At last, you will know what happened to Judith Goldstein after her tragic accident and return to America. In MONET'S SHADOW the sequel to my novel MONET'S ANGELS we meet an older and possibly wiser Judith hell bent on preventing history repeating itself. Out soon.
There is a saying: 'all cats are grey at night' when it comes to the many breeds of feline this is certaily not the case. From the sedate Persian to the energetic Abyssinian there is a world of difference not only in their colour and size but their temperament. It makes sense, therefore if you are considering a cat that isn't a moggy to choose a breed that is in tune with your temperament. There is no use in going for a mischievous Siamese if you're not prepared to offer lot of diversions to keep her occupied. Likewise if you're looking for a feline who will snuggle on your lap in front of the television don't opt for a Norweigian Forest cat who loves to roam outdoors. If you're looking for some guidance my book THE CAT PAPERSCAPES provides all the information you need to make the right choice.
Let me take you on a journey into the past, to 1937 when a young woman found love in the romantic setting of Calude Monet's France. Immerse yourself in the beauty of his flower garden. Live with Isabelle the joy and pain of a first love.
This sumptuous book celebrates the sheer variety of cats around the world, with beautiful photography accompanied by a lyrical and expertly-written text that describes the key characteristics of over 50 species. It also features paper press-outs, enabling you to view the cats in relief and create the most spectacular book art. Press out the cats, fan out the pages, and display your copy as a work of art on a shelf or mantelpiece.
I am sometimes asked to read other writers' work and to offer a critique. Generally, their storyline moves along. BUT while these authors probably have a clear idea in their heads of the appearance of their characters, their surroundings and the locations in which they move, we are not mind readers. We may be told that a character is 'beautiful' another is 'amusing' or that a room is 'badly decorated', a birth is 'long and difficult' or, again, that the countryside is 'unfriendly' THIS IS JUST NOT ENOUGH. We need pictures painted for us, specific details, tellingactions or dialogue that reveals every character as an individual. Otherwise the story remains on a two dimensional level and worst of all, does not hook the reader. Showing rather than telling demands much more work so that we 'see' the characters, the locations, understand them by the way they behave. The reward will be that your reader 'feels they are there.'
I'm sure you've had the advice: 'write about what you know' and sometimes thought that can be quite limiting. But if you widen your horizons you'll realise that you 'know' a great deal more than you imagined. Writers like D.H. Lawrece poached without any guilt on the experiences and stories other people told him. The French writer Colette's characters were often based on people she knew. so cleverly did she do it that they never realised she was writing about THEM.So, keep a notebook and jot down snippets and stories people tell you. You don;t have to copy them slavishly but they will expand your range of 'what you know.'
If I asked you which is your favourite book it is likely you'll name one where its characters have stayed long in your mind after you came to the last page. Emma in Emma Bovary, Mrs Ramsey in To the Lighthouse are just two women with whom I've shared their lives.
As a writer intent on creating strong characters you need to know them through and through if they are going to come alive on the page.Spend some time living with them, in your imagination, 'talk' to them, preferably not in public or you might get some funny looks.
If brain storming is your thing, sit yourself down with pen and paper and sketch them out as fully as you can. This way you will know how they think, feel and act which will influence how you write about them.
There are certain rules about formatting dialogue that beginners sometimes neglect. One. It should be separated from the narrative passages. Fresh line, indent, open quotes. These are usually single in British text and double in American. Two. New line, new indent when another person is speaking. Three. a certain amount of narrative can be included, for example: 'She picked up the book and opened it at page ten,'this is what I was referring to.' Apart from allowing the reader to follow a conversation with ease, it also 'breaks up' a page of text.
Are you like me and can't resist ear wigging on other people's conversations. You know the scene: you are sipping a flat white in a cafe or riding on the top deck of a bus and you hear the most astounding or funny remarks:. 'so, I'm going to dye my hair bright green' 'you'd never believe what he keeps in that toolshed of his'
As a writer, this could set the imagination working and might spark the idea of a story.I wrote a play called THE WOMAN WHO WASHED HER KNICKERS after hearing a bizarre remark about 'flying sperm'.
My advice is to carry a notebook wherever you go and jot down these gems. You think you'll remember them, but you won't. Over time you'll collect a wealth of material that will often come in useful when you are think of what to write.
So the Bengal cat is not for you. How about that charming feline, the Persian? You wouldn't be the first one to fall for them. They were adored by Queen Victoria,and are now favoured throughout the world. If you are one for the quiet life, this sedate and placid cat would fit the bill. There is one problem which is now being recognised and that is the breeding that has produced a 'flat faced' cat. Sometimes this can result in breathing problems. Better to go for the original 'doll face' where the nose is less squashed. Choose a Persian and she'll be happy to keep you company while you take some time out on the sofa. Read more in The Cat