Wednesday, 30 July 2014

An Alternative Author Interview

Apparently I once moaned that people always ask me the same questions in interviews. Ben Blackman, blogger and writer, decided to ask me alternative questions such as:

Q: Do you agree that the over development of crisp flavours in modern Britain has spoilt what used to be a traditional snack you knew you could rely on?

Read on if you dare....

Friday, 18 July 2014

Line Edits - the last mountain?

How I felt when I got the line edits...
The end is in sight for my new book The Temp (formerly known as Spray Painted Bananas). I've got to stop saying this novel took me three months to write because it's just occurred to me that I started it in October 2012 and I'm still editing!
I'm on the line edits now. This is where the editor has gone through the book in detail, commenting on areas which need rewording, cutting or filling out. I didn't have line edits for my first book, Shop Girl Diaries, so it came as a bit of a shock to see how, after two extensive edits already, there was still so much to do.
I battled with a feeling of panic, before finally settling down to review all the notes. To my relief some of the comments were just positive observations with no changes needed. To help me climb the mountain, I wrote down numbers 1 to 107 (the number of comments I needed to respond to) and colour coordinated them so I could get an overview of what I was dealing with.

Making it manageable
Yellow - reword
Green -  expand
Orange //- chapter ending needs work
Blue - not sure I agree
Pink - positive comment

Now I've calmed down and connected with the task at hand, I feel confident I can get this next edit done in a couple of weeks. I even feel glad that Harper Impulse are pushing me to write the best version possible of my novel. Well, I wouldn't want want to sell you any old rubbish, would I? 

Soon I'll be getting a peek at the book cover. I can't wait to share it with you!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Sky's Book Corner - an author Q&A

I was invited over to Sky's Book Corner for an interview about books, writing, seasons, hobbies, sugar vs salty... in fact I'm starting to wonder if I have any secrets left. Perhaps I should invent some. I am a fiction writer after all...   

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

5 Films which will make you cry (add wine for extra sobs)

Don't you love a good cry? Is there anything better than watching a film and balling your eyes out by the end of it? Preferably not because your character has just lost the love of their life or been sentenced to life imprisonment. A painful cry isn't quite as satisfying as a good cry, is it? A painful cry leaves you feeling raw inside, unlike a good cry which ruins your face but lights a spark of happiness and hope in your heart. Too soppy for you? I'm only just getting started. 

Here are 5 films which made me cry, from silent happy tears to heart wrenching sobs* (*which was quite embarrassing since I was in the cinema).  For absolute tear guarantee, watch these films with red wine. Or, if you don't want to cry, avoid them, especially the last two.

5. Eat, Pray, Love
About:  Woman at a crossroads goes searching across Italy, India and Indonesia
Chances of Tears: 4/10
Tear Type: Silent welling up.
Verdict: Watch it for the feel-good factor and escapism. Afterwards I felt like travelling the world. I still do and I watched it a whole week ago. 

4. About Time
About:  A young man with the special ability to time travel tries to change his past in order to improve his future.
Chances of Tears: 5/10
Tear Type: Silent streaming with possible outbreaks of hiccups.
Verdict: Watch it. I loved the characters, specially the Dad played by Bill Nighy.  This film made me reflect on what a gaping hole there would be in my life without my Dad *sob*

3. PS I Love You
About: A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life.
Chances of Tears: 7/10
Tear Type: Silent streaming with outbursts of louder sobs.
Verdict: Watch it. Pause it half way through and run over to the shops to get a bottle of wine because you're enjoying it so much.

2. Slum Dog Millionaire
About: Kids from the slums of India, one of which later ends up on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, one question away from winning. 
Chances of Tears: 8/10 
Tear Type:  Expect steady stream of tears and snot. 
Verdict: Don't watch it. It was advertised as a 'feel-good' film but it's one of the most depressing films I've seen. Just start donating to Plan or another childrens charity instead.

1. Dancer in the Dark
About: An immigrant mother works day and night to save her son from the same disease she suffers from, a disease that inevitably will make her blind.
Chance of Tears: 10/10
Tear Type: Loud heart wrenching sobs with some choking 
Verdict: Do not watch it. It's so depressing.  

Additional films which might reduce you to a puddle:
Blood Diamond - painful cry 9/10
The Last King of Scotland - painful cry 8/10
La Vita e Bella - painful but happy but painful cry 7/10

Conclusion: I need more 'happy cry' films. Any suggestions?