‘Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day’. Norman Mailer
I read this Norman Mailer quote on Sheila O’Flanagan’s Facebook page yesterday and it’s been ringing in my ears ever since.
I’m not feeling great this morning – I’ve spent the last few nights working on an Arts Council Funding Application, after a day’s writing and other things. My lower back is at me, from lifting Brownies over logs in the forest on their Indian Tracking Day yesterday (don’t ask!), and I don’t really feel like writing at all. But here’s the thing – it’s my job. And I know once I actually sit down and get on with it, I’ll be just fine. So that’s what I have to do.
I’m working on the second Shoestring novel – for 2013 – and I need to get it finished before the summer, so I can take my family holiday without feeling guilty or stressed. I’ve written 25k so far and plotted the whole book loosely, so I’m doing well so far. As the setting and the characters are the same (although it’s a different voice telling this one – Pandora rather than Jules), …
Dear Fellow Writers and Readers,
I got the most wonderful email from my editor today – the kind of feedback that makes all the hard slog so worthwhile. So I wanted to share it with you. I’ve taken out any spoilers, don’t worry.
I got an equally lovely one from my other editor too, a fab young editor I’m having such fun working with.
I do hope you all get emails like this some time in the future.
Yours in writing,
I just wanted to let you know how much I loved THE SHOESTRING CLUB. It’s a really terrific, engaging and totally unputdownable read with wonderfully drawn characters. While it’s incredibly warm and the humour is well done, there are some very dark moments which you’ve executed brilliantly. Julia is a complex character with whom the reader sympathises in every way – urging her on to find the right man in the end and to forget about . . . (spoiler)
The scene where she confronts her. . . is so moving, and her Dad, Pandora and Bird are such a terrific support to her. It’s so heartwarming Sarah, and has much about it which reminds me …
The title for the next Ask Amy Green book – book 4 in the series – has recently changed from Party Drama-rama to Love and Other Drama-ramas. And it was difficult enough to find a new title.
The story changed quite a bit at editorial stage, so the old title didn’t really fit anymore. Originally Sylvie’s hen party (Amy’s mum) was a big part of the book, but now it plays a less important role. So ‘party’ didn’t work. Back to the drawing board.
The book is mainly about a boy called Bailey Otis who is Mills’s new boyfriend in the first few chapters, but (spoiler alert!) something happens and he changes utterly and lets her down.
So it’s about family ties, boys, the nature of friendship, and loss. Here are some of the titles I came up with:
Friends and Other Drama-ramas (from the start we were all keen on the word drama-rama)
The Friendship Drama-rama
Dates and Other Drama-ramas
Disaster/Dizzying Dilemma (and a lot of other d words!)
Friends and Frenemies
Boys and Other Drama-ramas
But none of them were quite right. So then my lovely editor, Annalie came up with Love …
Right, a quick blog on what makes a good book, prompted by an Irish Pen meeting last night.
The following comments were made by the panel – Ciaran Carty, Patricia Deevy, Bob from The Gutter Bookshp and Margaret (a reader):
Ciaran Carty, ex film critic of The Sunday Tribune, has moved New Irish Writing to a new home at the Irish Independent. Good new for short story writers. He’s looking for original stories with something special at thier heart – he said their is no ‘type’ of story he wants in particular, anything goes!
The stories will now appear on the last Sat of every month in the Irish Indo. New Irish Writing has been running since 1988 and it’s great to see it continue. It’s a good shop window for new writers and people like Martina Devlin and Joe O’Connor and John Boyne are past ‘New Irish Writers’.
He believes good books are made by good readers.
Patricia Deevy from Penguin Ireland was also most interesting.
She spoke as her role as an editor and what she is looking for in a ‘good’ book to publish. ON editing – she said that good writers are keen to be edited …
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