Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Making Friends Through 'The People's Friend'


Not only is The People's Friend a lovely magazine to write for, it also brings people together. Recently, I found out that I share an editor at The Friend with a writer who lives near me. If you are a reader of (or writer for) this magazine, her name will be familiar to you.

Alison Carter has been writing stories for magazines for the last ten years and her name crops up regularly in many of the magazines. As you can imagine, being a relatively new writer (in comparison) I had many questions I wanted to ask. Lots of information was swapped, lots of coffee was drunk and lots of cake was eaten. One thing I found out was that Alison writes twice as much in a day as I do. I gasped when she told me she had written four thousand words in a few hours yesterday (I had felt pleased with one and a half) but she did assure me that my writing would get quicker over the years - I certainly hope so!

Most of you know about my writing buddy Tracy Fells (competition queen and owner of a large rucksack) and when we get together over teacakes once a month, we talk about a huge range of writerly things. With Alison, we spent two and a half hours just talking about womag writing. Imagine how boring that must have sounded to the people on the other tables... but not to us!



As luck would have it, both Alison and I are in this month's People's Friend Fiction Special. My story, Spanish Idyll is a holiday read and Alison's story The House of Silence is historical.


After a lovely morning, Alison and I eventually went our separate ways and allowed the queue of customers to sit down (recognise this Tracy!)

I was going to end this post by shouting about the fact that I recently sold my 70th story but after hearing that Alison has sold over 400 I might just whisper it instead!

27 comments:

  1. I'm in awe of both of you in terms of writing output - and hope to gain inspiration from it.

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    1. If it's any consolation, Lindsay, I've done nothing today.

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  2. Oh my! Alison sounds superhuman! I thought I was doing well, posting off two stories today (not written today, just finished tinkering with them today!). But must have been very inspiring to chat to her!

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  3. By the way, who did you get to take the (very nice) photo of you both, in the cafe?! Can't be a selfie because I can see your arms and hands!!

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    1. It was one of Alison's friends who came in.

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  4. Must read that Spanish Idyll.

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  5. Lovely post. And I think you have every right to shout :-) And I wondered who you got to take the photo too x

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  6. Sounds a lovely day, Wendy. Well done on that 70th sale - that is an achievement to celebrate. Now you have a new target, to get to 400! And what an amazing output from Alison - she is a true professional. I'm just chuffed to churn out 500 a day!

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    1. Alison is definitely much more professional than me, Tracy.

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  7. I suspect that the people on the other tables will now go home and write stories about people who write stories.

    Well done on all those sales!

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    1. ...and dull the stories would be too, Frances!

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  8. Lovely post and you are both very inspirational. I vow to do better, make sure I write every day and up my number of words! x

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    1. Sounds like a good mantra to me, Sue. We should all say when we wake up each morning.

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  9. Sounds like you had a great time! Here's a truth: somebody is always writing more than you but many aren't so try not to beat yourself up - you're doing your best and just like life shouldn't get in the way of writing, writing shouldn't get in the way of life! It's all a balance, isn't it? :)

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  10. Wise words indeed Lydia. Another mantra to say methinks

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  11. What a great post, Wendy. You're already a very prolific writer and have such a rate of success that you don't need to worry about anyone else!

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    1. I think it's natural for us writers to always feel we could be doing more, Rosemary. Silly, isn't it.

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  12. It's quality not quantity that counts, Wendy. I'm sure your 70 stories are all wonderful.

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    1. I like to think that there will always be someone out there who will be entertained in some way by them, Julia.

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  13. Gosh Wendy, I think you're superwoman, and Alison's stories are lovely. It would be a job for anyone to keep up with you, so it's nice that you've met Alison, and she can inspire you. You're both a great team, and keep on writing those fab stories.

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    1. Thanks, Susan and Alison certainly is an inspiration.

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  14. I don't think focusing too much on output is helpful really and it can be overwhelming to a new writer. I have no interest in word-counts except to make sure they fit the brief - some ideas will write to 1000 words, and others roll out to 3000, so what I write in a day is dependent on the story. Some write themselves in a morning, others take days of thought but I'm still 'writing' when I'm washing up or gardening. Likewise, I have never counted stories written/sold - except for the taxman each year! I just do what I do, in the time I have, and make it the best I can each time. Think Harper Lee - she has 'only' published one book. It just happened to be To Kill a Mockingbird.

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    1. I love your words of wisdom, Kate. You are right of course - I get much too hung up on whether I have reached my own self-created target.

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