Nicola Monaghan's news, events and general thoughts about life and writing.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Possessed on tour....

What goes on tour, stays on tour, lads often say when on stag weekends. Well, I'm not sure that I approve of that. And I thought I'd pop back, say hello, and keep you updated as to where I've been so far.

I had the pleasure of visiting the lovely Megan Taylor on Saturday, where I talked about what drew me to the supernatural. Then it was off to the Beleaguered Squirrel, who came up with some fantastic interview questions over on her blog. Finally, today I'm talking to Tania Hershman about places, and how they influence what I write about. I'd like to take a moment to thanks all these wonderful bloggers, and also to mention what good writers they are, and recommend their books!

The next stop is Cally Taylor, where I'll be giving a few tips on writing suspense. More to come next week so watch this space, or twitter/facebook for more...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

And we're off....

The blog tour for my soon to be released ebook Possessed has begun, with a stop at the blog of the lovely Megan Taylor. We've enjoyed discussing our spooky coincidences over the last couple of years. Megan moved to Nottingham after studying with one of my very best friends in the world on the remote MA at Manchester Metropolitan University. Then, last year, we found we were writing very different books with very similar themes. The Scottish Highlands, ghosts, lochs, and unreliable narrators. In fact, both books had the title 'The Loch House' cited for them at some point.

I talk a little about synchronicity in the post I've written for her. It seems to follow me around. In fact, I'd never get away with writing about the things that have happened to me if I tried to put them in a book! 

Megan's website is here, and my guest post is here. You can find out more about The Lives of Ghosts here

Monday, 9 July 2012

The best thing I've done in ages...

Okay, folks, here's an exclusive for you. You heard it here first. The guaranteed, 100% recipe to bring me close to tears. Works every time...

Take one group of year 6 children from my local primary school, have them do a load of stuff that they're really proud of, then make them stand up and sing (very proficiently) So Strong. I am choking up again as I think about it now.

The cruel people who did this to me last week were the staff at Rosslyn Park Primary School. They invited me to come and work with Year 6 on their Aspirations project. I was to work with a group of writers to produce a script. There would be other groups working on filming and directing it later in the week, a team of reporters to talk to members of staff, local people about their memories and thoughts about jobs and ambition. Every child would produce a poster about his or her aspiration and have their picture taken by the photography team. Everyone in the year would have a role and, at the end of the week, there would be a showcase of the work.

I spent two days working with the writing team on a script. In fact, they were so efficient that we had time for editing, for other students to research locations and a couple to start storyboarding the screenplay. I was so impressed. With their imagination. With their ambition. And with their literacy skills and some of the nuances of language and visual storytelling they understood.

On Friday afternoon, I was back in the school for the showcase. Roll singing children and me with a great big lump in my throat.

There's a lot of negativity towards kids, especially estate kids, in tracksuits and hoodies. There are loads of reasons for this and it's outside the scope of this blog post to explore but I'd strongly suggest to anyone wondering that they read this book. What I will say is that energy can be focused in the right direction by very gentle (if insistent) force.

And that this feels like the most important bit of work I've done in a very long time...