Hey everyone! Today I’m really pleased to share a book that is heartfelt, emotional and so affecting.
THE LONELY LIFE OF BIDDY WEIR by Lesley Allen
It’s all about the effects of bullying, enforced loneliness and is such a gorgeous book! Look out for my review over the next few days but in the mean time be sure to add this beautiful debut to your TBRs. Scroll down for more info on this wonderful book and a guest post by the author that is sure to be of interest to any budding authors out there! 🙂
Published by Twenty7 | 3rd November 2016 | Goodreads
A stark but uplifting story of bullying and redemption, for anyone who’s ever been a weirdo.
Almost too terrified to grip the phone, Biddy Weir calls a daytime television show.
The subject is bullying, and Biddy has a story to tell.
Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Biddy lives in her own little world, happy to pass her time watching the birds – until Alison Fleming joins her school.
Popular and beautiful, but with a dangerous, malevolent streak, Alison quickly secures the admiration of her fellow students. All except one. And Alison doesn’t take kindly to people who don’t fit her mould . . .
A story of abuse and survival, of falling down and of starting again, and of one woman’s battle to learn to love herself for who she is, The Lonely Life of Biddy Weir is Lesley Allen’s startlingly honest debut novel, perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman and Julie Cohen.
My Top 5 Writing Tips by Lesley Allen
No 1: Start it. Whether it’s a short story or a novel, or even an ‘I don’t know what this is going to be’ – just start it. This may sound a tad trite, but I don’t mean it to be, as I know how difficult the starting bit can be. But, honestly, when you do, the relief will be tremendous. And emotional!
No 2: Read. Read, read, read, read, read. Some people are worried that reading other books whilst writing their own will unduly influence them, but for me, reading great writing is a source of inspiration. I feel invigorated and excited and raring to write when I read a brilliant book. As I say in the Q&A at the back of the book, “when I read something magnificent, I want to dive into my own work and swim around in it”.
No 3: Don’t fight The Fear. The Fear is part of the process: fear of finishing it, fear of not finishing it; fear of what others will say; fear of what others won’t say; fear that it’s rubbish, or too long, or too short, or too honest, or too dishonest, or too whatever the hell it is that The Fear is whispering in your ear at any given time. Every single writer I have ever spoken with has encountered The Fear at some part of the writing of their book – for most it’s a frequent visitor. The trick is to acknowledge the little beggar; listen to what he has to say, then stick your tongue out at him or give him the fingers (whatever works for you, really) and get back to work.
No 4: Set your own pace (unless you have a deadline – in which case work at crazy speed, probably in your pyjamas) and don’t worry about how other writers do ‘it’. There isn’t a right way or a wrong way to write a book. There’s simply your own way. It took me a long time to figure that out, and I had countless anxiety attacks reading about this author who rose at 5am each day and wrote 2,000 words before even going to the loo, and that one who would only write in her office between ten pm and midnight wearing a kimono and silk slippers. It really doesn’t matter where you write, or when, or how, or why, or what your daily/weekly/monthly/annual word count is. What matters is that when you write you’re happy with what you’ve written.
No 5: Finish it. It doesn’t matter when, just keep going until you get to type The End. It may take you weeks, or months or even years, but when you finally type those two little words, it’s an awesome feeling. But of course it isn’t the end at all – it’s just the beginning.
About the Author
Lesley Allen lives in Bangor, County Down. She is a freelance copywriter and the press officer and assistant programme developer for Open House Festival. Lesley is previous recipient of the James Kilfedder Memorial Bursary, and two Support for the Individual Artist Art’s Council Awards. She was named as one of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s 2016 Artist Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) recipients for literature. She will be using the award to complete her second book.
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