Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Short stories, novels and emotional engagement

I recently had a conversation with another writer about short stories versus longer forms, such as novels.  I enjoy reading and writing both.  But if I am honest, I do find it difficult to remember short stories that I have read, even though I would say that it is my favourite form to write (especially flash fiction). Is it because a short story gives us less time to get to know the characters and to make an emotional connection?  For me, memory and emotional engagement go hand in hand. In a novel we have time to develop a relationship with the characters. And if we fall in love with them, we won't want to leave.  We care about them.

Writing a novel is a huge emotional commitment - and a time consuming one.  It's a big task, in every sense.

And it made me think  - am I basically a lazy writer? Okay, so I have completed and published over 30 novels for children and teenagers, the biggest being only 35,000 words.  I don't think in epic forms.  I'm sure I would really struggle with 100,000 words.  When I write a short story it naturally takes around 1000 words.  I love the brevity of the form, and the discipline. The skill and joy of flash fiction, where you may have only 100 or 200 words to tell a tale, is a challenge I find highly satisfying.  Every word counts.  Every word has to earn a place in the story.

I'm currently reading The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis and am fascinated by the way she manages to take us inside the minds of her characters so quickly, and to leave the reader asking questions.

As a writer/reader/both, do you have a favourite form?  And is your preferred reading form the same as your favourite writing form?

Related post:

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Hitting 1000

Apparently, most blogs have an average of  less than 1000 views monthly and lots of writers give up blogging and become disillusioned.  Perhaps that is connected with the fact that most writers need some form of validation, be this publication or readers, or some other form of recognition.

I can understand this and there are plenty of times I've nearly given up.  However, looking back to the time when I set up the blog, when I had about 10 views a month, and to the present time, when I average 1500 I do feel that the hard work is worthwhile.  And above all, I enjoy blogging.

Below are links to some great posts about writing and blogging.  I especially enjoyed Nathan Bransford and his observations about writers and vlaidation and striving.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Indie versus Trad Route to Publishing

Lots of writers seem to wrestle with whether or not to go the trad route or indie route to publishing.  I've done/do both.  And I am a big fan of the hybrid route.  However, the following posts by other writers are packed full of valuable information about what to consider if you can't decide yet. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

E-book Sales: Growing!

"Show me any other area of publishing that has seen 43% revenue growth year on year. In fact, show me any area of any industry that has."

Check out more of this illuminating report from Sam Missingham at Futurebook on the current and future status of e-book sales.

Related posts:

Friday, 7 June 2013

Signed Paperback Pony Books Available!

Just a reminder that I have a very limited quantity of some of my signed print paperbacks for sale. Most of these titles will be difficult to source in the UK.

The books below are sold at £5 each plus p & p:

An exciting mystery of dangerous horses, dark secrets and the supernatural
Only 2 copies left.

Kat is a rebellious teenager and Pagan is an unhappy horse: both have been branded as trouble because of their bad behaviour. When girl and horse meet, it seems as if they are made for each other.  Or so Kat believes - but a haunting presence from the past casts a dark shadow over their future together.....
8 copies left.

A runaway horse, a creepy clifftop mansion and a secretive, enigmatic boy - who can Holly trust if she wants to keep the horse safe from the danger that threatens them both? 
Only 2 copies left.

For full details of how to order, please go to:

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Five Sentences with Sarah Salway

Today you will find me over with writer, coach and workshop facilitator Sarah Salway, on her gorgeous website, with my Five Sentences.

I really enjoyed doing this interview, so please visit and check it out.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Furry Fluffy Felines!

I'm currently researching producing a book trailer for my e-book Coming Home which will doubtless include some pics (and maybe film) of the wonderful felines who inspired the story, Sita and Steve.  So here's a pic of these adorable Norwegian Forest cats snoozing and cuddling (with Steve using Sita as a pillow!) and a reminder to cat lovers that all my royalties are being donated to the charity Cats Protection - and I want to raise as much as possible for them. Thanks!

Here are the links:

Related posts:

If you are a cat lover you might also enjoy: