Tag Archives: Candice

Holidays, Holidays, Holidays…

 Candice:  As I mentioned in my last blog I been doing my favourite thing, swanning off on holiday.   I LOVE going away, partly because the weather in the UK is crap, but mainly because it’s a break from life/work and the general treadmill of life.  For 1 or 2 weeks, I don’t have to work out where the cash is coming from, check my bank balance, pay any bills, feed the cat, deal with emails or phone calls or even look at the web, if I don’t choose to.

I am amazed at some of our friends who don’t go on holiday, or holiday at home.  I can’t understand how they can’t survive with out a switch off.  I suppose it is because I run at 100 miles an hour when I am at home so I need the total escape from everything.

One of the books I read when I was away was Kiss Heaven Goodbye by Tasmina Perry.  I’ve read another book by her recently, which I enjoyed, so I thought this would make a good holiday read.

The premise is a group of friends who do something stupid at the age of 21 which then follows them through their lives and impacts on their life choices.  Two come from a rich family and the others from middle class or work class lifestyles. They all go off to have successful careers in business, fashion and music but have major flaws and can’t forget this incident. It reminds me of a Jackie Collins in some ways as its a bit of a ‘bonk buster’ too.

I have to say I didn’t really sympathise too much with any of the characters because they were all nasty pieces of work.  I suppose the one I liked at all was Alex, the boy from the North who became a successful musician but then drank himself out of a job.

I always struggle a bit with books written about people with amazing lifestyles as I can’t relate to what they are doing, though I suppose this is meant to be escapism, not making me jealous!

However, it does romp along at a good pace and jumps from year to year in such a way that you are dropped into the person’s life at salient points, but effectively covers 20 years.  And there is a good twist at the end, which I did work out but only just before it is explained to the characters. Actually, it’s probably very close to the kind of thing I’d be writing if I had publishing contract!

Out of curiosity, I had a look at Tasmina’s website  before writing this article, and I have decided, sod escapism, I want her life!  She is an ex-journalist who now writes books and then travels the world writing travel articles.  Can you see the resemblance?  I’m going to contact her and see if she wants an assistant….

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Stratford Literary Festival Part 2

Candice: Phil has given his thoughts on the Stratford Literary Festival so I though I’d give mine.  As always, I am as much interested in what people are saying as what they are wearing.

As we sat down, my first thought was “someone’s got my coat on”.  Sat in the next row was a lady in a cobalt blue coat not my exact coat but a similar colour – so I took mine off rapide, as we can’t have that.

I sometimes judge a book by its cover, this is one of the reasons clothes are important to me.  As our three authors lined up, plus chair, my first thoughts were.   Author one was channelling the cool university professor vibe, with turned up jeans, funky specs and jacket, our second was more of a mystery as she was clad in all black with her hair up (but in a slightly messy cool way), and our third was more wafty hippy, with maroon tights and boots.  Well in two cases the book matched its cover, with author one (SJ Watson) being a NHS boss gone author and exclaiming he’d had a mid life crisis to get there, Rachel Joyce being the more intellectual writer type (having already written Radio 4 plays) and very slow and deliberate (but posh) in her delivery.  And then there was Julia – who would be more suited to bright colours than black as she was sweet, depreciating and fun, and very much in awe of the fact she was on to her second published book.

And the Chair – well he had the funkiest snake print shoes on with a more sensible outfit, but I think it went well with his PR head but also intellectual book knowledge.

However, there were no good Mulberry handbags to be seen (other than my own).

The experience was interesting and informative, as Phil has said, backing up some of the things that we already know and adding some other juicy insights that might help.  Though Gareth, the chair, pointed out afterwards that the three authors seemed to have had a charmed life compared to other authors he dealt with as far as being picked up and their deals with agents and publishers.  Oh, to have that experience.

I think the biggest shame of the evening was that they didn’t not tell you anywhere how long the event would be, so we didn’t know we could have gone to the Sue Townsend event afterwards.  Though it did give Phil and I time to cogitate in the very nice One Elm Pub over the way, and for him to down enough strong local brew to have a sore head the next day (I stayed on the water!).

Hum, where to now?

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How to get published…again

Candice:Last year, Phil and I went to an event called “How to get published.”  Organised by the esteemed publication, the writers and artist yearbook. We came away with lots of ideas about our writing style, what might work when writing to an agent, and how it’s all really a game as there are no right or wrong answers.  We also learned alot about our fellow writers, their thoughts, approaches and dress sense. (Nice Mulberry bag not essential but  a bonus).

Nearly one year on and we have a few more rejection letters under our belt, some more feedback from our readers and some suggestions for a rewrite.  In fact, I had another idea about an approach when I was out running the other day, but I am going to keep that between me and Phil for our next catch up.  So, we thought we have a dip into this how to get published malarky again, just to keep us fresh.

Tonight we are off to an event that is part of Stratford Literary Festival so see if some of the Bard’s success will rub off on us. We’ll let you know how we get on.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends….

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