Friday, 30 October 2015

Writing as sculpture: finding and freeing the treasure hidden inside the rock

Writing feels to me a bit like carving a sculpture: it's as if I'm finding and freeing the treasure hidden inside the rock.

First come the seed ideas, the months of thinking and dreaming about my characters, their lives, their situations, the plot, the research that may never make its way into the finished novel, but which is the solid grounding reality and background to everything. That's the stone.

Then second, once it reaches a tipping point where all the elements are in place and I can no longer resist the writing, comes the first draft. That helps me see clearly the seams and fault lines of my characters, the shape and flow of the plot, the dovetailing strands of the story as I chip away. Now I can make full eye contact with the characters I dreamed up, hear them speak, smell and taste their world more vividly than before. That's the sculpting.

Then comes the editing, editing and re-editing which I love. It's like the tumble-polishing of the whole piece, murdering my darlings, killing dead adjectives, spotting typos, reordering, throwing it out to my faithful proofreaders to savage and sniff out the impurities and howlers. That's the smoothing.

Once it's published and out in the world with the readers it was born to meet, my writing can then be enjoyed and explored by everybody from their different viewpoints, preferences, angles, looking at the crystal with all its different facets, each reader taking away something different from my story. Such a privilege and joy when some are unable to look away until the end, getting what they need from the book I sculpted, perhaps treasuring it as a favourite read to return to again and again, each time getting something different from it.

I'm currently having such fun immersed in the sculpting stage of my second novel, which sees my heroine and hero from "Goatsucker Harvest" going into deep waters, dangers and wildlife dilemmas in a Humber Keel off Yorkshire's Holderness Coast and the sea cliffs and caves around Flamborough Head in the 1850s.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please let me know by commenting and please feel free to share your own ideas and experiences of writing and reading.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, 26 October 2015

Slice of cake, anyone?

Just for you, suggested by a comment from reader Rose, here I am reading the moment from chapter 5 of "Goatsucker Harvest" when Thirza visits Carrdyke House and discovers what *that* coconut cake really tastes like! Things may not be quite as sweet as they seem...


Available for Kindle on Amazon worldwide and FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Seagulls are aggressive: DO NOT FEED THEM - a poem

Gulls like trolls
Are aggressive
Do Not Feed,
There's no need

Your eyes from their gaze
Feign indifference
To belligerent ways

Keep your sandwich
In its wrapper
Don't share your battered
Cod or scratchings

Bullying hatchlings
Line the harbour wall
Let them be
Bellicose by the sea

Crumbs of comfort
Hidden away cos
Giving in to giving
Makes them more pugnacious


While Brid Corporation
Isn't spying or judging
I fling a spare crust
In healthy high dudgeon

Catch the truculent gull
In a snap for posterity
Beak full of bread
Defying austerity

(c) Joyce Barrass 2015

Monday, 19 October 2015

Goatsucker Harvest: Yorkshire author Joyce Barrass reads from her historical heartstopper

Welcome to your must read moment!

Here I'm reading from Chapter 4 of my Yorkshire historical heartstopper "Goatsucker Harvest." Bloopers, fluffs and all!

In this short snippet, Thirza's Aunt Emma visits Kitson's Windmill to make Thirza an offer she can't get a word in edgeways to refuse!

"Goatsucker Harvest" is yours to own and enjoy in its entirety for your Kindle or in Paperback from Amazon worldwide.

Thanks for watching and for all your wonderful support, reviews and feedback!

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Goatsucker Harvest: Yorkshire author reads excerpt from her novel

A couple of almost bloopers, weird morning lighting and a recalcitrant pigeon flying in for his breakfast in the background.

This is an excerpt from the beginning of Chapter 17 "Under the Milk Moon" from my historical fantasy novel set in Yorkshire in 1855 Goatsucker Harvest. Written in Yorkshire, set in Yorkshire, celebrating Yorkshire, here read by its Yorkshire author.

This is a few pages from the middle of the story where canal lass Thirza meets Bram "Dutchy" Beharrell, reclusive pinder and marshman and his kooikerhondje dog Piper, at his mysterious duck decoy in the remote boggy peat moorland known to history as Thorne & Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire. For the first time, outsider Bram finds a kindred spirit, another soul with whom he can share his secrets.

No plot spoilers here, so you can listen with confidence!
The book is available to buy as a paperback (seen in this clip) or to download to your Kindle from Amazon worldwide.

Hope you enjoy and thanks for all your support.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

"Goatsucker Harvest" going global

Humber Keel just like the "Thistle" in 'Goatsucker Harvest' on a Yorkshire canal
Createspace have just told me that "Goatsucker Harvest" will be available in paperback in Canada within the next 30 days, as well as UK/USA/Europe. So if you have friends or family in Canada on the look out for a good read, can you let them know there'll be a new historical fiction fantasy title set in Yorkshire in 1855 on for them to enjoy in paperback as well as om Kindle? 

Had my first Kindle downloads from Germany and Spain over the weekend. Intriguing! Can't wait to get more feedback from the worldwide audience! 

We writers would be nowhere without our readers.

New and old faithful readers alike, welcome to my fictional world!

Goatsucker Harvest on (UK)

Goatsucker Harvest on (USA)

Goatsucker Harvest on (AUSTRALIA)

Goatsucker Harvest on (FRANCE)

Goatsucker Harvest on (GERMANY)

Goatsucker Harvest on (SPAIN)

Goatsucker Harvest on (NETHERLANDS)

Goatsucker Harvest on (JAPAN)

Goatsucker Harvest on (INDIA)

Goatsucker Harvest on (CANADA)

Goatsucker Harvest on (ITALY)

Goatsucker Harvest on (BRAZIL)

Goatsucker Harvest on (MEXICO)



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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

FREE Kindle download of "GOATSUCKER HARVEST" October 8th-11th


Get it on your Kindle FOR FREE or tell the lucky bookworms in your life right now not to miss out! 

To celebrate my birthday, which falls today at Harvest time, it's a birthday treat from me to you and yours. FREE to download from tomorrow, Thursday October 8th, until this Sunday, October 11th, you can lose yourself in a unique Yorkshire yarn of yesterdays that will warm your heart and haunt your dreams!

Thanks for all the amazing reviews on Amazon!

GOATSUCKER HARVEST ON AMAZON.CO.UK free to download from Oct 8th-11th 2015