Monday, 30 April 2012

Spring Horror Read-A-Thon


I love it when I come across references to Turner online. In this case I came across a review as part of the reader's selection for the Spring Horror Read-A-Thon, along with many other titles that I had already put on my phone to read. I love the idea of just reading horror for a period! A dark night of the soul that lasts more than one night. I was pleased that the reviewer appreciated the sense of history: although Turner is a horror novel, the subtext of English colonialism in Wales struck me as something worth integrating.
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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Naming games

 
Occasionally a visitor will spot a book of baby names on my desk and leap to conclusions. No, I've not become leaky-loined and begat a foetal version of myself. These books are some of my most important reference works.

Writers create imaginary lands peopled with imaginary... erm, people. Although some of those characters might have an aspect of their personality which was inspired by a real person or astute observation, they are generally unique. And unique things need names. And if I was left to myself I would probably end up with characters who are all called John, or Malcolm, or Englebertwhistle. In fact, this happened once - I scanned a list of all the names I had used in my short stories and novels and found that I had repeated some names far too often. Why was I obsessed with the name 'Wendy'? I don't think I've even had a friend or girlfriend with that name. Our minds can't be trusted to do what they want, we have to guide them.

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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Writing competitions

 
Writers Online has a number of competitions - the open ones (i.e. non-subscribers can enter) are found here. If you are very quick then you could enter the 750 word short story competition, but the deadline is tomorrow so this is only useful if you already have some micro fiction and a spare afternoon today to polish it! There is also a horror competition (which my friend Simon made me aware of), open until mid-May.

May is also the deadline for the prestigious Bridport Prize. As well as the usual poetry (42 lines max; £7 entry per poem) and short story (5,000 words max; £8 entry per story) categories they have added a new flash fiction category for stories of 250 words or less (£6 per entry). Can you condense a story to that size? It is an impressive skill to have.
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Reviews on Goodreads


I recently posted about having joined the Goodreads community, which is proving to be enjoyable and useful. Today I noticed that two reviews had been added for Turner.

The first was a 5 star rating and a positive review from Frank. He said: 
"Horror (Check), Chilling (Check), well written (Check), Hilarious? Absolutely. This is a must read for any one who enjoy good horror writing, but also loves characters whose main reason for being alive is to make the reader pop a few laughs. I can't wait for Drinkwater's next works, I rate this one A+"
This really made me smile, especially the recognition of the novel's very dark humour, which not everyone takes to or recognises. The multiple characters were there to keep the reader guessing about who - if anyone - will survive.

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Friday, 13 April 2012

Now on Goodreads


I've now joined another social networking site, an important one for bringing readers and writers together, or readers and new books - Goodreads. It is very clever. You can rate or review books you have read, and based on what you liked and didn't like it will make recommendations of other books you might like to try. It has already brought many titles to my attention that I can't wait to read. You can also see what friends are reading and get in touch with like-minded people. My profile is here: please befriend me if you have a Goodreads account!

As a writer it is also important to have details of your work on Goodreads so that people can find and discuss it. I added Turner here. There are various ways you can promote your books e.g. I took part in a giveaway competition and sent print copies of Turner to the Goodreads winners - which gains exposure for your book, and may lead to reviews and ratings, eventually (hopefully!) feeding back into sales.

If you rate enough books you have the opportunity to make an application to become a librarian. This lets you add and edit bibliographic details for books. As part of the process you have to include a summary of why Goodreads staff should approve your application. This was easy for me - I pointed out that I am a real-life librarian! Since becoming a Goodreads librarian I have already created book records, merged and updated data, and so on.

(Thanks to Bec for mentioning the site to me.)
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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Why is the lighthouse important? [Spoilers]


This is another post that you should avoid perusing if you haven't yet read Turner but you intend to in the near future, for here be dragons and spoilers. You were warned.

If you're still reading then you want to know the answer to the questions below - the most common ones people have asked me about after reading Turner.

Why is the novel called Turner? And why does a lighthouse feature on the cover?

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