Candice: Phil and I went to another Lit Festival event this weekend, over in Worcester. I must add I do like Worcester as a town, though the M5 is a swine for roadworks. Going there always takes me back to my big birthday a few years ago where I did a river cruise as my party and had a great night.
Anyway, the event was billed as ‘Authors of a Certain Era’ with four retired ladies who had come late to writing. Each lady proudly brandished her book, written at a time in her life when she thought it was about time to get on with it.
Each book was different, though with the title of the event and the ages of the ladies you would have thought they would have all been writing historical drama. There was a real mixture from First World War romance to present day romance, via on line dating, plus boarding school stories and a murder mystery. Each admitted that they were inspired by their own experience but some more than others. The First World War piece was based around a family secret where as the murder mystery more on plot and liking a certain area of Paris.
They all talked about writing what you know, so don’t write something aimed a women’s magazine readers if you don’t read women’s magazines.
I think the most interesting quote was from Pam who said she didn’t think she had an interesting life but the more she thought about her time at boarding school the more unusual she realized it was, and how it would make a good story.
Each had their own thoughts on how to move into writing and how to eventually get published. They had all done courses, ARVON being the one most mentioned which I have heard people talk about before. They also were members of writing groups and they waxed lyrical about having other people to criticize their books helping to make them better writers. They also said it gave them confidence – either the feedback from friends, family or writing group or entering competitions, which winning gave some a real boost.
They are all ‘co-published’ which means not self published in the sense of creating your own book format and publishing it on Amazon, but published through a company who vet and only pick books they want to published, but you pay for some of the costs and do your own publicity. They mentioned Silverwood and Claret press.
All in all the event was worth going to because this were four interesting ladies. One thing it pointed out is that they didn’t just lead normal lives and then decide to write on retirement, they’d done a lot before they got there. I suppose it just supports the quote, ‘if you want something done give it to a busy person’. I not sure if their books were my cup of tea, but then I am not sure if I am their audience, but good on them to keep going, even in to their 80th year in one case, I hope to still be in the same boat when I get to retirement.
For more information on the authors and their books:
Barbara Lorna Hudson Timed Out
Elizabeth Mapstone The Amazon’s Girdle
Pam Nixon But I’ll Remember This
Heather Rosser In the Line of Duty