Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Harrogate History Festival 2014

I had such a good time last year that I booked as soon as I could for this year's event that starts this very Thursday! I have spent the last few weeks in nervous anticipation, dreading that something might prevent me attending. But I am now packed and prepared and once more looking forward to returning to my old home town of Harrogate to be part of things. There are even more people I am longing to hear and will buy too many books, I am sure from my much loved (and erstwhile employer) Waterstones, Harrogate, where, incidentally, I enjoyed a fabulous signing-session  for my novel Hope Against Hope.  Take a look at the details of the Festival.

If you're also attending and possibly staying at the Old Swan Hotel, do seek me out. I'll be around - probably in the bar which is not, I hasten to add not so crowded than it is during the annual Crime Festival. I can confirm that historical-fiction writers enjoy a drink but not in such quantities as crime readers and writers whom through you have to fight to get to the bar or even sit down. We hist-fictioners are far more restrained!

I will write about it when I get home on Sunday and have recovered. These writing events are always tiring, whatever the genre.

The famous Old Swan, here and below.

It's a shame the History Festival is held in October when the Crime event enjoys summer weather!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Just because I'm currently immersed in revising...

...doesn't mean I'm not still reading avidly. I have heard that some novelists daren't read anything other than their work in progress. Their reasoning? Either they're far, far too busy (some people have deadlines - lucky them) or they fear they'll end up copying the style of whichever author's novel they pick up.

I couldn't be more different. I'm never not reading a book - usually a novel but not necessarily. It could be history, biography or something for research and background reading, be it a recipe book, topography and nature. A few months ago I read all about keeping bees, now or in the past, cooking with honey etc. However, it's more likely to be fiction. As I've said before, I am book-mad, a bookaholic as it were.

As for inadvertently copying someone else's style, it has never happened to me. I can't do party tricks or impressions or speak in another accent from the one I'm stuck with now. I  admire certain writers more than others, love certain paragraphs and read them twice while trying to pin-point why they work so well. But I can't copy them. however much I wish to. I write like me. It's either good or bad, boring or even interesting, depending on the reader. I can't do anything else. I am what I am although I'me always learning and improving - I hope.

Anyway, here are a few books from the many I've read lately and loved for different reasons. But don't ask me to judge which I enjoyed the most.

I won't give any reviews or recommend you read any of them. But I have read them all with differing amounts of admiration. All all had their good and bad points and will appeal to different readers. Some you may hate. And - surprise, surprise. They're all historical novels.  .

Here is the exception. to my list. I have yet to read the following novel. But I will. It's on its way. Its companion (and first novel) is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. As I loved that novel to bits and because the reviews of 'Queenie'  have all been favourable, I'm bound to love it, too. I'll tell you later...


As you've probably realised, my blog has been dormant for far too long - well, it's been a long winter.  Although this blog has b...