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EXETER AUTHORS ASSOCIATION

Writing Groups in Devon

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Blog posts : "Exeter Authors Association"

The Bampton Charter Fair Experience

October 30, 2017

Last weekend the Exeter Authors Association were in action at the Bampton Charter Fair. This was the first time authors have been invited there for over 500 years so we have a lot of history to make up for. We shared a hall with the lovely people from the LARCS and it made for a chaotic, busy day.

The children's authors and entertainment section proved very popular with our special guest Ollie in a toga bringing ancient history to life. K.Y. Eden gave a fascinating insight into the writing of the Redcroft Journals trilogy and into the crazy life of a fantasy author.

Jenny Kane as always delighted her fans and sold out of most of her books. Fortunately, they are still available online. The Circle of Spears drama company gave a thrilling installment of their play WITCH... which completely stopped the tea chatter. John Hall gave a fascinating talk about researching and writing his terrorism based novels and a possible research trip to Oman. Richard Dee read one of his scary short stories and Richard the second or Richard Lappas to his fans regaled everyone with tales of Princess Diana and the Queen. 

P.J. Reed came in her performance poetry guise for this event, leaving her high fantasy and horror writing for more sinister times, and read her new poem regarding 'Colin the nearly new neighbour'.  Brian Willis, another performance poet from Tiverton entertained with his new selection of Gothic poetry.  Jeni Braund sold many copies of her Heartland poetry book in aid of the Anthony Nolan charity. All in all in was a fun-filled. action-packed day! 

If you missed seeing the Exeter authors they will be on display at the CreaTiv Hub, Fore Street, Tiverton, Devon from  Tuesday 28th November to Saturday 2 December with free goodies, cookies, a free draw and an amazing selection of books!

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Exeter Authors Association Climbing the Stairs To Happiness in Costa

September 18, 2017

Last Friday heralded our biggest meeting of the year. As each author arrived everybody shuffled up a seat and made room for one more until no more authors could fit around our two reserved tables. It was then that it was decided we had outgrown the guest tables at Costa. 

There is a mysterious door on the Costa wall marked – Staff Only. The presence of a door in a wall is always intriguing, especially to curious writers… We charged through that door and found ourselves in a very narrow corridor leading to an equally narrow staircase.

At the top, the staircase opened into a lovely mini-conference room for barista training which we thought might come in useful as a second career. Soon the room was filled with some of the most active authors in the south-west with books ranging from children’s story to terrorist based thrillers to sci fi adventures.

We were delighted to welcome 3 new Exeter Authors _ K.Y. Eden., Richard Lappas, and J.E. Hall who each received their official and extremely rare Exeter Authors Association badge. The author's lanyards have finally arrived too so Exeter Authors members have been well and truly labelled.

The autumn and winter months are going to be very busy. All our members actively engaged in literature-based activities.

Many of our members have been invited to the Bampton Charter Fair – this is the first time authors have been invited since the Middle Ages which is very exciting and hopefully we might even get invited back sooner next time. Please see the poster, for a complete guide to those authors attending Bampton Charter Fair. All the Exeter Author events are free so if you want to chat to an author, attend a book reading, a children’s workshop or get a book signed visit the LARCS at Bampton on Thursday 26th October.

In other exciting news, we have been given the keys to the CreaTiv Hub, Tiverton for 5 days from Tuesday 28 November to Saturday 2 December. This is an ideal chance to chat to an author and buy bespoke books which can be dedicated to the one you love for that special Christmas present. 

 

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In a field, in a tent, some authors gathered and it was hot!

August 28, 2017

Assorted members of the Exeter authors Association went adventuring this weekend as we crossed the border and entered the wilds of Somerset. We traveled through the rolling dark green fields of the Mendips, past fascinating historic buildings including the Kings of Wessex and quaint village greens. Finally, we reached our destination – a sports pitch on the edge of Chilcompton.

Sometimes, however, appearances can be deceptive. This pitch was bustling with excitement and dotted about its fields were large white marquess standing expectantly, ready to be filled by musicians, singers, poets, and authors. The first Chilcompton Fringe Festival was waking.

The Exeter Authors Association were honoured to have our own small marquee complete with stage and professional sound equipment so our voices were not lost between the three vibrant music marquess.  We also had a wonderful sound engineer who also gathered audiences for us and a compere who happily joined in with all the workshops, and their efforts were greatly appreciated.

 The day was so hot – unnaturally so for England, we put our book tables outside the marquee and then hid in the shade of the marquee for as long as we could.  In the course of the afternoon two pairs of sunglasses were broken, a lot of liquid consumed and faces began to glow red. It was British summertime at its best.

We had a fantastic line-up of Exeter Authors performing, reading and running free workshops.  Jenny Kane started the show with readings and anecdotes from her best-selling series of Abi books.  Her author's table was busy all afternoon with people coming to the Festival just to buy the latest Abi book, which was very touching.

P.J. Reed read her eclectic variety of poetry to a suddenly increasing audience. One of whom yelled “You’re mad!” in a hopefully positive manner, after hearing about the adventures of her new, neighbour Colin and his washing line. I think that’s what is known as audience participation!

Richard Dee, the steampunk and sci-fi author, did an interesting lecture from his series of Fantasy World Building lecture series which will be available as an online course later this year. After which, he braved the sun all afternoon, selling the deep space adventures of Dave Travise to happy earthlings.

Poet and children’s story author Trina J. Stacey put on her life coaching hat and gave an inspiring interactive session or how to write from the heart, without fear and with happiness. Something which every writer needs to bear in mind when fighting deadlines and unwanted edits from editors!

The actress, narrator and playwright Tracey Norman shone on stage giving a talk about WITCH her play which has been performed throughout England in 2017 and she gave a talk on how to research and write historically accurate plays.

The Exeter Authors have something to offer everyone. In the later afternoon, the darker aspects of humanity were delved into by horror writer Chris Tetreault-Blay who gave a fascinating talk about how to write a successful horror series. Mark Norman, narrator, researcher, and record keeper of the Black Dog sightings of England closed a very successful day with his true tales of mystery and sinister goings on. 

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A Celebration of Books Roars Into Life! By P.J. Reed

June 20, 2017

It was a hot and sticky Saturday. The sun bore down, rebounded off the pavements and buildings and onto the waiting people. The 120 freshly made cupcakes began to ooze and a delicious smell wafted through the library. The Exeter Authors stood behind their beautifully illustrated tables and talk bubble through the book celebration. Everything was ready with fifteen minutes to go. Suddenly, there was a noise at the library door. People had started queuing in the 34-degree heat.  A surprised silence hit the authors as they stood in the shelter of the library. These brave people were standing in a furnace because of their passion for books. Therefore, it was unanimously agreed to open the doors and let these brave people in early lest they get taken by the savage heat.

                The doors opened and a wide of people floated in. It was great to see so many people come together to celebrate their love of books. In fluid times, unexpected events happen. An unexpected but very interesting Professor arrived with his selection of text books regarding Anglo-Saxon history.  We managed to find him a little island of history between Chris Tetreault–Blay’s horror books and my haiku collections but then history is indeed a mixture of horror and art.

And so, the celebration began with a mixture of art and horror...

The event was a fully interactive afternoon of readings, performances, workshops, and cupcake demolition. We were extremely lucky to have Michael Jecks, the bestselling Medieval crime author and Samantics one of the leading performance poets in the south-west. The acts drew huge crowds.

Unfortunately, I missed the lot. My workshop ‘How To Catch a Publisher’ was the first workshop of the afternoon and it was enlarging. It expanded from the table into the environs encroaching into the friends of the library refreshment area almost within reach of the cupcake mountain.

After a chair reorganisation, my workshop began. It was rapid fire workshop of one and a half hours of work condensed into twenty minutes. It was an intense battle but we persevered. These were intelligent, articulate writers, and asked many questions which was a pleasure to explore.

My full workshop ‘How To Catch a Publisher’ will be coming to libraries across the south-west very soon…

Once my workshop had finished, I went to my little author section to prepare for my surrealesque poetry performance. Only to find the poetry book, ‘Flicker,’ that I was going to use, complete with paper page marks, had been sold. However, poetry waits for no man or woman.  I had exactly five minutes to locate another book and remark the pages. It was a frantic battle but I triumphed and bounded on stage with my poetry saved. The audience, like the workshoppers, were fantastic and very responsive.

After my turn, I could sit back and watch the other performers. It was a fantastic way to end an amazing afternoon. The only negative being – by the time I had finished greeting, talking and watching- someone had eaten all the cakes!

Check out P.J. Reed's website at- Deliciously Wicked Writing

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A Celebration of Books, What happened at CredFest 2017 by Richard Dee

June 19, 2017

Instead of a post about my writing or some other insight, I’m reporting on my attendance at CredFest last Saturday.

As a member of the Exeter Authors Association, I had a table, a workshop, and readings to do. Here are a few pictures from the event.

 

I also made some cupcakes for the visitors.

I’m a big fan of Carrot cake, so that was what I produced and they seemed to be popular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a good turnout for the event and as this was the first one that I’ve attended I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But it was great.

I chatted to customers; my workshop went down well, with good feedback. I was actually told that my suggestions for world building made great sense, someone else admitted that hadn’t been sure what to expect but had been fascinated. There were some excellent readings by the other authors, great poetry and a short extract from Witch!

I think I’ve found some new books to add to my virtual pile!

My readings were also well received, I read a short extract from Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café and another from The Rocks of Aserol.

It’s true that I didn’t sell many books, but I did give away lots of short stories and samples, which may well sow seeds for future sales. And as a new(ish) author it’s about getting the brand out and being recognised. Events like this are great for doing just that. And one lucky person won a copy of Andorra Pett, who knows where that will lead?
The audience got the humour in Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café and laughed in most of the right places, which was a relief, after all, it’s my sense of humour and you never really know if others will find it funny.

The extract that I read is at the end of this post; it’s from a little later in the book than the sample chapter that you may have read HERE.

Now, I have to prepare for Tiverton Literary Festival on Friday. I’m one of the authors you can meet in the Library. We start at 10 am so if you’re local to Tiverton, please pop in and say hello.


Writing wise, I have just about finished Andorra Pett on Mars, the follow-up to Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, and I have an idea for book three in the series, Andorra Pett takes a break.
My Steampunk sequel A new life in Ventis is with beta readers. Dependant on their reaction, I’m working towards publication before Christmas. I also have a couple of other projects in the pipeline. There will be more news on them in the very near future.

Are you interested in how I build words? Would you like a transcript of my workshop with suggestions? Why not let me know, together with your ideas, in the reply box below the post. I’d love to hear from you!

So here’s the extract that I read, Andorra Pett is settling into her new life, running a café. She’s already discovered a secret, and now it seems like someone is after her…….

I’d set my alarm for 4 a.m. again, we had sold nearly all the things I had made yesterday and although Clarissa had provided some pies we still needed fresh bread and more cakes. Cy, for all his enthusiasm, wouldn’t be up till later so it was down to me.
The alarm went off, without bothering with the lights I reached out and turned my hair straighteners on; then I headed for the bathroom. When I came back I watched in horror as the bedroom door started to open, a line of dim light grew slowly as it was pushed from outside. Someone was creeping in. There wasn’t time to put my boiler suit on; at least I was wearing a vest and some shorts to cover my modesty.

To read more about Richard Dee and his writing, visit his website, Welcome to my Worlds

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The Exeter Authors Association Rock Costa

April 25, 2017

The EAA met in the darkened recesses of the new improved Tiverton, Costa. It was a great turnout with members traveling from across Devon including Brixham, Exeter, Tiverton, and the darkest regions of the Devon countryside. The seemingly innocent faces masked the sheer scope of writing depth that sat crouched over half drunk coffees. Their writing covers anything from erotic fantasies to psychopathic killers and everything in between.

The Books

The newest member of the group was Jeni Braund, a poet from Exeter who writes poetry based on her life experiences. 

Richard Dee has just published his latest sci-fi novel 'Myra.' 

Myra is is the story of Dave Travise,  An ex-Navy man on the run; somehow he’s ended up in a dead man’s shoes; on a new ship and on the wrong side of the law. With no way to prove his innocence, he’s just got to play along and keep his head down if he’s going to survive. As if he doesn’t have enough problems, now he’s fallen for Myra, the engineer on his new home.

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Jenny Kane has also been busy with her latest novel, 'Abi's Neighbour.' 

Abi Carter has finally found happiness. Living in her perfect tin miner’s cottage, she has good friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, Max. Life is good. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door. Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. Obnoxious and stuck-up, Cassandra hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, it looks like she has her sights set on Max.

But Cassandra has problems of her own. Not only is her wealthy married lawyer putting off joining her in their Cornish love nest, but now someone seems intent on sabotaging her business. Will Cassandra mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are they destined never to get along?

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P.J. Reed has also published her latest book entitled 'Flicker'.

Flicker is a combination of haiku and senryu, combined and updated for the modern audience. In this collection, P.J. Reed has brought together a series of poetic postcards entwining the ever-changing nature of the Devon countryside with the lives of the people she has met in her travels throughout the county, creating a fascinating representation of humanity and nature.

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The Writing Projects

Michelle Werrett is writing her first book, a natural history book based on the life of an ancient hedgerow.

Maura Beckett is writing her first novel - a cozy detective story set in the heart of Devon, concerning an arrow, a murder, and a former head teacher turned detective.

Trina J. Stacey is utilizing her life coach skills working on a self-help book based on an unusual experience had while running through the streets of Devon.

P.J. Reed is delving the depths of the psychotic mind with her horror novel based around Thorny Ridge - the mysterious murder capital of smalltown USA. 

Future Events!

If anyone is brave enough to meet an author... the Exeter Authors Association will be performing, reading, and discussing their work at CredFest17. 

 

 

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Concerning The Plotting of the Exeter Authors

February 17, 2017

 

The Exeter Authors met up on the darkest recesses of Costa today for their bimonthly meeting. It was indeed a plot of writers with plans laid and pens sharpened. The imaginations behind these innocent faces have written work ranging from horror to hedgerows and everything that lingers between...

The year is a very busy publishing time for the Exeter Authors with 3 attending authors publishing newly inked works.

The Books

Laura Wake's debut novel 'A Monster by Violet' will be published in March 2017.  

A Monster by Violet features Violet Kale. Violet has fallen out of love with life—she hasn’t even got the desire to dream. A dissolute figure, she drifts along with her friend Lisa (mother of a baby daughter Maria), reluctant to take responsibility for anything except her own pleasure. Then on a whim, she steals Maria away after a 3-day drug and alcohol binge, heading on a journey to a new land, and seeing in the child a chance of a new future, and a hope for salvation.

Jenny Kane's latest novel  'Abi's Neighbour'  the long awaited sequel to 'Abi's House' will be published on 4th May 2017. 

In 'Abi's Neighbour', Abi Carter has finally found happiness in beautiful Cornwall, with her old tin miner’s cottage proving the perfect home. But all that’s about to change when a new neighbour moves in next door… Cassandra Henley-Pinkerton represents everything Abi thought she’d escaped when she left London. She’s obnoxious, stuck-up, and hates living in Cornwall. Worst of all, she seems to have designs on Abi’s boyfriend Max…
But Cassandra has her own problems. Her wealthy lawyer lover has promised to leave his wife and join her in their Cornish love nest – but something always comes up. Now, not only is Cassandra stuck on her own, miles away from her city lifestyle, but someone seems intent on sabotaging her successful business. Will she mellow enough to turn to Abi for help – or are the two just destined not to get along?

P.J. Reed's senryu poetry collection, 'Flicker' is due out in March 2017.

'Flicker' is a collection of senryu poems providing flickers or moments in the curious lives of the people she has met on her travels throughout Devon.

The Exeter Authors will also be making a new 'Introducing Me' video, whereby readers will get the chance to see the author hidden behind the words.

The Costa Foundation

Exeter Authors Association supports the work of the Costa Foundation. Trina J. Stacey and PJ. Reed both donated signed copies of their books to the upcoming Costa auction.

The Festivals

The Exeter Authors have been invited to perform at several festivals this year including the Tiverton Literary Festival and CredFest 2017.

Literary Festivals are always exciting events to attend and this year the Exeter Authors will bringing their own variations on the theme of 'Readings with Cupcakes'.

 

 

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Exeter Authors Christmas Takeover of Costa

December 16, 2016

The Exeter Authors Association do not meet regularly. 

Many of the members belong to different groups throughout Devon so meetings are commonplace on the 'writing circuit.' It's also quite hard to get groups of busy authors together for their time in between book talks, promo and festivals is short and normally saved for the rarest of activities.... actually writing.

Therefore, we were delighted to have so many talented people arrive and descend on an unsuspecting Costa. Who knew that Costa is such a smoking, hot-bed for writing?  

The depth of writing talent in Devon is huge and this was reflected in the authors gathered around the table which Jenny Kane had managed to keep safe and protect for the rest of the group from the coffee drinking hordes. 

Jenny shared her publishing experience, with over 200 novels under her belt or bed? And was very motivational as always to those working on their first novels. 

We were delighted to welcome Richard Dee, the sci-fi writer from Brixham and heard news of his latest book an exciting, romantic chick-lit/ sci-fi fusion novel which will be published next year.

The Devon poets were represented by Trina Stacey. Trina is gaining renown throughout Devon for her inspirational, spiritual poetry. Her latest venture is into the world of haiku poetry which will, hopefully, provide her followers with soul fruit in terms of an inspiring collection of senryu in 2017.

Devon children's literature was represented by Frank Bristow, the children's author from Crediton. Frank has written and created a beautiful world of fun-loving bears in his 'Bears of Bopplestone' books.  

While Caro Bushell and myself, presented the darker side of writing in Devon with stories and poems so scary, they would have people dropping their double skinny lattes and running screaming for the door.

Finally, Maura Beckett, one of the new generation of writers, updated us on her chick-lit mystery novel which has now reached 10,000 words!  

2016 has been a great year for writing in Devon and 2017 is looking good already!

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Meeting the Tiverton Communtity Radio

October 18, 2016

 

On Monday I had a fascinating time at Tiverton Community Radio station. The station is based at Petroc College and is a padded soundproof cell of a room situated inside a bigger locked room. TCR do not mess about. I was a little apprehensive about this interview. My first interview consisted of me speaking too far away from the mike, being inundated with a scream of noisy feedback which made me leap out of my chair with a cat like rapidity I do not normally process. From this lowly beginning, it could really only go upwards I thought.

I put my headphones on and gingerly touched the mike to bring the thing closer. A mike always feels a bit strange- furry and yet not furry to the touch... like some sort of wild animal.

The interview was very interesting ranging from the merits of psychological horror over pure gorefest to the vibrant creative community of Devon which the radio station is highlighting. I was delighted to read some of my poems from my little book of horror The Wicked Come. 

Caro, being a talented voice actress has recorded my Halloween short story horror set in ThornyRidge,Virginia and entitled 'The Candy Shack', which will be scaring listeners over the Halloween weekend. This short story has just been published in the Black Candy anthology from Jaded Books Publications a spine-tingling  anthology for horror connoisseurs.

 

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The Crediton Bookshop Opens!

October 15, 2016

On Friday evening I attended the grand reopening of the Crediton Bookshop.

The Bookshop is a community owned and run bookshop serving a large local area. The bookshop is a beautiful old bookshop complete with black wooden beams, stone wall features and interesting shapes and shadows. The ideal atmosphere for a gentle, relaxed book lover’s paradise. The back of the shop is designed to be a reading and talking area complete with comfortable sofa. The Bookshop encourages local writers to give talks to children in their shop and in local schools. Funnily enough, when I mentioned I wrote horror the surprised lady showing me around suggested that I wouldn’t be suitable for kiddie talks. I think I talk too quietly or something.

The bookshop was packed with people for their opening and guests were offered with chocolate cake, hor 'd oeuvres and locally produced wines. It’s amazing how well books and wine go together.

There is always a fascinating mix of people at these events showing depth and range of creative talent in Devon. There were writers at every stage of their career, an actor who had just performed Henry V with his company in the town square, two dogs and of course, the book shop community.

Bookshops and libraries form the literary hub of local communities and it is great to see the birth of a new literary community in Crediton.

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