Tuesday 27 August 2013

Barnaby introduces a friend

Barnaby would like to use this blog space to introduce a fellow writer, Suzy Dubot, an Anglo/American who has been living in France for over 30 years. Not only does Suzy write her own books, she also motivates and inspires a multinational group of like minded authors to produce regular compilations of short stories in aid of charity. This group, known collectively as Top Writer's Block, simply would not exist without her encouragement. Here, in her own words, is a small insight into Suzy's writing.
A writer is only half responsible for what he writes. I promise you.

Once I have given my characters their names, they begin to take over. Their personalities emerge and have very little to do with what I had originally planned for them. The hardened hero often takes on a schoolboy vulnerability and my heroines have the colour of their hair changing several times before the end of the tale. Not one of your modern hair colour products either, because the majority of my people are ensconced in the Regency period with only the occasional time shift, if you're lucky.
Q. How did I begin you might ask?
A. It was a very bad Regency paperback that convinced me that I could do better.

Q. Why so late in life?
A. I admit that any urge I had to write earlier was stifled by the mystery of dialogue. How did an author create credible dialogue? Fool that I was, I never attempted it until that modern 'penny dreadful' pushed me to try. I know now. The answer is quite simple for me - I take dictation. My characters say what they like and often do as they like. I sometimes find them kissing or moving on to more serious acts, and there is little I can do without stepping away, without taking my fingers off the keyboard. I wonder if they knew we were reading about them, they might be a little more discreet but somehow I doubt that, in a moment of passion, they would give a damn!

Q. Have I lived a dull life, you might wonder?
A. My writings are not the fantasies of a drudge. I am an American who spent her younger years travelling back and forth between the US and Britain. The irony is that I have ended up living most of my life in France.

How that happened is another story.

I am a vegetarian and an active supporter of animal rights. It is difficult to know if I have influenced my three daughters or if it is they who have influenced me. My life still has many unexpected twists to it, for which I am grateful most of the time.

To sum up, I must just say that as an author I have had the amazing good fortune of crossing paths/ words/ lines/ stories with some pretty impressive writers. Contact with them has been an eye-opening experience that I would not have missed for anything because, not only have they encouraged me but they have shown me that writers the world around are just ordinary folk like me. They all have characters and plots in their heads waiting to get out. So now when I'm asked what I do for a living, I can answer without hesitation that I am a secretary who takes dictation! Just joking.


You can find out more about Suzy Dubot's books  here including two of her most recent books Tangling with Tania and Garnets
I can heartily endorse Suzy's credentials. SHE IS A WRITER!


Monday 19 August 2013

Barnaby thinks about topiary

Barnaby has been doing the annual trim on two ornamental junipers in his Devon garden. These were planted long before Barnaby lived here and were probably sold originally as 'dwarf' conifers. They are now about twenty feet tall. Now, had the previous owners sculpted these as they grew, by means of judicious snipping and pruning, they could by now be in the form of peacocks, perhaps, or a steam locomotive, maybe. Unfortunately they have grown tall and cylindrical, with a rounded top and look more like giant ... (well, Barnaby is too nice to say what they actually do look like, but he now has the two biggest ones in the neighbourhood).
To celebrate the completion of this year's annual chore, here's a verse that Barnaby wrote on the subject a few years back.

Paradise gardens 
Some people like unkempt gardens
With grasses, wildflowers and sedges.
But I prefer something more formal
With tightly clipped shrubs and trimmed hedges.
A heath’s an elysian field for them.
Paradise is a flowering tree.
But I just want neatness and order.
Yes, yew topiary’s heaven for me.
Oct 02

(You can find more of Barnaby's quirky verse by visiting www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk )

Friday 9 August 2013

Barnaby's Shorts just got Bigger!

Barnaby's Bigger Book of Shorts is now available as an e-book from Smashwords  here.

Volumes one to four of Barnaby's Shorts, which are still available as single volumes, have been amalgamated to a single volume containing forty 'coffee break' sized stories.

Ideal for reading on the beach, in the bath, on the train to work, or, while taking your morning coffee.

A mix of genres, including mystery, romance, sci-fi and humour. Who are The Women Furies? Can you grow a man from a bean? Is it possible to rob a bank by accident?
Answers to these questions plus four tales from the Vertigo labs inside.
Can a man get trapped inside a Kindle? What would you do if you were stalked by the invisible man? and how did Amelia find her new man?

For a short period, this e-book is downloadable for 'FREE' in the e-reader format of your choice.

If you enjoy what you read, please leave a review here. This provides valuable feedback to Barnaby and also helps other readers find the book.

You can check out Barnaby's other e-books here

Sunday 4 August 2013

Barnaby makes a gesture

One of the unexpected positives that Barnaby has discovered since he started publishing e-books has been to make contacts with other Indie authors around the world. The internet has rendered the physical separation of no consequence.

David Keith is an American author, who describes himself as an unreformed hippie. He happens also to be a fine writer and Barnaby has enjoyed, in particular, his series of tales about the characters who inhabit a bar known as The Painted Door. Dave has also been a contributor, with Barnaby, to several collections of stories that have been published to raise funds for the Sea Shepherd charity.

Barnaby is pleased, therefore, to be able to use this blog space to allow David Keith to introduce himself to some new readers.

David H. Keith
I have been called a lot of names over the years: smart-ass, curmudgeon, idealist, various parts of my anatomy (which are not always in close physical proximity to each other), as well as a great many others. Some of them are even true to varying degrees, but so are some of the more pleasant names: lover, wise, intelligent, kind, etc. I guess the one word that best describes me is human, in all my nobility and all my failings. I’d rather that being human thing weren’t the case, but I’m sort of stuck with it for now, so it’ll just have to do.

Cover for 'Tales from The Painted Door III: Molly's Walk'
I’m also a writer, which makes me even weirder to some folk. You’ve probably heard the saying that writers are professional liars; well, it’s true in that fiction writers, in particular, just make stuff up to entertain others. That stuff’s relationship to reality is tenuous at best—and that is as true for the so-called news media as for Stephen King, Kathy Reichs, and all the rest of the breed. No matter how objective we try to be, nor as accurate, we are still humans, so we see—and report—through the lenses of our own perceptions, experience, and beliefs. All of us writerly types truly do listen to the voices in our heads. We have to. If we didn’t, we couldn’t write a syllable.

My degree is in Communications with an emphasis on writing. My passions are many, including using our language properly, the absolute freedom of speech we here in the US are told we have, and telling a good yarn. And earning and keeping my wife’s love and respect.

Professionally, I have worked for nigh onto three decades in the medical profession, from combat medic in the US Army to Paramedic in the civilian world and a host of other occupations. If nothing else, this makes me more or less fluent in medicalese; for instance, I know the difference between, say, antiseptic and aseptic. I also know how not to treat a burn and I’ve had the ultimate pleasure of helping a new life into this beat-up old world of ours. I’ve also seen, and even eased, some as they make their final departure. I suppose you could say I have seen both the Alpha and the Omega of human life.

But, wait! There’s more to David H. Keith than a simple medic. I’ve also been a newspaper reporter, photographer (sometimes simultaneously), and editor. Yep, I’m one of the banes of would-be authors everywhere—and I’m quite passionate about it. And that is because I have a deep reverence for language and the proper use thereof. Language, you see, is one of the hallmarks of our being human, or so some say.

My wife, Dr. Elizabeth Rowan Keith, and I have developed a website highlighting our eBooks; we invite you to browse our works at www.novemberfirstpublications.weebly.com. If you’d like to discuss the mechanics of writing, please visit my blog at www.davidkeith1.blogspot.com. There, I give hints to help writers with grammar, punctuation, and all the other little things that make a good story great.