Turning the Tables, Mom’s Favorite Reads, and Publication News

Image Credits:-
All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated with many created in Book Brush. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Screenshots taken by me, Allison Symes.
Hope you have had a good start to the week. Looking forward to sharing a wonderful interview on Friday and it is nice to have publication news again too. Also, we have had sunshine here – spring has finally turned up!


Facebook – General

Delighted to say I’ll be having another story (a flash piece) up on CafeLit next week. More details nearer the time but news like this always cheers. I find it useful to submit stories regularly to different places, including my YouTube channel.

Doing this builds up publication credits and I enjoy sharing the links to stories on my author newsletter. Who doesn’t like a free read after all? Also said publication credits backs up my books (From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping the Flash Fantastic) so win-win there too.
Screenshot 2023-04-04 at 20-48-24 Allison Symes - YouTubeWoo-hoo, welcome to spring! Got my washing out on the line today – it is always the simple pleasures in life I appreciate most!. Gorgeous sunny day today, much enjoyed by Lady and I. Hope you have had a cracking start to your week.

I write for a number of blogs and online magazines and I love the different challenges each sets. But this is where scheduling is vital for me. I plan out when I am writing X piece for Y, also giving myself enough time to rest a piece and then edit it before submitting it (naturally in good time for the deadline).

And what helps me schedule effectively? The good old-fashioned A4 sized diary! So using a pen and paper still comes into my writing processes. I like that.

May be an image of text that says "I use my diary to note down what I am writing when and to record how I'm doing. Has helped make me more productive."

Hope the weekend has been a good one for you. Bit of a mixed bag here. Poorly again (but thankfully it was brief) on the Friday night, spent Saturday recovering, and now back to my full self, happily writing away, Looks like we might see some sunshine this week. Do hope so. Lady would welcome it too.

Looking forward to sharing a fabulous interview with Gill James on Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. We’ll be discussing her Build a Book Workshop book. Later this week I hope to flesh out some stories I drafted during the Flash Fiction group meeting on Wednesday night for submission – definitely want to get these somewhere!

Have a great writing and reading week. Am currently reading and loving 1000 Years of Annoying the French. It‘s a different way of looking at history, that’s for sure!

May be an image of phone, screen and text that says "Air T"

Pleased to say the brand new edition of Mom’s Favorite Reads is now out. Grab yourself a wonderful, free read. I’m talking about New Life – Transformation as the theme for this month’s flash fiction column given the link with Easter in April. Hope you enjoy the piece (and the great fiction and non-fiction pieces that came in as a result of my challenge this time).

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

Do you find music evocative? Have you used that to help you get in the right mood to write a specific story? I tend to use classical music to relax to as I write and find that really helpful. I write more when relaxed. But music doesn’t change what I write – and I like that too because the one to change anything is me (later an editor/publisher as and when needed – always is by the way. There are inevitably some changes to be made before a book sees the light of day).

For the historical fiction writers amongst you, do you use music to help you get the right era set in your mind as you write? I can see a use for that. Mind you, given historical includes anything aged over 50 years, that has to include me too!

May be an image of indoor

It’s Monday again (though it has been lovely to have a sunny one!) and time for another YouTube story from yours truly. Hope you enjoy Still There. This story started life as a response to a throw of my story cube dice. See the tale for why this is so appropriate!


Flash fiction is great for turning the tables on a character. I love doing that. (Who said authors had to be nice, by the way? If a character deserves what’s coming, that is precisely what they get from me!). It is why punchline endings and/or twist endings work so well in this format. The reader doesn’t have time to get bored before “wham!”, they’re at that punchline/twist ending.

But the reasons for turning the tables should make sense. I’m not going to drop a character in it just for the sake of it. There has to be a good reason for it, even when my character doesn’t have it coming.

May be an image of tree, road and text that says "Make your twist a strong one. Twists, well delivered ơη, are superb hooks. love it when a twist catches me out and I ook back at the story and see the clues WERE there."

The latest edition of my author newsletter went out earlier today. I enjoy compiling these and I aim for a good mix of news, tips, story links etc. Talking of news, I’ll be glad to welcome back Gill James to Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday where she’ll be talking about her book, Build a Book Workshop. Now this combines two of my favourite things – books and workshops – so this will be a special joy to share! (Just add in chocolate and I would have hit the jackpot!).

Goodreads Author Blog – Animal Stories

Do you like animal stories? I have a very soft spot for the classic tales like Black Beauty. Anna Sewell was an early campaigner against animal cruelty with this wonderful book. I also love Aesop’s Fables. The Tortoise and the Hare will never date. I sometimes write animal stories in my flash fiction. I think it can work well there given flash is so short and the impact is greater due to that.

I also liked Fantastic Mr Fox and Watership Down (though it is probably best if those characters don’t mix!).

I think the strength of animal stories is when they are well done, you see things from a different perspective. You certainly do with Black Beauty. As with any fiction, I like the character to be well portrayed and what they come up with to be reasonable in terms of what we know about them and their character. In the case of animal stories, what we know about their behaviour patterns too should fit in with the tale being told.

Screenshot 2023-04-01 at 19-54-14 Animal Stories




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