Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Writing News...

Been a quiet week for me - just what I needed after coming out of hospital - but I have to go back in on November 4th and I'm not looking forward to it :(

Have had some good writing news though :)

My Weekly liked a story I sent them so have bought it, and Jill Finlay - the fiction ed from The Weekly News - commented on a story she bought from me years ago in this month's Writer's Forum magazine. When I messaged her about it, she said it remains one of her favourite ever stories. What a lovely compliment, especially as she's bought hundreds over the years!

One of my stories is story of the week on Alfiedog Fiction, another is story of the month on A Quick Read, and I have two stories in a newly released anthology. I'm delighted to be in this one as it has a foreword from Gloria Hunniford. All the stories are around the theme of 'childhood' and the proceeds from each sale go to The Grandparents Association, so it's a worthy cause.

Why not buy one as a Christmas present for the readers in your life?

You can get it from Amazon or direct from the publisher FeedARead.



Sunday, 13 October 2013

Interview with Samantha Tonge

My interview this week is with popular People’s Friend writer Samantha Tonge.

Morning Sam, it’s a bit early for alcohol, so would you prefer tea or coffee?

Ooh, decaf coffee, please, no milk, in a cup, with a small shot of cold water. Not that I'm fussy :)

I only drink decaf as well, so we can be fussy together. Okay make yourself comfortable. We've known each other a good few years now since we met on a writing website, when you first started out, did you have any idea where you wanted to go with your writing?

Yes – I wanted to become a published romantic novelist. I wanted to get paid for entertaining people and making them laugh. Whilst I love writing, the ‘getting published and paid’ bit has always been very important to me.

I guess we are all driven by different things, but yes getting paid for it is a bonus. What made you decide to start writing?

I always knew I’d be a writer; it just took a good few years to get around to it. In my 20s I made a half-hearted attempt at a novel, based on my time working at EuroDisney – but then life got busy and I gave it up. The urge came back strongly when my youngest started school and I've been writing seriously ever since.

Can you remember the very first thing you wrote? What was it? When, and was it ever published?

I think it was an illustrated book about a hedgehog when I was about eight. I was a voracious reader as a child. And no, it was never published!

So you started very young. I think most of us writers were and are big readers, maybe the two go hand in hand. You’re now a successful short story writer – having a story almost weekly in The People’s Friend – you must be so proud of your achievements. But you started off writing novels and struggled a bit with short stories, so can you believe how successful you are now?

No, can’t believe it, Tina, and still get a thrill with every sale. For some reason my writing voice just seemed to click with The People’s Friend. We all have our niche and I guess it’s just a matter of finding it.

Why do you think you’re so successful with The People’s Friend? I know many writers – myself included – can’t get accepted by them, how do you achieve it?

I believe in the magazine and its principles and respect its traditional nature. I think some writers consider the People’s Friend as old-fashioned and try to write for it from that angle, which is never going to work. The characters in my stories are of all ages, but if they are older they still speed-date, go-kart, use mobile phones, travel abroad etc… Plus my novel-writing is essentially feel-good, which is like the People’s Friend. My voice just probably suits it.

Well it certainly works. You've got an anthology out with Alfie Dog Fiction, what can you tell us about it?

“Sweet Talk” is a collection of feel-good stories, guaranteed to lift your spirits. It covers a wide range of settings and themes within humorous, romantic and thought-provoking stories. I like to think it would make the perfect gift for a busy woman who likes to dip into fiction or take a book travelling. And it does, of course, feature kittens and chocolate!

Do you think you’ll continue writing short stories or try again with the novels?

Well, funny you should say that, Tina, as I have just signed a three book deal with CarinaUK, the digital-first imprint of Harlequin, for my d├ębut novel “Doubting Abbey”! So, it’s on with the next novel, but I like writing short stories too much to give them up.

That’s fantastic news Sam, well done you must be thrilled! What would be your dream writing job?

Adapting one of my novels into a screenplay. No, seriously! For every novel I've written, I've always cast the movie in my head, plus chosen the sound–track. My middle name should be “commercial”!

Ha ha. I know exactly what you mean because I think the thriller I'm writing would make a perfect two part serial. Oh wouldn't it be great to see our novels on the TV! Okay coming back down to earth, if you could achieve one thing – not necessarily to do with writing - what would it be?

To be remembered as someone who laughed and cared.

Aww that’s lovely. It’s been great chatting with you Sam, good luck with all your writing endeavours x

Thanks, Tina!

Sam is on Twitter as Twitter

Her facebook author page is at: Sam's FB page

You can also catch Sam regularly in The People’s Friend magazine, and for any news, visit her website - Sam's website

You can buy her anthology Sweet Talk at - Alfiedog link and Amazon link