Inside the mind of a writer www.scskillman.co.uk

Archive for May, 2016

I’ll Be at Costa Coffee Royal Priors Leamington Spa on Friday 24th June 2016 Signing Copies of Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit

Please do join me in Costa Coffee if you’re in the Royal Priors Shopping Centre, Leamington Spa, on Saturday 24th June.cropped image of my booksigning table

I’ll be there between 11am and 2pm on that day handing out free bookmarks and postcards as well as signing copies of my two thriller / suspense novels Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit.

Costa are great supporters of local community projects and that includes local authors! And in common with many others, one of the things I love to do is while away an hour or so in a coffee shop… and Costa features among my favourites.  Even better if you are a writer who is able to while away several hours in a corner with a cup of coffee writing in your A4 lined pad… whether or not that café is in Edinburgh and has a view of the famous castle!

Hope to see you there.

Inspiration from Foreign Language Films in our Film Club

During the course of this blog  I’ve written about sources of inspiration from many directions – from people, cities, landscape, history, buildings, travel, books, art, TV drama and films.

Certainly films I love have enriched my creative life. Writers benefit from cross-fertilisation all the time!  A few years ago my writer friend Meg Harper set up a film group, and we’ve been meeting ever since. At each meeting six of us watch a film together which one of us chose the last time, and then we discuss it.  This way, I’ve seen several films which would otherwise never have come to my notice.  Some of them have been brilliant and moving; films from Germany, France, Poland and India. Today I bring you an article by my media student daughter Abigail on the Film Debate website about her five recommended foreign language films.

Abigail has chosen:

Pather Panchali, part of the Apu Trilogy (India); He Loves Me He Loves Me Not (France); Untouchable (France), Ida (Poland) and Run Lola Run (Germany).

 

Do have a look at Abigail’s article and read about all these films. And I’d love to have your thoughts either in the comments here on this blog, or perhaps you may choose to comment directly on the Film Debate website.

 

Thank you to Mog and Pauline of Warwick Books for hosting my book-signing event on Saturday 7th May

Many thanks to Mog and Pauline at Warwick Books for hosting my book-signing in the shop on Saturday 7th May… and thank you to those lovely customers who bought copies of my two novels Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit.SC Skillman in Warwick Books for book-signing 7 May 2016Although the beautiful weather kept custom low  – I suspect all the regular clientele may have been out and about, or sunbathing, rather than in the shop buying books! – nevertheless I was happy to sign books for some enthusiastic visitors.

One of my book-buyers said:

“I just cannot resist buying books when I come into a bookshop. I know I shouldn’t. My bookshelves are full. But it’s an addiction isn’t it?” When he learned I was a local author selling signed copies of my books, psychological suspense set in the Cotswolds, he immediately said, “Are you? Oh, well I’ll have to buy one of them then! Which one shall I buy?” I told him my 18 year old son Jamie, who was with me, had read both books. He said, “Your son must be saintly! Tell me then…” addressing himself to Jamie… “which book do you recommend me to buy?” So Jamie recommended him to buy “A Passionate Spirit.” He said, “All right then. I’ll buy that one.” So I signed it and sold it to him.

This is the sort of customer I love!  I wish all subsequent customers had followed in his footsteps! But an author  is only too well aware how varied people are especially in their reactions to published books, as shown by online book reviews: and I am grateful for those who encouraged me with their response.

May I also congratulate Pauline for being nominated in the British Book Industry Awards shortlist for bookshop manager of the year.

My next local book-signing event will be in Leamington Spa in  June, so watch out for details of that!

 

I’ll be at Warwick Books Signing Copies of Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit on Saturday 7th May

Join me on Saturday 7th May at Warwick Books, 24 Market Place, Warwick CV34 4SL, where I shall be signing copies of Mystical Circles and A Passionate Spirit from 11am to 2pm.IMAGE 2

 

If you’re out and about in the area, and enjoy reading thriller suspense fiction, Warwick Books is the place to be on Saturday morning.

APS on display on shelf in Warwick Books

 

I’d love to see you there!

 

Come and chat to me, browse through my books and many others, and support Mog and Pauline, managers of this lovely independent bookshop which, in common with many other independent bookshops, offers a personal service, a friendly welcome and a strong encouragement to local authors.

Warwick Books

Mog and Pauline outside Warwick Books

 

“Inner Child” Faces Down “the Perpetrators” at Constellations Therapy Workshop at Hayes Conference Centre

The most powerful workshop I took part in at the conference “Continuing the Journey: Rummaging for Reality” last week was a constellations therapy group run by a therapist who specialises in working with people who have suffered spiritual, satanic and sexual abuse.continuing-the-journey-home Approximately 12 of us took the part of various ‘voices’ in the client’s brain (identity confidential of course). The client had herself, over a long, and painstakingly slow process with the therapist, identified and written down the words spoken by the voices in her head. She had given permission for the therapist to use this material in her workshop with us – and was hoping to benefit from our experience with it.

We all took different roles – in this case, the names of the roles included Me, Body, Sexuality, Inner Child, Anger, Faith, Church, Priest, Nuns, Uncle (the last 4 named roles were all perpetrators). I took the role of Inner Child. As we read out our scripts, and then started to move around in relation to each other, inside the client’s brain, we decided how to interact with each other, and what we needed in order to progress and make changes.  As the workshop progressed, each one of us entered into our roles so strongly we were no longer using scripts. The whole thing became dynamic, and compelling.  I found myself, as Child, being strengthened and supported by Anger; together we were able to challenge and weaken the lies of the perpetrators.  I don’t think anyone who took part in that workshop is likely to forget it for a very long time! I heard different members of the group describing it to others afterwards as “stunning.” For a while during the rest of the conference, when I looked at each person, I found myself thinking of them as the role they had been playing.

I wondered at one point how this experience might play into my fiction. I then realised that even if I were to create fictional characters based upon these different voices in the client’s brain, I would not be able to replicate what happened in the group. For each voice / character needs to be fully rounded in fiction; even if someone is a ‘perpetrator’ and has done terrible thing to a vulnerable victim, we would have to see why that character has behaved in this way. We would need to look into their own childhood, their own background, and would need to understand them from the inside as well as the outside. That we were not in a position to do, within the circumstances of the constellation therapy group.  All I knew was that the voices of the perpetrators had to be faced down.

How this will impact upon my new novel, I cannot yet say as it will take time to process!

 

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