Friday, 28 May 2010

Lesley Cookman ...

... on the creation of the Libby Sargeant Murder series.

Libby Sarjeant is a middle aged ex-actress living in a small Kent village, where she paints pictures for sale in a nearby seaside town and helps to run the local Oast House Theatre. So far, so predictable.

You just know, reading that mini biography, that she’s about to fall over body after body in, as someone described it, a “Vicar of Dibley meets Midsummer Murders” series of adventures. And she does.

Envisaged in the first place for the now defunct “World One Day Novel Cup”, held over two twelve hour sessions at the Groucho Club over ten years ago, I based her initial premise on the highly formatted US “cosy” - or “cozy” - market. I was told by many in the publishing industry here in the UK that this type of crime/mystery was completely out of favour and I would never get published. So Libby, or her first few chapters anyway, languished on the computer for several years, until I resurrected her as my dissertation for my MA in Creative Writing. Then a surprising thing happened ...

Read the full article in the June issue of Words with JAM. Out Soon!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lorraine Mace Interviews ...

Jane Friedman is a vegetarian, bourbon-drinking editor, who claims to be at least mostly sane. Obsessed with writing, reading, editing, teaching and speaking, she also happens to be the publisher and editorial director of Writer’s Digest. In our June issue interview, she gives us an insight into how she sees the writing industry, both from the point of view of a writer and also that of an editor ...

Monday, 10 May 2010

Can eBooks be Books?

By Catriona Troth

I must admit, my own experience with ebooks is a bit off the wall. I don’t have an eReader, or a Kindle or even an iPad. What I have is a little iPod touch and a programme called Stanza. Stanza allows me to download books from a range of sources including free ones (like Project Gutenburg) and online bookstores like BooksonBoard. More importantly, for me, it allows me to upload onto the iPod anything that I hold on my computer as a Word document or a .pdf file.

From time to time, people in my writers’ group share whole books with each other – way beyond my tolerance for reading on a computer screen and too fussy and fiddly (not to say expensive) to print. So I upload them onto my iPod. This gives me something on the scale of the Victorian Tom Thumb books described by Arriety in the opening chapter of The Borrowers, and which I find quite comfortable to read. The iPod also has the added bonus of enabling me to read in the dark, so if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can tuck into a book without disturbing my husband.

So I am predisposed to be favourable to the idea of ebooks. But arguments over different platforms, arguments over pricing and Digital Rights Management, limited accessibility – it’s all been enough to put off even me. Hence my question this month is Can eBooks be Books?

Read the full article in the June issue of Words with JAM.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Comp Corner Closing Date Tomorrow!

The June Pick ...

This issue's competition is along the same, er, lines as April, but this time we’re looking for the funniest, quirkiest or just damned cleverest character descriptions you can come up with.

It doesn’t need to be the full picture, we don’t need every garment. Maybe just a facial expression, if expertly described, is enough to tell us all we need to know about this character.

Again, try to keep entries down to a couple of sentences or thirty(ish words) and send them in the body of an email to by the 5th of May, along with your name and a weblink if applicable.

There is no entry fee, and the ten winning entries will be published in the June issue of WWJ, so get to it.