Monday, December 27, 2010

Writing Blog - WritingSpirit

Writing Spirit is written by Julie Isaac, who is a creativity coach as well as author. If you're the sort of person who likes to think about goal setting and creativity, then this is a good blog for you. It's packed with interesting little snippets, but very down to earth advice. She also hosts a live twitter chat every Sunday to discuss writing and creativity. Imagine hanging out with 2 - 300 writers! That would be a very busy chat indeed.

For more information on ways to use Twitter to leverage yourself and your sales, check out her category "Twitter". I've read a few blogs that talk about publicizing, but this article is very focused on how to use Twitter to be seen as an expert. She also talks about book promotions, and is the founder of WritingSpirit Community.

I don't think this is stuff is complex, but it is interesting, and may be useful.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hard Heroes on Voyager

I've just had the pleasure of contributing to a useful blog post, the brainchild of Kim Falconer, author and astrologer extraordinaire, on factors essential to the creation of strong, kick-arse type characters, .

Kim has written a few of these characters herself, as have most of the other contributors, who include K J Taylor, Tracey O’Hara, Stacia Kane, Jennifer Fallon, Mary Victoria, Duncan Lay and Nicole Murphy. I'm not sure what I'm doing in such august company, but I'm pleased to have contributed to such a well-thought-out and helpful article.

Being the Voyager blog, these are, of course, all Harper Collins authors, but if we cast the net wider you'll soon think of more. Marianne de Pierres's Parrish Plessis springs to mind, as do several characters from the pens of Joe Abercrombie and George R. R. Martin, another - and perhaps the most famous - of Voyager's authors.

The post has two parts. Part one, which went up on 20 December, is here and part two is here. In the intervening posts, you can check out Kim's delightful horoscopes and the trailer for the film of GRRM's marvellous A Game of Thrones.

Who is your favourite kick-arse character? Leave a comment and let us know.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tools In The Toolbox

Here's some very useful links for any one working on learning how to write:

Favourite parts: Synonym and antonyms! Related searches! Visual thesaurus! Lots of useful information all in one place.

Sister site to, the Dictionary has heaps of information and a similar format.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Superstars of Writing Seminar

Kevin J Anderson is arranging another Superstars of Writing Seminar in Utah early next year. In support of this, he is publishing a series of posts of tips for writers.

I was a bit hesitant of anything that's a seminar for Superstars, but then I actually read the pedigree of the instructors, I was a lot more impressed, and a lot more interested in going!

Brandon Sanderson, Dave Wolverton, Rebecca Moesta, Eric Flint, and special guest instructor Sherrilyn Kenyon as well as Kevin J Anderson too. That's an awful lot of talent to listen to for three days!

So if any one happens to be in Utah at the right time and right place, send us a report please? Please please please with a pretty on top? 


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

News from The Specusphere

A new issue of The Specusphere is now available:

This issue is something of a special one for The Specusphere. The editorial briefly outlines plans for a publishing enterprise and the team announces the opening of submissions for The Specusphere's first ever fiction anthology! You'll find some guidelines in the Publishing section, and more information on the theme can be found in the article "Myths and Legends".

The anthology will showcase stories that encapsulate the idea of the myth or the legend, or something that plays creatively with the form. It may be the re-telling of an existing myth, or it may be a new slant on an old myth — Jason commanding the Starship Argo, for instance.

The editorial team - Stephen Thompson, Amanda Greenslade, Satima Flavell and Astrid Cooper - will be looking for stories that entertain, are layered with meaning and which bring a new and speculative insight to the theme - stories that can replace current myths and legends, or can be passed off as one of them. Original stories, strong characters, speculative plots.

Elsewhere in the issue, Benjamin Solah investigates torture porn and AA Bell (whose most recent book, Diamond Eyes, is fresh out from Harper Collins) gives us some good advice about formatting manuscripts. Stephen Turner continues his hero's journey and Brian Armour wonders about art and science.

As usual there are plenty of book reviews, and there is a comic review by John Fitch. The fiction section continues the Bomoh series and Bill Pine regales us with a teasing atmospheric piece.

Go check it out at - and sharpen those keyboards for your anthology submission!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Joanna Fay wins KSP Poetry Award

Congratulations to Joanna Fay whose poem, 'Persephone', has won first prize in the Katharine Susannah Prichard Karen W Treanor Poetry Award, judged by Kevin Gillam.