Benoir dead? “