Book review: Superfluous Women: Daisy Dalrymple

Jan Edwards

Superfluous Women: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery –Carola Dunn
Published by Constable, £16.99 h/b.
Release date 9th July

downloadAfter an illness the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple-Fletcher uses her convalescent trip as an opportunity to visit her old school friend, Wilhelmina ‘Willie’ Chandler (one of those superfluous women of the title) in her new home. When the Great War took the lives of 700,000 British men, a generation of women were left without prospect of marriage or a family of their own. These women were often referred to as superfluous women; the forgotten victims of war adrift in a society that denigrated them for their spinsterhood yet in the same breath rebuked these women’s attempts to earn their keep in an era that had yet to acknowledge women’s freshly emergent emancipation.

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John Grant interviewed

Tell No Lies, brilliant collection of short stories, published by Alchemy Press.

The Alchemy Press

filmnoir-front-cover debvink

John Grant, author of Tell No Lies (The Alchemy Press) has been interviewed recently. The kind people at LitPick, and John, have given permission to reproduce the full interview. LitPick can be found online and on Facebook. And without further ado, here is the interview:

Prolific writer John Grant joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! John is the author of over 70 books, about twenty-five of which are fiction. This award-winning writer was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and now lives in New Jersey.

How did you get started writing?

I must have been about seven or eight when I started my first novel, which was called The Ghost of Horror Mansion. From what fragments remain in my memory, it was every bit as dire as the title suggests. I got about fifteen pages into it, the writing getting larger and larger and the chapters — yes, it…

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Bye, Bye, Baby, Bye, Bye

Or sending your loved ones out into the wide world. Path and trees.

The book is written. It’s printed, it’s out there. Now it’s time to market, to Facebook, Tweet, Instagram and do everything and anything you can to promote your great work. It’s easy at first, or at least I get carried away on a wave of adrenaline and excitement and then gradually it all peters out.

I know I shouldn’t. I know I should keep up its profile, but by then I’ve got another project on the go. There’s a story that’s clamouring to be told and once that happens, like a neglectful mother I forget about the previous offspring and concentrate all my efforts on the new one.

What’s done is done. Like an adult child it no longer needs me. It has its own life that will go on even when I’m not here anymore. It no longer belongs to me in any shape of form.

Sometimes I’m surprised by coming across a story that I don’t remember having written. Once it looked as if I might have to take a part in a play that I had written and I couldn’t learn the words.

Does anyone else react to their work like this, I wonder? Or am I only the one?

As for the image at the top of the blog. I tried out various forms of goodbye, but settled for a path out into the sunlight, because that’s where I want my work to be. In the light, enjoying itself and being enjoyed by my readers too.

A Ten Question Interview With The Artist…Bryn Fortey.

Your One Phone Call

Why do you write?

I have always had an interest in words on paper. At school I could never tell a verb from an adjective but always got good marks in English because of my compositions. So a long-standing relationship is a given. As to why do I write now, well I was encouraged back after a period of non-writing following a family tragedy, and I am so glad I succumbed to both the encouragement and the temptation. Writing has become very important in these, my latter years. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it has helped me come to terms with my losses, but it does give me a reason to get up in the mornings. Suffice to say that I would be a sadder and more lost soul without it.

What books do you read?

I enjoy a good biography, auto or otherwise, especially of…

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Editing Blues..

Editing Blues 2

I thought I’d finished. “Slipping Through the Net” was ready for the world. Then I got the feedback from two editors I greatly respect, Jan Edwards and Nic Hale, and they both said the same thing. The book starts in the wrong place and Jan hated the use of the present tense.

Then my beta-reader reported back.

I was brave. I didn’t cry or scream. I acted professionally and re-read my manuscript. And bit by bit I realized they were all right. I didn’t agree with everything they said, but the first couple of chapters had to go.

Now I’ve done this before. With “Clear Gold” I ditched the first 30,000 words. With “House of Shadows” I changed the structure completely, so none of this was new, but somehow this time it felt different.

I don’t know why but I sank lower and lower under the carpet. I was a failure as a writer, what on earth was I doing even imagining I could write, let alone critique my own work. As the days went on I felt worse and worse. I avoided opening the file, I found other  “more urgent” tasks to do.

A pot of tea with Jan and things began to fall into place and I began the re-write.

I cut and pasted, deleted and changed tense and POV. My confidence increased. I was on a roll.

Whether this version is better, or not, it has proved to me yet again that writing is incredibly hard work. It sears the soul, wakes you at 3am and won’t let you go, but in the end after you’ve sweated it out and worried yourself silly, in those moments when the words flow and the ideas leap out of the page, then it really is worth it.