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Book reviews ... Author interviews ... and anything else I think might be of interest to writers and readers.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Beauty Chorus Blog Tour

I’m delighted to welcome Kate Lord Brown to my blog today as part of her tour for ‘The Beauty Chorus’.

‘The Beauty Chorus’ tells the story of three young women who sign up for the ATA during the Second World War. Regular readers of my blog will know that this is a historical period which I’m really interested in, so I wondered what had drawn Kate to this particular story.

Kate said:

'I think this particular story chose me - it wasn't so much the period as the idea that these young girls did this incredibly dangerous, brave work and no one knew about them. It's an era I know pretty well historically, because I specialised in Modern Art for my undergraduate degree, and I wrote my thesis on photography and fasion of the 30s and 40s. So in terms of popular culture - music, film, art, it's a historical period I feel comfortable with and love.

I like writing about relatively recent history because of the resources you have at your fingertips - the amazing sound archives and interviews of the Imperial War Museum, for example. One of the more poignant things about writing about WW2 is that each year there are less people who experienced it first hand - it was an amazing privilege to talk to veterans who had flown with the Air Transport Auxiliary, and their off-hand comments often told me more than whole piles of history books could.

I'm fascinated by the way ordinary men and women stepped up to the mark and showed extraordinary bravery and selflessness in the face of danger. Subsequent generations haven't had to confront global war - and I hope we never will again. But I think there are important lessons to learn from the past, and that's why I enjoy writing about this era - it's within living memory, but it is unimaginably far away in terms of experience. I love that contrast, and the chance to put yourself in other people's shoes and ask yourself 'what if'? What if you were a twenty year old girl with a private pilot's licence? Would you have the guts to 'do your bit', and fly unarmed across a war-torn country day after day when each one could have been your last? I think all stories start that way - just ask yourself 'what if'.'

Thanks very much to Kate for this fascinating insight to 'The Beauty Chorus'. You can find out more about Kate on her blog, and you can read my review of 'The Beauty Chorus' on Bookersatz now.

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Literary Project

I'm a guest over at The Literary Project today. I'm talking about the women's magazine short story market, so if you're interested please pop over.

I've also posted a very interesting review on Bookersatz recently. It's the Urban Fantasy 'Tangled Threads' by Jennifer Estep and the review comes from Lady Techie.

There are some great books coming up for review on Bookersatz in the next few weeks as well. I have 'Dead End' by Leigh Russell, 'The Lovers of Pound Hill' by Mavis Cheek and 'The Ghost Of Lily Painter' by Caitlin Davies - so keep an eye open for those as well.

As ever, I'm always on the lookout for guest reviews on Bookersatz, so if you're interested please get in touch.