Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Coventry Tales

Had a wonderful time at my local writers' group last night... the Coventry Writers' Group - see our forum at

We ran our own competition - the idea being that each of us write something (poem, short story, flash fiction) that could be called a Coventry tale. We put our entries (all anonymous) into a pile on the table and volunteers read each piece aloud. We then awarded marks out of ten to each (giving a ten to ourselves to eliminate cheating!) and the mathematical minds among us went away to count the votes.

It was great fun trying to guess who had written which piece. One or two were fairly obvious to me, though no less enjoyable for that. On the whole though, I guessed wrong, and was astonished when the authors were revealed.

And no, we didn't use AV to decide on the winners. I'm not sure quite how the eventual system worked, but everyone seemed happy with the results and, I'm very pleased to say, neither Nick Clegg's nor David Cameron's entries won! And yours truly got third place and a book token and so was very chuffed.

Look out for the book - we're thinking of publishing and marketing it as Coventry Tales.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Writing about depression

For much of my adult life I have suffered from recurrent episodes of depression. I'm very lucky, though - with the help of my GP I've found a medication that seems to work. Mind you, every time I begin to feel myself going down, I have a flash of fear that it won't work this time. Up to now, I'm glad to say, it always has, though it can take time.

Although I've been writing seriously now for over 5 years, I still haven't tackled the subject of depression head on in any of my novels. In Alexa's Song (not yet published) I wrote about a character who is bipolar, but I never really described his depressive epsiodes. Perhaps there are good reasons for that. Depression is notoriously difficult to write about. And it's not something you necessarily want to think about while you're feeling well.

I'm now writing a science fiction novel and, oddly enough, depression has crept up on me, not in life, but in my writing. I'm describing the experience of... well, let's just say a disembodied brain... and as I write, I realise just what it is I'm writing about. Perhaps...

This is a first draft and I don't like to talk too much about my first drafts in case they melt away like dreams. So I'll stop now.

I'll be interested if anyone reading this has managed to write about depression - please comment, if you have. Or if you've read any novels that you feel capture it well.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

New blog for 8-14 year old girl readers - Girls Heart Books!

I'm part of a wonderful new blog aimed at girl readers aged 8 to mid-teens - and I'm so thrilled! I had no idea when I asked to join that I'd be in the company of so many well-known and wonderful writers (or I'd never have dared to ask). Just take a look at some of the names, under 'Authors':

There will be a new post every day and we'll all be taking our turn. I'll be doing mine sometime towards the end of May and I'm sure by then there'll be some hard acts to follow. All our books are featured too, and there'll be competitions and other exciting stuff going on.

So if you have a daughter of that age or know anyone else who might be interested, please pass the message on. Our aim is to encourage girls who already love books and get some new ones reading, too.