Tagged: Surrey writer

Charlie the cuckoo 0

How I captured a cuckoo – with my camera

I started writing this blog post about Charlie the cuckoo as part of the #30DaysWild challenge but a health hiccup set me back. Some things had to go and it’s been my blog that suffered while I concentrated on the things I love most, writing and taking photos. This does, however, mean that I have lots of great photos to share and a nearly completed novel. There’s nothing quite like a health scare to make you live life to the full. I’d never seen a cuckoo before To me cuckoos have always been an elusive bird, something that is often...

Germander Speedwell 0

#30DaysWild – Day 1 – Speedwells

This morning I went through some photos I took over the weekend and looked up the names of the wildflowers. The blue flower in the main image I recognised as a Speedwell, but the other two I was uncertain about. Even though they all look remarkably like Speedwells, I couldn’t be certain about the upright specimen because I’ve always associated Speedwells with a low-lying creeping disposition. Add variations in colour within the same variety and it all became rather confusing. The first ones that caught my eye were the Heath Speedwells, growing in great swathes and forming a purple carpet...

2

Wild Wednesday – Bank Vole

Yesterday was so overcast that we gave up looking for anything exciting to photograph and started making our way back to the car for a coffee when this little fella popped out of his home to say hello. I only spotted him because the ground was uneven and I was watching where to put my feet. This little bank vole is no more than two inches long and the cutest rodent you’ll ever find. His home is under tree roots and when he first met my gaze he watched me take a few shots before scurrying away. To my surprise,...

write what you know 0

Write what you know – make the rest up

There’s a long-standing premise that as writers we’re supposed to write about subjects we have a fair amount of interest in or knowledge of. This doesn’t mean that we have to write stories about ‘the day job,’ because, trust me, a blow by blow account of what I do for a living would make for a pretty dull read. What it does mean is that we use the knowledge acquired through our day job or hobbies to enrich our writing. Researching an unfamiliar subject is much easier now that we have the internet. The trouble is that when we actively...

Reheating my novel 0

Why I’m reheating a novel

When I was being published by Booktrope my writing life took a different turn than I’d envisaged. We agreed that I should build on my characters Jake Talbot and Frankie Hayward to create a series, in which Finding Louisa will be book 3. I have yet another plotline devised for my two heroes, so I could write a fourth book, but I’ve decided to set them aside for a while. My reasoning for this is simple. I’d like to pitch fresh work out to publishing houses and agents, but I feel it’ll be more difficult to attract their attention if...

Mating hoverflies 0

Wild Wednesday – Photo Interlude

I’m a writer, I love words, but I also take photos, mostly of wildlife and the countryside. So I thought it would be fun to share one of my recent photos from my Instagram feed. View this post on Instagram Not one hoverfly but two, having some fun on a blade of grass by the side of the road. #jaketalbotinvestigates #JTI #amwriting #writersofinstagram #writerslife #hoverfly #kings_insects #naturelovers_gr #naturephotoportal #macro_x #macro_holic #macro_uk #macro_secrets #macro_perfection #macro_captures #macronature #flowersandmacro #ig_macro #amazingcaptures #macro_freaks #macrogram #macro_holic #lovethis #insect #bugsex #instamacro #ig_bug A post shared by Toni Allen Author (@listansus) on Jun 28, 2016 at 10:22am...

I'm going to steal your name 0

How I use genealogy and research to name my characters

Sometimes the muse visits while writing and the perfect name for a character springs to mind. However, most of the time that pesky muse is on holiday, basking on distant shores and refusing to pack her bags and return home to help out a poor struggling writer. So, what do I do when I’m stuck for the right name? I have two main tools in my writer’s kit bag: I steal a name I do research to find the perfect name How I go about stealing a name for my character. Rest assured that I don’t walk around asking random...

People watching 0

Stuck for what to write about? Try this.

People often ask where I get my ideas from, but as a writer it isn’t always the entire storyline that’s my focus. Just like many other writers I’m a people watcher, an observer of human behaviour – yes,  I’m downright nosey. This is all well and good for character studies, so that I can create well-rounded protagonists or villains, but what about the objects and locations my star cast interact with? What does the stage-set look like? Paying attention to the incidental things in life is vital when writing a longer piece – in fact, when writing any piece of...