Sorry for the longer gap between posts than normal. I’ve been recovering from flu and have felt as if I have the stamina of your average wet lettuce leaf all week! So lots to catch up on including news of an interview, my latest CFT and Goodread blogs and new posts on my Fairytales with Bite and This World and Other websites too.
Facebook – and Chandler’s Ford Today and My Interview
A busy night tonight. Firstly, my Chandler’s Ford Today post this week looks at music and moods and how I now avoid having my mood changed when writing. (It does depend on what I listen to!). I share some of my favourite pieces too and why I used Saint Saens Danse Macabre as the music for the book trailer for From Light to Dark and Back Again.
Secondly, I was interviewed a little while ago by fellow Chapeltown author, Aly Rhodes (aka Alyson Faye). Her Chapeltown book, Badlands, is due fairly soon (though is available now on Kindle). Her interview with me is now up on her blog and many thanks to her for hosting me. (It’s always nice when the boot is on the other foot!).
— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) January 12, 2018
Facebook – General – Catch Up posts
Not been around much for the last couple of days as seem to have a bad case of the dreaded lurgy. Am not a happy bunny when poorly.
I want to be “up and doing” as Mr Groat would say (from Terry Pratchett’s marvellous Going Postal – do check it out . I think it has one of the best openings to a book ever and I can’t say more than that without giving a major spoiler away so shan’t! It’s also the only book I can think of that gets away with more than one prologue and both are crucial!).
The one good thing has been enforced early nights have meant I have caught up with some reading. I am having a major history “fest” right now (The Mythology of Richard III, The Wars of the Roses, both by John Ashdown Hill and the updated version of The Maligned King by Annette Carson. Excellent reads all of them and if you want some “facts ” about Richard III thoroughly debunked, do start here.).
Facebook – A Thought on the Muse
The muse sometimes deserves a good kick up the backside.
It should not be spoilt, pampered or given a free ride.
It needs some pushing to show up for work when you do
As working in tandem is ideal for both of you.
Allison Symes – 9th January 2018
Facebook – from earlier this week…
Will be really glad when this flu is finally over with. Am struggling not to feel tired all the time. I am catching up with some reading in bed though, which is about the only positive thing to come out of this week!
Having said that I did complete my CFT post for this week earlier today and that will be about mood and music. This has proven to be more apt than I thought it would be when I first decided to write it! More details tomorrow.
Am on final edits of my second book. Hope to have these done in next week or so. Feel very bad about being so behind but I must say I haven’t felt this ill in a very long time, thankfully. To everyone else out there with this wretched bug, take care and get well soon!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
One thing reading history soon teaches you (whether you read fiction or non-fiction) is how vital it is to keep a sense of perspective. (Something Thomas More failed to do with his “history” of Richard III – and Shakespeare even more so).
I’ve also come across some jaw-dropping leaps of “faith” when someone is trying to sum up a person. Charles Dickens in his A Child’s History of England roundly condemns Mary Stuart for being a murderess. He also condemns Elizabeth Tudor executing Mary Stuart. Okay, Charles, just WHAT was Elizabeth meant to do then especially with Parliament hounding her to have the sentence carried out?
Oh and out of interest he does write about Victoria’s early years on the throne. No criticism whatsoever that I could make out! Was he after a knighthood I wonder? (He should have had one of course but not for this particular book! I’ve always seen this as proof every writer has one bad book in them. The clever bit is trying to ensure it never sees the light of day!).
So how does that affect my fiction writing? All of this acts as a warning bell to me to make sure I am telling my character’s story, that they are not over-embellished (there is a place for ham villainy, it’s usually in the panto. Oh yes it is….😁) and to ensure the perspective shown is a reasonable one, at least from the character’s viewpoint.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Dark stories, light ones, or those that fall somewhere in between? I love them all and, of course, From Light to Dark and Back Again, has them all in! You have to write what you write. I don’t think, for example, you can write “funny” to order. What should happen is you write a story and your natural humour comes through your characters. It reads more naturally that way too.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again – Interview by Alyson Faye/Aly Rhodes
Lovely to be interviewed by fellow flash fiction writer and Chapeltown author, Alyson Faye (aka Aly Rhodes), on her blog tonight. Her book, Badlands, is out in Kindle format now and will be out in paperback. As with all Chapeltown books, it has the distinctive frame around a central image.
Meanwhile, it was lovely for this questioner of other writers to be on the receiving end, so thanks again, Aly!
Goodreads Author Programme – Blog
I don’t know about you but my reading moods tend to be one genre at a time, then I switch to another for a while and so on.
At the moment my reading list is mainly history (non-fiction), but almost inevitably when I want a change from that, I’ll go to something almost diametrically opposed to it. (Probably humorous fiction, knowing me and then it’ll the usual crime fest with appropriate body count etc!).
I see all of this as immersing myself well and truly in the world of books and that does have benefits to my fiction. Ideas cross-pollinate, influences that lead to good story ideas can come from almost anywhere (so reading widely really means just casting your imagination’s net out that bit further, which is rarely a bad thing!).
So whatever you are reading enjoy it! Who knows what ideas it might inspire in you for your own writing? (All I know is you’ve got to be open to the prospect of ideas coming in!).
Fairytales With Bite – Music and Moods
I talk about music and moods in my latest Chandler’s Ford Today post.
What role does music play in the fictional world you’ve created? Is it music as we would understand the term? Are any of your peoples particularly for or against music on religious or other grounds? Can anyone use music to influence the behaviour of others (and, yes, I am thinking about the Pied Piper of Hamelin story!).
We have our own history of great composers in different fields of music so what would your world’s equivalent be? Is classical known but rock not? Or is classical the big unknown or only for the elite?
This World and Others – Character Tastes – Music
My latest Chandler’s Ford Today post is about music and moods and how the former can affect the latter. I take care what I listen to now as I don’t want my writing affected by what I’m relaxing to!
What are your characters’ tastes in music? Musical tastes can be used to designate class (or lack of, you decide what’s appropriate here!). What would win other characters’ approval or disgust? What does everyone listen to in your created world? What do they avoid? Is there any crossover with the music we know and love/hate here?
Is there an underground music movement (especially if the mainstream is tightly controlled by the authorities)? Music has always had its rebels (Beethoven and Mozart were there long before punk rock!) so how would your world show this? Do they get away with their rebelliousness?