Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In good company

I wasn’t expecting to make an appearance in Jane Wenham-Jones’s new book, Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard of. I had forgotten I’d written a piece for her to include. This book, a follow-up to Wannabe A Writer, is all about getting publicity once you’ve had a book accepted, and there are lots of ideas I shall be using. It was good to see my Deal Or No Deal experience in the section on how to get on television. I was about to use Jane’s tips on how to get on to radio when the most unexpected thing happened. An email arrived asking if I would be prepared to be interviewed about Writing From Life on Talk Radio Europe. It was to be a fifteen minute slot, live, on their Book Show. The email said that other writers interviewed included Marian Keyes, James Patterson and Fay Weldon. You can imagine my first words on reading that. After the expletives came the thought that this must be a hoax but I clicked on the website and there it was. Talk Radio Europe, Spain’s largest English speaking radio network, broadcasting to approx half a million listeners. www.talkradioeurope.com I said yes then read Jane’s tips on how to be prepared for all sorts of questions and, on the day, waited for the phone call. It seemed more of a friendly chat than an interview, thanks to Hannah Murray who appeared really interested in what I had to say. The LSO, listening in downstairs on the laptop, reckoned I did all right and there weren’t too many umms and arrs but I have to admit that doing this via a telephone was far more daunting than any face to face interview.

Friday, March 25, 2011

More tales of the unexpected

My Gran always used to say, ‘You never know what’s around the corner’. I wrote a story with that title once. The message though is that life is full of surprises and we should enjoy and make the most of the good ones. It’s my belief that writers get more surprises than non-writers. Why? Because we send work out into the unknown and there’s no way of telling what might come back. Yes, it might be a rejection but it could be an acceptance and a reason to celebrate, or a request for more work, or a letter from someone who has read your work and written to you. I’ve had all of the above. One such letter came from a long-lost cousin of the LSO’s. She lives in Australia but has been over to visit twice so far. Another was from another lost relative, this one from New Zealand. And, of course, I got my sister, Glynis Scrivens, via my writing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tales of the Unexpected

(From my regular column in FLAIR FOR WORDS)
No, I’m not going to be writing a Roald Dahl type short story with an incredibly clever twist at the end. This is going to be about all the unforeseen things that happen when you are a writer - the unexpected emails, invitations, new friends…
Many years ago, as secretary of Worcester Writers’ Circle and therefore a creative person, I was asked to join the Worcester in Bloom committee. I wasn’t expecting that! Oh, the ecstasy of waving regally at friends from the back of the Mayor’s chauffeur-driven Limo’ as we sailed past them. And the added bonus of getting to look around hundreds of gardens and meet the gardeners. And all because I was a writer.
The experience provided me with enough material for several stories. At least three were published in women’s magazines but couldn’t be sold to an Australian market as they were too English.
But all that was a long time ago. What’s been happening recently? I’ll be telling you over the next few blogs.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do It Now

Get over to www.authorsforjapan.wordpress.com and make a bid, or just read some of the bids and see how kind most of the world is.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another good cause

There are so many good causes around but don't overlook Diamonds and Pearls. The authors have donated their royalties to the charity, Against Breast Cancer.
This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to write women's magazine stories. A lot of the stories in it have been published in magazines, including my own - I'm the final entry. A chance to enjoy a good read, analyse some stories and support a charity.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mrs Mozzie-rella

Writers are always on the look-out for characters but some, when they arrive, are so over the top that they’d need to be diluted before any magazine would accept them as ‘fully rounded’. Take this one, for example.
The LSO and I were in an Italian restaurant when this magnificent character with man in tow, burst in through the door, looked around the empty tables – it was early evening – and plonked herself down next to us. Her conversation was loud and entertaining and had me reaching for my notebook. It was obvious that this couple weren’t used to Italian cuisine and, according to the waitress, had only turned up because they’d cut an Eat for Half Price coupon from the local paper every night that week and were working their way through the menu.
This large lady, draped in a gentleman’s grey overcoat which she didn’t remove, checked the menu and declared loudly, ‘I don’t want any of that mozzie-rella,’ and leaning towards her own LSO, informed him, in a booming whisper, ‘It’s Italian for hard boiled egg white.’ Then Mrs Mozzie-rella, as I christened her, joined in with the backgroundmusic and serenaded us, between mouthfuls of pasta, with -
‘All over Italy they know his concertina,
Poppa Piccolino, Poppa Piccolino,
He plays so prettily to every signorina,
Poppa Piccolino from sunny Italy.’
I quietly joined in with the last line. After all this was a childhood favourite that my Dad used to sing to me. The LSO gave me one of those looks and, being telepathic, I knew he was warning, ‘Don’t you dare ask for an encore.’
What a gift though. A great meal and a fully formed character for a short story.
(Mrs Mozzie-rella is mine. No borrowing please unless I haven’t used her before this time next year.)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Seven Things About Me

Thanks to Teresa Ashby for giving me the Stylish Blogger award and something to blog about because I am now obliged to tell you seven things about myself.

1. I often start a blog and then realise I could use the content for a Novel Ideas column (Writing Magazine) or something longer. The downside of blogging is that you can’t sell what you write. (Or can you? Someone contradict me, please.)
2. I’ve been writing for a very long time.
3. I’m no longer a daughter but I am still a mother and a grandmother and a wife.
4. I haven’t seen my son for ten years. He married someone who couldn’t share him with anyone else. (Do I want to tell you this? I’ve deleted it twice and then put it back again.) I have never seen my granddaughter but have almost finished a book about the subject of grandparents not being allowed to see their grandchildren. It’s a book for children. Perhaps she’ll read it.
5. My daughter’s son, my grandson Dan, was recently described in a newspaper as a ‘prodigious golfer’. He’s 12 and is going to buy me a red Jaguar when he hits the big time.
6. My daughter is coming to Writers’ Holiday, Caerleon with me this year. I usually teach and am now going to experience the other side of the week, being a delegate.
7. I try to be positive all of the time, fail some of the time. Am becoming more in tune as the years pass (psychic) and receive a daily message from The Universe. You can too if you sign up with www.tut.com