I know, I know, I’m not keeping this blog as up to date as I should. I was distracted by university and reading, lots of reading.
In week two we discussed biography and the first assignment for the module. Some of us read out extracts from biographies and autobiographies. It was interesting.
This Wednesday we had a visitor in, Quentin Bates, journalist – marine stuff, translator of Icelandic crime thrillers and write of Icelandic crime thrillers. He was really interesting, funny, and gave a way books. I came home with his most recent book and three he had translated, by Ragnar Jonasson. I will be reviewing the most recent books as soon as possible.
We talked about the business of getting published, advice he had for us about how to go about it and the trials and tribulations of dealing with agents and publishers. He also talked about writing crime fiction – getting the balance between realism and credibility – , as well as making contacts and getting the minor details that make the story. He also recommended going to writing festivals to make contact with people and illustrated how not to do things with a story about his translation publisher. Don’t put unsolicited manuscripts in people’s bags, or importune them on the way to the loo, it’s bad manners.
I have almost finished my life-writing assignment, I’ve just got the essay writing to go. I’m reading books about life-writing to help me with that. It’s taking time. After I finish this assignment I have the second one to write, a ghost story. I’m not sure how I’ll tackle that. I’ve had an idea, but I think I might struggle with the word limit.
After we finished on Wednesday ten of us went out for tea before getting the train home. It was fun; I really enjoy socialising with people sometimes, and the food was quite good, especially the pud.
I did have a book review for you, but then I realised it isn’t published until 23rd March and the publisher has asked that reviews not be published more than a week before publication date. So you’ll just have to wait until 16th March for my review of Arrowood by Mick Finlay.