Tag Archives: France

In which the Author gives a class on writing non-fiction…

Do you have the next A Year in Provence in you? What about another bestseller like The Suspicions of Mr Whicher? Did you know it is generally easier to get non-fiction published as compared to a novel?
My next bijou writing class will be on Saturday 7th November and will cover all kinds of non-fiction. Location: Gers, Southwest France.
Ideal for anyone interested in writing:
    Autobiography / memoirs / biography
    History of any kind
    Practical / how-to books
    Travel / Exploration / Guidebooks
    Arts / Culture
    Science / technology
    The paranormal / folklore / mysteries
    Social sciences
    True crime
    … you name it
We’ll cover:
    Universal basics of writing non-fiction
    Research, Illustrations, Copyright
    Structure, Narrative, Style & Voice
    Getting Published
Fee is €23 for the full day.
Your tutor is the author of 36 non-fiction books (and much more besides).
To book tel 05 62 09 91 19 or email geoffholder1@mac.com
WRITING NON-FICTION poster

In which the Author writes his 36th book, guests on Stage 32, and aims for movies & graphic novels…

The site was down for a while recently, but now the internet elves have been fed and all is well. Apologies for the

communication breakdown.

In the interim, there have been a few developments here at Holder Towers.

Firstly I had a guest blog on the splendid film & TV website Stage 32, discussing writing scripts for corporate videos. My thanks to RB, Shannon and Andre at Stage 32 for facilitating this, and to all those who responded to the blog

and their kind comments.

Then I delivered the manuscript for my 36th non-fiction book, another on weird history. Further news on the

publication of this series later in the year.

I’m also delighted to announce that I’m collaborating with a talented illustrator on a vampire-themed bande dessinée (graphic novel). Once the 5-page sample is honed to perfection we’ll be pitching it to French BD publishers.

While all this is happening I’m continuing with the ProSeries screenwriting course at ScreenwritingU, which is superb. I’m slightly in awe of some of my fellow students and their abilities. Me, I’m working on a supernatural western

feature script for the course. I’m also taking a class on writing horror films with a Hollywood producer, which is the

bees’ knees. And I’m writing an entry for the Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest.

So, movies, graphic novels, weird history – exciting times ahead, girls and boys.

In which the Author publishes his 31st book, ‘Bloody British History’…

Bloody History of Britain coverBloody British History, my 31st book, has just been published. It’s a sanguinary canter through some of the

more gruesome aspects of British history, with an eye to not merely the murderous and macabre, but also to

the strange and, at times, surreal. Delve within the illustrated pages and you will learn of prehistoric cannibals using skulls as drinking cups, discover how to boil a poisoner to death, understand the technique of chemical warfare during medieval sea battles, and learn more about the use of cheese as an instrument of torture than you ever wanted to know.

With a full cast including Ancient Britons, Romans, Barbarians, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Pirates,

Jacobites and invading Frenchmen, Bloody British History relates some of the most famous episodes in the

history of the British Isles from unfamiliar perspectives. The sight of the largest ship in the Spanish Armada

keeling over with blood pouring from its scuppers. The giant Viking at Stamford Bridge finally defeated by a

spear thrust to the testicles from below the bridge he was defending. William the Conqueror turning the North of England into an uninhabited wasteland. The Scots inventing the concentration camp. Roman SEALs

conducting amphibious warfare. Witchcraft in Westminster politics. Not the six wives, but the Six Executions of Henry VIII. And how not to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Featuring walk-on parts from all manner of unpleasant characters from Richard the Lionheart and Bloody

Mary to Jack the Ripper and Hitler’s Gestapo, Bloody British History does what it says on the can.

There will, indeed, be blood.

The book is published by The History Press and is available through all the usual retail channels, including the country’s hard-pressed but indispensable brick-and-mortar bookshops.

In which the Author gives another writing class…

The next in the series of writing classes here in Gascony will be on Sunday 7th September, in Nogaro (Gers).

The topics of the day will be ‘Dialogue’ and ‘Voice / Style’ – both crunch issues for many authors.

The full-day writing class is suitable for authors of all kinds of fiction.

The fee is €23. The venue is wheelchair accessible and there is free parking nearby.

Everyone welcome. And if you have writerly friends, don’t bother to share the news with them (wait, that’s not quite right…).

WRITING CLASS 4 sept 2014

In which the Author takes a Halloween tour in Scotland (and looks for further gigs)…

Are you in Scotland and looking for a speaker during Halloween week? In the last week of October I’ll be knocking the French mud off my boots and venturing back to Scotland for a series of talks, and there are a few gaps in the

schedule, so I’m looking for some other opportunities.

Here’s the skinny:

On the evening of Tuesday 28th October I’m talking about ‘Supernatural Scotland’ at the Breadalbane Library in

Aberfeldy, Perth & Kinross.

On Wed 29th (evening) I’m presenting my crowd-pleasing ‘Zombies from History’ to the Edinburgh Skeptics at the Banshee Labyrinth. Warning: may contain corpses.

Thurs 30th (evening) I’m in Perth with the Filmmakers Club.

And in the afternoon of Friday 31st, Halloween itself, I’m at the (drum-roll) Scottish Paranormal Festival in Stirling,

giving a talk entitled ‘Sex, Lies & Poltergeists’: expect scenes of destruction, pointless violence and icky fluids from the very beginning.

So, if you are looking for a Halloween speaker on all matters ghoul and ghast anytime between Monday 27th

October and Saturday 1st November, please get in touch.

In which the Author enjoys proofreading a fellow scriptwriter’s work…

I’ve just copy-edited and proofread the synopsis for a movie written by a fellow screenwriter. He’s French, and

writes excellent English, but not being a native speaker there are all clearly all kinds of possible traps for the

unwary (for example, written French is typically both longer and more elaborate than written English, and so

sentences in translation can have multiple clauses and last as long as a paragraph, thereby trying the patience of contemporary Anglophone readers).

After a thorough overhaul and extensive proofreading the logline and synopsis are now both suitable for waving in

front of English-speakers in the film industry. Good luck, fellah.

This was the first time I’ve proofed and edited someone else’s work destined for the movie screen (as distinct from books, scripts for corporate videos, business documents etc.) and a fascinating process it was too.

It occurs to me that there may be other screenwriters and filmmakers writing in English but for whom the language is not their mother tongue. If you are in this position and would like an experienced copy-editor / proofreader /

writer to check that everything reads well in English, please get in touch. My rates are, as they say, reasonable.

The story is on Stage 32 and The DispatchStage 32