All images from Pixabay/Pexels unless otherwise stated. Book cover images from Chapeltown Books and Bridge House Publishing. Many thanks to Val Penny for supplying book and author pics for her interview with me for Chandler’s Ford Today. Screenshots were taken by me, Allison Symes.
Brr… it has got colder this week and even the dog noticed it. Hope you have had a good week. Am looking forward to Bridge House Publishing’s annual celebration event in London tomorrow (3rd December). Always good fun and it will be so nice to catch up with folk in person once again.
Facebook – General and Chandler’s Ford Today
Am delighted to welcome back Scottish crime writer, Val Penny, back to Chandler’s Ford Today. In her interview called Seconds, Val celebrates the second edition of Hunter’s Revenge, which is the second book in her DI Hunter Wilson series.
“Seconds” come into a writer’s life in many ways and Val and I explore some of these too here, including the issues of secondary rights and second person point of view. Hope you enjoy it.
Good luck to Val as well with the launch of Hunter’s Revenge.
Cold today but given the date that is no surprise – welcome to December! Author newsletter went out today. Looking forward to chatting to Val Penny once again on Chandler’s Ford Today this week – link for that up tomorrow. See above.
Feeling a little bit at a loss given Flash NANO has now ended. Had such a good time taking part in that. Will now be taking my own advice to rest my stories for a while and then come back and edit them later. Giving myself some distance from what I’ve written is the single one way I’ve found helps me judge a tale objectively enough. I think it is because you come back to the stories and read them as a reader, almost as if someone else has written them, and you want that effect to see what works and what needs strengthening or deleting.
Had a lovely time on the ACW Flash Fiction Group last night. I shared some thoughts on using the positive and negative aspects to character traits such as honesty etc. Great way into knowing your character well enough to be able to write their stories up at all.
Hope you have had a good day. Lady did – she got to play with her three favourite girl friends today – good time had by all. Nice mixture of sizes here – Lady as a collie, then her friends who were a Ridgeback, a Vizler and a Labradoodle.
Looking forward to the Association of Christian Writers Flash Fiction group meeting later on – always good fun. Hope to have a go at the last prompt from Flash NANO after that meeting. Where has the month gone? I’ve loved the variety of prompts here. Kept me on my toes!
I’m looking forward also to welcoming back Val Penny to Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday as she celebrates the second edition of Hunter’s Revenge coming out. Now there are a number of “seconds” which can crop up in a writer’s life and Val and I will be looking at some of those too as part of her interview. Again see above. I was surprised when putting this interview together just how many writing seconds there are. I suspect I haven’t covered all but there is useful information in the post about ALCS and secondary rights.
My next newsletter goes out tomorrow. Hard to believe the next one will be on New Year’s Day!
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
It’s the end of the working week. It has been a really cold day. It’s getting dark far too early in the afternoon. At least it is in my part of the world! Time for a story then. This bit is always true regardless of where you are!
Hope you enjoy my latest on Friday Flash Fiction which is called Time To Move On. See what you make of the Judith in this story.
The eagle-eyed among you will recognize my YouTube story out this week (on Monday) also had a character called Judith. I will often use the same topic that comes up in a random generator for two different stories – one for my YouTube channel and the other for Friday Flash Fiction. I take the two stories in different directions/moods. Here I used a random name generator for my purposes and then thought what could I do with two different Judiths!
Useful tip if you’re thinking about sharing flash stories via Open Prose Mic Nights and the like (also for broadcasting) – practice reading your story to yourself and record it via Zoom. As well as having an mp4 file to play back at the end of the meeting with yourself, you can get your timings right here too.
You can also hear where the story works well, where it may seem weak, and hear it as a reader would take it in – that’s useful because it will flag up what may grip the reader, and what may not. You’ve then got time to sort things out before submitting that piece or reading it out to a live audience.
Talking of broadcasting, I was sorry to hear of the death of Ron Clark, who was the owner of Chat and Spin Radio, which is now closed. I did a couple of author interviews on there. It was great fun to do and Ron will be much missed. It was a nice way of spreading the word about books and the joy of reading and a great experience to take part in a show like that.
I’ve loved taking part in Flash NANO. Will happily sign up for that again. Many thanks to Denise d’Souza and Dominic Barton for telling me about this. The mixture of prompts was great. Even ones I’ve done before, such as writing a story based around a number, made me think about new ways to do that.
It is good practice to write to prompts which is why I use the random generators a lot. It makes you come up with something and once you have that you can then work on it and after the right editing you have a story ready to submit somewhere. Mixing up the type of generators you use gives you good practice in coming up with stories in different ways. Always handy when you are then set prompts by someone else!
Fairytales with Bite – Purpose of Fairytales
One of the purposes of fairytales was to act as warnings about behaviour – e.g. don’t go off with the Big Bad Wolf. It will end in tears. And it was done in an entertaining way to ensure people remembered the message. Jesus told parables because storytelling is a great way to get a message across. People remember the story, they remember the message.
For me, one of the great joys of reading fairytales as a child was knowing that somehow right would be seen to be done. This is why Hans Christen Andersen’s The Little Mermaid where there isn’t the traditional happy ending as such did come as a surprise. But there was purpose there too – to show life isn’t all happy ever afters.
Now when I write my humorous flash pieces which are often fairytale/magical world related, I’m not looking to convey a purpose as such. I want my characters to show “their” stories and the purpose will be implied by what they say and do.
This World and Others – The Entertainment Scene
In your fictional setting, what would pass for entertainment? Are there such things as theatre, radio, film etc? Is there a literary culture or tourism? What would the entertainment scene be like and is it accessible to all?
How have things changed over time? I am glad my country no longer has bear baiting for example, so entertainment scene changes can be for the better. Not that everyone welcomes changes so in your stories, could you show those resistant to change, even in something like entertainment? How would they keep their old ways going?
Are there those who oppose entertainment of any kind and what would they be prepared to do to stop others enjoying it?
ALWAYS PUT MAILCHIMP BLOCK ON TO END OF THE POST/ADD IN LINK TO BOOK BRUSH READER HUB FOR ME
Time To Move On, by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/8beQpj7IB8 It's the end of the working week. It's dark. It's cold. I don't know about moving on. I do know it’s time for a story! Hope you enjoy my latest on FFF. https://t.co/y3hXRvxX3f pic.twitter.com/TyJLZmYR6Q— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 2, 2022
"Seconds" – Interview with Val Penny https://t.co/4N5VkFN18W Pleased to welcome back Scottish writer @valeriepenny to CFT. Here, Val celebrates the second edition of Hunter’s Revenge, the second book in her DI Hunter Wilson series. Val and I discuss other "seconds" in writing too— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) December 2, 2022
Allison Symes – Book Brush Reader Hub Page