The Surprising Difficulties of Photographing #Booksandmacarons

#Bookstagramming on Instagram combines three of my favourite things – taking pictures,  microblogging and discovering new books. With hashtags such as #booksandnature, #booksanddogs #booksandcafes #booksinthewild etc etc, it all looks so chic and simple. However all those artful pictures are not as easy as they look, as I discovered when I decided to photograph ‘TheContinue reading “The Surprising Difficulties of Photographing #Booksandmacarons”

Finding Inspiration: Secret Gardens

In “The Alchemist of Paris” the heroine, Elise, has special knowledge of herbs and medicines, which leads to her being sent to Paris, to be a maid in the house of the mysterious scientist, Albert Price. Although a small part of the story, I wanted all the descriptions of the medicine gardens to be asContinue reading “Finding Inspiration: Secret Gardens”

Your Novel Stinks! Including all the Senses in your Writing

The quickest way to immerse a reader in your character’s world is for the reader to experience that world through your character’s senses. Most writers are familiar with the “show don’t tell” rule. The closer we are to the character’s actions and reactions, the more gripping the story becomes. Sight and sound are easy toContinue reading “Your Novel Stinks! Including all the Senses in your Writing”

City of Signs – Historical Fiction Tips

“My master, Monsieur Price, has asked me to go to the sign of the Three Hands again, although I dislike the place. He buys powders for his experiments there.” – Elise reflects on her strange instructions in ‘The Alchemist of Paris’ In an age when many people were illiterate, the most common way to navigateContinue reading “City of Signs – Historical Fiction Tips”

Flash Fiction: An exercise in POV

Earlier this week, I had a post about describing places in your character’s words. Here is a mini-flash fiction from three POVs. The scenario, the summoning of three immortals, to a well-to-do house on a bay overlooking Sydney Harbour. *  *  *  * The door fell open as Alexander approached. He entered the hall, takingContinue reading “Flash Fiction: An exercise in POV”

That’s not my point of view! Keeping characters in character

In “The Alchemist of Paris”, my current work in progress, our intrepid young heroine is summoned to work as a maid for a mysterious master in Paris in 1820. As she arrives at the darkened house, she is filled with amazement as she gazes upon the baroque facade, the carved lintel over the door andContinue reading “That’s not my point of view! Keeping characters in character”

Paris in the 1820s: imagining a city in the past

Writing a story with an historical backdrop has all the challenges of fiction writing – plot, character arcs, settings – and also the challenge of creating an accurate and believable world. Setting an historical story in a place like Paris is an even greater challenge, as much of what we see today and consider to beContinue reading “Paris in the 1820s: imagining a city in the past”