Tag Archives: Book Fair

Sarada Thompson – giver of light

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The Carmarthen Book Fair is this Saturday, 11th August, created and organised by the fabulous, John and Sarada Thompson.

I invited them both to share a little more about themselves on my blog. John was earlier in the week https://wendysteele.com/2018/08/06/john-thompson-author-and-gentleman/ and today is Sarada’s turn. I’ve never met anyone who radiates warmth and love the way she does. Thank you so much Sarada for sharing with us.

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I write when the muse calls. An idea which could develop into a plan, which gets derailed by the story which usually has a life of its own. Having started as a reporter for newspapers, always thought myself as a writer of non-fiction, until I found myself writing fiction and enjoying it.

 2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

 No rituals, but I do like my cups of chai-tea. And a hot-water bottle for my feet as I do literally get cold feet.

 3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

  1. My family & friends
  2. I love my Hindu cultural heritage
  3. I love drawing and painting
  4. Classical music – both Indian & Western
  5. Listening to different stories.

 

4. If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

  1. Paper & pens to draw & paint, to doodle
  2. My favourite CDs
  3. A good supply of chai-tea
  4. My beads
  5. A kit to signal, ‘I’m Ok.’

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

 

  1. Mahabharata by Kamala Subramanium – I will have time to digest the finer points thoroughly.
  2. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – always my favourite
  3. Judas, Man of Myths by John Thompson – I’ll have time to reflect and be inspired on this view more than the institutionalized one.
  4. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – The issues addressed here – religion, hypocrisy, coming-of-age, domestic violence – would be derivative and clichéd in the hands of a lesser writer. Powerful.
  5. Sort Stories by my grandchildren Shivani12 & Raman Cook 9 Although so young, their insights in the open childlike way enthrals & inspires pride & hope.

 6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Amma – The Hugging Saint

7 Your current writing projects?

  1. A similar story yet different – quite bizarre for it is founded on legend: ‘The Celestial Flower’
    Theme: ‘Every Saint; a sinner.’
  2. Quite a few more of the picture stories – I hope my hand is steady to continue illustrating.
  3. Some Short Stories over the years , which are not typical of what people would expect of me.8 Other published work and links….Neem Tree – Publication Date – 11th August 2018 – to be launched at Carmarthen Book FairPicture Books : Ten Tales of Ganesha;
    Meenakshi Devi: The Green Goddess;
    Savitri; Durga: The Demon Slayer. Here we have ten stories of the famous elephant-headed Lord Ganesha – from how Lord Ganesha got his elephant head to the story of Lord Ganesh and the frogs! The stories are esentially an allegory of the soul’s journey toward enlightenment, but some stories are utterly down-to-earth, playful stories about simple folk with a God.   Savitri is about to lose the love of her life. Is there any way she can prevent this from happening? What will Savitri do? Will she be prepared to go to the end of the world and beyond – to the Land of the Dead and perhaps intercede with Lord Yama, the Soul-Collector, himself?This is the story of the legendary Meenakshi, the Warrior Princess of Madurai. Born in ancient times in a land ruled by men, Meenakshi refuses to be ruled by them. Who is this courageous soul and what will become of her?

Check out the website http://thompson-authors.com/

Thank you so much Sarada and John for joining me this week and sharing with your readers. Don’t forget, you can meet them and a host of other fabulous authors at the Carmarthen Book Fair this Saturday. We’re waiting to talk books with you all!

 

 

John Thompson – Author and gentleman

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This Saturday 11th August is the Carmarthen Book Fair, created and organised by two of my favourite people, John and Sarada Thompson.

I met them at the Llandeilo Book Fair a few years ago and we’ve been friends ever since. I invited them to come and share a little more about themselves.

Today is John’s turn to let us into his creative mind and tell us more about what makes him tick, and I have to say, I learned a few things and love so many of these answers.  Thank you so much, John for sharing with us..

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I have a general plan of how the story should go, but often find that as characters develop, the plot has to move in a direction I had not envisaged  –  including bringing in more characters.  I never stick rigidly to a plot-line  –  I’m a great believer in letting things take their course.

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

 No, no rituals.

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

1) I’m a sports fanatic (excepting snooker and golf!)  –  have supported Arsenal for over 60 years

2) I’m very sentimental –  I still cherish the moment I held my first grandchild over 16 years ago

3) I love India and can’t wait to go back  –  but you probably knew that

4) I’m very left-wing  –  you would probably have guessed that too

5) I worry that I won’t live long enough to write all the stories that buzz around in my mind

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

1) a solar-powered hi-fi set

2) a complete set of classical CDs (excluding very modern stuff)

3) a set of wine-making equipment

4) lots of paper and pens

5) a bundle of puzzle books – sudoku, word wheel, crossword etc.

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

 1) War and Peace  –  having taken years to read it when I was much younger, I feel I’d have the time to get through it again

2) Wolf Hall  –  I just loved Mantel’s take on Thomas Cromwell

3) Pride and Prejudice  –  probably my favourite book of all time, filled with wonderfully drawn characters;

4) The Lord of the Rings  –  I’ve read it a dozen times over the years, so a few more wouldn’t hurt

5) Bleak House  – or any other Dickens novel  –  the supreme story-teller.

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

No-one.

 7 Your current writing projects?

 Currently planning the final volume of the Brindavan series, and in the middle of writing a number of children’s books: 1) a boy who wants to be a good footballer is coached by the ghost of Stanley Matthews; 2) a boy from the 15th century who was transported into a magical world through an enchanted mirror finds himself in the 21st century; 3) the Ringo stories  –  about a magician turned into a dog but retaining his magical powers.

8 Other published work and links…

The first two volumes of the Brindavan Chronicle –  Genesis and Nemesis  –  were published in 2015 and 2017; Judas, the Man Behind the Myth is due to be published on 11th August.  I have also a number of short-story booklets: 1) Adventures in Time – stories for children; 2) Beyond Boundaries  –  unearthly tales; 3) The Female of the Species  –  stories of women who seek revenge for ill-treatment; 4) Strange Encounters  –  ghost stories.

 

You can find links to these books on John’s author page https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Thompson/e/B012NZ3V8W/ref

 

 

 

Be in a book Take 2

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So….I came up with this really cool idea….how much fun would it be for a reader to be in the book they were reading? Sarah at Y Stiwdio Brint tidied up my art work and we were off…Gorgeous poster…fabulous application form…but for some reason, readers are being shy.

In my corridor position in the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden the other week, I set up a huge poster beside my stall, pinned to a mic stand, right in ones eyeline. I approached a few browsers, only to find they were reading the notices on the wall behind the stall! I handed out small leaflets and copies of the application form for readers to complete at home, but as yet, I’ve received no entries from that event.

There’s two weeks to go before the deadline and I’d love to hear from you. There’s a FREE story to be downloaded just for taking part, so pick up your pen and join in my Summer Special Giveaway today and Be in a Book! https://www.facebook.com/events/2092900517659645/

 

 

 

Witch Lit is Magical Writing!

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I had a lovely day at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on Saturday at their storytelling event, Plant & Plots, talking to the public about the inspirational, magical landscape of Wales, writing and Witch Lit.

Some people are confused when they see the word ‘witch’. In their minds, witch = demons/devils/black magic/sorcery/Satan/baby killers, not necessarily in that order. While many are interested in the idea of living in harmony with nature, giving back and celebrating the beauty and bounty of the planet and taking time to be present and appreciate all that life has to offer, some cannot see beyond the above list. Saturday was no exception; I stood and took the spitting abuse and personal remarks, as well as the advice that I should ‘look to my Bible’.

Brought up in a Christian household, I went to Sunday School and church and became a Sunday School teacher. I’ve always loved the stories of Jesus, full of kindness, compassion and common sense. As a pagan and a witch, I have no problem appreciating Jesus as a prophet before his time, in the same way Buddha was. I’ve read many books by the Dalai Lama and the inspirational Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, has my vote as one of the most important and influential women of this time.

As a witch, I follow no organised religion, only a path of love, kindness and compassion towards the planet and all those who live on her.

That’s what I want to inspire with my books. The Lizzie Martin series is funny, the stories are compelling and Lizzie uses magic in her every day life to help her with the stresses many of us face. She is a strong woman. She likes men, but doesn’t need a man to define her.

Witch Lit is magical writing of every kind; prose, poetry and song. Join the #witchlitrevolution and bring a little magic into every day of your life.

 

Face to face at the Book Fair

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On Saturday 21st July, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales held a storytelling event and book fair called Plant & Plots. I was invited to bring my books along to set up a stand in the Great Glasshouse.

All began well at 8.30am. The plants are amazing and the thought of spending all day with them, and meeting the plant loving public, filled me with excitement.

More authors arrived. I was opposite the fabulous children’s author, Angela Fish and we chatted about the prospects for the day and our books. Her stories are wonderful with glorious illustrations. I was sure every parent and child who walked passed would love one of her books.

I’d recently linked up online with Cheryl Beer, a poet and organiser of a new book fair for September 29th this year in Llandysul, so it was lovely to meet her ‘in real life’ and have a chat. Thorne Moore was there with her clever book stand to keep the drips off her books, and her books of course, psychological mysteries or ‘domestic noir’, exploring the reasons for crimes and their consequences. It was lovely to see Judith Barrow after she interviewed me for Showboat TV, and her wonderful family sagas. Thorne and Judith are the brains and beauty (and damned hard work!) behind the Narberth Book Fair, this year on 22nd September. Check out the fabulous website they have created. http://www.narberthbookfair.co.uk/

Sarada and John Thompson, organisers of the Carmarthen Book Fair on 11th August, invited me to the event, so it was lovely to catch up with them and their work.

And then the sun came out…. and nost of the public chose not to come in. I didn’t blame them. I love the sun, am very happy in it, but the heat and humidity were unbearable. Angela and I took turns to get fresh air, but it was a struggle returning. After a few hours, we nabbed someone to put an industrial fab on which helped a bit, but by 3pm, I was beginning to feel unwell. A meeting of authors was called. Graham Watkins spoke to those in charge of the event and we were offered a table in the Gallery for the following day, but I chose to leave space for others on this occasion; my broken toe is still mending!

I shall definitely return to the Botanic Gardens and I did meet some lovely people. I talked at length to a wonderful gentleman about the magical landscape of Wiltshire and I danced with a little fairy who called me the purple lady. In this digital age, you just can’t beat chatting about books and inspiration face to face.

Don’t forget my Summer Special Giveaway Be in a Book! In three easy steps, you can be yourself in my next novel!

 

The BEAUTYof a Book Fair

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Love books but never been to a book fair? Let me tell you how much fun they are…

B is for books…one of my favourite dreams is finding myself in a room surrounded by books.14441101_928492490589252_1450220905486666353_nTables weighed down with glistening covers and colourful banners fill the hall and all you have to do is browse. It’s a wonderful spectacle and an exciting opportunity to find a book that transports you to another world.

E is for education…because you can talk with the authors, you hear the books synopsis but, more importantly, learn why an author wanted to share their story with you. 14492328_10153797841252327_6965602039928982529_n

We don’t just talk about books either…authors are real people. At Carmarthen Book Fair, I shared about lime mortaring and learned great tips on organic gardening as well as talking about magic. Often, there are talks and workshops where authors share their passion for their work and educate with tips on writing or opportunities to delve deeper into a specific genre.

A is for authors…a book fair is a great place for authors to meet, share and unite. Most of us are introverts by design, creating our stories alone in our own world of words, so book fairs are a great place to feel part of the writing community. 14462752_928492613922573_8779798483905616230_n

U is for universal…at a book fair, there is something for everyone, books spanning all the genres. They are inclusive events, often using the opportunity to raise money for charity. 14440912_928494113922423_5699407015268787620_n At Carmarthen, money was raised for Multiple Sclerosis with a raffle. Prizes were donated by authors and the local community.

T is for time…as an author, it’s time to be yourself and time to share the writing you love. The atmosphere buzzes with excitement yet there’s no rush…time to relax and share with our readers. 14449818_10210590035252262_8255655491257185578_n

Y is for you…we wouldn’t be there without you! Book Fairs give authors the opportunity to be there for you, answer your questions and inspire you to immerse yourself in the world of story.14463312_10153797841292327_4601279399998354486_n

Look out for local book fairs in the press and on social media. If you’re in Wales, I look forward to meeting you at Llandeilo in December.

Happy reading!