September – it’s all about place.

Firstly apologies for the lack of newsletter in August. The book festival took over – in a good way! It was lovely to be involved in chairing events this time round, not least because of the lovely room we were allocated!

Various people are writing up these events for publication in Words and Pictures, so I’ll share the links for these articles next time. But in the meantime, if you were/ are, or intend to be in Edinburgh, then August’s blog was all about the top ten bookshops in our lovely city.
I realised recently that I had never blogged about good crime/thriller reads and as it’s the month of Bloody Scotland  it seemed particularly apt, but when I sat down to have a go I found it just too hard to select ten books, so instead I’ve decided to write a mini series looking at different aspects of crime/thriller writing each time, and this month focuses on the best crime novel locations. An interesting revelation I had while compiling my list was that often the best crime novel locations actually involve the place as the means of death, whether this is Australian outback or a Scottish bridge. Read the blog to see what I mean.

This brought me to thinking a bit more about this aspect of writing. During lockdown, I wrote an article for Words and Pictures magazine about how you can write about place when you’re not going anywhere, and the principles still apply now. I think it’s also worth studying the masters – so apart from this month’s blog, you might like to have a look at the road tripblog or the journey/quest blog

How to write – this month’s book recommendation

I’m recommending a Bill Bryson for this month’s how to write book, because he is absolutely my favourite travel writer. If you need to see some brilliant examples of writing about place, you couldn’t do better than pick up one of his books.Troublesome Words  is a reference book for writers, focusing on all those words which, yep, cause you trouble.
Appendices or appendixes, which is correct? Arbitrate or mediate? When is ‘I’ correct, when should it be ‘me’? Palate, palette,or pallet? Their, there, or they’re? Lovely Bill is here to help. Enjoy! (By the way, my copy of the book is sitting on my new acquisition: a Victorian writing desk – isn’t it fab?)

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