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NinaMilton

Sabbie Dare and Friends

I have been writing fiction since my reception teacher, Mrs Marsden, put a paper and pencil in front of me. I can remember thinking; What? Do real people write these lovely books? I want to do that! I gained an MA in creating writing and sold my first books for children; Sweet’n’Sour, (HarperCollins) and Tough Luck, (Thornberry Publishing), both from Amazon. I also love writing short stories and they regularly appear in British anthologies. I now write crime fiction, published by Midnight Ink. The idea for In the Moors , my first Shaman Mystery came to me one day, in the guise of Sabbbie Dare. She came to me fully formed and said; “I'm a young therapist, a shaman, and sometimes I do get very strange people walking into my therapy room. Honestly, I could write a book about some of them...” I am a druid; a pagan path which takes me close to the earth and into the deep recesses of my mind. Shamanic techniques help me in my life - in fact they changed my life - although, unlike Sabbie, I’ve never set up a therapeutic practice...I’m too busy writing and teaching creative writing with the Open College of the Arts. I’m a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Although I was born, educated and raised my two children in the West Country, I now live in west Wales with my husband James. IN THE MOORS, the first Shaman Mystery starring SABBIE DARE was released in the US in 2013 and UNRAVELLING VISIONS will be out this autumn, but you can already reserve your copy on Amazon. Join me on my vibrant blogsite, http://www.kitchentablewriters.blogspot.com where I offer students and other writers some hard-gained advice on how to write fiction.

THE HELP

THE HELP by Katheryn Stockett. My book club read this book and there wasn't a member who didn't love it from page one to the epilogue. We all agree that it taught us so much about the lives of the women - both black and white - of the deep south of the US in the early sixties. But I am also in praise of it because of it's confident use of writing technique; it is a multi-viewpoint book, with three 1st person voices, all as engrossing as each other (although I can't help loving Minny best) and a single chapter writen in the omnicsient which worked perfectly...very hard to pull off. The plotting of the story drew the reader in, hooking them from an early stage - the first pages of chapter one, infact - as Aibeleen learns of the plan for each 'help' to be given their own 'bathroom'...so that the white families don't catch their diseases. The irony and balletic comedy between the white classes, who are clearly terrified of the black community that they dispise and pay despicable wages, is beautifully drawn. And the dramatic tension that builds as Skeeter becomes more and moresecretly involved with her black friends is terrifying and heartwarming at the same time. A first time author, Stockett is one to watch.