In The Plotting Shed

In The Plotting Shed
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Sunday, 21 April 2019

https://www.goodreads.com

I've just had my 2000th rating on #Goodreads - an enormous book club used all over the world.
My batting average is 4.09*stars out of a maximum 5*. This was achieved over six books - the same number as Jane Austen published in her short lifetime. Her average is 4.01* stars so I'm very happy with my score.
Goodreads is a website well worth getting to know if you are a bookworm. It covers all genres and tastes and has a reputation for harsh critiques, no holds barred.
At first, I found it hard to navigate but it's worth pursuing. You can connect with other avid readers and discover books through their recommendations that you might not find elsewhere and delve into genres that tempt you out of your comfort zone.
There are groups and friendships you can join and you can chat in forums to your heart's content.
Check it out if you haven't already found it!


Thursday, 11 April 2019

Peace Lily on #Kindle Daily Deal TODAY!

I'm beyond excited that Amazon chose the sequel to Daffodils, PEACE LILY, to be on the Kindle Daily Deal today.
At only 99p and with Daffodils #Free, you can get two novels for under a quid - but only for today.
And it's already reached No 3 in the Daily Deal charts this morning and placed Daffodils nicely within the top 100 #Free books!

Ending the day with a #bestseller flag! It's the achievement of a dream:

Friday, 5 April 2019

Audio book for Daffodils now published!

I'm genuinely excited to announce that the audiobook for Daffodils is now available on 

Audible, iTunes and Amazon 

via these links:





It is for you, dear reader, to judge whether I made the right decision to narrate Daffodils myself.
Listen to a free sample via these links and see what you think!
With my fear of public speaking, it was a real surprise to find I really enjoyed the experience. Bringing the characters from the Cheadle Manor villages to life was exhilarating. Speaking their words made them more real than ever to me as I lived through their emotional ups and downs all over again.
Editing was a steep learning curve and curiously addictive, but incredibly time-consuming.
It's amazing how you can actually read the morphology of certain sounds through the audio programme. Familiar words like 'the', 'and', etc can, with repetition, be recognised by their shape, almost like a musical score. As can certain consonants - the plosive 'p' and the sharp cutting sound of a 'k' or a 't', the sibilance of an 's' or 'sh'. Fascinating. I soon learned to recognise 'Katy'.
It took three months to complete the project and I can't wait to start another, so I'm hoping to narrate the sequels Peace Lily and Speedwell shortly.
All this audio work has distracted me from writing Woodbine and Ivy but I'm longing to return to it. The first draft of Book One (Woodbine) is now roughly complete and work has begun on Book Two (Ivy) where things are really hotting up, but I won't reveal any spoilers just yet.
My plan is to publish both books before the end of this year (2019) but progress is slow while I make some big changes to my life - all positive ones, I'm happy to say.

 Daffodils




Sunday, 10 March 2019

Audiobook on its way!

I'm excited (and very relieved - although those emotions may be premature) to announce that I have just submitted Daffodils as an audiobook to ACX, the Amazonian provider of Audible.
It's been a bit of a diversion from writing Woodbine and Ivy and has taken far more time than I ever imagined but I'm deeply indebted to Grant Eden of www.oystermouthradio.com for his encouragement to complete the project. Grant was unfailingly supportive during the narration process recorded on Mumbles Pier.
It remains to be seen whether the noises off by the odd dog barking or people passing by enjoying the salty air gets past the strict quality control of ACX. Apparently, I have to wait about two weeks to find out and I'll be on pins until then. It's taken me about 2 months of working 7 days a week to skill up with the audio production. Editing took the longest time and there was much to learn but it was oddly satisfying to pore over the minutia of tiny sounds that could distract the listener from the story. I learned how the smallest of dots on the audio-file could mean a very unattractive swallowing sound, how a long vertical line meant I'd done an unlovely plosive noise and to be able to see, at a glance, how different a 'cleaned' audio file would look to one littered with extraneous noise.
I hope to repeat the process if Daffodils sells well as an audiobook and I'm sure it will take me far less time to edit another, as I have learned so much.
In the meantime, it will be wonderful to return to the challenging first draft of Woodbine and Ivy and take up the story again with the children - now adults of course - of the characters I've been revisiting in Daffodils. It was a really interesting, if surreal, experience to actually inhabit the characters created in Daffodils and to voice the words I'd written. In speaking the dialogue, I forgot completely that I'd invented them. They became more real to me than ever and I found myself thinking in their heads and feeling the emotions underpinning the conversations as if I was living it in that time and place. I found myself disagreeing with opposing views, getting angry and upset and ultimately joyful as the story played out. I, too, was back in the 20th century, with the characters I have come to love (or hate) and the whole experience provided me with new insights and perspective on the fictional world of Cheadle Manor and the two villages who depend upon its patronage.



Thursday, 24 January 2019

Daffodils as an audiobook - coming soon!

I'm busy narrating Daffodils into an audio book at the moment. Hard work it is too! The worst of it being cringing to the sound of my own voice. As I wrote Daffodils so many years ago, it's also made me take the big bad red editing pen to it! But it's a wonderful opportunity and I'm really enjoying the experience. A mic and a very sympathetic sound engineer aren't nearly as intimidating as a live audience, I've discovered.
It's come about as a result of my interview with the delightful Leanna Broom on Oystermouth Radio. Grant Eden, the engineer at the radio station, is the most patient and generous person. He is helping me download the book on to an audio version and I'm indebted to him for his kind expertise.
It takes a surprisingly long time to dictate a whole book and the sound editing seems to need an equal amount of time.
Watch this space for Daffodils to be uploaded onto Amazon, Audible and iTunes. Meanwhile, Daffodils is still free as an ebook!


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Going live! And with replays until Christmas at www.oystermouthradio.com


Image result for pictures of music cds

Want a distraction from all the bru-ha-ha of Brexit?
Go to Oystermouth Radio in the beautiful seaside village of Mumbles where I'm chatting with Leanna Broom at 7.00 pm every Tuesday evening at 7pm and every Friday afternoon at 2pm until Christmas. I hope to post it here as a podcast soon too.

http://www.oystermouthradio.com/


Saturday, 8 December 2018

Long dark evenings of winter

Christmas is nearly upon us and the days are ever shorter giving us long dark evenings to fill. Next Tuesday evening my interview with the very lovely Leanna Broom is broadcast at 7pm. Tune in at http://www.oystermouthradio.com/ where I'll be chatting about books and life and would love you to join us. It's in the format of Desert Island Books so it won't just be me rabbiting on but music too!

http://www.oystermouthradio.com/

Listen in next Tuesday 11th December 7pm!

Oystermouth Radio