Books, stories, plays – what a week!

After an excellent online meeting with Debra from Silverwood Books, I am once more fired up to get a blog started and keep it up. I’ll just update it weekly.

Yesterday I read about the success of Richard Osmond’s, The Thursday Murder Club, in The Times. Its the No. 1 seller in hardbacks and has been in the top ten for the past thirty-six weeks. So I ask myself, “Why aren’t my books [based on the adventures of the residents of a similar retirement home] selling by the thousand?” Well, I know the answer if I am honest. Actually there are several! My name is not Richard Osmond and hardly anybody has ever heard of Angela Dandy. Second, I spend most of my time writing and never make time for social media. It frightens me to death if I’m honest but like everything else, practice makes perfect.

So today I have posted on Facebook giving my two novels in the Silveries series a boost. I freely admit to hanging on the coat tails of Richard Osmond’s book. If readers have enjoyed reading that, then I’m jolly sure that they’ll enjoy reading my novels.

Hooray – one job done, but mental note that I need to post something to excite my readers every day!

And a few days ago my Writers Group invited Sue Johnson, a well known novelist, poet and short story writer to join our Zoom meeting and talk to us about writing short stories for magazines. I’ve written quite a lot of short stories some of which are on my website. Suffice to say that Sue inspired us all and ended the session with a challenge – to write a 500 word short story beginning ‘The door at the top of the staircase was open…’ First draft complete, I shall take it out again next week and reread it to see what improvements I can make.

Its full steam ahead with my latest novel, The Gypsy Killer, thanks once again to Silverwood Publishing. Two weeks ago I sent off the final, edited version. The first version ran to 110,000 words [too many]. The final version ended up at 92,000 words. Amazing how easy it is to waffle on in a book. What would we do without copy editors? The book has now gone into the production process and I am awaiting print layouts.

And then there is the play that I wrote two years ago now as a member of the Stratford Playwrights Group. ‘Happy Talk’ attracted the attention of the Stratford-upon-Avon based Second Thoughts Drama Group and was selected to be presented at the Lighthorne Festival in 2020. Of course, that didn’t happen. Carried forward to the 2021 Lighthorne Festival, that too was cancelled. Suddenly an opportunity has opened up at the Bear Pitt Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon who have decided that they are going to have a few evenings of one act plays. Another quick rewrite (version 12) and we have a play now being rehearsed. You never know what is around the corner.

Each year the Stratford Playwrights has its own one act play competition for members and non members. This year I am working on a play based on the characters of Kenneth Grahame. I have one full 35 minute version drafted but I’m not yet entirely happy with the characterisation and there are are a few slight inconsistencies in the storyline. Another job for later this week.

Okay – so that the beginning of my blog. I’ll be back next week.

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