A post about my recent appearance on That’s Oxfordshire TV
Just before I went away for my summer holidays, I had the pleasure of taking part in a television chat show for a local cable TV station That’s Oxfordshire, thanks to the kind invitation of my author friend Clare Weiner, who writes as Mari Howard.
I’ve known Clare/Mari for several years, we read and enjoy each other’s books, and she’s been a staunch supporter of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, where she’s spoken on panels and read from her novels and her poetry. We were therefore able to talk on the same wavelength (if you’ll excuse the broadcasting pun) when interviewed by presenter Eve Ahmed.
A report about a fascinating talk about the Oxford English Dictionary by Edmund Weiner
Anyone who loves words would have been as rapt as we were at the Oxford Authors’ Alliance last night, when Edmund Weiner, Deputy Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, came to talk to us about his work preparing version 2.0 of the OED. This mammoth task employs sixty people, and though it began in 1993, they’re still only 30% of the way through the task. They are effectively detectives, examining everything ever written in English to come up with comprehensive definitions of how every word has been used through the ages. Continue reading “Straight from the Lexicographer’s Mouth: An Enjoyable Talk about the OED (Oxford English Dictionary)”→
That tongue-twister heralds news of my new flash fiction collection, Quick Change, due for launch later this month.
It’s a nerve-wracking time for any author when their precious manuscript is packed off for final editing and proofreading before publication. This week that’s what’s happening to Quick Change, the collection of flash fiction that I’ll be publishing as an ebook later this month.By the power of the internet, the final draft has zoomed across the ether to the other side of the country, for my editor Alison Jack to give it her expert treatment.
Last week it was the turn of the beta readers to read an earlier version of my manuscript. No, that doesn’t mean I’ve written my book in Greek.
What Are Beta Readers Anyway?
Beta readers are volunteers who read a manuscript prior to publication to alert the author to anything that might be improved. A great beta team will pick up inconsistencies and glitches that might spoil the flow of the story, e.g. a character whose name changes, an unbelievable plot detail, or excessive use of the author’s favourite words.
One of my lovely beta readers spotted that I apparently have an obsession with recycling bins: the frequency of their appearance in this book has now been reduced. Or you could say, I’ve put out the bins.
Another reader pointed out that Belisha beacon should be capitalised because it’s named after the first Baron Hore-Belisha, a former British Minister of Transport. Well, did you know that? By the way, I can understand why they plumped for his second name.
One person alerted me to a recent change in the law that had made one scene in my book illegal. It was news to me. (And I bet that’s intrigued you – but no plot spoilers here, sorry!)
Interestingly, none of my eagle-eyed friends spotted the blind man that I had checking his watch. That anomaly only jumped out at me when I was inputting their suggested changes to the copy. Which only goes to show that you can never have too many people checking over your work before you hit the “publish” button…
Publication Date Alert
I’ll be sending out a special newsletter to my blog subscribers nearer the launch date, Saturday 21 June, along with a free bonus story. To receive this alert, do either of these things:
If you don’t already subscribe to my blog,sign up here, and I’ll send your free bonus story with the next newsletter.
(If you’re already a subscriber to my blog, you don’t need to do anything – I’ll send you the newsletter anyway.)
In the next day or two, I’ll be posting here about how to find beta readers – useful for any authors reading this post, but also an interesting insight for non-authors behind the scenes of book production. In the meantime, I’d like to say a big thank you to my fabulous beta readers and editor by posting their links here: