Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cheerier Tuesday and Wednesday

Word Count: 6,995

So...I read some of my new idea to the people in my critique group on Monday night and it got the thumbs up, which is good news. The only thing is that we tend to be very nice to each other and in my case, I worry whether people are not telling the truth for fear of putting me off at such an early, delicate stage. So, gals, if you're reading this (and I know you are, as I put my foot in it by mentioning cake on Monday's blog, and having eaten it - and given half of it away to Mr DIY Friend - by the time you got there), then you can be tough. I did get a couple of VERY useful bits of feedback, however, and the other work was as stunning and diverse as usual. One of the readers got a frog in her throat and I finished reading her piece out loud, and it flowed so well. It's exciting to see work develop like that...

Onto my first lecture at Kingston Uni this morning (following the seminar last week), which was on the subject of reviewing. This is a hobby horse for me, as I get cross with prejudiced or lazy reviewers (and this isn't personal as I never get reviewed in the way that we're examining on the course, a 500-plus word analysis of a novel). I found it a really interesting session and hope the students did too, though it's so hard to tell. What teaching does do for me is show me what I've learned about writing since I was first published three years ago. It's partly practical stuff - how to go about a copy edit, what a blurb means - but it's also theories about story-telling and drama and so on. I'm not slavishly devoted to theories but I do find it useful to have tools for analysing your plots and ideas - though the inspiration part, the lightbulb moment, is still the driver for me...

And I came back to my computer to find an email from my editor saying there's been really positive feedback on advance orders for the paperback edition of Brown Owl's Guide to Life (published just in time for Christmas, and therefore the perfect gift for all former Brownies, plug, plug, sorry!). The view seems to be that my books are performing well, that I am 'growing' surely and steadily (not my waistline, though that too, sadly). It's something I tend to stress about, as I'm endlessly reading about the death of the mid-list author - one who isn't hitting the top 10, i.e. me and most writers I know - but the feedback is that I am establishing myself as a saleable author, and that people have faith in me. I do know that in my heart of hearts, but it's always fantastic to be reminded.

Lovely Link of the Day:
I don't think I've mentioned Scott Pack's blog recently - apologies if my memory's playing tricks - but he used to be a Very Important Person at Waterstones, and is now a key bod at The Friday Project, which is doing more than the bigger publishers to make the most of links between technology and the written word. The whole website makes for fascinating reading - and you can download free stuff too.


Blogger Alias Lucy Diamond said...

Fab news about Brown Owl - my old nickname used to Brown Owl due to my bossy ways (hard to believe, I know) - so I shall definitely be buying a few copies for best mates x

2:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the (last) newsletter Kate. Good idea to use your blog instead. Changes in my life too - bye bye www.cbuk.info soon - time now for my own writing, so I'll keep in touch with your website again - timely reminder - Shirl

5:34 pm  
Blogger mad muthas said...

hello there - great news about brown owl. sounds like you're going great at the moment - and teaching too! that'll keep you out of mischief!

9:39 pm  

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