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Archive for the tag “Louis de Bernieres”

St Helena and other news

Hello everyone,Picture from top of Carningli

Greetings from sunny Pembrokeshire! I just wanted to thank you all again for your interest in my books. Over the last few months I have received an overwhelming number of kind messages and comments. It really is wonderful to know that my Lavender Road characters have brought so much pleasure to so many people! Thank you also for the wonderful reviews. If there are any of the books which you haven’t yet reviewed, and if you have the time or inclination, then it would be great if you could pop a few words and star ratings onto my books on Amazon or Goodreads sites, or indeed any other book sites you might use. It all helps enormously. And if you fancy a writing holiday on the remote island of St Helena, then it would be lovely to see you there – see below!

And now, here is the latest news from HELEN CAREY BOOKS:

  • All the Lavender Road books are now out in paperback in the UK.
  • THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET and the four preceding novels in the Lavender Road series are now available in paperback in the USA. The sixth and final book, VICTORY GIRLS, will follow in December this year.
  • All the audio versions are available from AUDIBLE in the USA, and as CDs from Ulverscroft / ISIS Soundings publishing, and libraries in the UK.
  • I am delighted to have been invited to be one of the inaugural tutors for a creative writing week on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic next May. The course will be a week long and will be suitable both for new and more experienced writers alike. The other tutor will be Louis de Bernières, of Captain Corelli fame. This is an amazing opportunity for participants to focus on creative writing with two very different authors in a remote, idyllic setting. For further details see the flyer below.

All best wishes,

Helen Carey

st helena

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Words are like local shops

Words are like local shops – it’s a case of use them or lose them. I was shocked to hear that ‘charabanc’ and ‘aerodrome’ have been expunged from the Oxford English Dictionary. But how can that be, when there is a sign for Haverfordwest Aerodrome just down the road from here? And last summer Marc and I went with a couple of friends on what can only be called a charabanc, a (hilarious) local coach trip to the Brecon canal. 

But clearly we didn’t use charabanc or aerodrome enough so both those have gone and the problem is that once they have gone, however much we suddenly realise we loved them, we can’t easily get them back. 

The people behind the  ‘shop local’ organisation are trying to promote local shops and businesses, maybe we should have a similar campaign for words. Some kind of system of encouraging people to use our favourites in order to keep them alive. Louis de Bernières suggests that it’s a good idea to scour the dictionary and to put a couple of pretty obscure words into the first few pages of a novel as it sets a good tone. (I have just scoured his book Birds Without Wings, a wonderful engrossing read, and quickly found ‘kaval’, ‘mendicant’ and ‘Circassian’!) But finding underused words in books and magazines from time to time isn’t enough, we have to use them day to day. I hardly dare say it, but we need to spread the word! 

Some years ago I went through a period of having to go to some pretty dull cocktail parties, and to make it less of an ordeal my partner and I selected a couple of words before going in that we would try to bring casually into the conversation. We gave each other points for how successful we were. I scored particularly well I seem to remember for an inspired combined use of ‘intransigent’ and ‘giraffe’. 

In memory of that success I have decided to start my own ‘use them or lose them’ campaign by introducing some of my favourites into my blog, my tweets and possibly even my day to day chit chat. I am starting with ‘equanimity’ and ‘detritus’- two of my favourite underachievers. So, unless you are able to accept the demise of your words/local village shops with equanimity, I suggest you start using them, otherwise they will become part of the inevitable detritus of globalisation!

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