A cuppa and catchup with Author Liz De Jager!

It’s time for another cuppa and catchup! This time I invited the lovely Liz de Jager along to talk about writing YA, bullet journals and pearls of wisdom for her younger writing self…

Rachel Connor: Welcome to my humble blog, Liz! Tell us a bit about yourself and what creative stuff you’re working on at the moment.

lizdejagerLiz De Jager: Hi! I’m so pleased to be here – thanks for the invite. So, I’m the author of a completed trilogy for YA (and other discerning readers regardless of age) called The Blackhart Trilogy.

The series follows Kit Blackhart who gets thrown in the deep end when in the first book she saves a Fae prince from becoming a snack for some bad guys and then: shenanigans!

What I’m up to at the moment: I’m editing a new book. It’s full on fantasy and I have no idea if its good. I hope it is! I’ve also become a bit of a crafter and mixed media enthusiast, making stuff and selling it on.

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Getting feedback on your writing – part two – writing groups

Where to go for writing feedback

So you’ve done what Auntie Rach has told you and you’re now pretty certain that it’s time to get some feedback. Let’s have a look at the different options available:

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Join a writing group – there are so many benefits to doing this, chief among them being that you’ll have someone to share your writing journey with, good and bad.

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How to find your own unique writing voice

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of writers talk about voice.

“Oh, I love this book, it’s so voice-y!”

“The agent rejected my manuscript because they couldn’t connect to the character’s voice”.

“Every character had the same voice. I couldn’t tell them apart.”

So how exactly do you define a story or character’s voice? What do people mean when they say a writer lacks voice or writes in a really voice-y way?

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Competition is bull**** and winning won’t make you happy. Here’s why.

Winning used to mean everything to me.

I was brought up in a household where if I wasn’t the best in my class, I wasn’t anything. I went to school with kids who would literally tear one another’s faces off over a football score.

I live in a country that was so big on ‘winning’ that it enslaved half the world.

The creative industry I work in is reminiscent of Game of Thrones for all the backstabbing, politics, sycophants and uneasy alliances it’s filled with. From all of that I take this very important lesson:

Winning is overrated, and isn’t half as important or beneficial as you think.

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A Cuppa and Catchup with screenwriter Mike Kubat!

It’s that time of week again, where I harangue an unsuspecting creative person into answering some gosh darn questions! This week’s victim guest is Mike Kubat, a hilarious and talented screenwriter based in L.A. You may know Mike from ED EDD n EDDY, ATOMIC BETTY and a slew of other shows for younger audiences, including Disney’s MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS.

I’ve really been looking forward to this interview, as Mike’s not only my former colleagues, he’s also one of my best friends *cue mushy feels here* ^__^

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Rachel: Ey up, Kubat! Thank you for stopping by the blog 🙂 Tell us a little about yourself and what you’re working on at the moment.

Mike: Hi Rachel!  Very happy to be here.  My name is Mike, but many call me Koobs. I’m a writer, creative developer, story editor, accountant, musician (questionable) and vinyl record addict.  

Currently, I’m working at Disney Animation on MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS, along with a feature script, a comic book and my fabulous tan.

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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 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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