Whatever happened to…

A harrowing look at the effect of domestic violence on a woman writer’s career:

Longreads “Whatever happened to…”

Envy over her success led her husband, also a writer, to become violent. She fights every day for her safety — and to avoid being relegated to obscurity like so many writers who are mothers.

The author had to publish this anonymously because of fear of her abuser.

No Sales or Lackluster Sales: It Isn’t the Reader, It’s the Book…Really — Kristen Lamb

Why isn’t your book selling?

Kristen Lamb, self-described Professional Troublemaker, lays it on the line for authors, indie and traditional.

Original image courtesy of Juhan Sonin via Flickr Creative commons. No sales or lackluster sales. It isn’t the reader’s fault. It’s the book. Really. This is tough to hear. I know. It’s a writer’s worst nightmare. You researched, you wrote, you finished, and then published your book. You wait for the sales and…. *crickets* This…

via No Sales or Lackluster Sales: It Isn’t the Reader, It’s the Book…Really — Kristen Lamb

Whitby Weekend: Tail of the unexpected…

Mr Fox is a dance troupe out of Yorkshire. An old tradition based on translations from a mysterious book.

Listen for the drums.
Look for the fire.

Sue Vincent describes a recent Mr Fox event and shares her photos.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

It was dark, but not late, as we drove at a leisurely pace back into Whitby, expecting the streets to be as quiet as the previous night. As we approached the bridge, though, a drumbeat began… and at, the same moment, I saw the distinctive shape of a well-known banner, black against the harbour lights. In unison, Stuart and I…like children seeing Santa Claus… cried, “FOXES!” And suddenly, it was all about finding somewhere…anywhere… to park.

We’d had no idea they were going to be in Whitby that weekend! What were the chances? With one thing and another, we had not been able to see them dance this year and we were both missing that.

Gary, of course, hadn’t a clue what was happening… and to be fair, neither Stuart nor I were a lot of help, at least not in any coherent sense. Just saying ‘its Mister…

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Fiction: The end of Lower Broome

Shel Calopa just released her debut novel, Letters to the Light, dystopian, set 1,000 years in the future in Australia. Exciting stuff. Great prose and story world. I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

Shel Calopa

AGGY WILCOCKS SURFACED, gasping and coughing. The surging flood had taken her by surprise, separating her from her family, pushing her right through town and slamming her against the tin veranda of the transit station.

Winded, she sucked desperately for air before diving down into the murky water in a frantic search for Uncle or the children. She came back up, still breathless and alone. Aggy dove again, pushing at the shifting debris. Lots of branches, a tractor battery, two dolls and some hydroponic drip-feeding tubes. Nothing important or useful.

Bobbing atop the water-line and blinking back tears, she squinted towards the horizon. The familiar landmarks were missing. No more grain silo or McWilliam’s two-storey Pub. Even the town hall, where she had hoped to attend her first harvest dance with Stevie Bennet, had gone. Swirling, turgid water had swallowed everything and everyone; so quickly.

Aggy grabbed a wooden table…

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The End is Near…

of NaNoWriMo 2019, that is. I’ve been writing like a fiend all month and I am ALMOST THERE. So close to the 50K finish line. I’m hoping to win this Friday and as long as I don’t stumble, I’ll make it.

Vitruvian Mask Oct2019

I’m working on the sequel to The Archimedean Heart and despite plotting it to death, the characters have still managed to surprise me. Especially our protagonist, Adelaide Coumain, she who was once Royal Scientist-Physician, but has since come down in the world.

My plan is to finish the first draft by the end of December but we’ll see how THAT goes. After the intensity of NaNoWriMo (and ignoring the rest of my life) for a month, things do catch up with me in December.

The Pros and Cons of Prologues

Is “no prologue” one of those writing “rules” that don’t always make sense?

Do you think there are times you should write a prologue?

As a reader, do you read prologues?

Uninspired Writers

Prologues can be a contentious issue. Everybody has a different opinion on them. I’ve known of readers who love them, agents who hate them, and everything in between! The last novel I wrote started with a prologue, even though as a reader I’m not a huge fan of them. Sometimes you just have to do what works for your novel. But for anyone who’s not sure, I’ve listed some of the pros and cons of prologues below.

The Pros:

You can hook the reader
Prologues tend to be short and sweet, and so it gives you the opportunity to really hook the reader with a gritty opening. You don’t need to introduce the characters involved in any depth, which gives you the chance to create a real air of mystery.

Chance to use a different POV
The prologue doesn’t have to follow the pattern of the rest of your story…

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Short: Dugong Dreaming

This sounds like a fun read: A short story about an opera singer stranded on one of Saturn’s moons, the tough choices of motherhood and some very musical Dugongs.
It’s nice to see some spec fiction from down under. I’m trying to read more world fiction. What’s your fave non-US/European novel?

Shel Calopa

A short story about an opera singer stranded on one of Saturn’s moons, the tough choices of motherhood and some very musical Dugongs.

Available February 2020 in ASF’s Aquarius Anthology.

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