Monday, January 28, 2013

Daphne du Maurier

by Beverly Townsend

If you’re looking for a good read with intrigue, suspense and drama then look no further than Daphne du Maurier. She’s one of those authors that you can read time and time again at different times of your life.  Her page turning novels of history and wars with sinister overtones and shadows of the paranormal tell tales with a twist at the end of every chapter. Her writing captures the harrowing and terrifying side of her imagination. Her style is a little old fashioned now but I happen to like old fashioned!
She was born in London in 1907 and came from a literary family, her father was the actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and her grandfather was an author and Punch cartoonist, her ancestors were all well connected to the arts and theatre. She moved from London to Fowey in Cornwall with her family when she was young and loved the area so much she remained there for the rest of her life. The rugged coastline of Cornwall fired her imagination to write her tales of shipwrecks, evil characters and smugglers tales. She married professional soldier Frederick “Boy” Browning in 1932 with whom she had three children.
Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931. Although she wrote eighteen novels, three plays, seven short story collections and nine non-fiction books, her most famous work was the novel Rebecca which was adapted for stage and screen several times and is generally regarded as her masterpiece. Alfred Hitchcock directed three of her works for the screen including Jamaica Inn, The Birds and Rebecca which won Best Picture Oscar of 1941. Frenchman’s Creek, Hungry Hill, My Cousin Rachel and Don’t Look Now were also made into films. Daphne had a fascination with the Brontë family and wrote The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë in 1960. Her last novel Rule Britannia was published in 1972. In 1969 she was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire but refused to use the title of Dame. Daphne died in 1989 at the age of 81.

Every year in Daphne’s honour there’s a literary festival held in Fowey, Cornwall. It’s called the du Maurier Festival and it’s held every May and includes a short story prize, talks, jazz sessions and comedy evenings all in the beautiful surroundings of the Fowey Estuary. Information:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Time Turner

by Maria Johnson

New Year, New Resolutions.

I have never managed to stick to my resolutions for more than a couple of weeks. So I kept it simple this year. I resolved to edit a minimum of one paragraph a day, so I could keep it even on such boozy days as New Year, Christmas and my birthday. So far I haven’t failed, but I have struggled.

I have been unemployed for a long time, and therefore have had plenty of time to work on editing etc. I have recently got a new job, and have found it extremely tiring. I get home, eat dinner, and all I want to do is watch a little TV before collapsing in bed ready for another early morning.

Under such conditions, trying to keep to my resolutions is difficult. Before bed, you are supposed to calm your mind, and editing is the exact opposite. But I tend to find myself trying to edit while watching TV in the evenings. At times, I found myself wishing I was in a novel – Harry Potter. I wish I was Hermione Granger, with access to a Time Turner so I could relive my days and be able to accord due time to editing.

How do you balance work, a second job (editing), and still have time to relax?

If any of you know how to do this, without missing any sleep, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Making a plan, and sticking to it.

by Carol Thomas

January is the month when everyone makes plans and goals for the coming year. A lot of people don`t manage to stick to them for longer than a few weeks. Most of my resolutions in the past have barely made it to the end of the first week.

I always made the same resolutions that everyone else made about losing weight and exercising. If you are not in the right frame of mind it is a tough battle to stay motivated.

In January 2011 I resolved to start a blog. I had read about them in the writing magazines but thought they would be really hard to understand. I decided to try Blogger as it was supposed to be the easiest. It was! I had my blog up and running in minutes. I became hooked and posted twice a week. I shared it to Facebook, and inspired by my posts several of my family started their own. The early blog was my life story, it needs some serious editing now but I plan to work on it, and have it printed to show my daughter when she is older.

In the same year I started using Twitter and met other writers who I followed on the site as well as on Facebook.

In November 2011 I took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time. I didn`t manage the 50,000 words but I met other writers in Essex, and joined the Facebook page for the writing group Writebulb.

In January 2012 I resolved to attend a meeting for Writebulb. I was really nervous. My daughter didn`t want me to go and said to me, “Mum, you don`t know these people, they might be horrible. Why take the risk?” This made me really laugh, and convinced me to go. I am really glad I pushed myself to go. In the past I know I would have just come up with excuses. The group has helped me a lot and publishing the anthology and seeing my work in print has pushed me to push myself harder.
My plans this year are all writing related. I want to finish the re-write of my novel and look into publishing. I also want to finish my NaNoWriMo story from 2012 and look into publishing.

It will be a lot of work but it is doable.

Monday, January 7, 2013


by Aileen Kennedy

With the start of 2013 fast approaching, or already here. Depending on when you are actually reading this.
Every year around this time. I make a promise to myself that I would actually carry through with the resolutions that I make, and every year without fail they fall to the wayside.
Well it’s all well and good saying that you’ll sign up to a gym, but then realised that 1) it’s damn expensive, 2) your schedule is hectic at the best of times, so there is absolutely no way you could fit in an hour at the gym. 3) those chocolates and cream cakes are just way too tempting when you are on a diet. Ring a bell with anyone?
So this year I’ve decided to come up with resolutions that I can keep. They will all involve writing, that is the one thing I will keep too. Though that in itself is debatable.
So here for everyone to see, and so that some may kick me to keep at them, though I think these will be easily kept.

1)      Write min 1000 words per day. (I’ve done NaNoWriMo)

2)      Write letters to serving soldiers.

3)      Finish my NaNoWriMo story – (this was one last year, but sadly I failed it, so Writebulb gang, please keep me on track with this)

4)      Read daily, this is something that I can overlook at times.

5)      Come up with some sort of organisation, to keep track of submissions, refusals, story ideas, etc.

I think the point of keeping resolutions, is only make those that you know faithfully you can keep to, or that scheduling allows. They don’t have to be big or expensive, resolutions are something that you should feel proud off, if you are able to achieve what you want to in the New Year.

So... what are your New Year's Resolutions?