Originality

This is not one of my posts but something I am cross-posting from Edgeverse with their permission. It says something I've long suspected and have been saying for some time. I remember reading an interview with Frank Zappa in NME years ago. Despite its claims to the contrary, he said, the music industry was not looking for "the next great thing". Instead, they wanted the previous great thing. When the Beatles hit the scene, every label wanted a band with multiple guitar players. Boy bands were a non-starter until the first one became…Read more

Conditions: A Writer’s Perspective

Here are some thoughts I had during a writers' retreat in May, 2019, but it's still as true now. “I can’t write because…” Name your problem: space, time, people, inspiration, whatever. I have heard this, seen this, read this, more times than I care to remember, especially in the last year, since I became active in several FaceBook writing groups. Sorry, people, but that isn't a reason for not writing, it’s an excuse. And a lame one at that. Yesterday, I stood in the cottage where Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived for three years…Read more

Sharing Knowledge

Despite the horrors of Covid-19 and lockdowns, I hope this year brings you joy, good experiences and new knowledge. Apropos knowledge, I remember coming across a “law” of life some time ago, similar to Murphy’s Law: Roger Lincoln’s 2 Rules for Success:1. Never tell everything you know. It’s a good joke, but nowadays, hoarding knowledge is greedy, arrogant and, ultimately, insane. It’s greedy because knowledge doesn’t belong to anybody. Oh, I know that there is proprietary information, like the exact form and contents of a company’s databases or their communications protocols. Even their…Read more

Another Interview

I just received some links to an interview I did with an American friend who has her own podcast. The discussion was generally about writing. I thought people might be interested to hear what we talked about. Podbean: https://thewritershourcreativeconversations.podbean.com/e/stephen-oliver-on-reprogramming-your-mind/ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/743kfTq81cl8zehJ67FCtF Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/the-writers-hour-creative-conversations/e/74333204 Radiopublich: https://radiopublic.com/the-writers-hour-creative-convers-8QMzmO/s1!abe12 Spreaker: https://www.spreaker.com/user/12807063/stephen-oliver-on-reprogramming-your-min Backtracks: https://backtracks.fm/discover/s/the-writers-hour-creative-conversations/5805f4772e3bbc2f/e/stephen-oliver-on-reprogramming-your-mind/bcbb29e13520f590 Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/us/show/1513512 iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/stephen-oliver-on-reprogramming-your-mind/id1523697787?i=1000495495371 Tunein: https://tunein.com/podcasts/Education-Podcasts/The-Writers-Hour-Creative-Conversations-p1346601/?topicId=158139916 I will be taking part in another interview with her specifically about my book Unleash Your Dreams next week.Read more

Writing Excuses

It's that time of the year again, when people think about joining NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. People undertake to write an entire novel in 30 days. I don't take part because I write all year round, to the tune of over 1.1 million words in eight years. However, many don't take part because of so-called writer's block. Again and again, in various Facebook forums, I've heard people complain about being blocked. I've written about dealing with this before (Becoming a Writer), but the next section contains the thoughts I had while…Read more

Submissions

I've been thinking a lot recently about submissions to agents, publishers and magazines, given that I'm sending out three different books and a whole bunch of short stories to them. I have come to several conclusions about how much work is involved, what information you need to know, and how much preparation you need to undertake. I'll call the agents, publishers and magazines APM's to shorten the article. I now have around a dozen different versions of my manuscripts on the computer. Some APM's want double-spaced, others 1.5 lines spacing. Some want Times…Read more

A Taster of My Style

I was asked the other day, what kind of stories I write. That is not easy to answer, as my tales cover multiple genres: self-help, science fiction, space opera, fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, fairytales, fairy stories, magical realism, noir, detective fiction, humour, YA, children's books. Moreover, many of them contain more than one genre. That makes it difficult for agents and publishers to pigeonhole my work. Nevertheless, I've been told by multiple readers that they like my style and imagination. I'm a member of a local writing group called the Whittlesey Wordsmiths. We…Read more

Being Creative

I've been thinking about what it means to be a writer; the ups and downs, as well as the triumphs and defeats (aka rejections). I have to wonder why I do this, sometimes. What drives me? I decided that I'm one of those lucky ones who not only has a creative streak, but has discovered the best way to express that. I've been looking through old blog posts from another blog of mine (http://stephenoliverblog.com), and I realised that this one is just as relevant now as it was a few years ago. So…Read more

Interview – Update

Since my last post, I've received some links to the interview on various podcasts. Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/77O2gsFTbWXcKy5Ks1dUr7 Podcast Addict https://podcastaddict.com/podcast/3038980 Jiosaavn https://www.jiosaavn.com/shows/The--Writers-Stop\/1\/JTAMKezVAWU_ Passionate World Talk Radio Network https://passionateworldtalkradio.com/unleashing-your-dreams/ It's also on their FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/passionateworldradio/ iTunes https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-writers-stop/id1523170826?i=1000484275418. Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/user/8680265/the-writers-stop Castbox https://castbox.fm/channel/id3104442Read more
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