Really getting colder now, and spending less time in the garden, though the clearing and bulb-planting tasks are waiting to be done. In my writing life, I’ve completed my first draft of the Mullins series (Book Three) and begun editing. The action takes place in 2007, and the story’s told by Alice, Jenny and Max’s older daughter, who is now 15 and working for GCSE exams, thinking about the future, and has begun a relationship with Fabian Russell, from the local boys’ private school, a fellow member of the local ‘United Schools’ Orchestra’. Mysteries and drama are set to enter her life…
In MARI’S BOOK CLUB there’s a review of The Fall of a Sparrow, a new book by Griselda Heppel, a very ‘grown-up’ story which certainly appeals to ‘readers of any age’ above the 9-12 group it’s primarily aimed at, dealing with issues of inclusion, bullying, and their sometimes tragic results. Read about this unusual, subtly told story at https://hodgepublishing.co.uk/maris-book-club/
Bodies of Light, and Reflections of Ancestors is now up on the Mari Howard Author blog https://marihowardauthor.wordpress.com/ This piece links up my family with the mid-Victorian era which Sarah Moss has skilfully evoked in her novel Bodies of Light, which I recently read. I’m captivated enough by Ally, who emerges as the main character, that I’m now into her follow-up, Signs for Lost Children – spoiler – early feminism and the Suffrage movement.
A proper “review” of Bodies of Light may appear in the Book Club page later – time permitting – IN OTHER NEWS the follow-up to The Labyrinth Year is in progress and first draft has reached part 2 (!) This is a little bit different to the previous two in the Mullins FamilySaga series, meeting the family again in 2007 (and beyond), seeing life from a ‘What Alice did then’ viewpoint.
And I am hoping to get a Newsletter out soon(ish) so please sign up using the form on the home page…
Hello followers and others! News needs a quick update. TWO Mari Howard Author blogposts have been added – December 3rd and December 28th
In ‘Writing that Inspires’ (December 3rd) Mari considers the kind of books and authors she enjoys and which inspire her own authorship, particularly of course in the two Mullins novels – Baby,Baby,and The Labyrinth Year.>Inspiration from writers as diverse as Khalid Hosseini, Barbara Kingsolver, Leila Aboulela, and – yes – Joanna Trollope – among others – have formed Mari’s writing style and content, including her strong belief in showing respect for characters, their foibles, their strengths, and the beliefs which motivate them.
Then looking back at Christmas on December 28th, in the long drawn-out year of Covid, she muses, in ‘Christmas – how was it for you? on whether or not ‘Christmas’ can be ‘banned’ or is that just negative thinking? Should we pay more attention to the climate crisis than the traditional feasting? How do we understand what ‘Christmas’ is?
You might also like to trawl through and discover the previous blog – fascinating stuff from fellow writer Fiona Veitch Smith, whose The Art Fiasco was published back in October. It’s the 5th novel in her Poppy Denby series and is very worth following up if you enjoy historical crime with a good dollop of 1920s fun and information.
Mari Howard also blogs for the Authors Electric group of writers on 22nd of each month. Do visit the site – a different author each day, a wide variety of literary-related ideas and subjects. Find AUthors Electric here
So, two blogs or even three – get reading and Happy 2021 – may it be a better year for us all!