Thursday, 27 March 2014

Update/ Harlan Coben Event

Hi guys

How you all doing?  Well I fine although been bit slack on the writing front though to be honest had a little break but will get back to writing at the weekend hopefully as 2 short stories to edit and finish off - hope to post one on here soon.
For all new comers I will re-post some of my older stories which are already on but may take a while to find going down through the old posts reading my updates whinging that I've not written - lol.

Although this may interest some readers/writers - went to Leeds Waterstones this evening and there will be An Evening with American Crime Author Harlan Coben - I've heard of him but never read any of his work and going as a writer to get any tips and an insight into his way of writing and how he ticks.

The Evening is on Thursday 10th April 2014 at 7PM at Waterstones in Leeds.


Missing You

An evening with

Harlan Coben

Thursday, 10 April 2014, 7:00PM
Tickets £3, available from the bookshop or over the phone.

Join us for an evening with bestselling American crime author Harlan Cobem, who will be celebrating the release of his new novel 'Missing You', out Thurs 10th April. The evening will include a talk Q&A and signing session. Early booking is essential to avoid disappointment!
Further details:0113 244 4588

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Huddersfield Literature Festival - 15th March 2014 - Life and works of Iain M Banks

Hi guys

Went to the above on saturday after the Meet the Agent/Editor event and it was very good although at 5 hours long it started to drag in parts.

Iain M Banks - or Iain Banks to the contempary reader was both a crime and science fiction author who was very popular and sadly passed away last year after a short, harsh battle with cancer.
I decided to go to the above event as I had heard of his work and any reviews of his novels always got good marks especially in SFX magazine - plus it would be insight to a popular and respected author.

I have since downloaded a sample of one of Iain sci-fi novels called Matter onto my smart phone and loved it - good description and characters - will be purchasing the full novel as want to know what happens now.

Ken Macleod also a science fiction author attended and spoke at the event as well as respected and influential sci-fi/fantasy editor/agent John Jarrold.

The 5 hour event was broken up into 5 sections.  They were:

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks breakthorough -
David Haddock fan and editor of Iain Banks fanzine introduced this which showcased Iain first successfully published novel - The Wasp Factory which Iain got published in 1983/4.  He wrote it in 1981 and it took him 10 weeks to write - also received 6 publisher rejections. It was published on Iain's 30th birthday.
David told how Iain's writing career started in the 1960's when Iain was at school.
His first novel was 'The top of Poeisdon" written in 1968 when Iain was aged 14 which was more a novella these days at 35,000 words.

Conversation and Curries -
Michelle Hodgson who organised the Hudds Literature festival also shared her experiences of being Iain's PA for around 20 years - she was quite emotional as she described what it was like working and living with Iain on his tours and in pubs and curry houses across Britain which they went to after signings.
She also showed news clips of Iain on talks and being interviewed - she was also on screen and hasn't aged at all!!

Espedair Street -
Hosted by composer Gary Lloyd he discussed how he worked with Iain on some musical collabarations including turning one of Iain's novels into an album.
Gary played parts of it to us although this section could have been just 30 to 45 minutes instead of an hour.

Songs of Stone - Ken Macleod talked through some of Iain's poetry - some of which he wrote at school - himself and Iain were working on a collection of poetry they were planning to bring out when Iain sadly passed away but this should still be published in near future.  Was very interesting.

The Culture and other stories -
Ken Macleod was joined by agent John Jarrold and steam punk novelist David Barnett to discuss Iains contribution to science fiction and his culture books.
Agent John gave a funny tale of how he first met Iain with Iain laid on the ground with a pint resting on his chest in 1986 at a sci-fi convention.  In December 1987 John became Iain's agent and John went onto Orbit publishing.
Ken met Iain at school and they were both into sci-fi and read the same books - Ken asked Iain to write for his sci-fi magazine.
All three discussed how attitudes to sci-fi/fantasy over the last 10 years and is now more mainstream.

Overall the event was very good and Michelle, Ken and John were quite emotional of their fallen friend and comrade who they all loved.  Iain came across as a very likeable and funny character and would have been good to meet him or have gone to his signings.
The only problem was the length but then alot of work had gone into the event - my only regret is that I didn't talk to John and Ken.  Oh well hopefully next time?


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Huddersfield Literature Fesival - 15th March 2014 - Meet the Agent and Editor Event

Hello yet again my faithful followers of fashion.
Here is a quick run down of what happened at the above event I attended last Saturday at Huddersfield Lit Festival -
Hosting the event was Jenny Savill - senior literary agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates and
Antonia Hodgson - Editor in Chief of Little, Brown Publishers.

Jenny - J - started telling us about her role as an Agent -
J has been an Agent for 12 years and sees herself as an enabler - to enable an author to stay published a long time.  She will only sign up an author if she can launch and improve their career.
She emphasised how to her being an agent its important to have a human relationship between the author and agent and J likes to meet an author before signing on to get to know them and get their idea and vision for their future.
J advised its important for an agent to know what is happening in the publishing world and build relationships with editors and keep track of them if they move around differnt publishing houses.
Also her job is to get a contract for the author and once signed she works with the author.
Agents/agencies help usually with payments and contracts and tax issues - also all the tricky copyright and digital right issues that crop up leaving the author free to write.
J also has to ask editor if things alright to miss deadline if author not on time.

Antonia - A - also told us what her role involved -
A has been an editor for 19 years for Little, Brown which she said was unusual as most editors move around alot - but she loves her role and is also able to publish a variety of genres.
A reads submissions and decides whether its good enough to publish.  She has to think about what the sales may be like and how much they will offer the author(s).
She helps to edit the novels and also works with the designers on book covers - she also makes sure the marketing process is going well.
A describes her role and other editors role as a Professional Reader which she loves to do.

When she recives a submission she has to love it as got to sell the idea to the management and marketing - it's all about taste and judgement.  A structuarally manages the manuscripts.
A started off doing Literature fiction and also non-fiction as likes a mix of books.
She gets help from her management and other editors.

There was then a Q & A session where the room asked varies questions which I will try to break down.

What influence does author have on cover?
J - In author contract the author will have a say in the cover.
A - Some authors have an idea of what they want for the covers.

Getting into publishing!
J - Find your way into publishing like she did - by starting at an agency at the bottom and working up - e.g. starting on reception.  J went onto become a PA to an Agent and advised be prepared to do anything.
A - So many people apply for an editor role but remember there are different parts of publishing to work in. - From Marketing to Cover design - to copy writer.

Sending in Manuscripts!
J - she rarely reads the synopsis - as this is a tool for agent/editor to see where story going if they like the first 3 chapters - you need a good and friendly opening letter with not too much waffle and usually first 3 chapters although this can differ for different agencies/editors.
Bullet point you synopsis with main events.

Additional advice -
J - Authors especially published are able to change genres - 2 which spring to mind are JK Rowling and Iain M Banks.

J - First time authors usually have too much telling in their first manuscripts and not enough showing of events and usually info - dump.
A - Most manuscripts start well but usually have rushed endings which she works on with the authors.
A - Little,Brown don't accept unsolicitored manuscripts as its better to have an Agent.
J - It's best to have a finished manuscript before you make a submission and usually a 3 month response time.
J - I varies between different Agents and Editors to how many Authors they take on but J has 30 Authors she has on her books and helping out and usually takes on 2 to 6 new authors a year - some have more or less.

Well guys - as you can see have got quite alot out of the meeting with both Agent and Editor which was packed and gave good information - my advise as well as theirs is to do your reseach on the Agency and publisher your wanting to send work to.
Hope you enjoyed


CWG Meet - Monday 17th March

Hi folks

How are you?  Well not done much writing but been busy with writing/reading related events including last nights Cleckheaton Writers Group.

Was a good meet although was only myself, Dawn and Andy but we made the most of it - we updated each other on our WIP - myself - not done much although been to two events at Huddersfield Literature Festival which I updated Dawn and Andy on - these events I will share with you shortly here if my internet dosen't stop freezing - grr.
Andy had been editing his childrens book he started years ago Billy Turner - Flights of Fancy.
Dawn hadn't done much on The Grobble which she had started but had written a short poem which she shared with us which I enjoyed especially the imagery although noted it didn't rhyme.
There was then a discussion as to whether Poetry should rhyme - myself and Andy for it.

Andy also shared a very funny short story - his werewolf take on Interview with a Vampire - which didn't work out as you would thing for the main characters - the dialogue was excellent.

Myself and Dawn shared our experience of HLF with Andy as Dawn was a steward throughout most events.
Dawn also shared her experience of the Leeds Trinity Writers Festival which she enjoyed most of although had different views with one of the tutors.

All in all a good meeting.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Hi guys

Just a quick update - haven't written much yet been full of cold/flu so will get back to it soon - although I hope I better for Saturday as going to the Huddersfield Literature Festival !!

I have booked to see - Meet the Agent - a chance to meet two Editors/ Agents.

Also booked for the Celebration of the Life and works of Iain Banks 2pm till 7pm - although not read any of his works am familiar with his sci fi and crime novels and will lean me towards being a fan - another big draw for me going to this is that Agent and script doctor John Jarrold will be there - he is a big name in sci fi and fantasy and has been an agent or worked with the likes of Iain Banks, Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card and my favourite author David Gemmell !!  Among many others.  Hope to get to meet him.

Anyway everyone enjoy the sun.


Hero by L L Anderson - E-Book review


Description: John Porter died a hero, and he’s never regretted anything more. Trapped as a ghost, he watches the people he left behind fall apart without him. When the reason behind his family’s woes becomes clear, John vows that he will have his revenge - even if that means killing the source of all his pain and regret. 

Gavin Tisdale copes with his best friend’s death by throwing himself into his work. He won’t give up on the murder investigation John started until he’s caught the killer. But Gavin’s obsession with the past will have to wait – there’s a more immediate danger rising that threatens him and the ones he loves. 

Not-so-sweet sixteen year old Mandy Porter has no time for heroes – especially not her dad, John. This girl is all out for herself, no matter what it takes. But she’s playing a dangerous game and she may not make it out alive…

Hi Guys

I was always againest E-books/Kindles/Kobo's ect as prefer the printed book - the nice smell of print and the feel of the paper but now working in Leeds couldn't face carrying around a bulky book especially ones I tend to get - although never read.
Some people do take printed books on their journeys and I think in future I will but for convience I uploaded the above E-book onto my Kindle app on my smart phone - and boy am I glad I did.

I can now say I've read a book this year unlike last year and it's something I wouldn't normally get - at first thinking it to be a general crime book I thought why not try it - to be a writer you need to read all genres I've been told - so imagine my surprise when in the first chapter the main character John Porter dies saving a kid from a car explosion!!

It's a very pacey book with twists and turns and the ghosts and afterlife element to it makes it different from more conventional crime thrillers and also believable too - the set up of the afterlife works very well - the characters the story follow are believable too and I like how the book has many POV's - from John, his life police partner Gavin, John's daughter Mandy and many more.

Summary - a very good read - one I couldn't put down and read within a month - which is especially good as the book was free - lol.  Would recommend it to crime and supernatural genre fans.

Score - 9/10


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Misc - 3/3/14 CWG Meeting

Hi Folks

Hope you all fine - got to admit not written much in last 2 weeks except to finish part 2 in my Total Futures trilogy PIN ID - HEAD - which along with Razorblade Symphony got good response from the CWG guys who read them over the last weekend.

Although due to feedback the initial ideas and stories are going to change alot.
Razorblade Symphony got very good response just to tweak it which I will over weekend and then post - this will be a standalone story which I admit didn't really connect to the theme I wanted.

PIN ID-Head - this is a story from a woman's POV which I was told was very good and nailed a womans voice which I'm glad about but the actual theme/story is bigger than a blog type layout.  So this will stay as a woman's blog but the theme will change and become sinister scary tale.
The actual theme - a thriller what could happen in the future conspiracy theory which I won't divulge I will try to turn into a novel which will also have parts of my third story I was planning for the trilogy Chip in Da Block.

So after I finished the 2 standalone stories and shared with you I will start on the novel - unfortunatley I think Wormhole Effect will be on hold till this is written but will be a harder story to tell than Wormhole as that was a fairly basic adventure story - watch this space - things may change - lol.

On a positive note my writing was received well and we had a good meet on Monday at CWG - Dawn shared an extract of her story which was very good.  We all gave updates of what we were working on and future writing events.

So see you soon guys x