So, in a shotgun blast of catching up, here are the two missing posts:
Writing Magazine 'Beginners' article for August'
Titled 'The Thought That Counts', this piece dealt with the kind of thoughts I have in mind when writing a new book. While not always of the deep and meaningful kind, they do have to centre on the characters involved, whether returning (as in a series, which I write) or newcomers, walk-ons, call them what you will. Cardboard cut-outs are not permitted, even if their appearance is brief.
And if I'm popping across from one series set in, say, the current time, to my other series set in 1960s France, then I also have to make a definite change of hat because that's what occupies me until the book is done. (I've tried writing two books at once in the different time-frames and it wasn't a pretty sight. And my head exploding wouldn't help the family finances).
Luan got a publishing deal with her book 'Nightingale Point' (Harper Collins imprint HQ), about the survivors of a disaster on a London council estate, and how they pulled through the aftermath even though it changes their lives forever.
'Beginners' article for September - 'Like Riding a Bike'
Using a giant cliché (I know, not cool in some circles), I tend to liken the art of writing with riding a bike.
Although vastly different, the same things do crop up, whether it be getting the riding/writing bug, starting off (with trepidation, mostly, about the journey ahead); falling off/making mistakes - and getting back on again; choosing your direction; achieving your first decent distance; reviewing your progress, stretching yourself... and finally joining others in this magnificent undertaking. (I'm thinking writing here, not so much riding a bike).
And, just out, 'Beginners' article for October - 'Every Chapter Tells a Story'
Words count, as any writer knows. Whether 1,000, 2,000 or 90,000 (and in some genres, even more), you need words on the page to attract, engage and enthral a reading audience. You also need some order, usually achieved in a sequence of chapters. And it's chapters that shouldn't be overlooked. They help you achieve a sequence to your storyline, like stepping stones, they provide tension and pace, and each is like a small but unfinished story, each one easier to focus on rather than a whole book.
New Author Profile - Anita Frank
Set in an English country house during WW1, 'The Lost Ones' (HQ) is a ghost story, reflecting Anita's fascination with that medium (sorry!) and was written while a full-time carer, which says something about her determination.
It also has one of the most eye-catching covers I've seen in a long time.