Birthdays in Books

Tomorrow is my birthday, so here’s my top five birthdays that occur in books:

5. Harry Potter in ‘Prisoner of Azkaban.

Harry getting his cards is wonderfully done, particularly in contrast to the lack of interest shown by the Dursleys.

4. Tristan in ‘The Fifth Sorceress

A 30th birthday party goes from boring to a bloodbath after monsters gate crash the castle.

3. Charlie in ‘The Bad Mother’s Handbook’

Waking up at noon covered in breastmilk only to wander into a room full of people you’re trying to impress is a great way to turn eighteen.

2. Shinobu in ‘Love Hina

The ‘forgotten birthday’ storyline is a little overused, but it provides great character development for Keitaro and Shinobu and shows a different side to Naru as well.

1. Gerry in ‘My Family and Other Animals’

Everything about this is gold. From each family member inviting ten different guests, Larry’s lamenting about his manuscript, the new dogs being named Widdle and Puke… Even the taxi driver telling the doctor to stop having so many children is hilarious.

And if it’s your special day, too, many happy returns. What are your favourite birthdays in books?

Character Design and ‘The Resurrectionist’

Do characters always have to be realistic? No, and yes.

No, they don’t have to conform to ‘irl’ realism. You can have characters with horns, scales, wheels. Your characters can have the ability to fly, eat toxic waste or come back from the dead. That’s the joy of fiction.

However, if your flying, horned, toxic lizard-man exists, he needs to be justified. If he is special, how did he get like that? If not, what environmental factors do you now need to consider?

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The WoMentoring Project

Have you heard of this? Because you really should have.

The mission of The WoMentoring Project is simply to introduce successful literary women to other women writers at the beginning of their careers who would benefit from some insight, knowledge and support.

How awesome! What is even more awesome is the fact this entire project is being organised and staffed by volunteers. Arts Council, you looking at this?

Interested in applying?

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Shortlisted for CCL’s 2014 Flash Fiction Prize

This must be the Week of Good News.

As well as being shortlisted in the National Flash Fiction Day Competition (see below), I heard yesterday that my 500-word story After the Fall has been shortlisted for CloudCuckooLand’s 2014 Flash Fiction Prize.

This and stories from 19 other shortlisters will be published later this year, with the overall winner announced on 1st May. Follow the process by checking out their Twitter: @flashfiction14