Last year, I went to a Society of Authors event and got chatting to a lovely bloke called Paul. We discussed how I drifted from traditional publishing into indie publishing and the advantages of being a hybrid published author. The upshot of that conversation was a longer conversation that happened on his podcast.
We talked about my writing journey. He was most amused by the fact that my pen name is derived from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. I was most amused by the fact that he called me ‘cerebral’. We also discussed some of the self publishing courses I took so that I could learn the necessary skills.
Go listen to the episode. Sorry if I sound like a precocious ten year old. I need to work on my radio voice.
Oh, while you’re here, do you listen to many podcasts? If I interviewed, say, UK romance authors, would you listen to the interviews?
Over the Christmas holidays I watched Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on Netflix. It will come as no surprise to you that I loved the books. This is not so much an adaptation as an expansion of the Gently-verse. I LOVED it. I wrote a review for the fabulous Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog (whose comments section is the closest thing I’ve found to ‘my tribe’). You can read the review here: http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/reviews/guest-squee-dirk-gentlys-holistic-detective-agency/
For those who aren’t followers for the affectionately named ‘Bitchery’, it’s a blog about romance novels written by a group of very smart women who read romance because it’s fun. They also read high brow literary fiction, but, you know, romance is where the heart is.
Anyway. Sarah and I talked about all kinds of things – like how romance is defined in the US vs UK markets, how jacket covers differ in the two countries, the diversity debate that is currently rocking the US romance publishing world (but hasn’t quite reached here yet) and the lack of scientists in romance novels until The Big Bang Theory came along. Because we both like cake, we also discussed gin and tonic cupcakes. It seemed rude not to.
I’m off to jump up and down in an excited manner for a few minutes now. If you listen to the podcast, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought! Especially if you know any good recipes for cupcakes.
A few months ago, I read a blog post on the Writer’s Workshop blog about the lack of diversity in publishing. In it was a discussion about how books with BAME characters in were assessed under different criteria compared to ‘mainstream’ books. One of the criteria was ‘is it Asian/Black/*insert minority group here enough’. You can see the original post here http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/blog/diversity-in-publishing/
This is something that has wound me up for years. Not because I care what colour characters are, but because all the Asian characters I’d seen in mainstream fiction have been of a type. None of them had lives that were anything like what I’ve experienced as a middle class British Asian person.
I commented on that post and Writer’s Workshop invited me to expand on the subject. The resulting blog post is up now – http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/blog/diversity-in-genre-fiction/
What do you think about diversity (or lack thereof) in genre fiction? Do you, as a reader, expect all your middle class characters to be white? (Or straight or able bodied or neurotypical for that matter).
I will save you the boredom of me blabbering on about how much I love publisher Choc Lit and their hugely talented authors – you already know that, right? Instead I will give a very warm welcome to Rhoda Baxter, who has stopped by to chat about her latest release, Please Release Me, which came out on September 10th. Rhoda is probably one of my favourite Choc-Lit authors (of which there are many!) and I highly recommend her novels, particularly Doctor January. And I’m not even saying that because she brought cake…I genuinely do love her books. Honest!
Hello Rhoda. Welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hi Holly. Thanks for inviting to come and chat. I brought a chocolate cake. It’s a bit lopsided, but it tastes fine.