Daily Archives: September 17, 2011

Author Spotlight no.9 – author Jeanne Bannon

To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of Author Spotlights and today’s, the ninth, is of freelance editor and supernatural thriller writer Jeanne Bannon. You can read the others here.

Jeanne has worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years. She started her career as a freelance journalist, then worked as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada and currently works as a freelance editor and writer.

Jeanne’s had several short stories published and won first place in the Writes of Caledon Short Story Contest. Her novels The Barely Boy and Dark Angel were finalists in the 2010 and 2011 Strongest Start Contests. One of Jeanne’s short stories “Thom’s Journey” is part of an Anthology entitled A Visitor to Sandahl and is available at

Invisible, Jeanne’s latest novel, is about a teenage girl who isn’t happy with herself and wishes she could disappear. And one day she does. Invisible will be available shortly from Solstice Publishing.

When not reading or writing, Jeanne enjoys being with her daughters, Nina and Sara and her husband, David. She’s also the proud mother of two fur babies, a sweet Miniature Schnauzer named Emily and Spencer, a rambunctious tabby, who can be a very bad boy.

And now from the author herself:

The value of a good writing group

As far back as I can recall, I’ve written. My lifelong dream has always been to be a published novelist and that dream has finally come true now, in mid-life. I’ve often wondered why I didn’t write that elusive novel earlier. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I’ve lost count of how many novels I’d started and gave up on. But writing was hard work. It was solitary. It was boring. What was it that made the difference? The answer is simple. I found an online writing group.

Writing is a much easier process when you have like-minded individuals ready and willing to provide feedback. At first, when my writing wasn’t up to par, the criticism stung, but I never got angry with reviewers. In my heart I knew they were right and that the criticism was given out of a genuine attempt to help me become a better writer. I learned an awful lot from my writing group and credit those fine fellow authors with much of my success in not just completing my novels, but in making them the best they could be.

As well, knowing I had “fans” waiting for my next chapter made me to want to write. I had a purpose and reason to sit down and pen that next chapter. Someone out in cyberspace was waiting for it! Belonging to an online writing group has also provided me unexpected rewards. I’ve made friends with so many fabulous people. Friendships that will undoubtedly be lifelong.

Over the years I became a senior member of the group and was then in the position of doling out advice; becoming a teacher of sorts. I know I’ve helped others become better writers and that too was rewarding. Although these days with time at a premium, I’m not as active in my group as I’d like to be. However, I will continue to belong and participate when I can. They are my lifeline to advice, to friendship, to encouragement and to anything else I need to keep motivated.

If asked for writing advice, I would say the best thing for an aspiring novelist is to look around for a writing group. It doesn’t have to be an online group like mine. There are plenty of face-to-face groups out there, but the feedback and encouragement is invaluable…better than any workshop or course I’ve ever taken.

I’d agree but then I’m a member of three so am probably a tad biased. 🙂 You can find more about Jeanne and her writing via…TwitterFacebook, her blog and Solstice Publishing.

And Jeanne will also be returning on 25th October as interviewee 167. 🙂 Thank you Jeanne.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with Supernatural mystery, historical and short story author Geoffrey Guiver – the one hundred and thirtieth 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 at 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 at You can also read / download my eBooks here.


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Bailey’s Writing Tips podcast ‘red pen session’ number 4

** Please note that I no longer run red pen episodes but do offer critique (first 1,000 words free) via** 

I’m delighted to announce that this week’s podcast released today, Saturday 17th September (two days earlier than normal), was the fourth 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 and I’m grateful to the authors who have already volunteered their pieces. I’d be thrilled if you listened to the podcast (links below). 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 my comments for the recording as I read through the story as a reader would think as they read the story, although they of course would be reading, not analysing.

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

This episode’s was kindly emailed to me by JD Mader of San Francisco, USA whose story ‘Green’ I discussed in episode 1. This story is entitled ‘The Sow’s Ear’ and I’m going to be picky this time because I found so little to criticise with Dan’s original story. 🙂

The format of the episode is me reading the short story then giving an in-depth critique with a conclusion of the whole story then, where time allows, it did in this episode, reading the story again as sometimes it’s better to understand a story when you’re not concentrating on the plot. I’d be interested to know, upon hearing it twice, whether you feel any differently about it after the second read-through.

UPDATE: JD told me that he had written this piece for a contest and the guidelines were that it had to include an iron, water, and something in the pocket or something to that effect. Sadly JD didn’t win but he still had a great short story to use as he wished (on his blog and for my podcast). 🙂

JD Mader is a teacher and writer / musician based in San Francisco.  He has been fortunate enough to encounter many giving and inspiring people in his life.  He hopes to repay the debt.  And to make enough money with his writing to buy a house. Please do visit JD’s website, perhaps ‘like’ his Facebook author page, follow him on Twitter and it would be fantastic if you’d pop along and buy his novel ‘Joe Café’.

The podcast is available via iTunesGoogle’s FeedburnerPodbean (when it catches up), Podcasters (which takes even longer) or Podcast Alley (which doesn’t list the episodes but will let you subscribe).

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 And if you’re feeling brave enough to send me a short story or novel extract (with a brief synopsis please) – ideally 1000-word maximum – for these red pen sessions then feel free. Thank you.

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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Facebook, podcast, short stories, tips, Twitter, writing


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