Saturday, 23 December 2017

The Write Club and a little bit of Witherstone

What an honour to have been invited to read an extract from Witherstone for the Write Club discussion this evening!

The podcast was, as ever, a wonderfully diverse discussion, including the writers' favourite books as younger readers, and although it's hard to choose just one from all the fabulous alternative universes I inhabited every day of my childhood (and still do, ha ha), my favourite was probably Tom's Midnight Garden - I loved it so much I read it into adulthood... and those who know me well know just how much I love the story of Tom and Hatty in that magical garden....

Write Club said some very kind things about Witherstone, and discussed the importance of not talking down to children when writing, discussed the wonderful Narnia books, and also discussed another inviting pile of new things to read over Christmas. It's a great group, easy-going and full of enthusiasm for writing and for reading, their podcasts are time delightfully well spent for readers and writers. 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Write Club

So enjoying listening to the Write Club podcasts.

This group of writers discuss everything from why we write to how we find excuses not to write (the noble art of procrastination!), and as well as reading short extracts from their own writing, they discuss research, approaches to writing, writing exercises, and the importance of reading, ending the podcasts with discussions of the books on their bedside tables.

It's easy-going and invariably humerous, and yet thought-provoking and gives the creative urge a kick up the proverbial. As well as giving writers a chance to engage with what and how other writers are writing and reading, you can join in their discussion on their Facebook page as well as on their podcast page. It's like being in a friendly and supportive writer's group without having to take the trouble to go out and find one! 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Something exciting happening in the ether...

Well there's something exciting brewing over the next few weeks, and it involves writing and books and podcasts and sunshine and quite alot of rather gorgeous scenery...




Saturday, 14 May 2016

Jakob's Colours by Lindsay Hawdon

I'm finding some absolutely beautiful and also absolutely heartbreaking books in the library at the moment - this one, Jakob's Colours, was recommended by a friend, and is right up there with the best of them.

I am conscious that I've been using the word "beautiful" quite a lot in recent reviews, but just switching the word does not alter the fact that sometimes it is the best description. Jakob's Colours is beautifully written, and I adore the characters who inhabit its pages and the tiny cupboards within its walls. The Roma Holocaust - the Porajmos - is little-visited in literature, and rarely does any book telling the untellable do it with such devastating beauty.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

And the Mountains Echoed is a beautifully written, intense, and accomplished novel, as you'd expect from the author of The Kite Runner and the even more splendid A Thousand Splendid Suns.

I did feel that I'd have liked to have spent more time with some of the characters at the heart of the novel, followed them in more detail over all the years they travelled in search of what was lost, but that's a testament to Hosseini's engagingly human characters and powerful storytelling in what is both a heartbreaking and an uplifting journey.