Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Very Atmospheric!!!

Huge thanks to, Luke Ryan -Camera, Clark Wickstone -Audio and SFX, Elizabeth Wilson -Editing, Dave Barnaville - Production Manager, and Colm O Searcoid -Graphics and Director, for producing such a brilliantly atmospheric trailer for RED RIBBONS, paperback, due to be released in May.

I love it - I hope you do too! 

Click on Image to View

And let me know what you think :-)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Alex Barclay Interview

Curse of Kings: Talking Fantasy with Alex Barclay

Some might think that crime fiction writing and writing epic fantasy adventure may not be a natural fit, but when I heard that the latest Alex Barclay novel, Curse of Kings, her debut YA novel, would be launched at the National Library of Ireland last week, I couldn’t wait to catch up with this bestselling author, and also to read the first novel in ‘The Trials of Oland Born –Curse of Kings’.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Trap - Kimberley Chambers

The Trap by Kimberley Chambers, is the first book in a hard-hitting series about murder, treachery and the kings of East London underworld, the Butlers. The Butlers play dirty and are a family highly feared within their own community. No one it seems can bring them down, until things start to unravel when one bloody night leads to a path of desperate vengeance.
Vinnie and Roy Butler are the apple of their mum’s eye. Queenie knows they can play dirty but when it comes to family, the lads look after business and make her proud. Nothing gets in the way of family ties, but Vinnie, the eldest son, is the ultimate creation of damaged goods, and one way or another, everyone who crosses his path will ultimately pay some kind of price.
The Trap is Kimberley Chambers eight novel. An author who has been described  as easily as good as Martina Cole by the News of the World, and this is undoubtedly a gritty, entertaining and fast paced tale, one that will have you turn page after page well into the early hours of the morning. 
Kimberley Chambers
Kimberly Chambers has done many jobs in her life, not least of which was, a disc jockey, a cabbie, and a street trader. Having read The Trap, none of these jobs surprise me. Even though prior to her writing journey, Chambers may well have wondered how these career paths would lead her to ultimately writing gritty and authentic fiction, her narrative fills the page with such life and energy, that very little about the calibre of her tone and characters jars the reader. Those years of listening and observing have not gone to waste, they sing through her story, making the endeavor of eavesdropping, if you don’t happen to be a cabbie, a disc jockey or a street trader, one for all writers to take on board.
In many ways The Trap reminded me of a brilliant soap opera, and with 500+ pages, you get a lot of story for your buck, and one could easily see this as a televised drama series.
Having grown up in less than lucrative beginnings myself, and despite Dublin being very different to the East End of London, I found many parallels to people I remembered from childhood. The characters simply lift off the page in this novel. The strong family ties, often delivered with a hard hand, the warped sense of justice, the black humour, the blatant contradictions, love interwoven with hate, fear side by side with innocence and ignorance, naivety, greed, all unraveling deliciously with Queenie Butler, as the matriarch, her sister Vivien the icing on the cake, and evil son Vinnie, your worth nightmare.
The novel opens in the mid-sixties, working its way to the summer of 1976, laced with music, fashion and cultural references, which give a good background for the story unfolding.
There were some elements of the novel that I would have issue with, parts of the dialogue were excessively lengthy, and far too many, ‘he said, she said, he lied’ etc. I was particularly perturbed by the killing off a character I was quite fond of in less than four lines, and other elements I would have questioned, but overall, it’s a mighty entertaining read, the negatives almost brushed aside by the sum of the parts, Chambers delivering in turn page style, and  that folks is good enough for me.

For more reviews and articles visit Crime Scene at www.writing.ie  HERE

Monday, February 18, 2013

At long last some sunshine!!!

There are many reasons why we love Spring - new beginnings, that wonderful fresh start, the budding of spring flowers, longer days, the hope of a wonderful summer to come! Add to that, the joy of walking! I went on my first mountain walk this Spring, one of hopefully many more to come. We've had enough rain already to last a whole year, time for some clear skies, or even dry ones!!!!

Piperstown 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mslexia Short Story Competition Open for Submissions

Mslexia – 5th Annual Short Story Competition for women writers, is now open for entries.
The first prize is £2,000 – one of the biggest prizes available in the genre –and includes two optional extras: a week’s retreat at the home of early women’s writing, Chawton House Library, and a day with a Virago editor. Other winners will receive a share of the remaining £1,050 prize pot, and all of the winning stories will be published in the June 2013 issue of Mslexia
We’re delighted to announce that the acclaimed novelist, memoirist, poet and short story author Janice Galloway will be judging the entries this year (her ‘Collected Stories’ is published by Vintage). 

The closing date for the competition is 18 March 2013, so there’s plenty of time to get your entry together.
Full details of how to enter are on the website at www.mslexia.co.uk/shortstory 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thought for the Weekend - George Orwell

It seems like an age since I've put up a 'Thought for the Weekend' - and maybe that's because of late, like so many other things in my life, the weekend has become submerged into the murky waters of  'what day is it again??'  when I should be asking myself much more important questions like, why am I spending more of my life in the fictional world of writing, than in the real world of living? 

Call it post writing syndrome, but after finishing the first draft of 'The Doll's House' last week, (all 120,000 words of it!!!) I find myself with a tremendous amount of unallocated time, and it's weird because I've gotten so used to having none, that I'm like a blind lunatic wondering what to do next, with a 'to do list' as long as any decent piece of string, and not a whole lot of interest in shortening it - if that makes any sense! 

So in an effort to bring some sense to it all, and after reading ''72 of the Best Quotes for Writers'," I'll hand you over to the master himself, Mr George Orwell below!

For the other 71 Quotes - Click HERE 

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

George Orwell

Have a lovely weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

BBC National Short Story Award 2013

BBC National Short Story Award returns for 2013

BBC National Short Story Award returns for 2013
13 December 2012

After a year spanning the globe for the finest international talent, the BBC National Short Story Award returns for 2013 to celebrate the best in homegrown short fiction

Submissions for the Award, now in its eighth year, are open from today. Mariella Frostrup will chair the judging panel for the Award, one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000. The runner-up receives £3,000 and three further shortlisted authors £500 each.

We are now accepting entries for the 2013 prize

The Award is now open for submissions from publishers, agents and published authors from the UK. The closing date for entries is 11 March 2013 at 10am.

Read the terms and conditions and entry guidelines carefully and submit your story in a Word document, along with a completed entry form. The maximum length for the short story is 8,000 words.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bridport Now Open for Submissions

Bridport Prize 

The 2013 competition is now open for submissions.  

The closing date is 31st May 2013

submit online   |   submit by post   |   rules   |   results   |   dorset award

Over £15,000 in prize money
One of the richest writing competitions in the UK, the Bridport Prize is open to all nationalities aged 16 years and over.
The poem and short story categories each have a first prize of £5,000, second prize £1,000 and third prize £500. An additional 10 supplementary prizes (for each category) of £50 each are awarded.
A new category for flash fiction with a prize of £1,000 was launched in 2010. There is a second prize of £500, 3rd prize of £250 and 3 supplementary prizes of £25.
The Dorset Award is a prize specifically for Dorset writers. Thanks to the sponsorship of The Book Shop of Bridport, £100 is awarded to the highest placed Dorset writer in the Bridport Prize each year.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Some Books are To Die For!!!

Check out 'Books to Die For', recently nominated for the prestigious EDGAR Award over at Crime Scene at www.writing.ie, where I also caught up with the wonderful Arlene Hunt and Declan Hughes. 

One for the favourite book shelves my friends!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Doll's House - End of Hibernation & 1st Draft

I'm officially out of hibernation!!!! Yippee, yay and all the rest of it.

The first draft of The Doll's House is now done, all 118,000 words of it. Of course the end of one thing usually signals the beginning of another, and my mind is already ticking over on changing this and adding in that, but that's all for another time, when the whole editing process gets underway. 

For now, I'm going to put on the kettle, let my mind go blank, and then pick up the pieces by saying HELLO to you all.


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