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Fiction Novels Publishing

TEN THINGS NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT BOOK PUBLISHING

So you think you want to be a published author…? Karen paints a worst case scenario, but we all have to find these things out through our own experience. Like her, though, je ne regrette rien.

Jane Bwye

I am delighted to welcome back a valued friend, Karen Charlton, from my Authonomy days. Her  little piece is so, so true. And the strange thing is, we all have to learn every one of these lessons by personal experience; sometimes more than once.

karen author photo cream (3) (528x640)In a recent survey carried out by YouGov and published in The Independent newspaper, 60% of UK adults declared that being a writer is their ‘dream job.’  14,294 adults were interviewed for this survey. I can only assume – that they all assume – that being an author is both stress-free and lucrative.

In response to this article about the YouGov survey I stuck my tongue in my cheek and jotted down a few observations about the truth behind a publishing contract – especially with a small publishing house. This list of observations is gathered from my own experience and that of fellow authors. I…

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Corsica Historical Fiction Novels

Ten Inspiring Things About #Corsica: Part 2

View across the bay at Ajaccio
View across the Bay of Ajaccio

Here’s part 2 of my post about aspects of Corsica that I find inspiring as a writer. Some of them appear in my novels The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow, but all of them are things I want to keep experiencing. In writing this post, I have realised that 10 is far too few. So I’ll just have to keep going.

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Author interviews Fiction Novels

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Author @shani­_struthers

Shani Struthers
Shani Struthers

 

This week’s guest is an author whose foray into the paranormal, The Haunting of Highdown Hall, has been a runaway success. Book 2 in the Psychic Surveys series, Rise to Me, is published today by Crooked Cat Publishing. Thanks for joining me on the chaise longue, Shani. Let’s kick off.

Categories
Corsica Fiction Historical Fiction Novels

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: Meet Maria Orsini, Main Character in ‘The House at Zaronza’

 

Saint-Florent, Corsica, the island beloved of Maria
Saint-Florent, Corsica, the island beloved of Maria

Normally, I interview real live people. But today, I thought I’d let one of my characters have her say. So joining me on the chaise longue today for some Corsican vin de myrte (myrtle berry wine) and a bit of bean-spilling is my main character from The House at Zaronza, Maria Orsini.

Categories
Corsica Historical Fiction Novels

Ten Inspiring Things About Corsica: Part 1

Rugged landscape of Corsica

Restricting this to just 10 things has been difficult. Below are five of my favourite Corsican things, places or experiences: find the next five here. They are all part of the landscape/history/culture that inspired my novels The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow and will continue to inspire my future writing about Corsica, whether fiction or non-fiction.

Categories
Author interviews Fiction Novels

On the Chaise Longue with Vanessa: an Interview with Helen J. Rolfe @HjRolfe

Helen J. Rolfe
Helen J. Rolfe

 

I’m delighted to welcome today’s guest Helen J. Rolfe, whose début novel, The Friendship Tree, was published earlier this week by Crooked Cat Publishing. And it sounds an intriguing story. If you’re sitting comfortably (don’t sit on Felix, the cat), Helen, let’s get going.  

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Author interviews Corsica Guest posts Novels

New Departures

Two bits of news. First, after much dithering, I have finally started the sequel to The House at Zaronza. When I say started, I mean that I have begun to plan it in detail. The actual writing comes a bit later. 

Categories
Fiction Novels Writing tips

Milestones or millstones? Or how to stop beating yourself up when your writing goals elude you

Where the writing gets done - or not...
Where the writing gets done – or not…

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I invariably break them before January is over. And there’s something about these worthy tablets of stone that kills one’s enthusiasm even before they are fully formulated.

For a few years, I faithfully used to set out my writing goals for the year. I even tried to make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound), as all good goals should be, or so I was taught when I took my MBA. 

Categories
Corsica Fiction Historical Fiction Novels

A Corsican Christmas in Times Past

Nonza - church
Church at Nonza on Cap Corse

I live in southwest France but I’m very attached to the island of Corsica and fascinated by its culture and customs.

My historical novel The House at Zaronza takes place mostly on Corsica during the early 20th century. The main character, Maria, goes to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with her parents. How did Corsicans celebrate Christmas in the past? 

Categories
Corsica Fiction Novels

Corsica, Setting for THE HOUSE AT ZARONZA, a Top Destination

Saint-Florent, Corsica
Saint-Florent, Corsica

 

Have you been to Corsica? No? Then get there fast: National Geographic Traveler Magazine recently put Corsica in the no. 1 spot out of its top 20 chosen destinations for 2015.

I’m not surprised. The island has everything: a wonderful landscape with azure seas, jagged mountains and perched hilltop villages, a fascinating culture and a turbulent history.