The Magic Cabbage

Kathy Sharp

One of the first things to do as a writer, so we’re told, possibly before you write a single word of your book, is to create your Author Brand. I fell at the first hurdle here. Can an unadventurous, ordinary person be believed as an author of exciting, magical tales? Some authors have used their powers of invention to create a far more interesting persona for themselves than their real lives merit. A spy? An intrepid explorer? A round the world yachtsperson? All great stuff. Although, of course, you may be called to account: your first book signing will be a grave disappointment to the buying public if they turn up expecting a cross between Scott of the Antarctic and Captain Bligh, only to find an introverted individual apologetically mumbling that the publisher thought it would be ‘better branding’. Unless you can live up to this kind of fabrication you…

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Everything you wanted to know about The Women Friends: Selina

An' de walls came tumblin' down

In this post, I will endeavour to put all the information about The Women Friends: Selina in one place. If I forget anything, or more details become available, I will add them.

The Women Friends: Selina will be released this Thursday, 1st December. That’s tomorrow.

It’s the first in a series of novellas about the women in Gustav Klimt’s paintings.

It’s a finalist in the Goethe Awards (although they still haven’t added my name).

You can buy it on Amazon.

You’re invited to our launch party at 3pm (UTC). (Just go there and click on Going.)

Lots of information about the background to The Women Friends: Selina can be found in these articles.

A reading from the start of the novella.

The English Informer posted my article here and here.

The one and only Seumas Gallacher, author of several crime thrillers, posted my article.


Plus… a

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A poem

Read Crooked Cat author Tim Taylor’s prizewinning poem.

Tim's Blog

One thing I never get tired of is seeing something I’ve written on the printed page. So I was very pleased last night to receive this copy of The Write Path 2016 (the National Association of Writers Groups competition anthology), with my poem The House Plant in it. So pleased, in fact that I thought I’d post it here too.  Hope you like it!

The House Plant

She keeps it in the living room

next to the fire, quite safe from rain

or raucous winds and screened by curtains

from the uninvited sun; alive

but not allowed to grow.

For Alice too,

there was to be no flowering.

The seed of her was sown in stormy times:

the sky was somewhere bombs might fall from;

hostile sea too perilous to cross.

The world was never, as for some of us,

an orchard bulging with ripe fruit.

Her life’s work was the carving…

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Character Building

Kathy Sharp

I thought it might be interesting, this week, to explain a little more about the method of creating characters by giving ‘voices’ to inanimate objects, particularly buildings. I first learned to do this in an exercise at my local writers’ group, Weymouth Writing Matters. You simply choose your object, and imagine what type of character it might have. I say ‘simply’ – but it does take a bit of effort.

Bear in mind that any object, just like a person, has both an appearance and a history, both in its current form and in terms of the materials it’s made from. This is particularly true of buildings, which also have a shared history with human beings – they are made by them and for them, so it’s no great surprise that they resemble them in some ways.


An imposing building, or one that has had a long life works best…

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Dictators in history: Fidel Castro

Tim's Blog

Having learned of the death of Fidel Castro this morning, I thought it would be timely to revisit a post I did on him last year (originally a guest post on the blog of fellow Crooked Cat author Nancy Jardine), part of a series comparing Carlos, the fictional dictator of my novel Revolution Day, to various real-life dictators. Though Carlos was not based upon anyone in particular, there are some distinct echoes of Castro in his career (though also some notable differences). It will be interesting to see how history judges the man. I suspect there will always be some who regard him as a hero and others who regard him as a villain. Good or bad, he was certainly an iconic figure who will be remembered for a long time.  Anyway, here’s the post ….

Dictators in history: Fidel Castro

My novel Revolution Day follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator Carlos Almanzor. Carlos is a fictional figure…

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