Tag Archives: jacey bedford

A book to beguile the tedious hours

If you follow my blog you might recall I extolled the virtues of Captain Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811) which has a glorious rundown of Georgian/Regency slang which is invaluable for those of us writing in that period. … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I did on my (not quite) holiday

In May I took a week off from real life and went to the Milford Writing Retreat in North Wales. It’s held at Trigonos, a centre for conferences, courses and retreats on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. We … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Behind the scenes – or – Why I did not write two new books during lockdown.

During lockdown I had the time/opportunity to write two novels. Did I do it? Of course not. Why not? I guess the reason is multi-layered and complex culminating in writerly inactivity. I didn’t exactly stop writing, but I ceased to … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Endings or Not?

Do stories really have happy endings? They do if we choose to stop the tale at the point where the prince slips a golden ring on Cinderella’s finger, or where Beauty kisses the beast, or the princess kisses the frog … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What I’m reading (March 2022)

You absolutely can’t write science fiction and fantasy without knowing what’s being published. It’s always better not to reinvent the wheel unless you can make your wheel very different. Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education begins a new trilogy about the … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Viewpoint

I’m in a Facebook writers’ group for writers of all levels. Someone asked what the POV (point of view) limit was on a traditionally published debut novel. The answer, of course is: there isn’t one. Sometimes you find prescriptive pieces … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Need an Editor?

Yes, you absolutely do need an editor, but when? There’s a thread on one of the writers’ groups on Facebook as to whether you need to pay for a professional editor before you start punting your book to agents and … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories

My favourite short SF story ever is ‘They’re Made out of Meat’ by Terry Bisson. It was published way back in 1991, but it hasn’t aged. It’s short, less than 800 words, but it perfectly encapsulates what a short story … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, science fiction, writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Giving it a Shove.

Word of mouth and the need for reviews. I was commiserating with an author published by a small press who said, “Small press books without a lot of push behind them don’t get noticed.” I replied: “If it’s any consolation, … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does it Need a Map?

I should have asked this question earlier in the process of publishing, but I left it until the last minute. The answer from the office was, ‘No. If Sheila had thought it needed a map she would have said so.’ … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Amber Crown is published today – 11th January 2022

After what seems like an age, the Amber Crown is out today. I’d already written a first draft before I sold my first book to DAW in 2013. That sale led to six books (two trilogies), so I didn’t have … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Countdown to The Amber Crown – One Week to Go

Only one week to go to publication of The Amber Crown, and there’s still so much to do. I’ve been writing blog posts for John Scalzi’s Big Idea, and Chuck Wendig’s blog, plus a piece for Jean Book Nerd, Paul … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Countdown to The Amber Crown – (less than) 2 Weeks to Go

Happy New Year to all. This is my last post for 2021 and the penultimate post leading up to The Amber Crown. If you already have it on pre-order, thank you very much. If not, you can pre-order it now … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Countdown to The Amber Crown – Three Weeks to Go!

The Amber Crown is out on 11th January and TODAY my author copies arrived. Whoo-hoo. I have so many people to thank for this book. I only wrote it. Luckily I get the opportunity to name names in the book’s … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Countdown to The Amber Crown

It’s here is just four weeks! Published by DAW on 11th January 2022 my seventh book is already getting some good reviews/previews, and I’m revving up to do a blog tour. It’s available in Trade Paperback or e-edition, with the … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Amber Crown’s First Review

Though it’s not due out until 11th January 2022, ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) are going out now, and the first review of The Amber Crown is here on Nimue Brown’s blog. It’s a very considered and thoughtful review without giving … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Person Narrative – a guest post by Juliet E McKenna

Thoughts on writing a first person narrative when that person isn’t you. Early reviews for The Green Man’s Challenge are coming in, and readers are commenting favourably on the way Dan Mackmain’s character comes vividly off the page. This isn’t … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Random Pics from Milford 2021 to Give You a Flavour of the Week

Can’t wait to go back there. We still have places for the writing retreat in May 2022. All places for the Milford critique week in September 2022 are booked up but we operate a waiting list system. We are now … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

At Milford 2021

It finally happened. After last year’s Covid cancellation, Milford 2021 is finally happening. I drove across to North Wales on Saturday morning with Georgina Kamsika. We picked up Terry Jackman on the way (at Lymm Services) and had an uneventful … Continue reading

Posted in writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Subtle (and Unsubtle) Art of Critiquing

At the end of August I did a post about the run up to Milford. It starts next Saturday so I’m deep into reading and critiquing the 23 pieces submitted by the fifteen attendees. I’m obviously not going to comment … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Write a Speculative Fiction Book

I’m not going to be able to teach you how to write a book in the twelve hundred or so words in this blog post – even presuming I have the skills. Yes I’ve written books, seven published so far … Continue reading

Posted in writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Space Opera

I write science fiction. I’m pretty sure my sub-genre is (so far) space opera. I’m happy with that definition. I grew up reading my dad’s Lensman books and the distinctive Gollancz yellow jacketed SF which (sadly) I only have a … Continue reading

Posted in reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Am I Working On?

C-19 Lockdown hasn’t been a very productive time for me, writing wise. When self-isolating should have given me loads more time to write, for some reason I simply couldn’t get started on anything. I’m not alone in this. Talking to … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry I missed…

I missed last week’s blog post – mainly because I was engrossed in editing, so engrossed that Tuesday came and went without me really noticing what day it was. I’ve worked from home since 1980, so you’d think I’d have … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, music, reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back, Just, and Other Superfluous Words

I’ve recently finished a structural edit on a YA manuscript, involving swapping some scenes around, making changes that needed to be worked through from beginning to end. In other words a proper structural edit, not a copy edit (which will … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Cover Reveal: The Amber Crown

At last I’m allowed to show you the cover of my upcoming book, The Amber Crown. It’s not out until 11th January 2022, but that will be here before you know it. It’s available to pre-order from Amazon and other … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Flashing Back

It’s generally easier to start writing a book at the beginning, keep on going until you reach the end, and then stop. A story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Sequential storytelling mirrors the world we experience on … Continue reading

Posted in writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Researching Historical Fantasy

The first scene of Winterwood came to me almost fully formed. I knew there was a young woman paying a deathbed visit to her estranged mother and finding that there was still no forgiveness between them. I knew the young … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What have I learned about writing?

Writing is a funny old business. Writers probably learn most by reading. You are what you read. Reading develops your ear for tight prose and snappy dialogue. Without even thinking about it, you learn about character and plot. The difficulty … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Building a Universe – Law and Order in The Psi-Tech Novels

More about the universe in which the Psi-Tech books are set. The Monitors – Galactic PolicingFormed in 2391, the Monitors are an interstellar policing force largely concerned with providing law in the space-lanes and for those newly established colonies that … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Building a Universe – Power Structures and Personal Stories.

When I started to write Empire of Dust I didn’t really know much about my setting. I didn’t build my universe first and then people is and dream up stories. The people came first, and along with them a predicament. … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Both Ways – 2020 and 2021

As a year, 2020 sucked bigtime. It was not fit for purpose. If I’d paid good money for it I’d want a refund. Sure, it wasn’t too bad in January and February. The weather was miserable so I mostly stayed … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Scene 1 of Winterwood – author analysis

This was first written for Tiffani Angus’ blog. Tiff teaches creative writing and publishing. Story interspersed with my comments in bold italic. This first scene pretty much sprang into my mind fully formed. When I started to write I didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, reading, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Books etc. for Christmas

2020 has not been the year it was supposed to be. (Not fit for purpose. Can I get a refund?) I didn’t get anywhere as much writing done as I could have, but I read, and re-read an awful lot. … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Space Opera

I write science fiction. I’m pretty sure my sub-genre is space opera. I’m happy with that definition. I grew up reading my dad’s Lensman books and the distinctive Gollancz yellow jacketed SF, however I wasn’t aware of any distinction between … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Blogs

I’ve been posting writing-related blogs every other Tuesday, and I’ll continue to do that, but from now on I’m also going to do reading-related blogs on the intermediate Tuesdays. Yes, that’s right, this blog is going weekly. I blog everything … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Belgian Refugees of World War One

In 2017, when Alma Alexander asked if I’d be interested in writing a story for her refugees anthology, Children of A Different Sky, I jumped at the chance. There are so many refugee crises in the world that a writer … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Geography of Words

Writing science fiction and fantasy involves worldbuilding. Sometimes we take a concept, strip it right down to basics and invent a planet where the sea is pink, the sky is upside down and the dominant life form has seven tentacles … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rejectomancy

I don’t write much short fiction these days unless I get an invitation to contribute to an anthology. Mostly it’s because I’m too busy writing long fiction. My novels are published by DAW in the USA. I’ve just signed a … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Long is a Piece of String?

Chopping and Changing – Revisions, Cuts and Additions. How long should your story or novel be? A piece (story, novel or poem) should be as long as it needs to be – but that’s not always as long as you, … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Moment of Stuckness

Anyone who knows me will testify that I’m not usually stuck for words. It’s not that I don’t believe in writer’s block (obviously it is a thing) it’s that I’ve rarely experienced it. However, recently I had a period where … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How I Got Here From There

First published on Gillian Polack’s blog in March 2020 for Women’s History Month It took me a long time to get here, possibly too long. If I’d known then, what I know now, it might not have taken so long… … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Writing and Rewriting

I was a voracious reader as a child, working my way steadily through the stock of my local public library children’s department. My literature of choice was anything with horses or ponies in it. Some of the books in my … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quantifying Success

A few years ago, Chuck Wendig posted to his Terrible Minds blog saying: ‘It Only Gets Harder Once You’re Published’. (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/08/19/it-only-gets-harder-once-youre-published/) How true. That article really resonated with me. I wonder if authors ever get over the self-doubt thing. When … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated Blog Archive: 2013 to 2019

  2013 Bated Breath Seven Short Men and a Waif Preparing for Milford Jumping in at the Shallow End Serendipitous Book Browsing Four days to go Three Book Deal Milford Writers Publishers Marketplace Announcement Editor Talk New Book Log on LJ: Karen Traviss: … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Creativity and the laugh-track of my life

I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) at the beginning of November, a commitment to write 50,000 words in a month. It’s fewer than 2000 words a day, so it should be—if not easy—not all that difficult. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, reading, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Retro-Blog of a Pre-published Writer from Autumn 2008

With hindsight this is really interesting. This (edited) collection of blog posts is from the early days of writing The Amber Crown, which then had the working title of Spider on the Web. (Sometimes the working title became That Bloody … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Writers Injuring Characters

I went to visit my dentist for a particularly difficult tooth extraction today, so as I write this I’m sitting nursing a sore jaw as the anaesthetic is wearing off. I can’t deny that I felt a bit wobbly after … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Home from Milford – Tired but Happy

I’ve just arrived home from Milford SF Writers’ Conference in North Wales, and I could sleep for a week. I’m not ready for the real world yet. After a week of intense writing critique punctuated by meals taken with fourteen … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Science for Fiction 2019

Science For Fiction is an annual event organised by Dr. David Clements at Imperial College, London. It’s a series of lectures by scientists at the cutting edge of their field, specifically aimed at writers. (Unsurprisingly a load of Science Fiction … Continue reading

Posted in fantasy, science fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment