My March 2017 roundup!

Now then!

Every month I’ll write a quick roundup of my recent goings-on. This is mainly for my benefit, because I’m forgetful and often need evidence (tentative as that may be) that I’ve achieved something or done something worthwhile for my career/health/relationships etc.

It’s also a way to roundup the best bits featured on the blog this month. Your time is limited, so I wanna help you get to the good stuff and get on with your day 🙂

So, without further ado…

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A Cuppa and Catchup with Author Tim Powers!

It’s time for a cuppa and catchup! I recently interviewed internationally-acclaimed author Tim Powers, author of The Anubis Gates (you can read my review here). Tim’s also responsible for the swashbuckling tale ‘On Stranger Tides’ which inspired the Monkey Island games and the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. He’s also credited as being one of the Fathers of Steampunk!

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Rachel: Lovely to have you aboard, Tim! Tell us a bit about yourself and what creative stuff you’re working on at the moment.

Tim: Well, my first novel was published forty-one years ago, and I’ve had fourteen in all so far. That’s fairly slow work, but I use the excuse that they’re generally pretty long, and research and plotting eat up a lot of time.

I’m halfway through another novel now, and I hope to have it finished by summer, roughly. It’s contemporary, set in Los Angeles, and it involves freeways. And of course supernatural stuff.

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How to fall in love with writing again

EMGN-Crying-22.pngI hate writing.

At least right now I do. 

The problem is that I dwell too much on the end result. I want the end result – a finished, polished story – right now.

All that other gumpf in between – the typing, the self-doubt, the numerous, numerous revisions – makes my teeth itch. Sometimes when I’m in the thick of that stuff, I enjoy it. Right now, I loathe it, which means that I unfortunately loathe a rather sizable part of the writing process.

So many writers I speak to deal with the conundrum of loving writing and hating it at the same time. So what can we do about it?

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A Cuppa and Catchup with author and essayist Holly Raychelle Hughes!

It’s time for another Cuppa and Catchup! Today we have the lovely Holly Raychelle Hughes on the blog. Holly’s a fiction writer and essayist who has written about the many pitfalls for people trying to get by in the film production and creative industry, as well as her own painful experiences. She wants to see a safer, more respectful Hollywood, where everyone is treated with dignity and can speak freely of their troubles without fear. She’s also my friend and fellow Pitch to Publication comrade. 🙂

15823503_10211770471400134_6676046960364605008_nHi there, Holly! Thank you for stopping by the blog 🙂 Tell us a little about yourself and what you’re working on at the moment.

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit, Rachel! I’m a writer juggling querying and revisions on a young adult manuscript called DEAR DEAD DRUNK GIRL.

When I’m not hitting refresh on my inbox, I’m working on character development for my next young adult book. I also I try to write several essays a month, too. And when I’m not writing I’m in my office working as an intuitive healer and medium.

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A Cuppa and Catchup with author and illustrator Meg Cowley!

Every now and then I’ll invite an author, artist or other creative type-person onto the blog for a quick chat about their work, their future projects and just general life gubbins. To kick off my ‘Cuppa and Catchup’ series, here’s my lovely friend and Yorkshire-based author and artist Meg Cowley!

  1. Hi there, Meg! Thank you for stopping by the blog 🙂 Tell us a little about yourself and what you’re working on at the moment.
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Such Meg. Much pretty. Wow. ^_^

I’m an author and illustrator from Yorkshire, England, and I love all things fantasy, magic and dragons! Fantasy heavily inspires everything I write, and fantasy and nature inspire my art. (What is fantasy anyway, but nature, embellished!)

Right now, I’m drafting the Shattered Crown (Caledan#3) and plotting the first in my next series, which will be an Arthurian retelling with a twist! In terms of illustration, I’m planning a full-colour, romantic, illustrated retelling of the traditional Arthurian tale, which will also be available in black and white/greyscale as a colouring book.

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Book spotlight – The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

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Tim Powers is famed for his historical fantasy novels, specifically his ability to pick a seldom-explored pocket of time and create a rich narrative within it.

One such book is The Anubis Gates, a fast-paced Victorian adventure following Brendan Doyle, a sharp-witted historian who must rely on more than his knowledge of the future if he’s to escape the past alive.

One thing I love about Tim’s writing is how immersive it is, and how organic the settings feel. He has a rare ability to create a vast swell of characters that are fully realised and beautifully fleshed out.

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Be the pebble: the small acts that bring big changes

heart-rhinestones-sand-beach-122445We’re not even a month into 2017, and it’s already established itself as the year of huge, sweeping events. People in their thousands are waging war against the things that wound, disgust and enrage them. They’re speaking out. Their feet are coming down. They’re taking no more.

Sadness fell heavy upon me while reading Tobias Stone’s 2016 article on how history will shed light on what comes after Trump and Brexit. Stone is deeply intimate with human history, and spoke of how we “have a habit of going into phases of mass destruction, generally self-imposed to some extent or another”.

There’s no denying that history is riddled with echoes. Some may ask why we even try to rise above our innate hostility, especially if we’re destined to fall prey to it every half-century. 

On the bus home, I came across another article. One that melted my dejection like dawn upon the frost.

Celeste Ng, author of EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU,  broke my heart with her 20 small acts of resistance list on Teen Vogue. It’s part survival kit, part love letter to anyone who knows we must do better despite history’s insistence that it’s beyond us. It’s for anyone who knows we can rise above the playbook of years past, and work alchemy through our outrage into something that truly transforms lives.

It’s for anyone who knows that all great stories start with a #smallact.

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