Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit the clubhouse is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today in the tearoom we’re helping Alyson celebrate the launch of her book The Lost Girl/Spindleshanks. Welcome.
Thank you, Paula for inviting me over to the tearoom.
So let me start by asking you, did you try to be more original when writing this book, or deliver what you felt the readers wanted?
There are 2 stories in this standalone e-book in Demain’s Short!Sharp!Shocks! Series – The Lost Girl/Spindleshanks.
I write the stories I would enjoy reading, and whilst I write them I think – is this exciting? Is this scary? Will the reader have fun reading this? Have I left enough hints/clues for the reader to work out the mystery?
Did you feel energised or exhausted after writing this book?
Writing is surprisingly tiring I find, mentally at least. If I write for several hours I always feel quite drained and want go do something different then like walk the dog or watch a film.
Do you want each of your books to stand alone, or are you building a body of work that are interconnected? Whether that be a theme, a set of characters, a setting, etc. Explain more for our readers.
Currently I write short spooky, thriller stories, flash fiction and I’ve had a crime novella published too. So they are all stand alone and there are no overlapping characters, though several of the stories reference the area in West Yorkshire where I live and often the moors near me.
How do you balance your demands on the reader with taking care of your readers? In the book did you spell everything out so your reader just had to read it, or did you rely on their emotional response to your words?
I am very keen on writing with subtext, and leaving the ‘knowledge gaps’ for the reader to fill in.
Do you hope your book will deliver you literary success and how will this look to you?
This book has already had a couple of early brilliantly positive reviews (on Goodreads) and there has been some chat on twitter about it amongst the indie writing community. This is really what I’m most fussed about- the reviews, the networking, the opinion of my writing peers.
Was there anything you edited out of this book, you wanted to keep in, but you knew it would be a better book by cutting it?
Both of the stories were rewritten and edited a few times. The first draft is just that- and along the way I tweak, edit out, tighten up the dialogue and even change the ending – which I did in The Lost Girl.
How long did you spend researching this book’s subject matter, or was it a book you had already planned?
The Lost Girl is set in 1970 and the present day so I did do some googling to revisit the music and clothes of 1970 to get me in the writing zone.
What was the hardest scene to write in the book?
In The Lost Girl the toughest scene to write is where the two protagonist ‘find’ the titular lost girl- I wanted to be respectful about this, you will see why when/if you read the story. In Spindleshanks the final scene on the beach with the father and Spindleshanks was tough to write- how much a parent will sacrifice for his child. Being a mum myself I can really identify with that.
How will you cope with bad reviews on this book?
I’ve been lucky in the past with my publications and I haven’t had that many bad or even poor reviews. There has been the odd tepid one or not so keen, but no outright stinkers. But not everyone will enjoy my writing, and if the review is fair and courteous that’s fine, it’s still a review that a reader has taken time to write.
What’s the one thing you would give up to become a better writer? Interesting question there Paula! I’ve already made a few life/work/family choices along the way to accommodate my writing- I think that’s what you do when you’re passionate about it.
Thank you for joining me here today, Alyson and may I wish you good luck and lots of lovely sales. If you would like to find out more about Alyson’s books and writing check out her Author’s Page.
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.