Creative Writing for health, well-being and fun!

Follow by Email

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Ray Bradbury's quote on writing first drafts.

About First Drafts. Much of my activity with clients is balancing their expectations of their First Draft. They expect it to be perfect. It will only very rarely be. But it has to be written with passion and - as Ray Bradbury says -  no interference. Editing comes later.

Friday, 9 December 2016

The Official Side of being an Author

A busy week, joining useful organisations such as the Public Lending Rights Agency (dealing with borrowings of ‘The Wolf of Dalriada’ from UK Public Libraries) and the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society. The ALCS is on the watch for photocopying and foreign borrowings. This is the official bit.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Release Date!

Well, I was expecting something a little more spectacular. Perhaps not in the style of the Millenium Bug but something to register the change of state from pre-publication to publication! However, 'The Wolf of Dalriada' seems to be well represented on the World Wide Web and available for purchase (as print and/or e-book) from Troubador Books and Amazon.
So - a modest celebration! I have just registered with the Public Lending Right agency and - in due course - three or four days - you should be able to borrow 'The Wolf of Dalriada' from public libraries. The pecuniary advantage to me will be small but it will exist so please do borrow 'The Wolf' as often as you can. Thank you.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Preparation for writing  the important thing is to read as much and as often as you can. But also, of course, there are times when my imagination's so fired up with my writing, to read something else could be terminal for the WiP. So at an earlier stage, I regard 'reading' everything possible as part of my 'research'. How do other writers cope?

Monday, 17 October 2016

Strange text display.

Sorry for the uneven text display in the previous post. For a clearer view, see my blog on my author website. Thank you

Holiday reading for a Novelist?

Holiday reading for a novelist? Well, novels of course but not necessarily or exclusively. At the moment, I am reading about the best extant pieces of an eighteenth century French silversmith and I have learned that ‘masterpiece’ was the piece that an apprentice made to demonstrate his readiness to assume the title ‘master’. I always thought a masterpiece was the best piece of work in a craftsman’s whole output. Refinements to knowledge like this are always useful. Another example! Yesterday, I learned that dairy bulls are more aggressive than beef bulls because, when they are brought up on the bottle, they think they are human. And, when their physical attributes prompt them, they regard humans – not other bulls – as the creatures they need to dominate. I don’t know what I shall do with these tidbits of information, gleaned in a deck chair. But I shall certainly do something.

Friday, 14 October 2016

A new phase!

Welcome, readers and friends all, to the world of The Craig Lowrie Chronicles!
The first novel in the series, The Wolf of Dalriada, has been published by Troubador Books and is due for launch on 28/11/2016. Confusingly for me, I have already sold fifty copies! Still finding out how all this works.
I have also had created a new website devoted to my fiction work. Visit Elizabeth Gates as Author  to find out more. And I have been encouraged to set up a new Facebook page for The Wolf of Dalriada. Please visit and like.
But, when the world of marketing gets too exciting for me, I take myself off to work on the second novel in the series. I have not yet dreamt up an appropriate title so its current working title is MAL 2. Not very attractive but at least it’s short and easy to find on my computer. I’ve already written 35,000 words of the first draft of MAL 2 and am currently wrestling with research into bull-handling. Life is so full of interest. . .

Monday, 19 September 2016

Networking for authors? You can do this!

Networking for authors? Is this a contradiction in terms? How can an introverted author, who would sooner retire to the world of the imagination, network successfully? 

Well, it is possible and here are some useful tips:

1) Work out who will want to buy your novel and choose networking events where you - and your book - might be welcome. For instance, there's no point in representing your historical romance at a conference for tyre salesmen. But there are lots of other venues - ranging from schools to tv fan clubs - which could be worth your while. Novels - digital or print - are very popular and show no sign of falling out of favour.

2) When people ask you what your book's about, have a three-sentence summary ready. One sentence could be punchy but the sub-clauses needed to explain the plot twists may get in the way! Remember this is going to be an interesting conversation, not a lecture, and make your summary conversational. For instance, ''The Wolf of Dalriada''s set in remote Scotland in 1793 - the year of Marie Antoinette's execution. A young laird - the 'Wolf' - has to save his people while rescuing a beautiful French seamstress from evil forces. The question is: can he?'

3) Be ready with details of where to buy and when. For example, 'My novel, The Wolf of Dalriada, is out in November but do you want a £2 pre-publication discount? Go to the Matador Fiction shop list at and type SCOTLAND in the Discount Box!' And have a card ready with these publication details - one which can double as a bookmark.

4) Remember more people want to buy books than counselling!

Simple! Now are you ready to develop your own networking script?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Forget Hokey Cokey! This really is what it's all about

Nothing is quite like holding your finished novel in your hand. You may have thought you would drown in typescript but here it is at last and in manageable form - something you can stuff in your pocket for long journeys by train. Or pull out when your flight is delayed.
This has just happened to me. Today I saw the first print copies of 'The Wolf of Dalriada' and smelled the printer's ink. Sigh! And the book will be launched for real on November 28th 2016.
Now if you'd like to share this adventure with me, go to Troubador Books and put in a pre-publication order. The weblink is Once there, in the discount box, write SCOTLAND and you'll get a £2 pre-publication discount on the cover price. Thank you so much for coming on this journey.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Work in progress 2016

Well, 'The Wolf of Dalriada' will be in print by this time next month, available for pre-ordering on Amazon and Matador websites in anticipation of launch on November 28th 2016. And I am 30000+ words into its sequel's first draft. The deadline I gave myself worked. But my next novel will be fewer words than the first I expect so the deadline should come round even more quickly. Shall we say 'Off to the editor by June 2017'. That would be wonderful - although I have just committed myself to some steady hard work.