New Year, New Projects!

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Reflections

The new year is, for most of us, a time of reflection and decision-making, seeking new directions and exploring new territory. For me this mostly involved balancing my craft with parenthood, which has its challenges, but I can say proudly that I met them head-on in 2018 (even if all my personal goals were not met!).

A sabbatical from social media during 2018 aided me in my pursuits, clearing my thoughts and providing me with time and inspiration. I had time to write and time to nurture (my writing and my family). It has been an immensely fulfilling year for me and I trust you, my readers, will have been patient with my absence. I can promise you it will be worthwhile!

once upon a time

Focus

We all need to take a step back from the rigours of life now and then, to re-assess priorities and gain focus for the times ahead. I am always in awe of others who seem capable of obtaining the ultimate work-life balance utopia. In the Moxon household family comes first, but we managed nevertheless to find moments where we could enjoy the pleasures of our craft: music and words filled our home and we have entered 2019 with renewed enthusiasm and new routines.

I hope you will join me in all the excitement 2019 will bring for the ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series! The second saga is ready for editing, the third saga (first draft) is half-way and there is a novella prequel in the works.

In the meantime, I have an announcement coming soon for a special project I have been working on since last Autumn. Word-nerds and linguaphiles among you should be suitably intrigued and I cannot wait to share the news with you all!

Bright Blessings for 2019, Elaine xXx

 

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After the [Book] A-fayre

“A wonderful opportunity to hear new work and chat with book lovers.” LK

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It’s just over a week since the very first ‘KMC Book Fayre’ took place and, on reflection, it did well for a debut. The cold weather may have depleted the attendance a little, but it was nevertheless an affair to remember! There was plenty of mulled wine to warm the cockles for walking home and to stave off the winter blues.

“The day was made warm as much by the lovely atmosphere as by the excellent mulled wine.” DC

All our attending authors thoroughly enjoyed it, even finding time to socialise among themselves for a while, exchanging marketing techniques and discussing factors particular to their genres. For a few it was their first involvement in a literary event, so there were some that were nervous of presenting to an audience. However, the attendees were attentive during the authors’ talks and keen to chat with writers in the ‘meet & mingle’ section of the fayre. One author felt the best part of the afternoon was…

“To meet up with sympathetic and committed local writers who only live streets away from me and to find out that I am not alone in my endeavours. Cake was good as well!” SW

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The talks were varied and entertaining, personalities creeping into the narratives and the applause were generous. By the end of the event, almost every author had sold books and there were requests for the date of the next Book Fayre. Much cake was had, along with lashings of laughter and a sprinkle of shared wisdom.

“I certainly enjoyed it. Every big thing began as a small thing. Onward!” MK

It’s safe to say immense fun was had by all at the ‘KMC Book Fayre’ and there will definitely be another in the form of ‘KMC Book-Fest 2019’. Special thanks is also extended to Kiss Me Cupcakes & Cakes for providing top quality refreshments as always and being very gracious venue hosts.

“Fascinating to meet so many contrasting, talented local writers in such a cosy, welcoming venue, many thanks.” LB

 

Here’s to KMC Book-Fest 2019!

{Details will appear on this website nearer the time.}

~ ~ ~

If you are a local author and wish to register for next year, please contact Elaine Moxon, the hosting author, at: info@elainesmoxon.com

 

 

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KMC Book Fayre – 1pm, Sat 17th Nov ’18

It’s FREE! There’s no admission fee for attending the KMC Book Fayre, but…             PLEASE BOOK via the website to ensure your complimentary drink and a seat for the readings: http://www.kissmecupcakes.co.uk

Journals

Books: Great to read with coffee and cake! Often written by writers while sitting in coffee shops eating cake. Fun to write, read and share.

Coffee & Cake: A great combination. Often referred to in author circles as ‘writers’ fuel’! A good reason to leave the house, enjoy something special and meet new people.

People: Also known as – customers, authors, readers and a variety of other pseudonyms!

What happens when we combine all these ingredients into one?…

KISS ME CUPCAKES BOOK FAYRE!

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A Book Fayre where coffee, cake, books and people combine! We thought we’d bring them all together at Kiss Me Cupcakes & Cakes – an opportunity for people to learn about Kiss Me Cupcakes (and taste their wares), meet local authors and buy their books.

Kiss Me Cupcakes & Cakes was founded in 2008 by Dali and Maz, inspired by their love of travel, coffee culture in South America and an Australian cupcake shop. Their delicacies are ‘made with love’ and they always aim to make you smile!

KMC Book Fayre is a gathering of local authors, of various genres, including Children’s, Fantasy, Floristry, Historical, Drama and Poetry. There’ll be a complimentary warm mulled drink on arrival between 1pm-1.30pm and a chance to munch cake and mingle with the authors! From 2pm each author will be providing a demonstration or giving a reading of their work, followed by Q&A sessions and more chances to buy cakes/books.

NOW MEET THE AUTHORS!

Confirmed authors ~

WritingWorkshop_3Host author E S MOXON is a local, Birmingham-based author of early medieval Historical Fiction. ‘WULFSUNA’ is the first in her ‘Wolf Spear Saga’ series; book two, ‘ULFHEIMR’ will be out in 2019 and she is currently writing the third novel. She is also working on a pocket book in Old English called ‘TALES OF THE WULFSUNA’ that will also be out in 2019. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Alliance of Independent Authors. She runs Writing Workshops at Kiss Me Cupcakes and a bi-monthly writing group called ‘Writers’ Grove’ at West Heath Community Centre. For more information visit her website (www.elainesmoxon.com).

 

Joxer Daley FINALED HILL is a local author in Northfield who writes Thrillers with a hectic pace. He has two novels in e-print and is currently writing his third. His first book, “Gem Maguire” is set in the desert in an international endurance event. Attacked and kidnapped by Al Qaeda, Gem and his pals must find inner resolve to plot and escape their captors. “Joxer Daley” is set in the trenches of World War One in 1916. Joxer and his fellow Irishmen are caught up in torn allegiance to the King and uprising in Dublin as rebels strike for an independent Republic.

 

MeWinter2017LOUISE KNIGHT writes Children’s, Fantasy, Modern Fiction and Poetry. Children’s book “Moonbright” and a poetry collection are launching in 2019. She is a local storyteller and indie author based in the Midlands. ‘Sky Drum’ is the first in her Fantasy series about two planets, two suns and the people that unite them. Peace, chaos, potential and cosmos. Journeys and friendships collide, in an elemental tale of old promises and new hope.

Prudence_authorphotoPRUDENCE S THOMAS is a West Midlands writer who grew up reading a wide range of books. Her love of fantasy, mystery and classics has informed her writing. Her current mystery series is set in a fictional version of Lancashire, taking inspiration from the Forest of Bowland, Lancaster Castle and the famous witch trials. Follow Prudence on Twitter (@prudencesthomas) or visit her website (www.prudencesthomas.com) for news and more.

su at ChelseaSU WHALE is a freelance writer and florist. Su and her husband Brett run Jago Publishing, through which Su published her first book on cut flower care in 2011, followed by its companion book on foliage in 2013. Both have sold over 16,000 copies worldwide and have become an integral part of florists’ workrooms and college courses across the country. Su is now writing her third book on the care of houseplants due out in the summer of 2019.

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September Writing Workshop

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On Saturday 15th September 2018 I held another Writing Workshop at Kiss Me Cupcakes & Cakes and we were discussing how to keep momentum when writing. This is something every writer at every level can have issue with, not merely beginners.

It was an interesting workshop from the start, as we had some French nationals join us (putting my A-Level French to the test as it has been out of action for some time!). Everyone swiftly entered into the spirit of things and very soon we were identifying our writing ‘type’ – where we write best, how we write best and what tools we require to write at our best.

From this we were able to analyse what happens when we lose sight of these, or when distractions intervene, such as social media, the housework, email notifications and a multitude of other interruptions that can drag us away from our craft. We dissected what creates the formidable Writers’ Block many fear and some solutions to overcome it.

Some of these solutions included dispelling our fears of the first draft (worrying about spelling or grammar perfection) or being wary of setting ourselves unattainable goals for regular wordcount, which saps enthusiasm when we fail to reach them. We talked about things that might motivate us, such as rewarding ourselves when we reach certain, small goals. And we examined some techniques to bring our enthusiasm and momentum back into the craft.

This involved several fun activities where we interviewed our main characters, asking them key questions to move the plot forward, and discussing what would happen if we changed the genre of our story. This latter technique revealed some fascinating scenarios! Try it with your own work for some imaginative alternatives to your plot.

Attendees’ Responses:

‘I found the concept of asking your characters about themselves to be very interesting.’ – G

‘I really enjoyed the exchange of experience and the conversation going around.’ – E

‘Vous m’avez motive a me lancer dans l’ecriture. J’ai beaucoup d’idee et une bonne expression ecrite je pense.’ – Z

‘I like having a project to get on with for the next meeting!’ – S

‘Brilliant – really enjoyed it and it’s helping build my confidence. Thank you! – D

~ THE NEXT WRITING WORKSHOP WILL BE JANUARY 2019 ~

 

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July Writing Workshop

I had immense fun at my second workshop, held at the wonderful ‘Kiss Me Cupcakes & Cakes’ in South Birmingham! The attendees were very enthusiastic and eager to learn how to create Character Profiles, which was the topic of the workshop. We were focussing on ‘Antagonists’ as often people I speak to say these are the most difficult to pin down effectively.

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A large portion of the workshop looked at creating profiles for our characters and how these could evolve. Basic physical considerations are always useful for the start of any project, so you can remember hair/eye colour as your first draft pours onto the page (hopefully!).

We then ‘grew’ our character profiles, adding depth and exploring them more deeply looking at: flaws; social standing; political or religious views; family heritage; language and cultural background; role in society/our storyline.

Much fun was had discussing antagonists with good intentions, who are not necessarily evil villains but those with opposing views to the protagonist. The ‘good’ antagonist had many layers and led us onto other types of antagonists who were departures from the stereotypically ‘evil’ characters found in many books and films.

I enjoy these workshops, and my regular writing group that I run, immensely. They are as much about learning from the attendees, as much as me sharing my knowledge with others. It’s wonderfully satisfying to be in a room with like-minded writers and to dissect a topic people are passionate about. I’ll be booking another one soon!

Happy writing!

 

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Angles in our Midst?

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In my Wolf Spear Saga series the tribe of the Wolf Sons that give my first novel its name of ‘WULFSUNA’ are from Sachsen; they are Saxons, not Angles. The Angles that feature in my series appear as enemies to the Wolf Sons because of their betrayal of Wulfric. Historically, however, not much distinguishes these two kingdoms from each other. In reality, there were Angles and Saxons who would likely have been limitanei and/or foederati side-by-side for the Roman Empire in Britain and throughout the empire. I merely chose to have these two tribes in opposition for the purposes of my Wolf Spear Saga, to define my Wolf Sons from any other Germanic kingdom.

The Angles are no evil, arbitrary tribe out to attack the Saxons. The Angles of my story belong to Eadmaer’s tribe of ‘the boars’, tha Eforas; their leader is a supposed ally to Wulfric and Wulfgar, but he has his own ‘dream’ agenda – following the footsteps and intentions of his father, Maerard. If you have read ‘WULFSUNA’ you will have heard mention of how, when it came to leave a deteriorating Bryton and return to Germania, Maerard wanted to seek alliance with the Pictii. He saw them as a strong force who, in the absence of Rome, would take control of the isle. They would become the ruling tribe, in Maerard’s opinion.

Boar family

He would have been right, were it not for limitanei and foederati who settled or became billeted in local towns that the Romano-British leaders paid to fend off these people. There are mentions in historical writings of Angles and Picts coming together to secure land and wedding their daughters to cement alliances. Maerard would have been one such tribal leader, whispered of in past documents, had he not met a different fate.

So it was not to be, at least not during the reign of Lord Wulfgar. Those that sailed from the fens that day though – where did they go? Did they continue to sail north up the coast in search of these blue painted tribes? Were they able to secure an alliance with them, in exchange for the whereabouts of some foederati descendants? Surely the Pictii would pay good coin, or give land and brides to any who could point them in the direction of the foes who had hounded them ‘per lineum valli’…along the Wall?

Hadrians Wall

In my second Wolf Spear Saga, tha Eforas, are a more distant thorn in the side of my men of the Seax, my Seaxans of Wulfgarsaetan (Wulfgar’s settlement). While Wulfsuna were building a kingdom in the heart of the isle, expanding and trading among Romano-British and Wealisc (Celtic) communities, Eadmaer’s Angles have dug-in further north. Without mercenaries to harass them, the Pictii accompany Eadmaer’s Angles, moving southwards into territory they longed to capture during Roman occupation.

However, they are merely a secondary concern for the characters of my second novel in my series. The sights of a few are set much further north and once again, innocent bystanders will be brought under the immense and inescapable power of the infamous Wolf Spear Saga.

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Local History

UPDATE: It is a pity, but I have to report that the road discovered below was in fact only 18th Century. As a result of this more recent dating, it was not deemed worthy of saving. However, we are grateful of a brief glimpse into the past.

A small slice of history has been unearthed in my home city. It had been just a short way beneath our feet and we never knew! A Roman or Saxon road has been found under excavation works in Victoria Square as part of the Midland Metro expansion works.

 

Roman Road

[photo courtesy of Birmingham Mail]

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