Summer Splash Blog Hop

WELCOME TO THE SUMMER SPLASH BLOG HOP!

Thank you for stopping by my site. It’s nice to meet you.

My name is Amy Tupper and I am the indie author of Tenderfoot, a paranormal romance set in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Tenderfoot is about a girl who leaves what’s left of her family to start a new life in college – only she finds out she is never going to be normal when someone from her family’s past follows her there. And he’s really annoying. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

I wrote my book in 2010 and was lucky to join the ranks of many who self-published during the transitional year of 2011. Along the way, I revised and revised my book again, sent it to a copy editor, worked with a professional graphic artist on the cover, figured out the formatting (!), and uploaded it to several different websites to make it available as an ebook and as a trade paperback. What a lot of work!

So let’s celebrate! I am giving away two signed paperback copies as well as three ebook copies of Tenderfoot. Yes, I will ship the paperbacks anywhere in the world. Having lived abroad during my formative pre-Internet middle-school years, it’s the least I can do for someone who lives somewhere besides the Continental U.S. The ebook can be downloaded from anywhere, in any format, at Smashwords.com.

Would you like to enter my contest? Great! Just go to the top of this webpage and look for the green button that says “Subscribe.” Click on that. Once you’ve filled out the form and subscribed to my very infrequent, very private mailing list, you’re all set! See how easy that was?

Now you’re ready to visit another website in the Summer Splash Blog Hop, where all the blogs are run by authors – 80 talented authors! – who are pleased to make your acquaintance and introduce their books. So head to the Summer Splash Blog Hop website and visit another blog where you can win more author giveaways including signed books and ebooks. Don’t forget there are also several grand prizes, including brand new Kindles, up for grabs. You enter to win the grand prizes every time you tweet using #summerhop. Best of all, this is a great way to meet more authors from the Indie Writers Unite! group on Facebook while adding fresh new books to your to-be-read list!

Now go HOP!

Summer Splash Blog Hop

COMING SOON: THE SUMMER SPLASH BLOG HOP!

Hey! That sounds fun! But what’s a blog hop?

If you are unfamiliar with what a blog hop is, allow me to explain. A blog hop is when multiple blogs organize to send the reader around the internet visiting specific blogs who have formed a group, all just by clicking a hyperlinked icon. This icon will route you in random order to one of the participating blogs. The picture you see above will be the magic button that sends you on your way from my site to another site once the Hop starts.

For the Summer Splash Blog Hop, all the blogs are run by authors – over 75 authors! – who are pleased to make your acquaintance and introduce our books. We are all offering giveaways on our own websites. These giveaways include free signed books, free ebooks, and lots of other goodies. Participation at these blogs will enter you in individual contests to win prizes. There are also several grand prizes, including brand new Kindles. Best of all, this is a great way to meet talented authors from the Indie Writers Unite! group on Facebook while adding fresh new books to your to-be-read list!

I personally will be giving away two signed copies of my book, Tenderfoot, shipped anywhere in the world, as well as three ebook copies available in any format from Smashwords.

Mark it on your calendars – the Summer Splash Blog Hop runs from Monday, July 23rd to Tuesday, July 31st.

Get ready to HOP!

Writers And Their Chosen Settings – Nicole Wolverton

“So much of who we are is where we have been.” – William Langewiesche

On Tuesdays, I post a guest blog by a writer about a special setting, real or imaginary, they chose for their work.

Today’s guest blog is by Nicole Wolverton, author of Feast Of All Fools

*****

*****

“No more than five minutes after she’d retrieved her car, Varda spotted Anthony Carluccio’s ludicrous monstrosity of a vehicle – a hint of mint green paint swimming among the rusted body of a Buick Centurion – in her rearview mirror. The high-pitched humming of I-95 under tires grew louder as she passed over the double-decker bridge. She maneuvered toward the agreed-upon meeting place — a quiet enclave amid the gray, industrial buildings off the Broad Street exit perfect for clandestine business meetings and body drops — not appreciating the likely armed guard.”

*****

Think of South Philadelphia, and chances are you picture Rocky Balboa running through the streets. Or if you’re from Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Mummer’s* might come to mind. For me, I think of food and the mob, which is why South Philly is the setting for a novel I wrote this year titled Feast of All Fools, which plays off the world of underground dinner clubs.

However, it’s more than just eating and the mafia – as you can see from the excerpt, there are very industrial, lonely parts to South Philly, but there are also parks and trees as well as concrete enclaves of brick row homes. You might see an entire container garden of flowers and vegetables butted up against an apartment building shoved in next to a home that grows generations-old grape vines or fig trees.

I lived in South Philly for many years – the possibility of running into a Varda Adler (my main character) or an Anthony Carluccio (the villain) in the neighborhood is, well, large. Yes, South Philly is a great area for food — home to the great cheesesteak wars (I’m a Pat’s Steaks girl myself); the fantastic Italian Market, where you can buy nearly any vegetable, spice, meat, seafood, cooking utensil, or ingredient you want; and a sizable collection of Italian restaurants as well as newer additions of nearly any ethnic cuisine you can think of. It fits the novel. But so do the people.

All the characters in Feast of All Fools are partially inspired, either by looks, mannerisms, or accent, by old neighbors or acquaintances of mine. Anthony – oh, sorry: Ant’ney – is a combination of an old landlord and a guy who lived next door to me for a while. Flora Morelli (Varda’s boyfriend’s mother) is the woman who ran the corner store. Nana, Flora’s mother, is the frail old lady who sat on a chair in her front window and watched the small street I lived on like a hawk. Renee, Varda’s best friend, is a good friend of mine who lives in the cutest row house in the city.

South Philly is traditionally very Irish/Italian and Catholic, but over the last few decades or so it’s really developed a rich cultural and ethnic history. Because of this, the neighborhood (which is really a large area made up of at least three or four – or more— smaller neighborhoods) is an ideal option when you need a setting with flavor. There’s a very stereotypical patois to the local language, which also happens to be true – youse instead of you, warter instead of water. And yet you can easily find Cambodian accents, accentless yuppies, and emo artists.

Feast of All Fools isn’t published as of yet. I’m exploring my options and hoping to come up with a great home for the novel. I have to say that knowing South Philly so well and have a real passion for the neighborhood – in all its diversity – makes it easier to speak about the novel with enthusiasm. I have a real fondness for all the characters, in part because of their South Philly-ness.

*The Mummer’s Parade is a uniquely Philadelphia experience that takes place on New Year’s Day and features plumbers, construction workers, and plenty of other blue collar workers fancied up in sequins and feathers to march down Broad Street. There are different divisions: string bands, fancy brigades, comics, and fancies. Many of the clubs are headquartered in South Philly.

*****

A big thank you to Nicole Wolverton from Philadelphia, author of Feast Of All Fools for sharing this guest blog about the use of setting. To find out more about Nicole and her writing, visit her website www.nicolewolverton.com.

Writers And Their Chosen Settings – Kathleen S. Allen

“So much of who we are is where we have been.” – William Langewiesche

On Tuesdays, I post a guest blog by a writer about a special setting, real or imaginary, they chose for their work.

Today’s guest blog is by Kathleen S. Allen, author of Aine and Faerie Folk

*****

*****

Hi, I am Kathleen S. Allen. I write Young Adult fantasy. My favourite setting has to be Ireland, where I set both of my faerie books, Aine and the sequel, Faerie Folk. I am enamoured of Ireland. I have never been there but I feel a connection to the country.

I began researching my family’s history and found out my great-great grandmother came from Ireland. She was sent to America at the age of sixteen on a ship during the potato famine and met and married a Bavarian man on the ship. The captain of the ship married them and she ended up settling in Ohio and had eleven children. She had a younger sister who stayed in Ireland and parents who also stayed. That’s all the information I could find out about her. I wondered, why was she the only one to leave Ireland? Why not the younger sister, too? I thought maybe the younger sister was ill or had died. I have no idea what happened to her parents.

For Aine I researched Irish legends and came across the Iegend of the Irish Goddess, Aine, I talk about it in Aine. The legend fascinated me so I decided to write a story about the legend and incorporate it with the legend of the Irish banshee. I have always loved the coast and the ocean, so putting Aine and Faerie Folk on the coast of Ireland was a given. I used the legend of Merlin bringing the Stonehenge stones–called the Giant’s Dance or the Great Stones of Ireland to Stonehenge–in a more recent book.

Let’s take a tour of my ideal setting. First I travel up the coast of Ireland just outside of Galway–where I teach creative writing at the National University of Ireland in Galway–to a small thatched roof whitewashed cottage off the main road but accessible. There are emerald green fields surrounding the cottage on three sides, one of these leads to a cliff above the sea. There is a small garden out front filled with vegetables and at least two cats roaming around. Inside the wooden floors gleam as I walk into the living room. There is a working fireplace, comfy chairs and along each wall are built-in bookcases filled with books. An old fashioned wooden desk sits under a window where I do my writing. On one side of the desk is my laptop, and on the other is a teapot under a tea cozy. Continuing to the kitchen I find a spacious kitchen with a white farmhouse style sink, cupboards and a breakfast nook that overlooks the garden where a small wooden table with four chairs sit waiting for my next meal. Down the hall is the loo with a working hot shower, and I come to the bedrooms at the back of the cottage. The guest bedroom is small, big enough for two single beds and a dresser with a small wardrobe. The master bedroom is slightly larger with room for a queen-sized bed, a dresser and a wardrobe. There is a cozy window seat that overlooks the side that faces the sea and the blue water sparkles as the sunlight glints off of it. It is my favourite place to read, if I can get the cats off of it! The laundry room is also in the back with a full size washer and dryer. Out the back door I walk to the cliff to look out over the sea and spy stairs leading down to the beach below. As I go down the stairs I begin to hear the cries of the seals that populate the coast. Their sound goes right through to my heart and I catch my breath. Taking off my shoes I wade in the still cold water, watching the waves as they wash over my feet. The seals float off shore watching me as I walk the beach but they are not afraid because I do this nearly every day and they are used to my presence. There is no place lovelier on earth than the coast of Ireland and I rejoice that I have found my paradise, at last.

*****

A big thank you to Kathleen S. Allen for sharing this guest blog about her ideal setting. To find out more about her and her writing, visit her website www.gaelicfairie.webs.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter as @kathleea. Kathleen’s next book, Lore Of Fei, will be published in April 2012.

Writers And Their Chosen Settings – Paul Kater

“So much of who we are is where we have been.” – William Langewiesche

On Tuesdays, I post a guest blog by a writer about a special setting, real or imaginary, they chose for their work.

Today’s guest blog is by Paul Kater, author of Hilda – Lycadea

*****

 *****

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

*****

” ‘Almost there’ meant another hour of walking and a more frequent handing over of cats from one to another, through an environment that was changing very rapidly. They had just walked past a few groups of trees, when they entered a forest with humongously big trees. Everyone, except the two natives, had their head on a swivel, trying to see all the high treetops, or discover what animals up there were making a cacophony of sounds.”

*****

So where is this place with a cacophony of sounds? It is in Yucatan, Mexico, in the forest that surrounds Playa del Carmen. I was in Playa for a vacation, to do as little as possible, but I had to do ‘something’. So I went along on a trip through the immensely dense forest there.

My home has forests, and for that I am very grateful. But the forests in Mexico are breathtaking. First because they are so huge, high, dense. Second because it is so hot and humid there and walking around then really takes your breath away. I have always felt at home around trees and in wood, so the trip to this area was a treat. Because it is so far away from home (I live in the Netherlands, Europe) the difference in the kind of forest was already fabulous. I knew I could use this feeling in my writing somewhere. Later that day, back at the hotel, I immediately wrote down my experiences and feelings, so they would not get lost.

The smell of the forest was amazing. Different. The air was rich, sweet and also permeated with the smell of rotting things, but not in a repulsive way. It is part of nature, and nature does not always look or smell great.

The walk through the woods there was guided by locals who apparently were as close to real Maya ancestors as one can get. Small people but amazingly friendly and helpful. These people made such an impression on me that I had to use them in the story as well. There were sounds of animals unseen, shreeks, quacks and toots. Monkeys hung in the high trees, observing us as we observed them. Really, everyone in the group was looking around.

Yes, that was something I had to capture, if only a little bit, so I took in as much as I could. The guides had fun taking everyone back through a part of the forest that was extremely dense. That caused this bit to happen:

“Hilda wondered how mountains could be hard to find, but the two were right: they had to travel through a part of forest where the trees were growing so close together that it was impossible to know where you were going unless you knew where you were going.”

That forest is not my home. It will never be my home. But the sheer overwhelming sensation of walking there, realising for myself that I was walking in an as yet unspoilt part of nature with all its smell, sounds and so many shades of green is something that I will never lose.

*****

A big thank you to Paul Kater, from Cuijk, Netherlands, author of Hilda – Lycadea for sharing this guest blog about Playa del Carmen, Mexico. To find out more about Paul’s writing, visit his website http://paulkater.wordpress.com or visit him at his blog http://www.nlpagan.net/.

Writers And Their Chosen Settings – Jim Murdoch

“So much of who we are is where we have been.” – William Langewiesche

On Tuesdays, I post a guest blog by a writer about a special setting, real or imaginary, they chose for their work.

Today’s guest blog is by Jim Murdoch, author of Living With The Truth, Stranger Than Fiction, and the soon to be released Milligan And Murphy

*****

*****

 A Country Road. A Tree. Evening.

A place for everything, everything in its placeBenjamin Franklin

Writers are frequently asked to talk about what inspires them. It’s a difficult question for me to answer because I don’t believe in inspiration, not in any Romantic sense of the word and I never talk about my muse. I believe in ideas. My definition of inspiration is a good idea. And I can get a good idea anywhere.

I had a religious upbringing. It didn’t do me any harm but I can’t say my world view has not been affected by what I was taught. I never really got churches, though. Or graveyards. The idea that you need to go to a specific location to talk to a god or to remember your loved ones never made sense to me. You never got Jesus dashing off to the synagogue so he could commune with his heavenly father and why would I want to drive forty-odd miles to stand around in a graveyard my parents never went near in their lives simply to remember them?

I’m not big on place. That doesn’t mean I’ve never been to places. I have. Loads. And what I learned from going to all those different places is that none of them is that different. I’m sure I inherited that attitude from my father who never wanted to go anywhere. He used to say, and I never argued with him, that “contentment is being happy with whatever you had at any given point in time.” He never said, “…and space,” but that was implied.

There is, of course, no right way to be a writer. As a young boy in sixties Scotland I was exposed to the poetry of fellow Scots Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns along with a selection of English poets like Wordsworth, Tennyson and John Masefield. By the time I got to secondary school I was sick to the back teeth of babbling brooks, vagabonds and fields of daffodils and it took the war poetry of Wilfred Owen and the bleak verse of Philip Larkin to make me realise that there was much more to this poetry malarkey than nature poems. The poem that made all the difference to me was ‘Mr Bleaney’ by Philip Larkin and one of the things I liked about it was its descriptions. The poem opens:

This was Mr Bleaney’s room. He stayed
The whole time he was at the Bodies, till
They moved him. Flowered curtains, thin and frayed,
Fall to within five inches of the sill,

Whose window shows a strip of building land?
Tussocky, littered. ‘Mr Bleaney took
My bit of garden properly in hand’
Bed, upright chair, sixty-watt bulb, no hook

Behind the door, no room for books or bags —
I’ll take it.

His depiction of the room is reduced to a checklist and I liked that; it respected me as a reader and allowed me to use my own imagination. One of my personal writing edicts is: Say what you have to say and get off the page. That doesn’t mean all I write is flash fiction but it does mean I’m come to appreciate how little you can get away with when it comes to descriptions.

Have you ever seen the film Dogville? Essentially it’s all filmed on a sound stage. The buildings of the town are represented by a series of simple white outlines on the floor and a church spire suspended above the ground. Even the eponymous ‘dog’ is present only as an outline. No dramatic backdrops, or exquisite realistic period trimmings. All you are left to look at are a few tables and chairs. Oh, and the actors. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it.

When Amy asked me to write this article she suggested I include a section of my own writing. It wasn’t easy but I came up with this description from my first novel:

The town of Rigby had been built piecemeal over the years. It nestled itself uncomfortably in a sheltered escarpment not quite the archetypal seaside town it purported to be. But it did its best. Its architecture ran the full gamut from the seventeenth century on, though you’d be hard pushed to call what remained from that time Georgian. They were functional cottages when they were built; practical. Now, they were empty, but no one would commit to doing away with them out of some misplaced sentimentality. Most of the residential part of the town was of solid Victorian stock, though they’d been building ever since. It always smelled of paint and seaweed. It had a cenotaph with eighty-three names on it (eighty-four if you counted the graffito), a sizeable park complete with pitch and putt, a duck pond (but no ducks) and a statue of someone long-forgotten covered in bird-do. There were public baths, innumerable guest houses and B&B’s, a retirement home or two and a Town Hall, with a library grafted on at the rear. Its promenade was an austere place on days like this, when the holiday crowd was back working away wherever they came from. Most of the shops had been boarded up for the winter and it seemed like winter was getting earlier every year and lasting longer. He half-expected that one year they’d forget to open up at all and no one would notice. The shorefront was comprised of a huge arc bordered by a great stone wall a yard across. He’d walked the length of that more times than he cared to remember.

That description was not in the first draft of the novel and it was a chore to write. All I said in that first draft was that Rigby was a seaside town in the north of England and really that says it all especially if you make the connection to the Beatles song, Eleanor Rigby – “All the lonely people / Where do they all belong?” To my mind that’s all the information you need to conjure up the town in your own mind. It’s really an amalgam of every seaside town I visited as a child, although, I suppose, primarily the Scottish towns of Ayr, Troon, Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Largs. That said, I’ve seen enough films and programmes on TV to realise that there’s much of a muchness about all seaside towns, places to retire to and die, take for example the titular town in the recent BBC series, Sugartown (Filey) or the resort in the Michael Caine vehicle, Is Anybody There? (Chalfont St. Giles which also doubled as Walmington-on-Sea in Dad’s Army). But I could never say that any of those places inspired me. I needed to have my protagonist live somewhere and that was the right kind of place to put him.

My third novel is set almost exclusively in a park. The park I used as a model was the one at the end of my street, Victoria Park in Glasgow, but very little of the actual park makes it into the book, for instance:

The pond was shaped like a giant kidney bowl. It was something he noted every time he came to it. He also remembered that the Bible said the kidneys were the seat of the deepest emotions, not the heart.

The pond is not shaped like a kidney bowl. I wanted to include the remark about the kidneys and so the shape of the pond changed. I also added benches because I needed a bench for my protagonist to sit on. The swans were there already though. Bottom line, it could have been any park anywhere; I never mention it my name nor do I even say what city he is in not that it’s hard to work out.

Most of the action in my last novel takes place in the flat I live in at the present. It gets a makeover in the novel but the structure is still the same: three bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. Not that I do much describing of anything. All we learn about the protagonist’s bedroom, for example, is that when her father moved house (while she was at university) he had taken photos of the layout and replicated the room to the best of his ability in his new flat. The only things I even mention are in the room are her bed and an Eyes of Laura Mars poster that she decides is creepy now and needs to go.

If I was to think of a word to cover all my writing, the poetry, the stories and the novels I’d probably go with ‘chamber pieces.’ Okay, that’s two words. The road that the two brothers walk down in Milligan and Murphy is just a road. I don’t even mention that the road is in Ireland. It’s obvious where it is and why state the obvious?

So do I have places that I have an attachment to? Not so much. I accept that there are different mes depending on who I am with but I’ve never been able to perceive a different me based on where I am.

Bioregional animist psychology is focused on a concept of oneness, not unity per se but specifically oneness as unity indicates there are two things that are united or BECOME one. The difference on this point lays in that you do not become what you already are but you can become aware of what you are. – Self and Place, Bioregional Animism, 9 July 2010

I get that. I could wander down to the Clyde and watch the water and enjoy a few minutes of calm but I think too much can be made of the physical journey and location. Why can’t I simply imagine being there? I have access to that level of awareness anywhere. What if the Clyde wasn’t there or Wordworth’s Lake District or R.S. Thomas’ Wales? What if they’d been born in Brisbane or Seattle and I’d been born in Johannesburg?

Place is unavoidable unless you write purely dialogue and the more I write the more I’m drawn to that mode of expression. My radio play, Vladimir and Estragon are Dead, for example, takes place in limbo – there are only the two characters, no props, no scenery – and in my novel, Left, a large section of the book takes place in cyberspace and is presented as a simple chat log. I’m not the first writer to do that kind of thing, in fact entire novels have been written as pure dialogue: Delores Claiborne, by Stephen King is one that might surprise most people – the story opens with a quote that does not close until the very last page of the book – but there have been other novels written in dialogue before: Nicholson Baker’s Vox springs to mind, although it’s not completely in dialogue, and there’s also Corey Mesler’s Talk. I’ve personally written two short stories completely in dialogue, ‘Just Thinking’, which was published in The Ranfurly Review and ‘Ugly Truths’ which appeared in Ink, Sweat and Tears. It’s quite refreshing actually to be able to forget about those boring descriptive passages.

I don’t think writers who feel the need to go to specific places to charge up are weird. Okay, I do think they’re a little weird but I respect their right to be weird just as I understand that there are those writers who need to write with their lucky typewriters (just ask Isaac Bashevis Singer or Cormac McCarthy about that). It takes all sorts to make a world. We need poets who know how to write a decent haiku and storytellers whose verse can quieten a class of eight-year-olds, we need writers who can recreate a place on a bit of paper for all of those who will never have the chance to visit and we need writers capable of unflinching inner vision, too.

*****

A big thank you to Jim Murdoch, from Glasgow, Scotland, author of Living With The Truth, Stranger Than Fiction, and the soon to be released Milligan And Murphy for sharing this guest blog about the use of setting. To find out more about Jim and his writing, visit his website http://www.jimmurdoch.co.uk/, his blog http://jim-murdoch.blogspot.com/, and follow him on twitter as Jim_Murdoch.

Writers And Their Chosen Settings – Jonathan Gould

“So much of who we are is where we have been.” – William Langewiesche

On Tuesdays, I post a guest blog by a writer about a special setting, real or imaginary, they chose for their work.

Today’s guest blog is by Jonathan Gould, author of Doodling.

*****

In front of the water-wall at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia

 *****

 Doodling 

Neville looked around. High above, the lights of the stars twinkled. To his left, a comet flashed past. To his right, a sudden blaze of brightness flared, a distant supernova. It was a beautiful sight. An everlasting silent night.

Suddenly Neville was overcome by a feeling of peace. No more desperately rushing to keep up. No more frantically clinging on for dear life. Neville didn’t need the world anymore. He was free.

He looked around and noticed a stream of lights gliding past. Asteroids, some glowing like small planets, others seemingly no bigger than a teapot. Suddenly Neville had an idea. He would find himself an asteroid and make it his home. One that was not too big or too small, just comfortable. Then he could start again, from scratch. He would fashion for himself a new world. A world that worked exactly the way he wanted it to. And then, at last, he could get down to the important business of just being Neville.

*****

Doodling is an absurdly comic novella about a man (Neville Lansdowne) who falls off the world – because the world is moving too fast for him. As described in the excerpt above, he then finds himself floating in the middle of an asteroid field which provides the setting for the remainder of the story.

Obviously, while asteroid fields are a genuine phenomenon, my setting does not refer to a real location. It’s something that came out of my head, but that does not make it any less special. The idea for the story originally came from a comment my wife made, that she was finding things moving too quickly for her. My overactive imagination took hold and I began thinking of what would happen if the world moved so quickly that someone actually fell off. Where exactly would that leave them? And that’s when the idea of the asteroid field came in.

What I really liked about using this location was the way it allowed me to have a couple of levels of characterisation. Many of the asteroids had a kind of personality of their own. In particular, there’s one that becomes known as the Aimless Asteroid, because it seems to wander here, there and everywhere, that definitely seems to be become a character in itself, a bit like a lost dog.

The second level of characterisation refers to the actual people who live in the asteroid field (and let’s face it, it wouldn’t be much of a story if there was nobody else there). Many of the characteristics of the people Neville meets are very-much defined by the features of the asteroid they live on. The Aimless Asteroid is a good example as the girl Neville finds there is similarly aimless. Another asteroid is particularly featureless and boring but the couple who reside there have found some highly unusual ways of dealing with that (but I’m not going to tell you what they are).

So the asteroid field as a location turned out to be a really rich source for characterisation. What also worked really well was the space (space – get it!) for satirical observation that it allowed. As a fantastical location, it allowed me to open up a bit of a window on the kind of pointless, silly things that we people get up to in the real world. The ideas for the various asteroids I created came from a variety of sources, for example current events, things I read in other books, or sometimes just random inspiration, coupled later on with the need to generate a couple of extra characters to get the story finished.

But what was particularly interesting was the way readers responded to the various characters and situation within this location. Some readers, obviously on a similar wavelength to me, were able to recognise some of these ideas and it was fascinating to see them described back to me in reviews. But other people came up with wholly different ideas to explain what was happening, which I thought was great. Reading a book is a personal experience and readers have no obligation to interpret things in only one way. As a writer, it’s a wonderful thing to see readers ascribing different meanings to my words and really makes me feel like I’ve created something with some level of depth.

So that’s a little something about how place is an important element in my story. In my case it’s an imaginary space, an internal one that originally belonged to me alone. But as my book has gone out to the world, it now belongs uniquely to each of my readers as well.

*****

A big thank you to Jonathan Gould from Melbourne, Australia for sharing this guest blog about an asteroid field, the setting for Doodling. For more of the story, read the sample at Amazon and visit Jonathan’s blog here: http://daglit.blogspot.com. You can also follow him on Twitter as @jonno_go.