Sunday, 17 December 2017

It's Nearly All Over

Only a few days to go and we'll be back to normal adverts on the TV.

I get fed up with the same Chistmassy ones from early November that think they're being cute and clever. The only thing going for them in my opinion is that there are some great story ideas in there for us writers. These are the ones that have triggered my imagination this year:

The two sisters swapping Christmas presents who we then see in flashback fighting on the street as kids and comparing make-up in the bathroom as teenagers all to the soundtrack of Caravan Of Love. (Boots)

The young lad encouraging his sister to feed the reindeer and put the star on the tree. (Morrisons)

The BBC trailer with the little girl who wants to dance but her dad always seems busy. This one begs the question – where's mum?

Do you have any favourites?

Have a great Christmas everyone.

Monday, 13 November 2017

This Is What It's All About

We all live in the real world. We have jobs to do, bills to pay and promises to keep. Sometimes we get ill, lonely or depressed. We have no control over the circumstances into which we are born. Some are stinking rich, some dirt poor, but most of us are somewhere in between.

Given these inescapable facts of life it is fortunate that we have ways of distracting our minds from the drudgery of modern living. As writers we have an invaluable talent to offer a wormhole into another world. Our readers can escape to another time, another place. It doesn't matter if we make them laugh or cry. We can give them a fright, arouse their emotions or just give them something to think about. At the back of their minds they know that they can close the book, put down the magazine or switch off the Kindle.

When you've had a series of rejections or feel you've had a bad review remember that readers are spending their hard-earned money in exchange for a few minutes of escapism. After reading your work they will return to the daily grind having had a moment of respite. They may even tell someone else about the experience. Think of that when you feel undervalued.

We sell entertainment.

Write something today.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Interesting Or Just Unconventional?

Last month at Nottingham Writers' Club we were given an excellent talk by Siobhan Logan entitled Author at Work: the business end of writing. One of the pieces of advice she gave out was concerned with creating your writing CV. Today I've acted on that information and rewritten my profile. I've tried to make myself seem more interesting but I don't know if I've achieved that.

You be the judge:

Although he spent thirty five years as an engineer (a notoriously illiterate profession which communicates in abbreviations and acronyms), Keith Havers now applies his grammar school education in his occupation as an author. He has had short stories published in various magazines and anthologies and has also run writing workshops and judged several competitions.

Keith was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire where he inherited a rustic sense of humour from his Norfolk-born father and a healthy cynicism from his mother. He now lives with his wife in Nottingham where his time is split between being a writer and a college supervisor.

Despite working in the electronics industry for many years Keith is wary of the current obsession and reliance on technology as he believes it can stifle creativity. Also, he doesn't like the idea of carrying a gadget in his pocket that is smarter than he is.

In his spare time he likes to take a brisk bike ride and relive his sporting achievements as a Triathlon and Powerman competitor. But his main form of exercise these days is entertaining his two grandchildren – a far more exhausting activity.

Keith's website is at

His blog is at

He is also on Twitter @KeithHavers

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

One Day In June

I'm really pleased to have one of my longer stories in The People's Friend this week. I got the idea for it in a rather unusual way.

As some of you might know, 2016 saw the 50th anniversary of England's historic football World Cup victory and there were several books published on the subject. Although I'm no longer a football fan I browsed through a few just to evoke a few memories of the time. One book that caught my imagination was The 1966 World Cup Final: Minute by Minute written by Jonathan Mayo. This not only recounts the experiences of the players over that eventful weekend but also those of ordinary people around the country.

Some of the team do not even know whether they are playing or not on the morning of the match. At breakfast some try to catch the eye of manager Alf Ramsey but he is giving nothing away. Some people still have to work of course. There are the firemen in Maidstone who are called out shortly after West Germany score the first goal. There is a bus driver and his conductor, finding themselves with no passengers, who try to find a house on their route where they can watch some of the game. As Kenneth Wolstenholme announces that it's all over, a policeman loses his helmet in the crowd.

As soon as I read these extracts I wanted to write a piece of fiction in a similar style. But what event could I choose? The only time I could think of, where the whole nation was glued to either the television or radio, was the 1953 coronation. So I created a group of characters in situations all over England who, in their own unique way, were affected by the events of the day. I hope I made it entertaining. Thank you, Jonathan Mayo.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

No More Excuses

It's time I stopped making excuses and got back into regular blogging despite the fact that this is my busiest time of the year.

There are A Levels and International Baccalaureate going on at the college where I'm an exam invigilator. During these two months I'm still determined to keep up my short story output for the womags. Nevertheless I'm sitting here typing this post while switching between commentary of Notts v Leics in the One Day Cricket competition and England v Ireland in International One Day Cricket. I'm also trying to keep up to date with progress of the Giro (Italy's equivalent of the Tour de France).

Another ongoing project is the sequel to my children's novel Youthopia which I'm hoping to complete before the end of the year.

 By the way I have a story coming in this week's People's Friend. (Dated May 13th). It's a story with a horse racing theme. I actually received a slap on the wrist from editor Shirley Blair for not alerting her to the fact that this is a date specific story. It didn't occur to me that they would have preferred to publish it during Grand National week. Oh well. Lesson learnt.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Guest Post And A Plug

Ironic isn't it?

I don't seem to have time to write my own blog but I'm a guest on Womagwriter's Blog today.

I had the pleasure of meeting Patsy Collins a few weeks ago when she and Gary passed through Nottingham on their travels and a chance remark by me led to her inviting me to write a post for Womagwriter.

She also very kindly offered me a chance to mention my book Youthopia.

Please go and take a look.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Reading List

Where do people get the time to post on their blog several times a week?

Just lately, if I'm not writing for magazines, then I'm reading, and included in my reading list are several self-help books on writing craft. Over the last year or so I've collected a few by writers that I know on the internet or that I've actually met. I'm still working through some of them and here they are; all highly recommended of course:

Easy Money For Writers and Wannabes                      Maggie Cobbett
The Little Book of Freelance Writing                             Susie Kearley
Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners           Sally Jenkins
Editing the Red Pen Way                                            Anne Rainbow
Stories with Twist Endings, How to Write and Sell Them  Linda Lewis
Give Up Ironing                                                         Kathleen McGurl
The Short Story Writer's Toolshed                                 Della Galton
From Story Idea to Reader               Patsy Collins & Rosemary J. Kind

Alternatively, if you fancy a bit of children's adventure or you know an eleven to thirteen year old who would, then try this:

My author's page is now on Amazon here.

Paperback £6.50
Kindle Edition £1.99