Tuesday Guest Feature – Elizabeth Ducie

Tuesday Guest Feature - Author Elizabeth Ducie

I feel privileged to invite talented non-fiction and fiction writer Elizabeth Ducie over as my Tuesday guest. I became acquainted with Elizabeth through Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Today she’s come along to discuss the importance of asking questions when setting up as an Indie Writer. So without further ado, it’s over to Elizabeth.

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Why Asking Questions Is An Important Part Of Setting Out To Be An Indie Writer

by

Elizabeth Ducie

I started writing fiction in 2006. But I have been writing non-fiction for forty years. My first independently-published book was my doctoral thesis, and glancing at it recently for the first time in ages, I was struck by how much things have changed since 1979. The text was prepared on a typewriter by my mother; the illustrations were photographs stuck in with glue. And the graphs were constructed using Letraset. The whole process was laborious and took weeks. And for a ‘proper’ book, the route was pretty much always going to be via a traditional publisher, which once again took a long time, a lot of effort, and an element of luck.

These days, I am a competent touch-typist who prepares her text directly on the laptop. Illustrations are jpeg files imported at the touch of a button. And graphs are constructed from a spreadsheet. I can set up and publish a book within a matter of days, should I wish to. Technology has changed; the barriers to publication are lower; and for many writers, the goal is to leave behind the ‘day job’ and write full-time. And that means taking the step towards being a small business owner.

But before ourselves out into the great unknown, there are a few questions we need to consider:

  • What do I write, or what could I write? Are there more lucrative areas, like copy writing, which I could use part-time while working on my novel or collection of short stories? Is there an area in which I am an expert, about which I could write a text book?
  • Is there anything else I could offer, such as editing services or training courses that I could fit around my writing, but which would keep me in the writing world?
  • Who will buy my writing? Am I only aiming to sell direct to readers, or will I be aiming for magazines, purchasers of website copy, or other users of my words?
  • How will I market my writing? If no-one knows about me, how will they learn about my writing? Am I up to date with social media, or will I be concentrating on face to face promotional activities?
  • What are the financial implications of my plans? Do I have reserves that I can use? Do I need to keep a ‘day job’ for the moment? Can I switch to part time working in the interim?

To answer all these questions, we need to think, not with our creative hat on, but with our business one. I have always believed in keeping things simple. Simple goals; simple business systems; and simple approach to business. With a clear and honest view of our options and opportunities, we have a much better chance of making a success of our goal to be a self-employed writer. It just takes a bit of planning.

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Thank you, Elizabeth. I am sure my readers will agree that the above article was very informative.

Find out more about Elizabeth’s non-fiction and fiction writing by visiting her website and social media pages on the links below.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

But first, let’s find out a bit more about Elizabeth.

About Elizabeth Ducie 

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Elizabeth Ducie gave up the day job after thirty years as an international technical writer and consultant to write full-time. She has published four novels and three collections of short stories since 2011. She has run her own small business since 1992 and started writing and lecturing about The Business of Writing  when she realised that few independent authors were fully prepared for the requirements of being a small business owner. She believes in simple business systems that free up maximum time for writing. She has an MBA from Cranfield and regularly presents workshops on The Business of Writing at conferences and literary festivals. Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the series deal with business start-up; finance systems; and improving effectiveness.

There is a workbook associated with these volumes, allowing writers to work through the process for themselves. Part 4 Independent Publishing was launched in August 2019.

All material is available in ebook format or as paperbacks.

Elizabeth’s fiction writing consists of a trilogy in the Suzanne Jones series as well as a standalone book, Gorgito’s Ice Rink.

 

You can find out more about Elizabeth’s books and how to order them on this link here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge – Write a story in Less than 100 words

Today’s challenger to write a story in less than one hundred words is Mark Anthony Smith. His response comes in the form of ‘Stick’ which may be read below.

Stick

My stockier, older brother is stuck in the woods. He has twisted his ankle and is in pain.

I remember my pain as he twisted my arm behind my back. I remember crying out as he hit me and pinned me down for borrowing his bike without asking. For once, I am stronger than him.

I pick up a thick stick from the branches strewn about. I feel the weight as I tap it against my leg.  Should I think about the consequences?  The anger that I’ve hidden repeatedly rises in my chest.

I barely recognise those terrified eyes.

99 words

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Great story, Mark.

Readers can find out more about Mark and his writing on his website here.

 

Interview – An Author’s Mind

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Thank you to Elizabeth Gates for inviting me over to her website to discuss ‘An Author’s Mind.’ I really enjoyed answering her questions. You can see the full interview here.

The sketch of the Palais in the interview was drawn by Helen V James and Bill Sheehy kindly gave me permission to use the photograph of Queen’s Park entrance in Bolton.

If you enjoyed the interview and would like a signed copy of House of Grace contact here for details.

New Challenge – Haiku

Haiku challenge

The story challenge has been such a success that I thought I’d bring in a challenge for the poets too.

Haiku.

Rules of a Haiku 

No title needed.

17 syllables in total over 3 lines

Line 1 – 5 syllables

Line 2 – 7 syllables

Line 3 – 5 syllables

A haiku is normally about nature – however, I’m happy for you to submit on any subject (not erotica) but you MUST stick to the correct syllable count.

So now you can submit a story in LESS than 100 words or a Haiku

Are you ready?

I look forward to your submissions (Only one submission at a time)

Full Guideline and Online Submission Form  

 

 

Tuesday Guest Feature – Rosemary J Kind

This week’s guest, Rosemary J Kind, is not only a talented author but also a good friend from Swanwick Writers’ Summer School.  Today Rosemary has come to talk about her new novel Unequal By Birth, a sequel to the brilliant New York Orphan. So without further ado, let’s go over to Rosemary.

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Unequal By Birth

by

Rosemary J Kind

When I wrote New York Orphan, it was my proof reader who said, ‘I can’t wait to read the next one,’ Next one, I thought, next one – there isn’t going to be a next one. New York Orphan was always intended to be a standalone novel telling a particular story. Then I went out to walk the dogs.

As so often happens, walking gave me thinking time. I joke that I discuss all my work with the dogs and in a sense I do. It’s when I’m out with them in the peace of the countryside that I get the time to clear my head of everything and think. As I walked that day, some of the scenes from New York Orphan played back through my head. Molly and Miss Ellie, on their train journey to Dowagiac, being joined by a somewhat inebriated gentleman who assumed that women travelling alone must be in want of a man. Miss Ellie making the farm over to Molly so she could go travelling around America. I began to see strands of a story ready to be woven together.

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The first book finished in the 1860s, just the time that was approaching the campaign for equality for both women and the black community in America. I had inadvertently laid the foundations for another important story to be told.

Although when I write, I want to cover important themes, at heart my writing is about the impact those themes have on ordinary people. I don’t write about the ruling classes and the nobility. I write about men and women not so different from my readers, but in another time and another place. They are people who have to work to make ends meet and who face the traumas of life and death, but also love and hope.

In Unequal By Birth, Molly is a young woman running a farm. A situation which is still not the norm today, but was far from ordinary in America in the 1860s. Part of her land was bought from the Reese family, who lost it to the bank due to old Mr Reese’s laziness and drinking. His two sons have followed in their father’s footsteps, but despite their idleness believe that they have somehow been wronged by Molly, who is proving successful with the land Miss Ellie, her guardian, bought.

Threaded through the story of the Reese boys campaign of undermining the farm, is the bigger fight for equality, essentially for women, but for people of colour too. I can’t tell you too much of how that unfolds, as it will spoil a key part of the story. However, this time intentionally, I have laid the foundations for the next book which takes up the fight for justice both in the courts and in politics. Why does there need to be a fight for justice? Well, you’ll have to read Unequal By Birth to find that out.

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Thank you for that, Rosemary.  Having already read New York Orphan, I can’t wait to get started on Unequal By Birth. It’s downloaded ready on Kindle and on my TBR list.

Let’s find out a bit more about Rosemary.

About Rosemary 

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Rosemary J Kind writes because she has to. You could take almost anything away from her except her pen and paper. Failing to stop after the book that everyone has in them, she has gone on to publish books in both non-fiction and fiction, the latter including novels, humour, short stories and poetry. She also regularly produces magazine articles in a number of areas and writes regularly for the dog press.

Where can you find Rosemary on Social Media – click on the links below 

Email 

Website

Alfie Dog Website

Facebook

Facebook Alfiedog

To purchase Rosemary’s books, click on the links below. 

 

Blight and Barney 

New York Orphan 

Unequal By Birth

Thank you for coming along today, Rosemary. I wish you the best of luck with the new book. Come back and visit soon.

Challenge – Write a story in less than 100 words

Today’s challenger to write a story in less than one hundred words comes from Michael Sanchez. His response comes in the form of ‘What Lies You Tell’ and can be read below.

What Lies You Tell

Freemen was asked to walk into cold box #4. A cold and desolate place where only few dared to enter. His superior asked him to enter the box to finish work not completed the night before.

Chemicals everywhere.

On the floor,

on the walls,

and in the air.

Every breath Freemen took was one more step to his imminent doom.

His superior did not dare enter this harmful place because he knew his health would be in danger. What mattered was that the job must be done, even if it meant Freemen’s doom.

93 words

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Ooh – poor Freemen.

Are you up to the challenge to write a story in less than 100 words?

Full guidelines and submission form here