Many thanks for dropping by to my blog.
For further information please visit my website

Friday, 14 October 2011

NV - the aftermath

New Voices 2011 was, for me, an absolute blast. I never made it into the top 21 but apart from a slight twinge I was nowhere near as gutted as I thought I would be. Let's be frank here: the amount of talent on display made it an impossible task. When it was time to collect the boys from school and I'd had no email, I knew then that I hadn't made it. I was also lucky enough to have a friend and her two kids over to play after school so I didn't have time to wallow; by the time they left I was feeling pretty philosophical and excited to see who had made the finals. So I had a look and was overjoyed to find three of my favourites - Honeymoon with a Stranger; Secrets and Seduction; and Beguiling the Enemy. All three would have made it into my personal top 20. I have no idea how I'm going to decide which to root for so will wait for the second chapters to be posted and take it from there. On an emotional level I am so rooting for Charlotte Phillips to get through the next round (she is the author of Honeymoon with a Stranger).
I would also like to use this post to say how disappointed I am with some of the reactions on the NV discussion board. There has been a lot of sour grapes that leave a nasty taste in the mouth but luckily that has been counteracted by the warmth of the vast majority all wishing, like me, the finalists the best of luck.
Go finalists - knock us all out xxx

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Competition So Far

The first round of New Voices is fast coming to a close, the rosebombers are out in their multitudes and the comments are coming thick and fast. I personally believe the standard of entry this year is far higher than last year and, although there are a few rather 'rusty' entries, there are also some genuine gems. I do not envy the judges trying to whittle it down to a top 20 - the competition is wide open.

One thing that has really struck me this year is the range of comments. There are the people who read everything and say a variation of 'fantastic chapter, good luck' no matter how good or not-so-good the chapter may be. Then there are the people who write really gentle and well thought out critiques. And then there are the nitpickers who are determined to see a flaw in everything they read. A personal bugbear of mine, for example, is Point of View (POV). I personally see no problem in switching POVs on a semi frequent basis. Of course it would be a nightmare if it changed in every other sentence, but provided the changes are necessary and well executed, what is the problem? For example, one commentator who has made it clear in every comment she's made that she dislikes POV changes, said of mine that she had trouble with a couple of POV switches in the middle of my chapter so in the end she "gave up and just read it. And enjoyed it!" But before she could just enjoy it she had to turn her blinkers off first.
I genuinely believe that you should approach stories with an open mind. Turn the blinkers off, forget preconceived notions and let the story take you on a journey. If, by the end of the first chapter, you want to hurl the book/kindle/laptop into the nearest quarry for whatever reason then the author has a problem. If, however, you get to the end of the chapter and find yourself emotionally invested and desperate for the next installment then the author has done her (or his) job.
Good luck to everyone who has entered xxx