There was an interesting juxtaposition of articles in a newspaper this week and, while I first thought it was a mean trick by a grudging sub editor to put the two side by side, I realized that one was a harrowing story of bravery while the other was … well… an over-indulgent whine. In other words, a poorly considered first person column. Continue reading
March 21 should have been my eldest daughter’s 34th birthday.
It isn’t because – typically – she turned up eight days late at 8.20pm on March 29 after an emergency Caesarean section.
It was also the first time one of the early James Bond movies was screened on terrestrial television in the UK.
The anaesthetist made no secret about his disappointment at missing the start of the film. Continue reading
I love radio – listening to it and appearing on it. I love watching television too, but I’m not quite so keen about appearing on TV – not that I’m asked often. But radio? Yes, give me a radio appearance any day.
I’m still feeling tense about the recent TV recording Sue and I did – more of which when the programme is screened. Until then, our lips, brightly coloured and contoured by the make-up department, are sealed.
As well as having to perform well under bright studio lights and in front of a live audience, we had to take different outfits. The idea was that the wardrobe people would pick those which would look good under studio lights. Continue reading
Let’s buck the trend: over the next few weeks reviewers all over the blogsphere and beyond will be posting Christmas and end-of-year round-ups of their favourite books of 2017.
Personally, I’m always glad to be reminded of the lovely books waiting to be read.
But what I don’t need – and I’m sure you don’t either – are those depressing listicles where m’learned friend presents a catalogue of GOOD BOOKS that everyone should read at least once in their life.
The lecture – for that’s essentially what it is – usually begins by claiming that the curated collection has stood the test of time for a reason. Continue reading
I’ve a new respect for people who take part in televised events. Sitting on the sofa at home watching the box, it all looks so easy: participants chat happily, respond calmly to comments and answer questions.
But let me tell you – when you’re in the sights of a studio camera, complete with hot lights and an audience, it’s nerve-racking.
And the worst of it is deciding what to wear. Continue reading
Have you ever been described as ‘depressing, judgmental and ignorant’ and then been accused of being a dummy?
Well, actually, you might have. If you saw one of the glossy magazines that came with a particular Sunday newspaper yesterday, you could have looked at the so-called fashion spread where a coat costing nearly £3,000 was featured with matching £1,000 trousers (mentioned but invisible as they’d been cropped out of the photo), and asked: ‘Who spends that kind of money on clothes?’ Continue reading
How should authors interact when they are taking part in book events? Should they stay quietly at their tables, behind piles of their recently published novel?
Should they concentrate on a book they’re reading and avoid looking up?
Or should they leap forward whenever anyone comes near and start doing a major sales pitch?
It’s an interesting dilemma and something considered by freelance copy editor, Emma Mitchell, who wrote a blog on her website asking: ‘Do we expect too much of authors?’ Continue reading
Ask many writers where their characters originate and they’ll shrug and say they came from within their imagination; they appear or develop over time.
For me, they’re often sparked by spotting someone in a coffee shop or on a train. I won’t take the ‘whole’ person, but rather ‘pieces’ of them – the way they walk, the way they’re dressed, or something they say – and blend them into a character. Continue reading
When Sue and I visit events such as book clubs, forums and literary festivals to talk about our writing and our books, one of the common questions we’re asked is: ‘How do two people write together?’
Some assume we sit side by side staring at a computer screen, throwing out words and phrases until we agree on a sentence.
Which would be lovely – but it wouldn’t be too productive as we’d keep breaking off to laugh about an idea or get up to make a sandwich – any distraction to avoid simply sitting and writing. Continue reading
Well, there’s us told!
A recent website post by Laurie Gough, who describes herself as a journalist and travel writer, details why she believes self-publishing is ‘an insult to the written word’. And, judging by the number of comments at the end of the post, she’s insulted – not the written word – but several writers who are making something of a success out of self-publishing.
Ms Gough would ‘rather share a cabin on a Disney cruise with Donald Trump’ than self-publish. (I reckon Trump got off lightly.) Continue reading