Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and fifty-third, is of short story writer and novelist Rosalind Minett. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights. See below for 50% off offer…
Rosalind, a chartered psychologist in her other life, has long been writing fiction for her own pleasure. She enjoys writing about ordinary people in unusual situations, or unusual people struggling to fit in. Her style is light, but even in her humorous stories, there is always a dark edge. A keen member of several writing groups over the years, she was often tempted to write full time.
Now she has taken the move to get her work published. Her collection of ironic short stories, Me-Time Tales: Tea-breaks for mature women and curious men, is just out in paperback, with e-versions to follow later this month. She has three novels in different stages of completion or editing, all of which she hopes will see light of day in 2014.
Rosalind’s other interests are Fine Art, Architecture, Modern Ballet and her hobby is sculpture, a messy business. She finds a similarity between creating characters in writing and creating forms in three dimensions or ‘cutting them down to size’.
Rather than a photograph, she uses an avatar. It saucily refers to her interest in Art. The two faces represent her serious and irreverent sides, also the observer / recorder and the internal / external selves.
She has two blogs: the quirky Me-Time Tales and a blog about the process of writing with articles and reviews of less usual fiction – http://fictionalcharacterswriting.blogspot.com and http://characterfulwriter.wordpress.com.
And now from the author herself:
I write novels for preference. It takes me time to build up a character, laying down the seeds in the first chapters. I’m not so good on plots but I know these will emerge later on. I always know what is going to happen in the next chapter when I finish each one. The ending is vital, and I write this as soon as it becomes evident, usually about one-third through the writing.
I wrote The Parody first, then A Relative Invasion and lastly, Speechless. Several times I’ve thought A Relative Invasion was ready to go, and each time I’ve ended up doing a serious re-write. I edit far more than I write but I’m hoping that this is just a trait of a beginner and I’ll lose that excessive rewriting as I progress.
When I decided to test the publishing water by putting out a small book, I was told I had to engage in social media. A private person, someone who abhors Facebook and serial texting, I was appalled. ‘If you want books to sell, that’s what you have to do,’ I was told. All my writer friends said the same. The book was already at the printers, so I knew I had to do something. I slept on it and came up with a solution.
I would do a blog about Me-time Tale but instead of writing about myself, I would let the characters do the talking. Instead of using my photo, I would have an avatar. So the Me-Time blog was born. If you visit it, you will see it is, as I’ve said, wacky. I call it a ‘character dialectic’, for although I appear, not very prominently and always under my avatar, the characters are in charge. I’ve let them dominate, which means they bitch about me as well as about each other.
The characters, I imagined, came together as a reading group, for if you read the book, you’ll find each one is of a different age and life situation, and with a different obsession. They’re all self-obsessed in different ways.
Letting them talk and organise themselves, a narrative developed and there is now an ongoing development. I’m never quite sure what the next post will bring. I just want each character to come to the fore, sooner or later, rather than let the bossy ones take the full stage.
I also have an interloper. The one male, a physicist, I’ve brought in from one of my novels. I thought I might need an objective voice from time to time.
This blog was all great fun, but some weeks into it I thought, given that I have novels to bring out (for which really Me-Time was a trial run) none of which are comedies, I had better concoct a serious blog elsewhere with comment, reviews, articles. That’s how thecharacterfulwriter blog came about.
It must be evident to you by now that the work involved in doing all this seriously took the time I should have been spending on my novels. And I’m only a blogging beginner with all the mechanics of layout, SEOs and keywords yet to learn. I’m at that frustrating stage of knowing what I don’t know.
I hope readers of Morgen’s pages will visit my blogs, even better, leave a comment so that I know what I write has some meaning to someone.
I’d love you to buy my books, starting with Me-Time Tales Tea-breaks for mature women and curious men,. £6.99. You can buy it from bookshops, direct from the distributors at http://www.ypdbooks.com/short-stories/981-me-YPD00913.html, or from Booktext via Amazon marketplace. With my next book I might use normal Amazon but they take 60% AND can reduce your book price as they choose. I prefer to set a very reasonable price in the first place. However, as a newcomer, it seems wise to try different methods. In the last analysis, I love independent bookshops and using Amazon works against their survival.
If you’re really skint, the e-book versions are out in the next few days. Not such fun as holding a neat book, but will cost under £2.00.
Hope to see you soon!
Rosalind is offering a 50% reduction on her Me-Time Tales collection if you quote MBoffer from January 29th to February 4th 2014 from ypdbooks.
Thank you very much, Rosalind. I look forward to reviewing your collection of stories for https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/reviews/book-reviews next Wednesday.