Friday, 16 March 2018

New Location!


Dear Reader,

I am, and have been, an aspiring author since the age of 5 so I love to read and write. I recently graduated (November 2017) from my MA degree in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire after also completing an Undergraduate degree in Creative Writing at the same university in 2016.

I mostly write poetry and prose with a focus on historical fiction and, sometimes, fantasy which often incorporates dark and/or nature themes.


I also enjoy spending time with my partner and our two spaniels. In my spare time, I go for walks around the fields near our home, I draw, and sometimes do a spot of baking in the kitchen. 


Unfortunately, I will no longer be active on this blog, however, you can now find me on ...


My new website: http://www.asford.co.uk/

WritingForums: https://www.writingforums.org/


Scribophile at: https://www.scribophile.com/authors/amy-ford/


Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/authorford/


and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/AmyFord_77


A.S.Ford

Monday, 12 February 2018

New Project Underway!

Currently working on a side project ... details to be revealed soon!



Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Say Hello to my Little Novel (... Again)

I thought I would re-introduce my novel in case you have only just stumbled upon my humble blog!

Currently, I am working on a novel titled, Sanctuary-on-Severn, which is a work of post-apocalyptic, alternative historical fiction set in Medieval England at the end of the Black Death plague. It follows the journey of a handmaiden and the daughter of a Lord who she takes care of. The two girls are only aged a year apart and although they have disliked each other from the beginning they grow to respect each other as their story continues. My aim is to keep this novel, although it is alternative historical fiction by genre, as historically accurate, within its details and descriptions, as possible in order to create a full sense of immersion and realism. I also hope to try to break as many cliches as I am able - not an easy task to achieve!

This work-in-progress initially started off as the dissertation for my Undergraduate degree in 2016 (I was awarded a mark of 75 for the 7,500 word piece - the highest mark it could have received was 80, so I'm sure you can imagine my pride and joy at that result!). I continued to write Sanctuary-on-Severn over that summer and then for my Masters dissertation as well in 2017 (which, again, received a high mark for the 13,000 word extract).

You can keep up-to-date with the progress of Sanctuary-on-Severn via the word count meter on the left hand side of this blog as well as through my posts. I am aiming to have a complete first draft by this summer (2018)!















(cover image by Dan Morris) 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Writer is Back at Her Desk

So, I know it's been a little while since my last post but the last few months have been rather hectic with my brief publishing house endeavour with a close friend of mine as well as getting into and starting my current job (outside of writing) and the training that came with it.

Now that my university studies are done and my help with the publishing house endeavour is about to end, I am currently working in one of my local shops while I continue to write and create. In my spare time, I will be posting and sharing with you all of my updates. progress. successes, failures, thoughts, advice, inspiration and much more across my social media: so, on here, on Twitter, on Facebook and on my Wattpad profile (which you can find links to on either side of the blog).

On the way, I have some wonderful news about my current novel-in-progress (the previously mentioned Sanctuary-on-Severn) as well as discussions on some writing-specific and general help programmes that I have been trying out to share with you!

Oh, and one last thing ... look who's gone purple:

(photos are of the same colour just in different lighting)



Wednesday, 27 September 2017

So Many Genres, So Many Stories

Over the last three years I have written five short stories and eight poems within the historical fiction genre and the first half of my current novel-in-progress, Sanctuary-on-Severn, which is an alternative historical fiction piece. I came to a point yesterday when I really thought about the difference between the two genres and how they worked for me as a writer.

Growing up as a child I was always passionate about history - through my classes and trips with my school, trips with my mum and family, and the show Time Team which aired its first episode just six days before I was born - but I was also passionate about the realm of fantasy stories; such as the Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling, The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb, and The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony Diterlizzi.

Most of the fantasy books that I read were bought or handed down through the family to me and usually outnumbered any historical fiction stories I had (which were very few). Since, a lot of the fantasy stories I was reading were set in the medieval era both my love of fantasy and of history was somewhat satiated. However, the influence my reading had on me as a young writer meant that a lot of my writing (which were mostly novels) were fantastical in nature.


As I have continued to get older, and through my university degrees, I have leaned towards writing historical fiction after experimenting writing a couple of poems and short stories. I found that I enjoy writing in this genre, especially when it came to research and learning more about the eras I am fascinated by. However, the genre can be rather limiting at times regarding the balance between historical fact and fiction in a piece - the facts must be as accurate as possible and the fiction should enhance and support the facts rather than hinder or question them (unless intended to but this can be risky or even difficult).

When I had to write my Undergraduate dissertation last year I was inspired by Cormac McCarthy's book (and the film adaptation of) The Road and decided to enter the realm of speculative fiction, specifically alternative historical fiction, by mixing historical fiction - England in 1351, the medieval era - with (post)apocalyptic fiction to create Sanctuary-on-Severn (which I then continued over last summer and through my Masters dissertation this year) which I am still writing at the moment.

I have found, through Sanctuary-on-Severn, that writing within the alternative historical fiction genre can give me, as a writer, a lot more freedom when writing. The historical facts still need to be accurate but only to the degree that I need or want them to be (e.g. - Sanctuary-on-Severn is accurate with clothing, food, landscapes and the other basic functions and descriptions relevant to the medieval era but the events are fictional as are the 'sanctuaries' that the novel centers around) but I can focus more on the fictional side with alternative historical fiction than I could with more traditional historical fiction.

Fantasy was limiting for me, as a writer, because of its limitless - I could/can write about almost anything, the narrative world has so many potentialities, and the characters would have so many possibilities that it can be so easy to get lost when choosing what to write about - but historical fiction was limiting due to the constant fear and worry of getting the facts wrong. Alternative historical fiction showed me a compromise, between the techniques of both of the genres of fantasy and historical fiction, enabling me to find a genre and story that gave me the limitations of writing about a historical era while still being free and having open options as to what could happen (within reason and realism for the time period I choose to write in/about). I think I will continue to write in all three genres - fantasy, historical fiction, and alternative historical fiction - but I am happy in knowing which genres are most suited to me and why. This is a vital skill for all writers that can help you achieve happiness and satisfaction when writing a piece and with it once it is complete.


Friday, 8 September 2017

At the End of my Masters

On Wednesday 6th September I finished my Masters (Creative and Critical Writing) degree dissertation at 6 a.m that morning - after three months and two all-night-long sessions working and struggling to write the 20,000 word monster of a project. It is a large weight off of my mind now that it has been submitted but, admittedly, I am really going to miss the time I have spent at university for the last four years.

For my dissertation, I submitted a 10,746 extract of my novel, Sanctuary-on-Severn; an extract that actually covers the entire third 'part' of the full narrative. It has worked as a nice parallel to my Undergraduate (Creative Writing) degree dissertation, for which I submitted the first 'part' of Sanctuary-on-Severn. The narrative arc for both dissertations were similar though different in their own right and show Maven's growth as a character from who, and how, she was in the first part and then in this most recent part.

One thing that kept me going through the obstacles, both personal and academic, that I faced throughout writing this project was that the more I wrote for the creative piece of the dissertation (which formed the majority - 70% - of the project) the more I was writing for my novel and so the closer I was getting to completing a manuscript for the first time in my entire writing life (all of my other attempts, since I started writing at the age of 6, were interrupted by other, more compelling ideas). Despite all the times I felt like giving up on this piece - due to personal issues, including anxiety, depression, and self-doubt (which I am not ashamed to admit that I have suffered from for nearly a decade) like many other people and writers that I know - the fact that I have managed to write so much for Sanctuary-on-Severn already and that I still have the passion to write the rest of this novel and see it to completion has really continued to spur me on.


If any of your projects - whether its writing, woodwork, gardening, art, mechanical, knitting, etc. - evoke this same strong feeling within you then I encourage you to grasp it and use it to its full. It could lead to wonderful things!

Don't forget to keep an eye out for updates on my novel, Sanctuary-on-Severn, right here as well as on Twitter ... I am aiming to have a complete first draft by summer 2018!


Thursday, 24 August 2017

On Reaching Half Way of my Novel

As you may have noticed, a few days ago I finally managed to reach the halfway point of my novel! It is the furthest point I have ever reached for any of my novel projects and I'm pretty pleased with how it has been going so far :)

Currently, my main character is searching for her family after hearing a rumour as to where they might be hiding out. As she journeys to them she struggles with the internal conflict between the freedom she feels being away from her duties and the care she has grown to have for the girl she serves. It's definitely been an interesting passage to write!

At this rate I am hoping to get the entire first draft of my manuscript completed by summer 2018! A prospect that I am extremely excited about though I am definitely hoping I will have finished it before then.

Look out for more updates here!