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Daily Archives: October 10, 2011

Author Spotlight no.19 – author Margaret Falcon

To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of weekly Author Spotlights and today’s, the nineteenth, is of horror and mystery novelist, poet and short story author Margaret Falcon.

Margaret Falcon holds duel degrees in Criminal Justice and Internet Administration. Her passion for horror and mystery developed during the ‘80s, prior to the computer generation. Her first draft for Triangle was composed on an electric IMB typewriter in a guardhouse, while she was working on her Criminal Justice degree. Her poem, Death’s Kiss was published in the World of Poetry Anthology.

In her spare time, she enjoys nature photography, and shopping for unique jewelry. She has even created her own pieces, using a process known as lost wax casting.

Margaret currently resides in the foothills of North Carolina, with her two children, Jacob, skateboard extraordinaire, and Sabrina, a Goth cartoonist, plus a motley collection of pets, which include a dog, two cats, one ferret, and a degu.

Triangle is her first novel. Margaret is currently working on her second novel, a collection of short horror stories titled, Wake the Dead.

And now from the author herself:

I worked in this tiny guardhouse by day, and as a waitress in the evenings, while going to college. In between checking in visitors and answering the phone, I was utterly alone. I was bored out of my tree. I had an IBM typewriter in the guardhouse with me, and I started typing a story. As these characters came to life, they just started bugging me to create a book.

Triangle is the story of Kevin, Karen, and Tina, three college friends involved in a triangular relationship of danger, desire, and deceit.  Kevin has loved his girlfriend, Karen since they were high-schoolers, but Karen has trouble being faithful. Meanwhile, torn between love and loyalty, Karen’s roommate, Tina is forced to hide her affections for Kevin, while guarding the secret of Karen’s affairs. Soon, rumors begin to fly, tensions begin to mount, and students who interfere with Kevin and Karen’s relationship begin to mysteriously die, each of them brutally murdered. Tina desperately tries to keep her secrets, but can she do it long enough to stay alive?

I was a fanatic for horror films in the ‘80s, and I knew all the little tricks to make people jump, to keep them looking over their shoulders. I especially loved those films that mentally jerked the rug out from under me, that maintained suspense and kept me guessing. I want my readers to look over their shoulders, and to listen for things that go “bump in the night”. I hope this is what Triangle will bring to my reading audience.

Sound like fun, thank you Margaret. Degu: I learned something new today. :) You can find more about Margaret and her new novel, Triangle, via her website http://www.margaretfalcon.com.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with poet Elizabeth Harrington – the one hundred and th of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks here.

 

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Katie Fforde announced as H.E. Bates Short Story competition judge

I’m thrilled to announce that novelist, editor and short story author Katie Fforde is to be the H.E. Bates Short Story 2011 Competition judge.

Full details can be seen here (and rules and entry details here) but the following is a summary:

  • Write us a short story on the subject of your choice.
  • The competition is open to all writers.
  • Entries must be no longer than 2000 words in length.
  • 1st Prize £150; 2nd Prize £100; 3rd Prize £50
  • Special prize for the best story written by a Northamptonshire writer £50 (not awarded if the story has won 1st, 2nd or 3rd Prize)
  • In addition, a prize of £50 will be awarded for the best story by a writer who is under 18 years old on the closing date for entries.
  • The entry fee is £4 for each story submitted – or £1 for each story submitted by an Under 18 writer. Entrants are invited to submit as many stories as they wish.
  • The judging panel will comprise members of the Northampton Writers’ Group.
  • We are delighted to announce that Katie Fforde will be the Head Judge. Katie is the author of the best-selling books Summer Of Love, A Perfect Proposal, Living Dangerously, and much else.
  • Closing date for entries is Thursday 1st December 2011.
  • Prizes will be awarded at a prize giving ceremony in the new year. Date and venue to be announced.

I have to say (well, I don’t have to but I’m being kind) that one of the stories I read last year didn’t have a beginning or end (only a middle) so lost points for that (I start at 10 and work downwards). Nick, our competition organiser, let it go through to the panel which I wouldn’t have done as to me it wasn’t a short story so he’s clearly even kinder than me. :)

So there you have it! I belong to Northampton Writers’ Group (so, yes, I’ll be one of the panelists reading your stories (Nick gets them first and removes the names so they’re totally anonymous)) – you can listen to one of my red pen podcasts to hear me being firm but fair – so if you have any question feel free to email me.

The Northampton Writers’ Group (critique group) meets every other Thursday night in central Northampton, England – email me if you’re local and are interested in joining.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in competitions, short stories, writing

 

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Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘red pen session’ no.5

** Please note that I no longer run red pen episodes but do offer critique (first 1,000 words free) via http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/editing-and-critique.** 

This week’s podcast was released today, Monday 10th October, the fifth of my episodes dedicated to reading a short story or self-contained novel extract (with synopsis) and then talking about it afterwards.

I run a fortnightly critique group as well as critiquing other authors writing which I really enjoy so I thought I’d create podcast episodes doing this. Please remember that it’s only one person’s (my) opinion and you, and the author concerned, are welcome to disagree with my interpretation – I will never be mean for the sake of it, but hope that I’m firm but fair. I also type the critique as I’m reading the story for the first time so by listening to the episode you will have had the advantage of hearing the story in full before hearing my feedback.

Regardless of what genre you write I hope that this helps you think about the way your stories are constructed and that you have enjoyed hearing another author’s work, the copyright of which remains with them.

Today’s story was from Aneesa of Glasgow, Scotland who brought us ‘Finally you found me’ in episode two. Aneesa has been writing for some time and has always had an ambition to write her own book but was side-tracked with studies and work. Only recently has she come back to writing and is enjoying it very much. She has written a few short stories and sometimes likes to indulge in poetry. She is also fluent in three different languages: English, Urdu and German. This story, at 1,047 words, is entitled ‘You are my reasons’.

I read the story, critiqued it and concluded with: “Overall the story is extremely well written, with some minor tweaking it could easily be submittable. Unlike her previous story this ends really sadly but we know that she has the friendship of the man’s sister, although they only meet once a year. Then there’s the house, she’s said it’s her dream so there is a chance of redemption for her but as with good stories like this it’s up to the reader to chose an ending and whether mine would be the same as yours it doesn’t matter as with the joy of fiction, where the writer leaves, the reader continues.”

Aneesa’s blog is http://itsmythoughts11.wordpress.com (which has a really neat visitor location application!). She can also be ‘liked’ on Facebook and followed on Twitter.

If you have any feedback on today’s episode or any other podcasts or aspects of my website or blog, I’m always delighted to hear from you – my email address is morgen@morgenbailey.com.

And if you’re feeling brave enough to email me an (ideally up to) 1,000 word short story or novel extract (with a brief synopsis please) for these red pen sessions then feel free. I suggest you listen to at least one of the red pen episodes to get an idea of what happens.

Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast is available via iTunes, Google’s Feedburner, Podbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe). Episodes include hints & tips (currently episode no.40) and author audio interviews – see this blog’s podcast page for more information.

 

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