... joins me on the blog today. Hi Helen, and thanks for being here today. So, let me have your point of view on being a contributor to an anthology. It can't be that easy, can it?
For me, more came out of the anthology than those very
readable stories and a book we could be proud of. I had already found this writerly group invaluable for mutual
support, advice and laughs, but I believe that working together has made us
much closer as a group – I feel that we are now good friends rather than
When I was first invited to join a group of northern writers for lunch in Hebden Bridge four years ago, I had no idea where that would lead! Initially, it was just wonderful to chat with like-minded people, tagged onto a day out enjoying coffee and a potter around the eclectic shops in such a lovely place. Then, a couple of summers ago, Helena Fairfax suggested that we all do an anthology together. The idea appealed to everyone. We have a fantastic group of authors, so I knew the anthology would be a good one.
As you can imagine, the project took quite a bit of coordination with nine authors involved! We had to decide on a location (the fictional town of Haven Bridge) and a central character who would appear in each story (the mysterious Miss Moonshine). So, lots of emails and some fun lunches where we discussed ideas and consistencies and inconsistencies and titles and covers. We needn't have worried that we might clash with each other’s story ideas – each turned out to be unique.
|The Heart Gallery, Hebden Bridge|
The icing on the cake was that Miss Moonshine’s Emporium of Happy Endings was well received by readers and bloggers – most gratifying, especially when many of the reviews begged for more of Miss Moonshine. And we are happy to oblige! We’re all enthusiastic about bringing back the enigmatic Miss M for another helping, this time setting our stories around Christmastime in a festive Haven Bridge. And so I’ve been working hard on my story, thoroughly enjoying having a second shot at spending time with Miss Moonshine in a brand new tale.
For both my Miss Moonshine stories, the biggest challenge for me has been the length. Each of the books in my Little French Guesthouse trilogy were around the 100,000 word mark, so concocting a story with a beginning, middle and end in just a tenth of that, when I’m someone who loves really developing my characters, hasn’t been easy! But in the end, I enjoyed working with the differences – in length, in location (Yorkshire versus France), and in time - my new Christmas Miss Moonshine is set in 1982, which has been great fun.
I’ve already heard some of the other authors’ ideas for their stories, and they sound fantastic. I can’t wait to read them!
about the author… As a child, Helen had a vivid imagination fuelled by her love of reading, so she started to create her own stories in a notebook. She still prefers fictional worlds to real life, believes characterisation is the key to a successful book, and enjoys infusing her writing with humour and heart. Helen is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and The Society of Authors.
Another fellow Author on the Edge will be visiting the blog next month, so watch this space...
You can read previous posts from Authors on the Edge