Going Backwards is a follow-up post to my one of yesterday which talked about the way forward.  It is possible for characters, instead of developing and moving on, to go backward.  Is it because they can’t handle the pressures?  Are they retreating to give themselves time to work out what to do about the situation they find themselves in? Does their wish to “go backward” for a while help them or make the problem worse?


I think I may have come up with my favourite post title tonight.  The Wonderful Ways of the Awkward Character (I admit it doesn’t trip off the tongue easily, though!) looks at why characters can be awkward and why are brilliant for writers.


My latest Chandler’s Ford Today post is part 1 of my interview with Martin Kyrle, former Liberal Democrat councillor and now published author. His book Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway describes a fantastic journey taken by him with friend and photographer, Michael Roberts, across Russia, Mongolia and into China.

One thing I love about non-fiction writing is how it is increasingly using storytelling techniques to entertain (as well as give you the facts and figures of whatever subject you are reading about). Martin’s book is a very good example of this and would appeal to lovers of travel books, railways and funny stories!

Martin and I discuss the book and I give a summary of the contents. The photos in the book are stunning. The book is written as a travel diary and is very easy to read. It sheds light on a part of the world which is still wilderness (especially Mongolia).

Martin also shares why he wrote the book. The second part of the interview next week will include a summary of Kyrle’s Laws (including the wonderfully named Law of the Public Bog!) and what Martin would have done differently had he known then what he knows now.



My latest CFT post gives a review of the book and shares part 1 of the interview with its author, Martin Kyrle.  This photo was taken by me though all images in the book itself are taken by Michael Roberts (and are simply stunning!).


Books make wonderful gifts. Image via Pixabay.



The Way Forward looks at how our characters should know what their way forward is, even if they keep being frustrated in trying to achieve it by circumstances or other characters.  They need to keep finding their way forward.  It’s easy for a writer sometimes to feel a bit overwhelmed by the choices we can make for our characters which will turn the whole story.  And as for marketing work, there are so many options available, it can be difficult to find our personal way forward.  But our characters should know and be driven by the need to achieve it.  Are yours?


I list three of my top thoughts in Favourite Things about WritingI deliberately limited this as it would have been too easy to write all night on this topic!  I love writing as it takes you out of yourself (really useful in times of stress), encourages reading (never a bad thing) and there is a strong sense of community in the writing world generally.  See what you think.  Comments as to what your top three favourite things about writing would be are very welcome.


My post this time is Part 1 of an interview with local writer, Martin Kyrle, who along with photographer Michael Roberts, has produced Jottings from the Trans-Siberian Railway, a fascinating account of their experiences on an amazing railway journey.  (Amazing not always in a good way either!).  More tomorrow….


Glad to report there appear to be no issues tonight.  My author page is back up.  What happened yesterday when it vanished remains a mystery!  Tonight I am glad to share links to two wonderful reviews of From Light to Dark and Back Again by my Swanwick Summer School writing friends, Jennifer Wilson and Valerie Penny.



Cyberlaunch Image

Would be delighted to have your company for all or part of my cyberlaunch for my debut flash fiction collection.  The launch is hosted by my publishers (Chapeltown Books are linked to both Bridge House Publishing and Cafelit.  Do visit their websites if you would be interested in submitting work to them).