Tag Archives: literary fiction

2016 is not over yet: all the news from Writers Unchained

While we’re on a break from our Story Sunday programme, there’s been plenty  going on. We’ve had a guest night, the launch of a new enterprise and soon you’ll have the chance to pick up some pre-Christmas bargains. A fitting end to a pretty eventful year.

Guest night

sanjidasmallFrom time to time we replace our fortnightly feedback meetings with a visit from a local writer and at our last-but-one meeting of the year we were delighted to welcome Bristol author and journalist Sanjida Kay who gave us a fascinating insight into how her own needs and preferences as a writer have been shaped by the demands of the market.

bone-by-bone-676x1024At an almost full house, she read to us  from her ‘domestic noir’ debut Bone by Bone and we were lucky enough to have a sneak preview of her next book in this increasingly popular genre. Sanjida has already had a successful career in literary fiction and brought along a great selection of her titles for us to browse. Most of us bore away more than one goodie for future consumption.

Thanks Sanjida for sharing your work and reminding us of the rewards and some of the harsh realities of this thing called getting published.

Prizes (we hope!)

Meanwhile we have success of our own to report with Jean Burnett’s new detective novel shortlisted here . Well done, Jean and good luck for making the prize list!

Writing Services

sallyhwordsOn another front, Sally Hare  (last seen in our Midsummer Madness show)  has relaunched her business as freelance writer, editor, proofreader, facilitator and coach.

Sally has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University  and all of us can vouch for her eagle eye and critical acumen.

If you’d like to know more about The WordShoveller you can contact her via her website or on Facebook.

Come and Buy!

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mib_logoThis Christmas we are making our first appearance at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair which runs over several weekends at the Colston Hall.

If you want to catch us and our books, we’ll be there on Sunday December 11th, 10am – 4 pm with an array of genre and literary fiction for you to peruse and take home to stuff in those stockings.

If you’d like a sneak preview, some (but not all) of what we’ll have on offer is over on our Bookshop page. There will certainly be some pre-Christmas bargains to be had on the day.

Come along to say hello and support your local writers.

Corsham stall

Books – what’s not to like?

Then have a very happy Christmas and New Year.

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See you in 2017!

 

Do authors need a brand? Chris Hill chooses freedom

I ran into Chris Hill on Twitter and having read his intriguing literary novel Song of the Sea God (reviewed here) I was surprised to notice his second novel (see below) is lad-lit. Today he’s kicking off a series of guest posts on how writing can be unchained by an event, an idea, or in Chris’ case, his own frame of mind. 

Chris Hill

Chris Hill

I write for myself first and then look for a publisher who will take whatever I end up producing. As a result the first two books I’ve had published are quite unlike each other. Almost anyone in the know will tell you I’m doing this all wrong.

My first novel, Song of the Sea God, published by Skylight Press (ed’s note: brilliant writing!) is literary fiction and is a kind of creepy fairy tale about a man who washes up on a small island and convinces the locals he is a god. My second, The Pick-Up Artist, published earlier this year by Magic Oxygen, is a modern take on a rom com with some strong women and a weak man, bawdy jokes, elements of farce. It has a few points to make about the way men and women are these days but it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Publishing professionals will tell you it’s madness to write like this – that if you produce pretty much the same thing each time then you build a brand. You also give agents and publishers an idea what to do with you. I’ve ignored that advice not out of bloody mindedness or because I’m on some sort of crusade. It’s just that I find I write best if I’m writing something which interests me and which I am fully committed to. I have a day job which pays the mortgage and keeps the kids in trainers, as do many writers more successful than me, so I don’t need to become a production line worker turning out a series of interchangeable units of product. I can do as I please and, if I do it well enough, I will find a publisher happy to take it on.

There’s a great freedom in writing like this, I’m not sure what my next book will be, only that it will be unique – in this way I suppose I would say I’m unchained.

I certainly don’t have an axe to grind with authors who write similar genre books in a series, good luck to them – each to their own I say. I’m sure they will build up readers over time who know what to expect from them. My readers on the other hand are probably thinking ‘what on earth’s he going to do next?’ I will just have to hope I can find a readership of people who enjoy the unexpected.

Biog and links

chrishillbookChris Hill is an author from Gloucester in the UK whose new novel The Pick-Up Artist is published by Magic Oxygen Publishing. You can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pick-Up-Artist-about-Dating-Digital/dp/1910094161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424014293&sr=8-1&keywords=the+pick+up+artist+chris+hill.

Chris works as a PR officer for UK children’s charity WellChild and spent more than 20 years as a journalist on regional newspapers. He lives with his wife Claire, their two teenage sons and Murphy, a Cockapoo.

 

Chris is a social media addict with more than 20,000 followers on Twitter @ChilledCh  he is on Facebook here:https://www.facebook.com/chris.hill.3726 and has a popular blog where he talks about reading, writing and more at  http://www.chrishillauthor.co.uk/

Thanks to Chris for sharing his brand-free philosophy.

Our next guest will be historical novelist Margaret Skea on how she needed to free herself from one novel to move on with the next (and the one after that!)

If you’re a writer with a local connection and would like to blog here on the theme of Unchained, please contact us.