Menu

EXETER AUTHORS ASSOCIATION

Writing Groups in Devon

250;220;31b3b042b3beea1bcaad2523f1c101f741dc94f2250;220;cae23d8651f3f716f398a8813475816d9e31e6e6250;220;27189be52296c5e39943b29aa6dad20926f9bb12250;220;70752cecfab130b7f3ee8ecb501c2d8108c68211250;220;6a0c54c2f9e5e6010590b75990071428221ea505250;220;2b4488417814b2b3429f1db79c7bb41176917f9e250;220;0fbe9a9ffd57baf1787fb7ccb91f06f6c1747fee

Blog posts : "writer"

Inspiration Points!

The start of a story, that moment when an idea begins to form and then explodes into a million different characters, places, and events is one of the most exciting times for an author. 

It arrives naturally and sometimes you have to be patient but when the creative spark hits your life changes forever. You enter a whole new reality and embark on epic adventures.
So where does this creative spark come from?
It could be a memory, gossip whispered by a friend, a daydream or even an image captured in your minds’ eye. Something in these events acts as a catalyst and sends your imagination into overdrive.
For example, one morning I nipped into Costa for a cup of tea and a slice of chocolate tiffin, as I am particularly partial to any food with chocolate in the title and my life changed forever. A story unfolded before my eyes like a movie and I dived into Torcia, the first fantasy world I ever created.
I saw the main character of the story, a warlock sitting in ragged clothes in a dingy, cluttered garret clutching onto the side of a medieval-looking wooden inn. He was sitting quietly on his favourite armchair by the fire, but something was very wrong in Torcia as even from the inside of his lodgings he could feel his people's suffering as the invasion of Torcia accelerated. It was all very exciting as I didn’t know what was going to happen next, I just sat down at my laptop and my fingers typed the images which flashed across my brain. One hundred and twenty words later the land of Torcia and Mivir had been born.
After writing ‘Defiance’ the first instalment of The Torcian Chronicles I was set to write the sequel, which everyone told me was the most logical thing to do. Unfortunately, logic and creativity are distant cousins at best. When Brian, a Gothic poet, told me of how he saw a black cockerel hung upside down from a village signpost swinging in the midnight breezes.
I knew immediately that was going to be my next story. It was going to be based in Witheridge, a village in the moors which I changed to Witherleigh so not to offend the villagers. The first thing I saw in my mind when entering Witherleigh was a young man from London making a new start in the countryside, driving down the twisting country lanes in his ancient car. I later found out he was a church youth leader who no one trusted because of his antisocial habit of witnessing ghosts and demons. Writing this book has been quite challenging because of the research into the Bible, church organisation and services and the voyage into Latin.
So far, the manuscript is at 31,000 words - complete with town map, a glossary of daemons, and a chronological list of missing curates.
All this arrived from one comment about a cockerel!
Therefore, when inspiration hits – grab that spark with both hands and prepare to entire a new, ultra-exciting universe.

Click here to enter the Kingdom of Torcia 

Go Back

Coffee Shops and Cornwall - An Evening with Jenny Kane

It is always a privilege to be invited to talk about the books I’ve written, to meet readers and to help spread the joy that comes from both reading and writing.

This week saw the first author talk by members of the Exeter Author’s Association at Bampton’s Learning and Resource Centre (LARCS ). I was delighted to kick off this series of six events with an evening discussing my love of writing about ‘Coffee Shops and Cornwall.’

Every seat in LARCS was taken, and the audience’s smiles were wide and welcoming as I launched, somewhat nervously, into my confession that I ought not to be a writer at all- but should be sitting in a library somewhere translating Medieval Latin.

Clearly surprised that writing hadn’t been my childhood dream- but that I’d desperately wanted to be an archaeologist and historian instead- I think, however, that it was my disclosure that Mars Bar scones were responsible for my diversion into writing fiction which surprised people the most. It seems I need to educate folk in the powers of the ‘super-scone’!

The evening was split into two parts; with forty-five minutes of talk about my writing, my inspiration, coffee shops and Cornwall and two very short reading, followed by a half hour break in which to indulge in some delicious coffee (how could I refuse?), tea and cake. After we were all fortified with welcome calories and beverages, and some books had been sold and signed, part two of the evenings' chatter began we with me explaining how life-writing works- and the reasons behind my Robin Hood obsession.

 

Half an hour of questions followed, and I suspect if it hadn’t been getting so late, the questions would have kept coming from the engaging and kind audience.

It was a truly lovely evening, and I’d like to thank Kelvin and the LARCS team for looking after me so well.

These bi-monthly evenings will continue to take place from 7-9pm on the second Wednesday of the month. After the success of the first event, I am very much looking forward to the subsequent talks in the village’s library/resource centre.

Jenny Kane

www.jennykane.co.uk

Go Back

The North Devon Author's Present 'Writers in a Cabin'

Our latest meeting at Latte and Lunch cafe on Bideford quay was spent in discussing our forthcoming ‘Writers in a Cabin’ residence. Nestled at the bottom of the hill in the little fishing hamlet of Bucks Mills, lies The Cabin. This two-roomed hut began life as a fisherman’s store before being acquired by Judith Ackland’s family. Together with her friend Mary Stella Edwards, Judith used the building as an artists’ retreat for half a century. The solitude and spectacular views across the rugged North Devon coastline make it ideal for those seeking inspiration. Now in the care of the National Trust, the Cabin is almost exactly as the artists left it in 1971.

From 29 April – 1 May, it will once again be a setting that encourages creative talents to flourish. Between 10.00 and 4.00, the seven members of the North Devon authors’ group will take it in turns to use the cabin and its wonderful surroundings as their muse. The work of all these writers is rooted the past, in the local landscape, or both. They look forward to discussing their work, both past and forthcoming and signing copies of their books. This will be a unique opportunity, not only to view inside The Cabin, which is rarely open to the public but also to talk to enthusiastic and friendly authors about their writing.

The Writers in the Cabin will be:

Ruth Downie writes crime novels set in Roman times. Ruth’s book Medicus has recently attracted a ‘Discovered Diamond’ award for historical fiction. https://ruthdownie.com/

Janet Few is an author of local, social and family history books, including a history of Bucks Mills Who Lived in Cottages like These?: the inhabitants of Bucks Mills. She is now working on an historical novel set in North Devon. https://thehistoryinterpreter.wordpress.com

Susan Hughes writes books set in the first half of the twentieth century. Her debut novel A Kiss from France was long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2017. She is now writing her second book. http://susanhughes.net/  

Wendy Percival is the author of mystery novels featuring genealogy sleuth Esme Quentin, which include The Indelible Stain, set on the North Devon coast, near Hartland. www.wendypercival.co.uk

P J Reed is a poet and author who writes of the beauty and ethereal nature of the changing countryside. Her latest anthology Flicker was published last month. http://pjreedwriting.jigsy.com  

Liz Shakespeare’s books are inspired by the people, history and landscapes of Devon. Her latest novel The Postman Poet, which was launched last month, is based on the true story of Edward Capern who composed poems and songs whilst delivering letters in Victorian North Devon. http://www.lizshakespeare.co.uk  

Pamela Vass writes North Devon based fiction and social history. Her novel Seeds of Doubt debates whether the Lynmouth floods of 1952 were an Act of God or the Act of Man. www.boundstonebooks.co.uk

 

by Janet Few

 

Go Back

The Twyford Writers - writing in styles

Twyford Writers braved the chilly autumn darkness this week to meet in The Royal British Legion Hall  and discuss writing they don't normally do.

It's always a challenge writing in a genre you don't like but it's always good to put a toe outside your comfort zone and test the waters of unexplored writing styles. The results were strange and wonderful. There was a highly entertaining soap parody complete with a heart attack, resuscitation, staff cuts, hospital romances, broken relationships, and embittered staff.

We had a food poetry extravaganza featuring chocolate in a variety of poetry styles including tanka, limerick, and senryu but requests for a quick sausage roll dinner were rebuffed.

There was also the strange experience of a horror writer writing a very creepy romance about the wrong type of love which brought a huge reaction from the group.

Finally, there was a descriptive narrative about Knightshayes in the form of a guidebook. 

The group then spent a very happy final  hour in the bar discussing future writing plans, stories and plotting future story twists. 

Go Back

4 blog posts