How do you go about create a realistic historical background for your novel? How much research should you do … and when do you stop? Do you have your characters reflect the tastes, mores and attitudes of past eras even if they are not acceptable today?
These are the kinds of questions we discuss on the new episode of We’d Like a Word with authors Alec Marsh (Rule Britannia) and Eoin McNamee (The Blue Tango and many more).
We’d Like A Word is available on iTunes, Spotify, Anchor, Google Pods and almost any place that good podcasts are hosted (or just click here).
This is the last episode of 2019. Paul and Stevyn wish you all a very merry Christmas and a hopeful and peaceful New Year. There are some great guests to come in 2020 …
In this new (and bonus length) episode of We’d Like A Word, Paul and Stevyn talk to authors Jake O’Kelly (in the studio) and Andrew Chapman (via phone) about self-publishing, the value of beta readers and the importance of good covers. We also talk about gay fiction and about writing sex scenes … because so few people seem to do it well and a great many authors (including your hosts) haven’t yet been brave enough to try. Why is writing a sex scene so hard? (Oo-er) And is it more difficult to write sex scenes that are outside of your comfort zone e.g. a gay author writing a hetero scene? It’s a fascinating discussion. Oh, and apologies for the slight background noise – there was a very excitable radio show going on in the studio next door to us.
Available as a podcast from Thursday 21st November on iTunes, Spotify, Anchor FM, Google podcasts and wherever good podcasts are hosted.
As always, do get in touch if you fancy answering this show’s brain-teaser or to suggest topics for us to cover. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org plus you can find us on Twitter and Facebook as @wedlikeaword.
Paul, Jake O’Kelly and Stevyn
Jake O’Kelly is the author of The Smell of Good Decisions, a near-dystopian near-future thriller set in his home town of San Francisco in which four people become the unwilling victims of a military experiment to weaponise the human olfactory system. He was formerly the head of publicity for Amazon Publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). He now works for online developers Mozilla (creators of Firefox and other well-known software). Website
Andrew Chapman, with the full support of his family, gave up his job to ‘have a go’ at being a writer. He has self-published two very well received books Tripping the Night Fantastic – a booze-sodden and occasionally surreal whodunit – and The Accidental Scoundrel in which the hero discovers that, in order to marry his girlfriend, he has to join her eccentric father’s gang of gentlemen thieves. Andrew’s next book has recently attracted the attentions of traditional publishers and he hopes that he may not have to live in a caravan for much longer. Website
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
99Designs – to get book covers, logos etc. designed
It’s Graham Norton! Yes, that Graham Norton on We’d Like A Word. Talking about his own writing and whether celebrities can ever be good authors? It’s on the radio at 7pm UK time tonight (Wednesday 8th May 2019) Wycombe Sound 106.6 FM. And then via the podcast afterwards.
Graham Norton – comedian, TV star and Father Ted legend – tells us about his other life as an author. He’s written two novels – Holding and now A Keeper. But are they any good? Are they funny? Are they even supposed to be? Do celebrities famous for something entirely different make good writers? Graham Norton may be hilARious (he is), but can he write? You’ll have to listen to this episode of We’d Like A Word to find out. He reads from his second novel A Keeper, talks about how he writes, how he gathers material and about Ireland. There’s also a competition to win one of Graham’s books – but you’ll have to listen to find out.