What’s in a (Character) Name? #Guestpost Yawatta Hosby @yawatta_hosby #IARTG

February is Women in Horror Month I wouldn’t have even known this if it wasn’t for my spooky author friend YAWATTA HOSBY (Yawatta writes horror novels, I don’t mean she’s actually spooky as a person, you understand.) I read one of Yawatta’s books recently One By One look it up! My review is in there somewhere. Also, I read Six Plus One at the weekend – also awesomely gruesome.

One By One by [Hosby, Yawatta]

Anyway, let’s find out what Yawatta Hosby thinks about names…

Thanks for letting me be a guest on your blog, Samantha!

 

What’s in a name?

 

My full name is Yawatta Finia Hosby. I bet substitute teachers had a field day, trying to pronounce it during roll call 🙂 I was named after my mom’s favorite cousin, which her mother combined two words she saw in the delivery room. I still wonder what those words were…

 

Yawatta has a Japanese root; Finia is Native American; Hosby is Irish. I’m intrigued that my dad’s grandfather came to America from Ireland. It blows my mind! I’ve lived in the United States all my life even though my name looks exotic.

 

Since I have a unique name, I try and give my characters cool names as well. I think it’s fun to Google search different surnames. Sometimes if I find a cool last name then I’ll make that my character’s first name. For example, I love using the name Franco. I’ve used that name in my short stories and upcoming comic.

 

I also love giving my female characters masculine names. In One By One, my main character was Rae. In Something’s Amiss, my main character was Poe. With my comic I’ve been working on, my main female character’s name is Felix. I think it’s fun to give characters a regular name but spell it differently. Like with Rae (pronounced Rae); plus, Perfect Little Murder had Loren (pronounced Lauren).

 

Another fun game is to collect celebrity names. When I use a certain name, my character doesn’t represent that celebrity’s personality, I just like the name. For example, in One By One, Kenan was named after the Kenan and Kel duo. Selma after Selma Hayek; Tobey after Tobey Maguire. You get the drift.

 

Sometimes I’ll also think of my characters’ ethnicities, then I’ll Google popular names. I’ll scroll for hours looking for very unique names then I’ll use those names in my stories. The funny thing is I’ll spend so much time on last names but I don’t share them in the story. Still don’t know why I do that lol. I guess because if the characters are close, in my mind, then they wouldn’t be official when introducing them to readers. They would call the other characters by their first name in the story narration, not by a full name.

 

Keep smiling,

 

Yawatta Hosby

 

Thank you so much Yawatta! So interesting, wow what intriguing family history and a lovely middle name. I do love to read horror every now and then, reminds me of being a teenager and paging through Salem’s Lot in a sulk on a family holiday… ah! What a joy I must have been as a teenager. I’m sure I’m not alone – please make sure you give Yawatta’s BLOG a visit at http://yawattahosby.wordpress.com/ to catch all her books or visit her Amazon PAGE I just did – and there are a few bargains on there – stock up your Kindle (or other reading devices)

 

61dTIZ10fUL._US230_Six Plus One Kindle EditionOne By One Kindle EditionPlenty of Fish Kindle EditionTwisted Obsession: A Suspense Novella Kindle EditionSomething's Amiss Kindle EditionPerfect Little Murder Kindle Edition

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7101735.Yawatta_Hosby

Twitter @yawatta_hosby

Author Yawatta Hosby @YawattaHosby Facebook

Yay! Thanks again, Yawatta and join me in two weeks to find out about Sue Wickstead and her Jay Jay Bus!

Happy reading, Samantha xx

 

 

 

#GuestPost Preview! Make sure you read this blog on Saturday (BURNS NIGHT) for a special treat from @lizzie_lamb #IARTG

Hi Everyone! The special treat is that best-selling uplifting romantic novelist Lizzie Lamb has agreed to guest post on my ‘What’s in a (Character) Name?’ Regular blog post. When Lizzie put her post together, the focus was on location – particularly because of the three HIGHLAND BRIDES NOVELS

Scotch on the RocksSo, before Saturday – when I expect you will be all reading Robert Burns’ poetry, wearing a kilt and eating haggis, I thought I would treat everyone to a snippet of Lizzie’s post before the big event – Burns night.

download Castle Stalker Castle Stalker (Photo from Lizzie Lamb – more of this on Saturday).

Here is a bit of Lizzie’s guest post –

Take Me, I’m Yours – a small town romance full of love and passion

Closing the door behind her, India sank down on the padded window seat and, drawing her knees up, pulled a cushion towards her, hugging it for comfort. Resting her head back against the heavy shutters she looked out into a vermilion and gold sunset where islands and peninsulas jutted out into the bay. However, the beauty of the scene was lost. All she could think of was how different the sunset must look from MacFarlane’s beach hut, thousands of miles away. Cool air blew off the lake and through the open window, stirring the muslin draping her cast iron four poster bed. Getting up to wipe her eyes on the corner of her pashmina, she caught sight of herself in the cheval mirror. Backlit by the sunset, with filmy drapes billowing around her, she seemed as unsubstantial as a ghost. A mere shadow of her former self. Dark circles under her eyes, skin without its youthful luminescence, violet eyes huge in her pale face. How had this come to pass?

Boot Camp Bridea hilarious laugh out loud marriage of convenience romance

Charlee glanced over the low hedges and dun-coloured fields stretching towards the salt marshes where the sea was a black line on the horizon. There was a stripped back beauty to the place and the flocks of birds heading for the feeding grounds down by the shoreline ensured the view was an ever-changing tapestry. Perhaps, here on the salt marsh, where the wind sighed through the reeds and stirred the dried pods of the alexanders, they could be honest with one another. Confront those feelings which had been simmering beneath the surface since the book launch. Playing his pretend fiancée wasn’t easy; the pretence was beginning to feel more real than the life Charlee had left behind.

Camper Van BCB

I have read four of Lizzie’s books. The fifth is waiting for me on my Kindle as a special treat.

 

 Lizzie Lamb’s bio with links –

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided to pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride. She went on to publish Scotch on the Rocks, which achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon and her next novel, Girl in the Castle, reached #3 in the Amazon charts. Lizzie is a founder member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press, and has co-hosted author events at Aspinall, St Pancras and Waterstones, Kensington, talking about the research which underpins her novels. Lizzie latest romance Take Me, I’m Yours is set in Wisconsin, a part of the USA which she adores. This novel also achieved BEST SELLER status >travel>USA. She has further Scottish-themed romances planned and spends most of the summer touring the Scottish Highlands researching men in kilts. What’s not to like? As for the years she spent as a teacher, they haven’t quite gone to waste. She is building a reputation as a go-to speaker on indie publishing, and how to plan, write, and publish a debut novel. She is currently working on #6 – a road trip ‘movie’ where two warring guardians are forced to join forces and set off in hot pursuit after two runaway teenagers.  Lizzie lives in Leicestershire (UK) with her husband, David.

She loves to hear from readers, so do get in touch . . .

Lizzie’s Links

https://www.amazon.com/author/lizzielamb

www.facebook.com/LizzieLambwriter

lizzielambwriter@gmail.com

website: www.lizzielamb.co.uk

https://twitter.com/lizzie_lamb

Newsletter – http://tinyurl.com/ELNL-2016

Linked in: uk.linkedin.com/pub/lizzie-lamb/18/194/202/

Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/cbla48d

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lizzielamb/

LIZZIE LAMB NEW EMAIL SIGNATURE 300px

Don’t forget to read Lizzie’s full guest post, especially changed to Saturday for Burns night. See you then, Samantha xx

 

What’s in a (Character) Name? #Guestpost #Reblog @DeborahMiles7 #IARTG #Indieauthor #Readingthrillers #AgainsttheFlowPress

Got to share this again, Deborah J Miles’ book Orchard View still sends the literary shivers when I think about the character Etta Franklin’s story… I am not so secretly hoping that Deborah writes another book, but I know that a lot of her time is taken up with her fantastic blog Against the Flow Press. Deborah is a supporter of indie authors like me and has just worked super hard on the #DecTheShelves promotion that took over Twitter during the Christmas run-up.

Orchard View also made it on to my Christmas gift list this year – Father-in-Law is a big reader.

36290599._SY475_

I will shut up now and let Deborah J. Miles tell you about her character names:

I ‘accidently’ wrote my novel while I was taking an online writing course through FutureLearn. A friend and I were doing the course together, really for something to occupy us while she was recovering from surgery. During one of the exercises in the course, the whole story just came to me. I kept it in my head and typed out chapter after chapter.

Bill Maynard was my first character. The name just seemed right for the character. I needed something short and to the point as a first name, hence ‘Bill’, and somehow ‘Maynard’ followed. It occurred to me after I’d finished writing that ‘Maynard’ is a surname which appears on my family tree, and ‘Bill Maynard’ was also the name of an actor.

My second character was the house itself, Orchard View. House names often refer to their location or history, such as Sea View, Hilltop, The Old Rectory, and The Old School House. The house was so named because it once overlooked an orchard.

My next character, Etta Franklin, was created by borrowing the name of a lovely lady I knew as a child. I loved the sound of the name ‘Etta’ which I realised must have been the shortened form of Henrietta. Etta needed to have standing, so ‘Henrietta’ was a suitable name, but she also needed to be likeable, and ‘Etta’, to my mind, is a much friendlier name. I used the phone book to choose her surname. I opened it at random, and pointed to a line on the open page, which as it turned out, contained the surname ‘Franklin’.

Norma Parker is the street busybody or Nosy Parker. I thought it apt that she should be called ‘Parker’. Her first name, ‘Norma’, was the name of an acquaintance from many moons ago who had some of the attributes I wanted for my character. Her nosy ways have her labelled as the ‘Neighbourhood Witch’.

As the story developed, and I added new characters, I found that if I could imagine the character, their size, stature, traits and personality, then a name would occur to me. I suppose I am drawing on memories I have tucked away about people I have known in one capacity or another, such as from family history research, celebrities, friends etc… There was only one I changed; Maeve became Mae because I felt Maeve didn’t convey the softness I was looking for in this character. Mae seems to be a favourite with my readers too.

https://www.futurelearn.com

Deborah J Miles
Deborah Miles is married with three grown-up children and lives in Kent.

She has worked in banking, tourism, education and social services, and has hosted international students for over 30 years.

Her interests include: genealogy, self-improvement, home computing, web design, D.I.Y/gardening, pen friends and writing.

Deborah is independently published and created the imprint Against the Flow Press for her first novel, Orchard View.

Blog: http://againsttheflowpress.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter @DeborahMiles7,

blog: https://againsttheflowpress.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deborah_j_miles/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/

Think I put Deborah’s blog on twice… make sure you don’t miss it!

Links to buy Orchard View :

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Well, that was awesome, big thanks to Deborah J Miles for guesting on my last post of 2019. It’s been a blast!

Onwards!

See you next time, when William B. Taylor and Helen Gerrard tell us about their illustrated children’s book The Bee Polisher.

Happy New Year, reading, writing, and everything love Samantha xx

Guest Post by Ahava Trivedi; an interview with the Hopeless Husband: John Webb!

The Hopeless Husband Series (4 Book Series) by  Ahava TrivediI have enjoyed Ahava Trivedi’s Hopeless Husband series so much, I asked her if she could ‘get hold’ of her protagonist, John Webb and interview him… The results have just come in, and they are hilarious!

John Webb

John Webb is constantly looking to escape the perceived monotony of his life. He’s always getting hung up on random and strange preoccupations which become his raison d’etre until his ‘real-life’ begins as a world-famous author. All these goals are a way to inspire more self-pity as that is what gets the old man’s juices flowing to write his somewhat distorted musings about himself and his thriving victim complex.

Colleagues lament him, his wife tolerates him but as far as he’s concerned, he’s the bee’s knees. Here is your chance to decide as this week, we have an exclusive interview with the hopeless husband himself.

Hi John Webb, thanks for being with us today! I’m afraid there’s a burning question I must ask as I get the feeling it’s what we’re all thinking. What do you say about being described by some, as a hopeless husband?

JW:I say that people in this world don’t value kind and unique souls enough. Most of all, they don’t know the value of dreams, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once again. I am a dreamer and that doesn’t make me hopeless at all – in fact it makes me a beacon of the hope that is often so missing in this weary world.

But surely, you must realize that being married, your dream has to be one that includes the other person or at least values them as an individual with their own dreams?

JW: Sure, why not?

And – would you say your dream does include Franny?

JW: Well, the written word has always been a pursuit of solitude. It’s the melding of one’s inner world with the outer. I’m actually very talented when it comes to bringing life to the world within me, especially as my writing is primarily about me.

There you go again. I didn’t see any mention of your poor wife or her dreams!

JW: That’s because you asked me about writing, which as I already outlined, is a job for a lone wolf like me. And, if you must know, Franny fully supports my writing. Each day after work, I go straight upstairs and reflect back on the hours at school and the oppression they wrought. If anything stands out, I extricate that pearl of wisdom and immediately put pen to paper.

Okay, then. And what are Franny’s dreams and ambitions?

JW: She loves having a family, if that counts as an ambition. Oh, and she’s very much into the arts and crafts. And for reasons beyond my well-developed grasp, she enjoys spending her time teaching those sods.

That’s because she’s a teacher.

JW: It goes far beyond that. The woman even invests her personal time into doing it for free. Every Thursday evening, while I’m putting my own time towards a more impressive cause, Franny chooses to stay behind at school – even when she doesn’t have to! – so she can spend yet more time cooped up with those stupid kids.

If anything, she’s always had lady luck smiling upon her, she gets to live her dreams on a daily basis and be married to a precious and rare gem like me at the same time.

Okay, then. Wow, I’m actually thinking, we should get Franny to come in and talk to us.

JW: Oh, really? Why? There’s nothing she could tell you about me that I can’t tell you about myself.

That’s precisely it. I’d like to know what she feels about all this.

JW: All what?

You! Your arrogance, your utter cluelessness about anything and anyone who’s not you! I’m not your wife and yet I feel if I was, I’d punch you!

JW: Well, that’s not very fair. If you got to know me, I swear you’d love me. That, or be insanely jealous of me. It usually only goes two ways, from my experience.

Okay, I’ve interviewed hundreds, if not thousands of people in my career and I’ve never asked any of my guests to do this before, but I really want to…how do I say this? I really want to come away liking you so why don’t you try redeeming yourself? Tell us something you’ve done for someone else. It can be absolutely anything in the world.

JW: Okay, hmm, let’s see, our wedding anniversary is coming up soon, mine and Franny’s that is, and we’ll be celebrating twenty-five years of matrimonialdelight.

Alright, now we’re getting somewhere…

JW: For our anniversary, I’m going to be treating my beloved to a present she’ll never forget.

That does sound rather nice, unlike some of the things I’ve heard about you. What is it?

JW: That would be telling! All I’ll say, is it’ll involve the help of many talented people to bring it all into existence. And, use of my endless wit and cunning to keep a secret until just the right moment.

Alright,I have to say I’m very curious…

JW: Let’s just say, Franny will thank her lucky stars that she married me!

That sounds fantastic. You know, John, I have to say, I feel like I’ve judged you incorrectly.

JW: It’s the peril of being me. so much grandeur that people are often intimidated.

Right…And that’s all we have time for this week folks! To find out more about John Webb, you can follow his series.

The Hopeless Husband series is available via the following links :

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads (which will have links to everywhere).

Ahava Trivedi is a skilled writer, I believe her main focus is YA Fantasy literature, but this tangent into comedy-drama (my genre) has been wonderful. Thanks for the guest post, Ahava, and thank you for writing these fab books!

 

The Anniversary (The Hopeless Husband Series, #1)

Ahava Trivedi

Ahava Trivedi grew up in the south of England and almost on a whim one day, decided to up and move to Toronto, Canada with her sister. She is mostly a fiction author who, similar to her hasty move across the pond, likes to explore different genres that interest her by diving headlong into them first and figuring out her story as she goes along.

Ahava is currently writing some humorous reads that have taken shape as The Hopeless Husband Series. The first book in the series, ‘The Anniversary’, is out now and the next ones will be available very soon!

If you’d like to get an email whenever Ahava releases a new title or decides to give books away for free (she does this from time to time!), sign up for exclusive updates at http://www.ahavatrivedi.com

If you’d like to contact Ahava, she’d love to hear from you! Here are some ways to get in touch:

The Twitter-verse: @Ahava_Tee

The Facebook Page: Ahava Trivedi Author

Telepathy: Hey, why not? Give it a try – you can do it if you believe you can!

Thank you for reading, and join me same time next week when Book Two of Curmudgeon Avenue The Harold and Edith Adventures starts!
Happy reading, Samantha xx

‘Write What You Know’ Doesn’t mean ‘Write What You Know’ (and I’m over the moon about this)

The above is actual footage of me losing it during medication time in my old job when I was a ward sister (or deputy ward manager in the modern naughties) on a psychiatric ward. Not really! The photo is from the WordPress free photo library (thank you).

Ever since I had to give up nursing (sad face) and start writing (YAY!), there are certain phrases, questions and instructions that us writers often hear. And when I say hear, I mean roll our eyes and get bored with.

So that’s what I’m going to talk about this month, in my writerly ramblings post. Thank you for joining me, and yes, I know I made that word up…

WHY DON’T YOU WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU KNOW?’ 

Me: ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!

Fortunately, my mature student adventure of my Creative Writing degree has taught me that when ‘they’ ask ‘Why don’t you write what you know?’ In true expert literary terms does not mean ‘Write what you know about (in the sense of I used to be a nurse, so write about nursing)’ No, this means, write about what you know as a human being, use your senses, your imagination and your memory. This will help you with your descriptions, your characters, everything. I mean what you can see, taste, feel… what you can create.

THE ABOVE IS WHAT YOU KNOW AS A WRITER.

THRILLER WRITERS HAVE NOT COMMITED MURDER IN ORDER TO WRITE ABOUT IT.

HILARY MANTEL WAS NOT ALIVE DURING TUDOR TIMES YET SHE WAS ABLE TO IMAGINE ENOUGH TO EXPERTLY WRITE ABOUT THEM.

RICHARD ADAMS WAS NOT A RABBIT, YET IF YOU’VE READ WATERSHIP DOWN YOU WILL HAVE FELT LIKE YOU’VE LIVED IN A WARREN. 

I do hope that has cleared things up for those of you who insist on asking those questions to myself and other writers.

This is not to say that I may have drawn on my experiences of psychiatric nursing to write a short story for my degree (one that I got 92% for btw)

Happy writing, Samantha xx

PS Join me next month for my writerly rambling about character names – I feel a guest post series coming on!

 

 

On Achieving a Distinction in The Creative Writing Module of My Degree.

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining me on my monthly ‘writerly ramblings’ blog post., (yes I made that word up!)

Yesterday, I was thrilled to bits to receive an overall score of 82% in the creative writing module of my degree. I have no words, I have regained my self-worth.

Achievable, I would say because I am studying with the Open University. The teaching and support is first class. I don’t need to leave my house. I only work when I feel up to it, (I have to pace myself ALL the time because of fatigue). I can turn the computer off if I get a headache, or if my eyes start hurting, and so on. I won’t go on about MS, you won’t meet two people who have the condition with the same symptoms, and impetuously worded conversations around it can become rather tiresome.*

When I was forced to give up nursing six years ago due to having MS, I went through a very difficult time. This is part of my (non-fiction) story.  When I started writing ‘full-time’ an ex-colleague commented ‘If you can do that, why can’t you still work?’ Not the case, and not the point either, it was not my decision to leave work, and it was not my fault that I have this chronic condition.

You can see why I am nervous about celebrating my good news, but the point I am trying to make is, this is me now. There is hope, it is possible to dig yourself out of a hole, and if you happen to be reading this post because you have searched ‘writing inspiration’ then I am saying to you ‘JUST GO FOR IT’. Writing will give you SO MUCH.

Writing for me is not just a case of my legs don’t work like they used to so now I have to do something different. I write because I love it. I love reading, I love escaping into a different world and I love that I can write and escape into another world too. And I am studying writing because my husband (correctly) suggested ‘why don’t you learn your trade?’

I write because it feels like this is what I should be doing.

Getting a good result has been an added bonus, I have learnt so much during this module which will hopefully feature in further blog posts – in particular, that ‘writing what you know, doesn’t mean writing what you know (about)’. That blew my mind, and I was very pleased to learn it. I don’t think J K Rowling knew about how to be an eleven-year-old wizard, and Stephen King did not know how to be a menstrual teenager but they still wrote about what they could see, smell, taste, imagine etc – this is what you know – AS A HUMAN.

On reflection, I have learnt that I am ‘safe’ in my writing style, this is what I’ll be working on next – although I cannot promise any sex scenes in my series Curmudgeon Avenue!

I must also add to why I am able to ‘achieve’; I am in a good place, I have an amazing, supportive husband not only in what he says but he makes life easy for me. Doing the shopping, the garden, walking the dog, anything. My daughter is the funniest person I know and, she has grown up! She has a fab job and lives with her lovely boyfriend. (in other words, I don’t have small children to look after!)

Edna and Genevieve cover_000Featured Image -- 1533This is the Curmudgeon Avenue series

 

Happy reading and writing everybody! Samantha xx

PS, the picture is from WordPress’ free photo library, I have a while to go before I graduate. 🙂

Work in Progress (Another Short Story Collection)

Happy Wednesday everyone, and thank you for joining me on my monthly writerly rambling post.

Today I would like to talk about a very exciting WIP,  The Grit and the Wit. 

This is about to be a fantastic short story collection written half by my writer friend Maggie Melville and half by me (we are thinking of alternating the stories).

Maggie and myself met at Whitefield library about five years ago, when we had joined a creative writing class. We all used to read our stories out, Maggie’s were always brilliant and somewhat ‘gritty’ compared to mine.

Image may contain: one or more people and glasses

So far, Maggie has written a heart-wrenching story involving a boat and a story about a young girl from the point of view of her mother. It’s chilling, trust me. I can’t wait to read the finished product (no pressure, Maggie!)

I am still writing and polishing mine. So far I have a story about a mantel-piece clock passing judgement on the house owner. One about the Orangemen march in Southport and one about a tom-cat with several owners.

Interestingly, we are both thinking of a garden-themed story. There is so much you can do with gardening – which reminds me, the recent rain in Manchester has sprouted many, many weeds on my front path …

black and white flower dandelion minimal
Photo by Jack Hawley on Pexels.com

 

No doubt, I will be telling you all about the progress of our project over the next few months. Do not worry, the fourth book in the Curmudgeon Avenue series ‘The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue’ is also on the way.

Now for a snippet of one of the short stories about a KISS fan and a cancelled concert:

     When I get back on the tram, I am joined by some day time drinkers on their way home. The noise has returned, but I don’t feel like talking after what I’ve just read. A bloke about my age wearing trainers and a Happy Mondays T-shirt breaks away from his mates and sits next to me.

     ‘You ok, love?’ He says, taking a sip of his can of beer. I say nothing. ‘Sorry, it’s just that you look sad, I thought I’d better say hello, make sure you’re alright.’

     ‘Yes, I’m… I’m sorry’ I don’t know what to say. The bloke shouts to one of his mates, who turns out to be his brother.

     ‘Brother! Bruv! Got any more cans in your pockets? This lady…’ He gives me a sideways glance as if to double check I’m female… ‘She needs a can of beer to cheer her up!’

One of them shouts over, pulling his fingers and thumb into the sign of the horns.

      ‘Aww it got cancelled didn’t it?’ Like we’ve got something in common. They all come and pile on the seats around me. They’ve been to a tribute do for the victims. I feel even more guilty now. The first bloke puts his arm around me, and my hair gets tangled in my studded jacket.

  ‘Don’t worry, we’ll cheer you up. We are from Manchester, and this is what we do, innit?’

 

We will keep you posted, happy writing and reading everyone. See you next month for my next writerly-rambling. Here is a picture of some flowers from my garden:

20180701_122429

Samantha xx

Publication day for my 6th book (3rd in Curmudgeon Avenue series)

Happy Valentine’s day everyone!

I am thrilled to bits to be able to bring to you book number three in the Curmudgeon Avenue series ‘Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue’ . I enjoyed writing this one so much, one of my proof readers told me this is the best thing I have ever written! As it’s Valentine’s day, why not treat yourself to a hilarious romantic comedy set in non other than the wonderful city we like to call Manchester.

When Genevieve returned to Curmudgeon Avenue in book one, she whisked Edna away to live in France (after a few months in Northumberland!) This time, we see the couple settled into the gorgeous Chateau le Grincheaux on the Bordeaux border, with their Scottish hosts Mr and Mrs Bove. A place called Rocamadour catches Edna’s eye, but Genevieve really does not want to visit – in actual fact, as Edna embraces all things European, Genevieve bends over backwards to shy away from her French roots. Why is Genevieve acting so strange?!

Meanwhile, back in Manchester, love is in the air for Small Paul and Toonan also, love birds Harold and Edith have their own little set of surprises – or is that two surprises!

Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue is available here (UK) or here (US)

Check out my Amazon page

I’m off to spend the rest of Valentine’s day eating, drinking and smelling roses.

PS Curmudgeon Avenue book 4 ‘The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue’ will be released later this year!

Edna and Genevieve cover_002Lol! That’s the cover I’m working on above!

Happy reading, happy Valentine’s day, Samantha xx

Tough Love Needs Me to Blog About Writer’s Block

I sometimes have too many ideas, I wouldn’t say this is a block as such. It’s like I cannot write quickly enough – and that’s the truth.

Ernest Hemingway famously maintained that it was bad luck to talk about writing. But it was alright for him- he was Ernest Hemingway! He had a point though; after two and a half years of self publishing and almost five years of writing full-time I know that it is more important to actually write than spending all day talking about it. And by talking, you must know I mean social media, not just writing groups. Dorothea Brande agrees in her 1934 book ‘Becoming A Writer’ (I am recommending this book) when she said that although talking about writing can be valuable, too much of it is draining (a paraphrase of a quote).

I would much rather write than talk, my goodness, there is so much out there on the internet and I feel it has put me at risk of THINKING I have writer’s block, and I don’t. Do you know, the other day I finished doing all the formatting nonsense on KDP for my latest book Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue and then I wrote 31 first draft lines of a 40 line poem I have to write for my degree, and I still thought I ‘hadn’t written anything’ know what I mean?

Let’s find out what the experts say.

Larry W Phillips edited Ernest Hemingway on Writing this is a collection of diary entries and letters (Scriber 1984/2004) in it, Ernest Hemingway talks about some books being easy to write, some are like drilling rocks (not a direct quote). Thanks Ernest Hemingway, to me, that means GO FOR IT, sometimes it’s meant to be hard.

Stephen King hardly mentions writer’s block in his 2000 book On Writing from what I can glean. I read this book studiously three years ago and often return to parts of it. King talks about only experiencing true writer’s block when he was at university studying Creative Writing! His advice is to write anything you want to as long as you are honest (paraphrased quote) .

Dorothea Brande in her book I mentioned earlier talks about the ‘Artistic Coma’ again, this book is well worth reading. The Artistic Coma is about the importance of writers having time to dream- I love that, from that I took the notion that I am writing subconsciously, even when I’m not writing.

And what of the actual Creative Writing degree I am studying? The advice I have picked up, without directly quoting, is to leave your ambitions at the door when writing because they are not part of  the experience of writing itself. I felt a whole lot better after realising this.

What’s my advice? GO FOR IT. If life events sabotage your writing time that cannot be helped, but worry not because more than likely, you will be writing subconsciously when you are stuck in traffic, or some other distraction. Rejuvenate those creative brain cells, make sure you read loads and if you still can’t think of ‘something to write’, then tough love is telling me to tell you ‘don’t’ – well not today anyway…

Happy writing, Samantha

 

 

Ruminations

 

Gaudy colours and rain.

Whoosh! And round again.

Stomach in my mouth,

there I was. Wondering if

the carriage would come off.

It could happen.

Smile for the camera,

‘ungrateful –  look at you!’

Blackpool pleasure beach

you are bound to see

someone you know.

Why does it have to be the school snob though?

Why do I have to get

some wear out of my sister’s

bell-bottom jeans? In 1982? Why me?

Or those boys laughing at my flat chest

in my pink vest. I didn’t hit puberty,

until after I’d given birth.

They are there in my brain,

the pain of ruminations.

Stacked up like little files of mischief

I wish that I could stop this complaining.

 

Copyright Samantha Henthorn 2018.

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