Jaye Sarasin

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Former teacher, volunteer in Africa, worker for the Science Research Council, maid; lived in Switzerland America Ivory Coast; passionate reader writer (mostly YA and MG) and gardener; author of The Green Enclave and Under the Dragon's Tooth (Not a very goood title as it is not about dragons).  Presently struggling with  Changelings follow up to The Green Enclave.  Known as Jenny from Leeds in the chat rooms.


Brilliant Jon - sorry I missed it when you first put it up.  They should have paid you for it - although it's always nice seeing something in print.  How's your no-limbed heroine coming on, by the way?

Have friends in Quebec and Kelowna although have never visited Canada. An amazing country by all accounts. Raised in a little village in Sussex  now live in Yorkshire,  Each country has its own charms.  I also love historical fiction but write YA  dystopia - takes all sorts!

Hi Helen, Hi Georgina Hi Adele and NIcki Hi Reidr!   This was the most amazingly helpful thread as I was able to relate to so much of it!  I am somewhat daunted at the thought of getting the marketing right, as my first and very expensively self-published novel with no marketing (as I was naively unaware that you had to )promptly sank without trace.  Now I know about the 8 million other books out there I have adjusted my expectations accordingly and now have the second in the series almost ready to go.  Off to Canva! 

I agree totally with Glyn, having zoned out in much the same way.  However, I was tempted to read it just to find out how the mechanism works.  It should be possible to interleave at least the basics of the explanation in amongst the alchemist's actions, sometimes as asides, sometimes in answer to the student's occasional question.  Never more than a couple of lines at a time.  Just for an example he could produce the dog-eared notebook at some stage and the student  says -

'Oy that's mine.  I wondered where it went.' The alchemist was unperturbed and, adding something to the flask, said,' Ah, but now it contains the formula for the locator and we can thus  get him to access the precise memory he wishes to recall.'

And then, a little while later get him to explain the locator.  It would be a shame to lose all the technical stuff.

Gosh David, give us more!   No point me saying anything as it's all been said.  So just more, more!

Bloom, bloom!  Here I am - in the back border! 

Bloom, bloom - like a blushing peony under rain.  Agh!  All my petals have dropped off and I'm NUDE.  What about  like Aphrodite rising from the waves?  Drat.  Cliche and Nude again.

How about My little petals unfurling to the sun?  Well better,  BUT  Oh dash it!

Bloom Bloom.  Here I am!  In the back border!

Extended metaphor


I thought Penny's format caught your thoughts perfectly while remaining reasonably true to the text.  Must admit I was initially a bit thrown by the would show in her own  and then realised it was her own eyes, so the substitution of her composure shouting the message worked well.  Sounds absolutely gripping

Adding my welcome to the others Anthony.  I suspect we're all in the same boat as you, either euphoric or down in the dumps but in general just ploughing on.  Keep with it!

I think the secret may be deciding first of all what story it is you wanted to tell - your elevator pitch should help there - and having decided what the main theme of the story is what characters are essential to the telling of that story.  Sometimes it's what I cut out which I find is the most revelatory, and it must be said that some characters have a life of their own and won't be cut so sometimes I just go with them instead of the original 

That was thought-provoking, Harry, as I discovered I do have a hidden mantra but had never realised it (too well -hidden!).  I have come to see that I write not what I believe to be commercially viable, not what I know to be 'readable' on a  Flesch-Kincaid score (about which I dimly recall reading in another of your emails years ago and to which I had obviously paid insufficient attention), not what fits a particular genre: but I write what I really, really like to read myself.  Now although I've read a fair selection of the Greats over the years and also any amount of literary dross I am now giving some thought as to what it is that I really love in fiction or non-fiction.   Although I certainly do like plenty of action, heart-felt characters, intriguing and worth-while themes, lots of humour and much else, I fancy what makes my heart leap when I come across it is the nicely turned phrase, the elegant expression of truth, a succinct and accurate description couched in appropriate language. Funnily enough, though, I'm not a huge fan of most literary fiction.   And since you need to be a great writer to do all of the above I suppose I ought to fold my tent - although since it's such great fun trying I probably won't.    

My novel is dystopian science fiction set in a future Chile but with a strong element of Inca  history and characters interwoven, so many of my characters speak Quechua, the main Indian language of the High Andes.  Fortunately Google supplies lists of names in Quechua and also their meanings so I was able to choose a goodly selection for my caste including Amaru the Snake, Asiri the Smile,  and so on.  Not counting those of the famous  Inca kings, like Topa and Viracocha.  No doubt some true Quechua speaker will tell me it's all rubbish but we must just do the best we can!

Farsley near the top of Old Road.  Hi again! Did Brigitte's reading group ever get off the ground?

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