– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Last Cuckoo’ blogtour, organised by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a guest post written by its author, but b
About the Author :
Maria Frankland’s life began at 40 when she escaped an unhappy marriage and began making a living from her own writing and becoming a teacher of creative writing.
The rich tapestry of life with all its turbulent times has enabled her to pour experience, angst and lessons learned into the writing of her novels and poetry.
She recognises that the darkest places can exist within family relationships and this is reflected in the domestic thrillers she writes.
She is a ‘born ‘n’ bred’ Yorkshirewoman, a mother of two and has recently found her own ‘happy ever after’ after marrying again.
Still in her forties, she is now going to dedicate the rest of her working life to writing books and inspiring other writers to also achieve their dreams too!
• Format: Kindle Edition
• File Size: 7824 KB
• Print Length: 291 pages
• Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
• Publisher: Autonomy Press (4 Mar. 2020)
Do you listen to your mother? Even after she’s dead?
Anna Hardaker is following you …
This seemingly innocent Tweet fills Jamie Hardaker with confusion and fear. After all, his mother Anna has been dead for nearly three weeks.
What follows is an orchestrated Twitter campaign to lead those Anna loved, and didn’t love so much, to the truth behind her “accidental” death.
Guest Post :
Thank you for giving me the opportunity of writing this guest blog. It is a privilege to be featured amongst such a high calibre of authors that have written or been featured here before me.
This guest post is inspired by the title of your blog – the magic of worlds. I have written since my very difficult childhood, at which time, I loved nothing more than creating magical, dreamy, perfect worlds which I could escape to.
I was also drawn to read books that offered this experience like The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and anything by Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl.
As a writer, I feel that the worlds we create in our novels are an essential component and it is vital to bring each setting to life in order that our readers can be immersed. I teach creative writing and often talk about the importance of readers experiencing our worlds through all the senses. Whilst visualisation is the most important aspect, readers must also be enabled to smell, hear, feel and even taste within the worlds we have created for them.
Once they are ‘there’ alongside the characters, they can then fully engage with the story and find the empathy and concern required to keep the pages turning.
I write domestic thrillers, therefore magical, escapist worlds do not exist in the writing I now do as an adult. My novels shine a light on the darkness that exists in situations that are supposed to be safe and secure. Even seemingly ordinary settings must be brought to life so the reader can inhabit them.
I always advise my writing students to try and write in the settings they are setting their books in, if possible. The Last Cuckoo (Autonomy Press) is set in my own house and I have also written in the pub, other people’s houses, the supermarket – all very ordinary places but which still need brining to life and with a unique edge. I have based certain scenes, such as in the chapel of rest and crematorium on personal experience.
As a writer, I naturally absorb my surroundings and then can breathe them back out into my writing in an authentic way. I try to treat setting as though it is almost another character in my story. It can really help to create and effect mood. The use of darkness, the weather and whether somewhere is silent or bustling sets a tone and helps foreshadow what is to come.
I realise that readers will read the words and create their own images and ideas on where the story is set based on their own experience and find it exciting. I am handing my settings over to them and allowing them to become theirs. I find, as well, that it’s the smaller details that bring a place to life. The creak on the stairs, the heated hallway on a winter evening or the view from a window. We gift these to our readers and draw them out of their own worlds and into ours for a while. It’s a wonderful partnership.
Here is an extract which focusses on setting from chapter three of ‘The Last Cuckoo.’
“I feel so alone as I walk up our path, bracing myself for the empty house. Normally it would smell of clean laundry, candles and dinner being prepared. As I push the door open, there’s the slightest whiff of our former life, the plug-in air freshener and hint of your perfume. Then as I walk into the lounge, I gag at the stench of lilies. They were OK when they first arrived after the funeral date was announced, but now that they’ve opened, they stink. I wrench them all from their vases, march back out the front door and dump them into the garden recycle bin.
I storm back in and gather up the sympathy cards. At first, they were a comfort but now I can’t stand looking at them anymore. I start doing the same with the framed photographs. They’re all over the place.”
I’ll end this guest blog by ‘interpretating’ the other meaning of the title of this blog, ‘the magic of words.’ Words have always been and always will be magical to me. Both as a reader and a writer, they have provided me with escapism, inspiration and therapy. But the biggest magic is the unsigned contract that exists between the writer and the reader. ‘If you stay with me, I will stay with you.”
The Magic of Wor(l)ds