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.
Many thanks to Richard Hardie for supplying author, location, and book cover shots for his interview with me for Chandler’s Ford Today. He also supplied the lovely picture of his “editorial assistant”, Oscar!
Facebook – General
Am delighted to share my latest Chandler’s Ford Today post. This week, I have an in-depth chat with YA author and publisher, Richard Hardie. We look ahead to not one but two books he hopes to bring out soon and discuss book launches, marketing, short and long form fiction writing, and how history works its way into Richard’s writing amongst the many gems here. Useful tips are shared too. Hope you enjoy the post and many thanks, Richard, for a great interview.
Author Interview: Richard Hardie – Remember, Remember
Lady is having a great week (though she will probably be a bit miffed with me next week when I take her to the vets for her booster!). It was lovely today to see Lady running at full pelt with her Aussie Shepherd gentleman friend happily sharing toys and doing a kind of tag game. Again Lady walked home slowly but happily! As did her friend…!
Looking forward to sharing my interview with Richard Hardie tomorrow on CFT. See above. Amongst many gems, he’ll be sharing his thoughts on marketing (and given he is a publisher as well this is particularly useful) and gives tips on what readers can do to support authors they know beyond buying the books, though of course the latter goes without saying really!
More tomorrow of course and I look forward to sharing future author interviews here too. I’m also preparing a piece for CFT on character creation and share some thoughts of mine on that as this is something I’m doing all the time with my flash fiction work. More on that nearer the time too.
Lady had a fabulous time with her two girlfriends in the park this morning. Let’s just say Lady was walking slowly on the way home!
I’m chatting to YA author, Richard Hardie, on Chandler’s Ford Today on Friday. See above. Looking forward to sharing a great interview then so do look out for it. I’ve always found with author interviews you pick up and learn so much from them yourself as well as the interviews themselves being a great read/interesting listen etc.
I’ve mentioned before I will interview my own characters before writing their stories up. A couple of pointed questions usually gives me enough information to work out yes, this character is worth writing up. I find it a useful process to help clarify my thoughts. I then get on with the first draft and there is still manoeuvre room for the character to surprise me too – best of both worlds here I think. I deliberately don’t plan everything out – just enough to get me started.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
Many thanks for the great comments coming in already on How Nice, my latest tale on Friday Flash Fiction, where my narrator is flummoxed by an unexpected present on their doorstep. To find out what it is and what they make of it do check out the link below.
Pleased to have got another story polished and submitted (and this one started life as one of my Flash NANO pieces too). I suspect I will end up using most of my Flash NANO work for competitions and markets. Nice to have a good stock of thirty of them to choose from (aside from any others I write meantime which I don’t use for Friday Flash Fiction or my YouTube channel). Talking of which, I am glad to say the link for this has been simplified recently.
I love writing what I call fairytales with bite because you can have so much fun with these. For example, I’ve written from the viewpoint of dragons. This kind of story often works best when it is kept fairly short so flash fiction is an ideal outlet for it. Why so? Because often this kind of tale will end with a humorous punchline and those work well in flash.
And again humorous punchlines work best when with a tale that doesn’t go on for too long. As with my twist endings, I will often write my humorous ending first and then work out what could lead to it. This means I have a simple structure in place immediately and it’s then a question of filling in the gaps. I love doing that.
Fairytales with Bite – Fairy Godmother Acrostic
F = Fantastic with her wand work.
A = Always ready to help the deserving who have run into a spot of bother.
I = Instincts about good and evil are always right.
R = Rescuing comes into her role but sometimes it it so save someone from themselves.
Y = Young looking but much, more older than she appears (and is clever enough to not look too clever).
G = Generous and kind, but won’t be taken for a fool.
O = Orders known to be questioned if she thinks they’re wrong.
D = Dreams of perfecting the best spells but sees this as work in progress.
M = Magic is her stock in trade but she takes care to research the latest developments.
O = Other godmothers are her partners in “crime” against those who are truly evil – she does not see colleagues as competition.
T = Truth and trustworthiness are things she treasures in herself and her clients (she won’t help those without these things).
H = Helps directly and helps clients to help themselves too,
E = Enterprising and energetic, she has a working day which would scupper many far younger than her.
R = Rarely needs to advertise – she has a gift for turning up where her kind of help is needed.
Makes for an interesting character outline too!
This World and Others – Settings There Against Settings Here
Some ways into building your own world is to take what we know of life here and either exaggerate it for your purposes or do a compare and contrast.
The settings here are….
The settings in your fictional word are….
The advantages of this kind of approach are that you can take the failings of what we’ve got here and correct them in your fiction. You could also bring in failings into your fictional world that we don’t have here. Why does your world have these and we do not? Could those failings happen here at some point in the future? You could have crossover with cli-fi (climate change fiction) here.
You could also take the approach of “if I was building a world from scratch, what would I like to see in it?”. Give some thought as to why you would pick the things you have and then figure out how they work for your characters and how they might cause problems for said characters. No world is perfect after all. Your fictional setting should throw up problems for your character to deal with even if it’s not the main part of the story.
For example, if your character has to go off on a quest, how do things like the weather affect their chances of success? Does your world setting suit your characters or have they had to learn to adapt to it and make the most of what they can?
There could be interesting stories in showing how and why that attitude came about.
How Nice! by Allison Symes – Friday Flash Fiction https://t.co/MfQXATHZwF Thanks for the great comments coming in on How Nice, my new tale on FFF, where my narrator is flummoxed by an unexpected gift. To find out what it is and what they make of it do check out the link below. pic.twitter.com/W7WYbIQ1da— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 10, 2023
Author Interview: Richard Hardie – Remember, Remember https://t.co/woZBLaLq3G Am pleased to talk with author and publisher, @Richard_Hardie_. We look ahead to his two books due soon and discuss launches, marketing, and short/long form fiction amongst many gems. Useful tips too.— Allison Symes (@AllisonSymes1) February 10, 2023
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