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Word on the Street

Oh the HorrorNow that it is officially autumn, the balance of the equinox having been overwhelmed by the darkening days, it’s time to consider things that go bump in the night and turn your blood cold.  Yes, it’s time to consider the writing that really doesn’t help you sleep at night.  And I’m not talking about the horror of a badly constructed sentence, or the frightful use of punctuation!

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Letter to an Unknown SoldierWe have many things to be thankful for.  Next time you have an argument, so trivial you can’t even remember what started it or are feeling bored, discontented, pessimistic…just put things into perspective.  No, this isn’t an article on self-help or personal improvement.  What prompted this reflection is the start of the World War I centenary commemorations.

 

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Short Story But SweetAfter the success of the BBC’s 500 words competition, the short story is clearly flavour of the month.

So to honour the return of the short story, I know, I know, it’s never really gone away, here are some suggestions for its great exponents.

 

 

 

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The BeachAs we move closer to summer, you can tell this because it’s westerly winds blowing in the rain against the window rather than northerlies, I think it could be time to talk about beaches and their role in novels.

 

 

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Latin American WritersIf you asked me to name some Latin American writers, I’d be struggling beyond three obvious and popular novelists – Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende and Paulo Coelho.  At a push I might also remember Jorge Luis Borges, but wouldn’t know too much about him.

OK, OK so you think I’m a Philistine!  I have to agree with you on my Latin American writer knowledge, so I thought it about time I looked for other writers I should be reading from this stretch of the world.

In his article “9 Latin American Writers You Should Be Reading in 2014″ Nyki Salinas-Duda makes a strong argument that

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French Crime WritersToday’s readers are becoming insatiable and expanding their tastes with works in translation.  Perhaps this has something to do with mass audiences being exposed to blockbuster thriller films based on foreign books and the rise of subtitled shows on television.

While last month we highlighted the popularity of Scandinavian crime fiction with “Murder in a Cold Climate”, the slow but steady rise of French crime writers deserves further exploration.

For a long period, very little French crime fiction was being translated.

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Murder in a Cold ClimateThe British demand for and interest in all things to do with dark deeds in Scandinavia does not seem to be abating.

British murder doesn’t quite seem able to cut it these days and our attention is only truly grabbed when something bad has happened on the streets of Copenhagen or in the woods and fields around Ystad.

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Editing - An Essential ChoreAre you one of those fortunate people who can write perfectly?  What comes off the end of your pen, or from your deft touch on the keyboard, produces prose or poetry that is so good that there can be no possible change that would improve it.

If you are one of these people then you are extremely lucky and most probably in a minority of one.  For most of us, however, our initial writing offerings will not be classed as perfection and we have to go through a further stage to improve this first version of

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Brave New World of Book PublishingIt’s interesting to see how much the publishing of books or in fact any creative activity has changed since we all became digital beings.

This revolution started in the music industry with artists able to plug in directly to their potential audience through a whole host of sites, initially Myspace and after YouTube and then through more money driven sites such as Amazon and iTunes.

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