Susan Alison, Penny Grubb, April Taylor, Sylvia Broady
Enjoyed a fabulous week at Writers' Holiday in Caerleon. It is always good to meet up with old friends who are as passionate about writing as you.
There are lots of courses to choose from, including painting, talks and evening speakers. We enjoy wonderful meals, and have lots of time to relax and chat about our favourite topic: Writing. And nobody's eyes glaze over.
I greatly enjoyed joining Penny Grubb's course on a Toolkit for novel writing. (Penny is the author of The Doll Makers - Annie Raymond Crime Series) Despite having written 40 novels it's always good to remind oneself of the structure one is aiming for, of what one is trying to achieve. With The Girl From Poor House Lane, for instance, I was so keen to keep Lucy for the sequel, she wasn't properly dealt with at the end, and boy did I get a load of complaints from readers. Thankfully they went on to buy the sequel, but I feel that was a lesson learned. Every villain must have their proper come-uppance, as Penny said in her course. She also recommended scenes to build tension, and then scenes to lower it so that the reader has time to step back and assess the situation. But a strong ending with all loose ends is essential.
One of the joys of this conference has always been the Cwmbach Male Voice Choir. They could not fail to touch your heart with their magnificent voices.
Cwmbach Male Voice Choir
And here they are in the bar afterwards, still singing ...
Gerry and Anne have been running this conference since the 1980s but sadly this was the last. I shall miss it. Here is Gerry about his business, making sure everything is in order in the book room.
I'm grateful for the many happy times I've enjoyed at Caerleon, and wish them every success at their new venue in Fishguard.