Welcome - The International Writers Magazine
- March 2009
writing from across the globe.
March 31st: A big thank you to our guests at the University of Portsmouth
MA in Creative Writing Programme this month: Literary Agent Lorella
Belli, Editor and Writer Beverley Birch and Screenwriting Agent Julian
Friedman. It's great having professionals give up their time and energy
for my students. MUCH appreciated.
The injection of reality to student lives can be depressing but always
instructive. Some are actually surprised that some hard work may be
Does the world actually need Hackwriters?
Thats the question I have been asking myself lately. Its
all so Web 1.0 apparently. No interaction,
Since we began ten years ago technology has changed 100% and there is
so much more information available. Everyone is a star in
their own blog and who needs a gatekeeper anymore? Everything's for
free, no one under 18 is reading newspapers or serious stuff - they
say and no one, they tell me, has any time to read anything longer than
165 characters. It has to be true or otherwise Twitter wouldn't be so
They say that there are 120 million blogs out there and nearly 80 million
Chinese ones as well. (Technorati track all this if you want precise
figures). Add the six million people on Facebook and all those on Bebo,
and whatever, and Id say we are increasingly becoming redundant.
Because I dont allow feedback or what it amounts to
abuse we firmly remain in Model T Ford mode. Still able to drive on
the road but slow and easily mocked for being old-fashioned.
In life sometimes it is recognising when things have moved on and acting
on it that counts. I liked the earlier model of the web being free and
open and without ads. Now ads drive everything. No one seems to mind
ads as much as me, apparently. That said, Hacks consumes a great deal
of time and I am currently short of it. (One 90 year old mother to feed
and wash being part of it).
It's been a labour of love or a curse or affliction. Posting around
45 articles a month for ten years is hard and trying to keep up the
quality and of course give chances to beginners. Ok it's altruistic
but I am not sure altruism is the mantra of this age. We all have concerns
about our futures. Everyone, including myself, are asking is my job
safe? Assuming you still have one. Then there's global warming to think
about and the ever increasing of state intervention on our liberty on
both movement and thought. I never thought I'd end up living in a Stalinist
country but Gordon Brown is taking us there to the high ground of permanent
terror. It's time to re-read 1984 and see that Orwell's vision
has been layered perfectly upon our lives now. Nothing is certain, political
re-education is the rule and we are cowed because the only advice people
give each other is 'keep your head down'. Well, at the risk of being
an unemployed contrarian - do not lower your head - voice reasoned opinions,
know your rights but equally be aware of the wrongs. In any case, If
Obama doesn't save the world - we are truly screwed and as the cheerleader
has discovered in Heroes, nothing is black and white anymore.
This is no time for moral ambiguity.
Where did I go wrong huh? No millions but here we are still going when
so many others have gone to the wall. Sheer obstinance I think. The
world may not notice but I will keep the site archived so work can still
Blogs are the way forward until the next big thing I guess.
Situation is under review
The good news for
me is that I have just signed a two-book deal with Hodders in the UK
the bad news is that the first wont come out till Jan 2011.
So I have some writing and researching to do before then. To that end
I am off home to Vancouver to do research this April. The second book
is set all along the Fraser River and I feel obliged to make sure my
characters know every bend in the river.
A word on ambition.
Persevere. I kept writing and hoping and submitting and when I couldnt
get a deal, published my own which is a publishing no-no but
at least kept my interest going. I dont recommend anyone
should publish their own fiction. It is a financially pointless exercise,
really. There is no way to make a profit. But luckily I didnt
do it to make a profit but to keep myself amused and use them as a taster
in case any editors were interested. I am fortunate in finding one who
did. She has not bought the book I published before you ask, but liked
Mean Tide enough to want
to know what I would write next. She has bought that.
So thanks to Lulu, in a roundabout way, I have a deal. I dont
say that will work for everyone but I believe the secret it just to
keep writing. That and always have a muse. My muse has moved on but
without her I probably wouldnt have been quite so passionate about
my stories in order to please her. Thats me. Other people write
for other reasons. I write to please someone other than myself. Always
have. (Note to self: find a new muse)
So this summer I shall be writing, not running a zine and reading all
the books my Masters students are currently writing. It is probably
enough for one person.
want to help Hackwriters keep going, buy my new book Mean
Tide. A young adult ghost
story set in Greenwhich, London.
All profits go into the magazine.
Mean Tide by Sam North
'Extraordinary novel about a child's psychic
Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and
completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'
to live with his spooky Grandma by the river in Greenwich, Oliver
(12) discovers a whole world of disturbed people who are probably
even crazier than the ones he left behind. When he finds a dog with
its throat cut on the beach, everything changes.
range 12-16 and adult
are you worried about your health? Read my book 'Another
. If you have the slightest worry about how to survive the coming flu
pandemic, you need this book and all the proceeds go to keep Hackwriters
the review from Calvin
Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
by Sam North
Retail - 300 pages - Lulu Press USA
will never be the same again' - Sunday Express
Buy from your favourite on-line retailer
and Noble &
Diamonds - The Rush of '72
now from Amazon.com
terrific piece of storytelling' Historical Novel Society Review
Also printed in the UK and available from
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