Writing Buddies met once again at The Art House Cafe in Southampton on January 27th, 2012.
Tessa has now written her latest book, The Girl from the Land of Smiles, and is currently editing it. She has proofreaders ready, both locally and in Thailand, and the book should be published in the summer. She is also preparing to publish a book of paintings for her son.
New member Jo has always been a keen writer. She has concentrated on writing for business in the past, but is now planning a book about her trip to Mongolia. This project is proving complex, and the group discussed ways for Jo to produce the work, perhaps both as a travelogue and as the basis for fiction.
Karen is continuing with her novel, though she finds that since the story is so familiar already, she finds it hard to be consistent in writing. She plans to enter some flash fiction competitions in the meantime.
Janet is working on her nursing stories, using her background knowledge and also consulting relevant magazines.
Ray’s memoirs are still in progress; he has been working on them for some time, but mentioned that he finds the Writing Buddies meetings useful and motivating. This raised a cheer in the group!
Lynne, another new member, is a literature and language teacher and has always been an active writer. While training she had to critique other writing, and wonders if this has made her hypercritical with her own work. She made some useful suggestions in the discussions.
Mike still awaits a response from the publisher about his aviation book. He has a co-written book coming out in March, Shipwrecks of the Cunard Line.
Alan is halfway through his second mouse book for preschool children. He has also been working on sketches and a sitcom, helped by his experience on the comedy stage. The group thought there is a good current market for television comedy.
James is still hoping that the Daily Echo will review his book, Growing up in Wartime Southampton – Someone Else’s Trousers . He had a letter in the Echo that week, citing a relevant quote from his book, though the reference was removed before printing. The work may be made into an audio book. James continues with Southampton - a Miscellany and his books for young children, and plans to send off a Sundance Gang book to an agent recommended to him.
Jacqueline’s flash fiction piece about Miss Havisham will appear in the next edition of What the Dickens internet magazine, out on February 1st. She has entered a short story competition online, and will be entering two flash fiction competitions. She has enrolled for an online short-story writing course, which starts next month.
Penny has been to the National Memorial Arboretum to take some final pictures for Under the Queen’s Colours, though the Royal British Legion has not given permission yet for their use. She has recently finished editing the first edition of the new magazine Life to the Full, and is hoping for offers of admin help and sponsorship to enable the second edition to be published. She has nearly finished her book Eastleigh Then and Now for The History Press.
The general discussion was wide-ranging. Topics included how to kick-start a stalled project, ways of keeping up motivation with writing, and whether a Buddies magazine might be a possibility. A stand to sell members’ books at The Marlands is still being debated; this would be for the run-up to Christmas, and volunteers, exact venue and good marketing would be needed.
A new ebook publishing service was discussed. This is described at www.SelfSelfSelf.com by a digital consultant who takes Word-document books and converts them to ebooks for all platforms, with no up-front fee but 15% commission on net takings after other costs. It was decided that some members would take a look, and perhaps check the presentation of ebooks already published by this means.
The next Writing Buddies meeting will be on Friday February 10th at The Art House Cafe, Southampton from 2pm. Anyone with an interest in writing is very welcome.