Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Coming soon, to a town near you…

While I continue with my edits, here are some truly lovely links:

If you’re a chick lit fan, there are some cool events soon, featuring yours truly and other, much more well-known writers…first up, there’s the Saffron Walden Literary Festival this weekend – this Friday morning, I’ll be chatting with the truly talented Jojo Moyes, the gorgeous Chris Manby, the hilarious Matt Dunn and the scarily bright Matt Thorne on the subject of Writing for Women – the event's also part of the Macmillan Cancer World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, so you can have a giggle AND feel good.

The festival is brand new, so do give it some support if you live locally – they’ve attracted some great speakers, including Nick Hornby and Meg Rosoff…do check with the website before turning up, though.

Then, next month, the well-established Guildford Book Festival is running its Girls' Night programme again – in one night you can hear from seven fab authors of women’s fiction (plus me!)…I’m going to be on a panel with Amanda Brookfield, Harriet Evans (whose new novel has the most gorgeous jacket I have seen in a long time - have very serious cover envy!)and Kate Long (who is a Wigan-ite like me) – hosted by Jane Wenham-Jones. I think it’ll be lots of fun, but it’s probably a good idea to book now as I think this event is very popular. The whole programme looks terrific so even if you're not into girly books, there's bound to be something for you!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Learning Curves

Hello again! I’ve been away, and then busy. And the book still hasn’t got a 100 per cent confirmed title. As I work through my edits I am trying very hard not to be too alarmed by this fact.

The busy-ness has included going with the boyf to Italy and France in the car (aided by the TomTom GPS widget which is an infuriatingly un-userfriendly bit of kit but pretty reliable once you’ve worked out how to tell it where to go); finishing off the guide to TV development I’ve been writing; and marking the last assignments from the Open University course I’ve been tutoring. All that’s left now is the End of Course Assessment, which is marked in a slightly different way.

Doing the course has been a learning curve for me: I won’t go into details because it wouldn’t be right to do so, but it’s taught me a lot about myself as a writer. I feel much more confident about spotting what’s working and what isn’t in people’s work (though it’s so much harder to see it in your own!) and I also really enjoyed the face-to-face teaching. But I am not totally convinced by this methodology for teaching creative writing online: when you have 20 plus students submitting work that varies a great deal in terms of standard and experience, it’s emotionally extremely draining having to provide supportive, but useful, critiques. On a face-to-face course I could easily coach people and talk through the weaknesses, but doing it by distance learning is hugely time-consuming, much more than it would be on a fact-based course. The marking has turned into a Labour of Hercules and although I finished it this weekend, I felt exhausted by the end of it.

But it wasn’t all marking this weekend – it was also blissful, perfect weather for what we arrogantly – and riskily – suggested would be the last BBQ of the summer, as well as our house-warming. It was a lovely occasional, started at about 1pm and went on till very late, and I collapsed in a big heap yesterday as the cold I’d been fighting off finally took revenge. But worth it. Oh yes!

Lovely Link of the Day:
Some interesting thoughts here from books journalist Danuta Kean about romantic novels, following the discussion over the new BBC4 show about romantic fiction, Reader I Married Him (a very similar idea to one I pitched in my old day job years ago which wasn’t commissioned in-house, boo hoo – but these things happen, no idea is truly new, and I liked the first episode). I don’t totally agree with Danuta’s rather damning verdict, but I enjoyed reading it!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Very quickly...

Sorry I've been a bit elusive. I've had a build-up of work, both novels and non-fiction, and it doesn't look like it's going to settle down any time soon. Plus the boyf has some time off work and I am under strict instructions not to do my usual workaholic stuff.

While I'm away from my desk, here's a cool agent blog, and of course Miss Snark has been running her Crapometer in usual snarky style. Plus of course Arts and Letters Daily can't fail to keep you busy.

There's no firm title news yet, so I promise to post soon, but perhaps not as soon as I anticipated.

Tot ziens,

Kate x