Monday 20 March 2017

Cyber Event

In fact I’ve got a couple I’m working on as I’m working with a newly-published author on another one.
I’m discussing here the one that I’m holding on 29 March. It will run from 6.30 p,m. until 9.00 p.m. and in many ways will replicate what happens in an actual event. I’m working with four other lovely ladies.    
We’ll each take the “floor” for half an hour each so the schedule runs like this:
Jenny Palmer 6.30 – 7.00  

Jenny Palmer lived and worked abroad and in London for many years, teaching English to foreign students. She has co-edited four anthologies of short stories, published by the Women's Press and Serpents Tail. Following her return to Lancashire in 2008, she self-published two memoirs and a family history. 'Nowhere better than home' is a childhood memoir about growing up in rural Lancashire in the 50s and 60s.  'Pastures New' is the sequel and covers the heady days of the 70s and 80s.  'Whipps, Watsons and Bulcocks: a Pendle family history' traces the history of her family, who have lived in the same house for 400 years. Her poems and short stories have been published in the Lancashire Evening Post, on the Cafelit website and in various local anthologies. 'A59' and 'Fatal Flaws' are in the Best of Cafelit 3 and 5.

Libby O’Loghlin  7.00 – 7.30 

Libby O’Loghlin is an Australian novelist and prize-winning short story writer who has co-founded various community orgs in Switzerland including The Woolf Quarterly, an online cultural magazine. Her Young Adult coming-of-age action adventure, Charlotte Aimes, was longlisted for the Bath Children's Novel Award in 2015. She also writes collaboratively as one half of Political Thriller author Christoph Martin (The Expansion, coming May 2).
BOOK Charlotte (global book linker for Amazon) 
  or via the webpage

Clare Weze  7.30 – 8.00 

About me and my writing:
Born in London and raised mostly in Yorkshire, I have British and Nigerian* heritage, so of course, I love everything Scandinavian (not just The Killing and The Bridge, but Danish cakes too). I also like jazz, blues, big cities, deep countryside and hares. (If the hares happen to be boxing, it’s the icing on the cake.)
I came to writing via a circuitous route. Or rather, my writing was hijacked by other careers along the way, beginning with a stint as a hairdresser in London’s West End. A science degree naturally followed from that (!), then postgraduate studies, which led to work in the fields of biomedical and environmental research. I now divide my time between editing scientific publications and writing fiction. The two marry well.
My first book was Cloudscapes over the Lune, a collaboration with Mary Sylvia Winter, Melissa Bailey, Sarah Dobbs and Kay Douglas to raise money for two children’s charities.
In 2014, Curiosity Quills published Gears of Brass, a steampunk anthology featuring my story ‘The Archive Room’.
The Snowflakes anthology came out in 2015, published by Bridge House Publishing and featuring my story ‘Undertow’.
I’m delighted to have won a Northern Writers’ Award to support the development of my new short story collection.
The first draft of The House of Ash was shortlisted for the Commonword Children’s Diversity Writing Prize 2012, run in association with Puffin Books and RCW Literary Agency. This book is now in final edits.
(* Weze is pronounced way-zay)

Catherine Green 8. 00 – 8.30 

Author of British paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels, Catherine Green was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves. Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her contemporary stories.
If you sign up to Catherine’s newsletter, she will send you a free copy of her Redcliffe short story, It’s Complicated, to introduce you to her fictional supernatural seaside town in Cornwall, England.
More recently, Catherine released her contemporary English Gothic novel, The Vampire of Blackpool. These novels will show you the darker, sexier side of our favourite British seaside resorts!
You can find Catherine in the following places:
The Pagan Housewife Blog:

Gill James  8.30 – 9.00

Gill James writes fiction for middle grade and young adults. She is currently working on a cycle of novels set mainly in Nazi Germany.
She is published by Crooked Cats, Tabby Cat Press, The Red Telephone and Butterfly. She is a part-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at Salford University.
She offers workshops on creative writing, book-building, creative writing in other languages and the Holocaust and life in Nazi Germany.
She taught modern languages for 23 years in various schools and has continued to make school visits as a writer of fiction for children and young adults.   
About the Schellberg Project

What we’re offering
We’re each giving some things away. Ah! You’ll have to come along to find out what.
There will be quite a lot on offer. There will also be a tombola with a substantial prize from each of us. Everyone who joins us at any time will be put into the draw for the tombola.     

It’s going to be a hoot. Do join us! Register here.    


Thursday 9 March 2017

Deleted scenes

I’ve decided to keep some of these on my The House on Schellberg Street site. I see these as being a little like what you sometimes find on a DVD.  Here is one. Beneath it I attempt to explain why I deleted it.

A Misunderstanding 30 January 1939

 “You will be fine,” said John. “Absolutely fine. You’ll learn very quickly once you start school. Your uncle said you learnt Italian really quickly?”
“That was different,” wailed Renate. “We’d had lessons at school and then we only had to speak it to the skiing instructor. Tomorrow I’ve got to be able to understand everything in school.”
“And I’m giving you lessons,” said John. “It’s all around you all the time. The school is, thank God, anyway, exactly like the one you were going to go to in Stuttgart.”       
“Except that they all speak English,” muttered Renate.
“So we should practice now,” said John. “Come on, we shall speak English. Tell me everything you see!”
It was an unusually warm day for January. There were ducks and even swans bobbing along happily on the Thames. Renate could hardly believe that the trees and the birds and the bees were going on as normal – in fact better than normal – despite all the strange things that were happening to her. The sun made the water sparkle and you could see the reflections of all the tall buildings quite clearly on the water.
“Come on, then,” said John slowly in English. “What can you see?”
“Ich kann eine,” Renate started. She didn’t even know how to say “I can”.
“I can,” John said slowly for her.                        
 “Well, I can see a bridge, Tower Bridge,” said Renate carefully.“And Big Ben. Zhe-” She really did have trouble with “the”. She paused, took a deep breath, and placed her tongue firmly between her teeth. “The Houses of Parliament in London- the capital of - the United Kingdom.”
Mrs Smith nodded and smiled. She muttered something to John. He laughed.
“My mother thinks you sound like a tourist book,” he said.
 “What can you see on the river?” he asked, switching back to German. . 
“I can see some boots, and I can see a bugger,” replied Renate.
“What?” asked Mrs Smith.
A gentleman who was standing next to them cleared his throat and frowned at Renate.
“I can see a big bugger,” repeated Renate, looking sideways at the man, wondering why he seemed so hot and bothered.
“Well, really,” he muttered and hurried away.
“Bugger?” asked John. “Where did you learn that word?” he added in German.  You mustn’t say that. It’s a really bad swear word.”
“What have you been teaching her?” asked Mrs Smith.
“What do you mean?” asked John, ignoring Mrs Smith’s question.
“Look, bugger,” said Renate, pointing at the large craft which was slowly making its way upriver.
“Dredger,” said John. “That’s a dredger.” He laughed. “Of course. You’re trying to say the German word the English way,” he added in German.
“Oh, I’ll never get the hang of this stupid language,” moaned Renate, blushing bright red. “They’ll all laugh at me tomorrow.”
“They won’t laugh,” said John. He translated for his mother.
Mrs Smith gave her a huge hug. She said something which Renate could not understand, and shook her head violently. 
“They’re going to be nice,” said John in German. “But you’ve got to see the funny side of it. That man thought you were calling him a very rude word.”
He explained to Mrs Smith. She put her hand over her mouth and went very red. Then her eyes twinkled and suddenly she was laughing. 
 “Go on, laugh,” said John. 
Suddenly Renate found herself giggling helplessly at the thought of the gentleman’s face. And laughing made her feel better. Perhaps tomorrow would not be so bad after all.” 

Why did I get rid of this scene?

If I’m truthful, I can’t quite remember. Interestingly, on the fourth book in this series I am now doing the “kill off your darlings” edit and possibly here is a darling that needed killing. It is well enough written. This particular edit is normally one of the later ones so a lot of polishing has gone on beforehand.
There is another factor here. I was keen to have this scene in as it was partly a funny little true story. However, the conversation did not take place between John and Renate but between Renate and her mother.
The date is also wrong. She would have only been in England for a few days by 30 January 1939. Her English would probably not have improved that much yet. She spoke no English at all before she came to England. The actual conversation between Renate and her mother took place months if not years later.
So, it had to go.
I’m now wondering whether I could have included a more truthful scene at a more appropriate date. This might then have illustrated Renate’s growing unease about her identity.

The never-ending editor

It doesn’t ever stop, does it?  If I were writing this today I would probably use a different tag or no tag at all for:    
“That was different,” wailed Renate. “We’d had lessons at school and then we only had to speak it to the skiing instructor. Tomorrow I’ve got to be able to understand everything in school.”
You can read more deleted scenes here.