Welcome to By the Letter for April 2021, and especially to new subscribers. It seems people are finding many things of interest here. Someone told me they save By the Letter for their weekend reading, to give them enough time to get through all the content. That's lovely feedback!
Keepers is out in the big wide world!
Of course, the big news is that Keepers is now, finally, live, in ebook and paperback and across major retailers. I've been thrilled with the comments from those who had the book early. The reader who nearly called me at 3 am to tell me how much she loved it, posted her review on Goodreads. If anything sways you to read the tale of Raine and Teddy - not forgetting Alf - these embarrassingly brilliant (but I love them) words will.
Click on the image below to find out where to buy.
A hint especially for those in Australia and New Zealand wanting paperbacks - the Book Depository is possibly the best option for you. Free delivery worldwide. Go here.
And for buyers local to me, Matt Taylor at Chepstow Bookshops can get the book in for you (and when allowed, I will drop some off to him as well). See their website for details.
A plea: once you've finished reading, please leave a review. Even if it's a few lines, it helps writers tremendously to have those reviews up there. Thank you!
I promised a gift copy to one subscriber, and that person has been informed - their signed copy will be posted out in the next couple of days. Enjoy!
More writing news
Being part of Dean Writers Circle has meant so much to me over the past couple of years. It's not just making some wonderful friends, it's also about upping the quality of my writing. This year, so far, three pieces I've workshopped with the group have earned accolades.
One made it to the Flash500 Annual Short Story competition longlist, and another - drumroll please - has made the selected ten stories to be read at the May 9Stroud Short Stories event - always a popular competition and happening. May's event is online, but it's non-ticketed and free. So bookmark this website address and mark it in your calendar, 7.30 pm May 9. Thank goodness the hairdresser appointment will happen before the recording (vanity, vanity).
My current project is nearing first draft completion, thanks to the prodding and coaxing of my critique partners, Jodi and Paula. Thank you both. Can't wait to start editing (or re-writing, as they say in the trade).
If you're a new subscriber, you can catch up on past issues of By the Letter here. And please feel free to forward the link to friends you think might be interested.
And, I've added a BOOKS tab on my website with links to retailers. This includes the dog's book, which continues to do well. In fact, Sammy had emails from two new fans recently, thanking him for helping them and their humans become better acquainted with our Forest.
Almost as important as getting Keepers out was getting our new roof on. Quite a big job, but the guys were very efficient. Kept the whole village amused too (it's a bit like that at the moment, isn't it?)
These jackdaws decided the scaffolding was very handy for access to their new nest in the eaves. And I learned that the decorative wooden bits are called barge boards. Now to venture into the loft to see what's buried under 100 plus years of accumulated gunge from the old tiles. Fun.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW - EMMA LOMBARD
Emma Lombard was eleven when she started writing her first novel, and at age fourteen submitted her draft to the editor of a big publishing house. Although rejected, the editor was encouraging. Now, a few years later, we understand the editor's words of praise.
Last month, I reviewed Emma's debut release, Discerning Grace , and this month you have the chance to meet the woman behind the story. It's a rollicking ride, to match the book! So read on...
WRITERS ARE READERS TOO (or should be)
Costa Book of the Year 2020
The Mermaid of Black Conch Monique Roffey
Normally I shy away from best sellers as the marketing hype doesn’t always correlate to my own view of a good read. However, a different take on mermaids seemed a good bet and I wasn’t disappointed. Read my review here.
A PIECE OF WRITING FOR YOU TO ENJOY
Bridges are what you make of them was first written for a competition a year or so ago, where it got nowhere. Scrutiny by Dean Writers Circle improved it to shortlist status elsewhere. Thank you to my fellow writers.
A faint slap of water rises from the clogged canal through the barely bobbing mass. Ahmed balances a foot on a bottle, splays his toes over the famous red letters for better grip. The other foot rests on a rusted drum.
Over the past year or so, I've accumulated several posts on my website on the craft of writing, and it seemed a good idea to share something here each month.
So, writers, this one is for you and it's about that tricky but rewarding piece of craft called Showing not Telling. For when you really want your readers to feel what your characters are feeling (which is an in joke, sorry).
I hope you find it useful.
What's coming up in May? An interview with Italian-American author C D'angelo, who will have just released her debut novel, The Difference. Plus another article on research for Keepers, this time on the Australian Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme. What's that got to do with Keepers? Well, I guess you'll have to read the book!
Meanwhile, keep safe, keep reading and writing, and now dash off to get your copy of Keepers (and don't forget to leave a review saying how much you enjoyed it, thank you!).
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