People’s Book Prize

Last but one day of voting in http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=927 I should know by Monday (I hope) whether or not I’ve made the finals – please do check it out and (only if you enjoy the excerpt) vote for me.

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Here be dragons…

I have always been attracted to dragons – even scary, fire-breathing, nasty / huge ones like the dragon guarding the gold in The Hobbit. And although I am definitely not an ‘ornament person’ I find it hard not to buy china or pottery ones when I see them, so how could I resist this article about an engraved ostrich egg which mentions dragons…

Fascinating and rather lovely.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2013/08/19/engraved-ostrich-egg-globe-is-oldest-to-depict-the-new-world/#.UhMG25X3CWf

A historical writer’s mindset.

To complement the last post, a short article by Julian Stockwin on forming an historic mindset and a pitfall to avoid.

http://writinghistoricalnovels.com/2013/08/16/forming-a-historical-mind-set-for-writing-a-historical-novel-by-julian-stockwin/

This is of course harder the farther back in history you go, but the principle remains valid. Trying to immerse yourself in a different time and place can be fun…and cold…and unpleasant…and smelly…and dangerous…and exciting…and, and, and… The list is endless, but the more you can try to experience what a person would have seen, heard, felt, thought, done in, for example, 16th century Scotland in my case, the more authentic the writing will be.

And a final comment on research, implied by both Reynolds and Stockwin, but not explicitly stated, a writer should know much, much more about their period than ever goes into their books.

When history gets in the way if a good story…

Helpful summing up from Michael Reynolds of an issue that historical fiction writers face all the time – how to balance historical accuracy against the needs of a story. I totally endorse his suggestions for ways of overcoming problems.

http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/when-history-gets-in-way-of-good-story.html?showComment=1376718956087

Some wonderful comments…

I continue to be moved by the comments that folk are leaving on my book page in http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=927 It makes the nomination for the competition worthwhile, whatever the outcome, to see that folk are enjoying my writing. And an added impetus to get on with the sequel!

Follow the link or check out the reviews page here under Turn of the Tide for some examples.

I’ve read so many times and in so many places that good reviews are important so a heartfelt plea to the writers who have commented there having read the whole book, please, please add your comments on Amazon (and Goodreads if you are involved there.)

I would really appreciate it.