Jenny and I had such fun at the wonderful blogger event laid on by Simon and Schuster. The author panel were a wonderful mix of authors (Robert Ryan, Dean Crawford, Ali Harris and Wendy Wallace) but all spoke amusingly and interestingly about their respective books and their own experiences as writers.
Ali Harris discussed the way in which she went about writing her second book 'The First Last Kiss' which I have to say looks absolutely gorgeous. The book spans a 20year relationship and she wrote it in linear form. She then spent some gruelling hours with a best friend and the 50 or so chapters written on post-it notes chopping and changing to get the order right. This sounded fascinating and I am currently around 75 pages in and the style really works with the character's voice, films and music all helping you keep up to speed as to the year.
Wendy Wallace who wrote the excellent debut 'The Painted Bridge' was absolutely charming. Softly spoken and extremely kind to any approaching blogger she reiterated the best advice she was ever given and that was to give writing time. Dean Crawford – now a best-selling novelist, latest book 'Apocalypse' – certainly took time becoming a novelist (15 years) and believed published writers are not necessarily the best, they are the ones that didn't give up. As an aspiring writer myself it was a relief and comfort to meet people who had been there and done it and had triumphed in the end, be it the second, third, fourth… seventh ?! book!
Robert Ryan – author of 'Dead Man's Land' – seemed to think it was not always helpful to ask other people about their writing during the writing process – they can be very nice! He often uses people just to check technical things (like real blood transfusions – VEIN TO VEIN – I am happy not to recount anymore of this…) Wendy Wallace claimed all authors needed to trust their own instincts as sometimes others can throw you.
All in all the advice was helpful, interesting and varied. It was wonderful to go and chat to the authors themselves along with other bloggers and we would like to thank S & S for hosting such a great event.