Is It Creation or Appropriation?

connect with Indies Unlimited on Facebook hands-543593_960_720Recently Hal Niedzviecji, chief editor of Write Magazine, the quarterly published by the Writers Union of Canada, was pressured to resign as a result of his editorial, “Win Appropriation Prize”. His take was that there ought to be no barriers to writing about those we do not “know” and that readers would be the ones to take us to task if we cross the line.

The furor that resulted prompted me to explore the topic of cultural appropriation in writing. It’s a tricky one and the opinions run the gamut from “never” to “anything goes”. Continue reading “Is It Creation or Appropriation?”

The Perfect Facebook Post

Increase Facebook interactionsWe’ve posted to Facebook so many times that we could do it in our sleep. What’s the best way to share content on Facebook in order to hit the News Feed? As we’ve written before, only a fraction of our content makes the cut.

TrackMaven recently completed a study where they analyzed over 1.5 million Facebook posts. According to their research, here’s the list of things that give your post the best chance to go viral. Continue reading “The Perfect Facebook Post”

Featured Author: Julia Ibbotson

Julia Ibbotson is the award-winning author of The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, first published to acclaim in the USA and now re-launched with a brand-new cover by her new English publisher in the UK. Julia has been writing creatively all her life (unpublished!) but her day jobs to pay the mortgage have been as a school teacher and latterly a university academic, gaining her PhD at the age of 57. She delights in being a wife and mother to four, with four little grandchildren. She loves reading, gardening, growing food, cooking for family and friends and country life. Having published many academic texts and papers, she came late to actually publishing her creative writing, at the age of 60 plus, when she was persuaded to write the story of the renovation of her Victorian rectory in The Old Rectory. She has combined memoir, history, research, story and recipes in this first published book, which has won a number of international book festivals in the biography category, gained 5 star reviews on Amazon, and has been widely featured (along with her house) in the media. She has begun to delve into the world of blogging, facebook and now has her own website at at which she also posts blogs regularly, about writing, life and her passions. Her new project is a trilogy of novels following the life story of a new character, Jess, through from fleeing to West Africa as a volunteer teacher/nurse in the 1960s to the millennium. The first of the series, Drumbeats, is due to be published later this year. You can find out more on her website and on her author page on Amazon. Her global internet book tours start soon! Continue reading “Featured Author: Julia Ibbotson”

Yes, Fiction Writers Do Research

‘Write what you know.’ We have all heard that statement in one context or another, but what does it mean? This is actually a beast that raises its head periodically, in many different guises, at Indies Unlimited. The ‘Get it right’ posts are just one guise; I think all of the staff and several guests have done at least one piece on the subject. ‘Get the fight right!’ was my contribution (write what you know, right?). However, it all comes down to the same thing; you have to know what you are writing about or risk being labelled unprofessional. Do The Research.

I was being interviewed on an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) radio program last year and one of the questions put to me was, “So, being an historical fiction based on fact, I suppose you would have had to do some research for ‘Terra Nullius’; as apposed to, say, your usual genres of memoir or pure fiction?” The assumption being that the ‘memoirs’ came straight out of my memory, and the ‘fiction’ came straight out of my imagination.

“Research plays a major part in the writing of any book,” I said. “Even fantasy requires the writer to get some general facts and rules straight; they may actually conduct considerable research on certain aspects, giving their story credibility. Some in-depth, researched facts can do wonders to suspend a reader’s disbelief, regardless of genre.” Continue reading “Yes, Fiction Writers Do Research”