What Books Mean To Me

Facebook – General – and Chandler’s Ford Today

It’s an absolute pleasure to share Part 1 of my latest series for Chandler’s Ford Today called What Books Mean To Me.

A big thank you to my fabulous guest authors for taking part, especially as I asked them which ONE book they would have to save above all others in the event of a disaster.

Come on, which author would only ever save ONE book?! Still at the end of the three part series I do get to answer that question myself.

The series also explores what reading means to us as readers and as writers. I’m very much looking forward to sharing the remaining two parts of this series.

And if the series gives you some ideas for presents for the book lovers in your life, even better! See it as a shopping list!

My featured authors include YA writers, children’s fiction writers, Scottish crime authors, flash fiction writers (not just me!), paranormal fiction, writers of women’s commercial fiction, and fantasy. Several of my guests wear more than one writing hat (do check them all out!) and some write short stories and flash fiction as well as novels. (Do check them out too!).

I hope you have as much joy in this series as I did in putting it together.

Image Credit: The library and books images are from the marvellous Pixabay. A huge thanks to my guests for supplying their images.

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I start a three part series on Chandler’s Ford Today called What Books Mean to Me. A big thank you to all of my guests who are taking part in this. It was great fun to put together.

I asked writer friends three questions:-

1. What is your favourite book and why?

2. What does reading mean to you?

3. How has reading helped you develop as a writer?

For Question 1, my guests could only pick one book and the deciding factor was it HAD to be the one above all others they would save in the event of a disaster.

Really looking forward to sharing the links over the next three weeks. I will say now there is a wonderful eclectic mix of books chosen too.

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Many thanks, everyone, for the congrats yesterday on the Slimming World result. Much appreciated.

Awful day today. Had no water for a few hours. Now you know what Murphy’s Law is at work here. The moment you know you can only flush the loo ONCE until the water is back on again, you suddenly find yourself keeping on wanting to go! Oh well…

Yes I do feel sorry for the engineers sorting things out. It wasn’t just our house, it seems to be a major part of my postcode area and just when people were coming home for the day too.

Not impressed with a certain water company’s Customer Services. Let’s just say that’s an hour of my life I won’t get back and I was cut off during one call just to add insult to injury so had to go through the queuing system again. Yes, I had to queue. The numbers on the website take you to Customer Services and that’s it. No direct quick response emergency number. That strikes me as odd to say the least.

I tell you, it’s a relief that I’m now about to turn to writing for the evening… I really DO want to escape into something creative and therapeutic! Writing can and does come into its own for enabling you to escape for a while. Bliss!

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

The love of stories (of all lengths) is what drives most writers to want to come up with some of their own – and to keep going when there seems little point in doing so.

I should also add there is some fabulous non-fiction out there which uses fiction techniques very effectively to get their facts across without being in the remotest bit boring. So when book shopping, check out the fiction AND the non-fiction aisles!

I’ve used actual events to inspire flash fiction stories and plan to keep on doing so. There is a lot of history to be inspired by after all!

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Hope to draft some new flash fiction over the next week or so. I am almost there with another collection but would like to add a few new pieces to it.

Unless I’m entering a competition with a specific word count, I never know how long a piece is going to be until I’ve written it. Sometimes what I think will work well at 100 words actually works better at 50 or 250.

It’s always a case of getting the story right first, then worry about the word count. Where a story is better at a longer word count than what you might have envisaged, well there are always open competitions and flash fiction markets with longer word count requirements. There will be a suitable home!

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Ten things I love about flash:-

1. It is direct. No waffle whatsoever. (No room for words like whatsoever either!😀😀).
2. It can be set in any genre or time you want.
3. It has to be character led so if you like inventing people, this is for you!
4. There are so many categories within flash there is bound to be at least one to suit you.
5. There are more competitions and markets for flash fiction now.
6. It is ideal to read on a screen (which is handy when travelling and could be a good way to tempt in a reluctant reader).
7. The form is flexible too. I have written flash tales in acrostic form to name just one. (Yes, it can be done in poetic form too but some would rather keep poetry to poetry and prose to prose and that’s fair enough too. I have written the odd poetic flash fiction story but it’s not something I do often).
8. If you like showing character thoughts and attitudes, again this is a great vehicle for that. It isn’t for long conversations though!
9. The form forces you to focus on what is really important and only that goes in your story. There is no room for more.
10. If you want to find out how to edit, REALLY find out how to edit, then flash fiction is a good way to go!

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Fairytales With Bite –

What Triggered Your Love of Fairytales?

I have the nagging feeling I really should have asked this question a long time ago!

For me, the trigger for my life-long love of fairytales comes from The Reader’s Digest Collection of Fairytales which came in two volumes. Both are hefty hardbacks and you wouldn’t want to drop them on your foot! I loved the stories and beautiful illustrations. These books were given to me by my late parents. I still have the books. The spine on Volume 1 in particular has been bound up by tape! I’m probably going to leave the building long before these books do!

The stories are those collected by Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, as well as originals by Hans Christen Andersen etc. I remember the shock at discovering fairytales didn’t necessarily have to have happy endings when I first read The Little Mermaid.

My favourite overall fairytale is Cinderella. Mind, my first published story was A Helping Hand in Bridge House Publishing’s Alternative Renditions anthology.  I look at the Cinderella story from the viewpoint of the younger stepsister who is not best pleased with the fairy godmother turns up again.  Great fun to write and, being my first published story, it will always have a special place in my heart. I still love writing fairytales from different viewpoints. It’s good fun!

Looking at why you love stories can help inspire you write your own (and do so better!).

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This World and Others – What Books Mean To Me

I’m starting a new three part series on Chandler’s Ford Today called What Books Mean to Me. It has been a great joy putting this together and I hope you enjoy it.

What do books mean to your characters? Is their world a literate one or is the oral storytelling tradition the strongest influence? Are stories welcomed or do your characters have to stick strictly to the facts and imagination is discouraged, punished even?

Can your characters read any books they like or do they have to stick to an official list? Is there a secret underground world of books where banned items can be read?

Do your characters treasure books themselves or do they leave that to others? If so, why?

Attitudes to books and stories can reveal so much about characters and their world settings. There are stories to be written here – lots of them ideally!

Image Credit:  All images from Pixabay.  Captions over on CFT (as are the pictures of my guests this week).


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