To a point of creation

To a point of creation

Spring Equinox 2017 has brought for me the end of a nine year journey. March 21st 2008 I was invited on an astrology course which inspired a project which began as a performance with song called Keys to the Golden City. Following a conversation with a friend about one of my weird stories of synchronicity it was suggested that I wrote them down, ‘people like to hear these stories’ she said. Thinking I’d give it a go I started to write and 80,000 words and three months later I produced the first draft of my book Journey to the Golden City.

The following year, purely through an interesting set of circumstances and what I would put down to as synchronicity I found myself being taken on by an agent who spent the next four years knocking on the doors of all the Mind, Body, Spirit publishing houses. It created a lot of interest but no more than that. Such is the way if you are not already published or famous.

Meanwhile I began recording the performance into a CD. This became rather more of a beast than I had bargained for. Recording a solo album that I could be happy with was rather like staring at myself in a mirror and working tirelessly till I was happy with what I saw. It took five years and many re-recordings of my vocals but finally, last year it was completed and I was happy.

Three years before I had moved to Frome and became aware of the Frome Writers Collective and joined the group. I was very excited by what was going on as it seemed the collective was developing into exactly what I was looking for, a body of people coming together with a huge amount of experience and expertise, willing to offer their services.

Meanwhile I began looking for a publishing company who could help me self-publish my book. One of the companies that affiliated itself with FWC was Troubador Publishing and after examining all the different services it offered I decided to go with them. It took six months to go from acceptance to having the books delivered to my door and I am not going to say it was an easy ride but it was certainly a steep learning curve. Whenever I struggled with things my new Frome friends and the FWC always came to my rescue.

I am so happy having it completed but although one journey has ended it has actually just changed gear. Having brought the book to a point of creation it now requires nurturing and putting out into the big wide world. Marketing has never been a passion of mine and frankly I can’t wait to get back to the creative aspect of my work as this book and CD are actually part of a trilogy and book two awaits.

Next time with so much hindsight I will venture forth knowing that the FWC has so much to offer that I will certainly dip into its wealth of skills and use them alongside Troubador’s services. I sense it will be a much easier ride next time, but isn’t that always the case. I can only offer a huge thank you to the FWC knowing that everything came together for me in a beautifully synchronistic turn of events.

Vicki Burke

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In Praise of Bad Housekeeping

In Praise of Bad Housekeeping

A local radio interviewer asked me what research I’d done for the Edwardian time frame of my novel, ‘The Tissue Veil‘; someone at my book launch had done the same. Admitting that the internet had been invaluable, I cast around for examples, managing to drag up a London Underground map from 1902 and to acknowledge the usefulness of the library’s subscription to the Times Online. I knew there had been much more and, suddenly, the other day I realised it was all still there.

My virtual housekeeping is pretty much the same as the actual variety when it comes to filing documents or deciding what to chuck or keep. I went to my internet ‘favourites’ to click on the local health centre website and there was the story of much of my research, interspersed with recipes, local bus timetables and a template for an elephant head mask –…

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Stage writing for beginners – knowing your characters inside out

Stage writing for beginners – knowing your characters inside out

Check out Nikki’s fantastic article on stage writing and the hidden stories behind your characters.

Nikki Copleston

I wrote my first play when I was 8. It was called ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’. I’d heard the title and thought it sounded good, so I wrote my own little drama about a cat that climbs up onto a shed roof on a summer’s day and can’t get down. It owes little to Tennessee Williams.

I haven’t written any plays since but I was drawn, a few weeks ago, to a workshop on stage writing, run by Sian Williams and Anne Pearson of the Boiling Kettle Theatre Company.  And what fun it was! Five would-be dramatists chucking ideas around on a Sunday afternoon at the Merlin Theatre in Frome – and emerging with the bare bones of five plays.

Now we’ve met again and spent another busy Sunday afternoon putting flesh on those bones. How? By getting to know our characters inside out.

If you’re going to create…

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Help, I’m a Published Writer!

Help, I’m a Published Writer!

And you thought writing a novel was the hard bit….

Help! An inner voice says as you stand on the edge, toes inching forward, peering down into a particularly black abyss – the realisation has hit, your book needs publicity. You are a writer now – yes, a published writer – and these words do have a certain quality when rolled round the tongue. You’re probably not quite an author though, that’s after the third book; the first is just serendipity, the second a lucky strike, but the third will show consistency. Having braved the radio station’s receptionist and landed your first radio interview an unsuspecting public awaits.

But, there are pitfalls. An interview is not an unhindered opportunity to run through your CV, but the moment you collect together the best bits – the bits that relate to your book and your writing – just enough to make nice short, friendly anecdotes. You could practice being your lighter self…

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From hyphens to Hunting Raven Bookshop – a busy twelve months

From hyphens to Hunting Raven Bookshop – a busy twelve months

When is a hyphen not a hyphen? Author Nikki Copleston shares her journey from submission to publication.

Nikki Copleston

A year ago, I submitted the manuscript of  my crime novel ‘The Shame of Innocence’ to Silver Crow Books, a new service begun by Frome Writers’ Collective.  During the next few weeks, trained readers assessed my manuscript and compiled a report for the FWC trustees responsible for Silver Crow.

When I got that report, I was horrified. I’d always prided myself on presenting my work well, so it was a bit of a shock to see how inconsistently I’d put digits instead of words for certain numbers, and how profligate I’d been with hyphens.  The general rule is that you spell out the number if it’s smaller than 10.  I’d usually done that – but not always. And had I really got this far without realizing you shouldn’t put a hyphen in an adjective like ‘heavily built’. Why not? Because ‘heavily’ ends in -ly, and that’s the rule. Apparently. So someone…

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