Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Not circus, but it was nice to open the new issue of Country Music People and see my name in the above paragraph by BBC broadcaster and broadsheet writer Spencer Leigh.
It's gratifying to know that something as ephemeral as a review can stick in someone's memory twenty years on.
Saturday, 13 May 2017
Ever wanted to write about the circus? A memoir of your life in the big top, perhaps?
Many people have a notion to write a book... one day. Others nurture a dream of writing a best-seller... in the same way that they dream of winning the Lottery. That is, without any real hope of it ever happening. Which of course it won’t, if they don’t buy a ticket. But writing isn’t something that anyone needs to put off. Nor is success limited to best-selling novels.
The fact is that anyone with something to say can start writing today and realistically be published in the very near future. Your first success may not be a best-seller, or even a book, but it will be a step towards growing a writing career with no limit on where it will end.
Based on a series of articles in Writers Forum, Start Writing Today, will show you how to take that first step and many others. The twenty-five chapters show you how to write, and most importantly how to sell, magazine features, reviews, news items, short stories, memoirs and books.
Start Writing Today reveals the three-step trick to selling any article or book, and how to nurture professional relationships that will help you earn for years to come.
Everything in this book is based on my personal experience of being a full time writer for more than twenty years, and at every step of the way includes examples from my own work to show how the techniques, tips, cheats and hacks worked for me and how they can work for you.
Most of all, this book will show you how you can start writing today.
Click here to buy Start Writing Today.
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
If you've ever fancied writing short stories for magazines, here's the book for you!
How To Write And Sell Fiction To Magazines takes a unique ‘show don’t tell’ approach to selling short stories to the magazine market. Instead of telling you how to write, Douglas McPherson shows you how he wrote a dozen stories published in some of the UK’s best known and biggest-selling magazines.
Each chapter follows the step-by-step process of how the stories were conceived, developed, written and often re-written. The genres include romance, sci-fi, ghost stories, historical and twist in the tail, and each story is reproduced alongside the chapter that describes its creation, so you can see the finished product as well as how it was written.
The stories were chosen to demonstrate different aspects of the writing process from creating characters to coming up with titles that are sure-fire sellers. So as the book unfolds you’ll get a candid insight into the tricks of the trade, including:
- The foolproof formula for a romantic story.
- How to write convincingly about countries you’ve never visited.
- How to reuse old plots.
- How to rewrite a story to meet an editor’s requests and cut the length to suit the market.
- How to overcome rejection and sell initially rejected stories.
All this for around the price of a coffee!
Unlike most books about writing, which are mostly theory, all the advice in How To Write and Sell Fiction to Magazines is proven to work, since the stories it relates to have all been published.
Get a sneak preview here on the Huffington Post! And click here to read a review by Rosie Amber.
Saturday, 18 July 2015
|Douglas McPherson PLC|
My thanks to Tracy Baines for the following letter in this month's Writers' Forum:
"Is Douglas McPherson one man? Does he have ten brothers named Douglas? Or is it the name of a warehouse somewhere containing a team of people tapping away on laptops - Douglas McPherson PLC?
"What an output. Do you think it would be possible to isolate a sample of his DNA and identify his discipline and work ethic? We could market it as the McPherson Productivity Pill."
Also in this month's Writers' Forum is my interview with Daily Mail film critic Christopher Tookey; my interview with My Weekly Pocket Novels editor Maggie Swinburne; my piece on how to begin writing your memoirs; and my behind-the-scenes account of penning the My Weekly story Teddy Girls, which I wrote under the pen name Julia Douglas.
So, yes, pretty productive I guess!
Monday, 8 June 2015
|Jerry Lee as he was in the 50s|
Goodness gracious! Jerry Lee Lewis has announced a farewell tour of the UK this autumn. Click here for dates and details.
|And still rockin' at the New Orleans|
Jazz Festival last month!
Monday, 20 April 2015
Try a fun romantic read by Julia Douglas: Nashville Cinderella (about life in Music City); The Showman's Girl (about a girl who runs away with the circus in the 1930s); Closer! (an office romance); or Polka Dot Dreams (a rockin' romance in the world of vintage clothes and rock'n'roll). Borrow them from your local library (in the UK) or download to your e-reader.
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
What happens when an animal rights activist goes undercover at the circus? Find out in The Lion's Den, one of three romantic adventures in The Fairground Girl and Other Attractions by Julia Douglas - a perfect read to download to your e-reader.
Here's an exclusive extract...
It was love at first sight - for Charlotte, anyway. What the lion was thinking, she had no idea.
A printed sign tied to the wire mesh identified him as Sphinx, and he sat as proud, still and beautiful as the ancient Egyptian monument after which he was named - head up, forepaws gracefully crossed in front of him, in the exact centre of the cage.
It was a chilly evening. Charlotte was glad of her cable-knit tights and the sheepskin coat that had been a real find in the charity shop. But Sphinx, so far from his African home, seemed oblivious to the damp English wind that stirred ocean-like waves in his luxuriant mane. He appeared oblivious, too, of his harem of four lionesses, lounging and washing themselves in the shadowy far corners of the enclosure.
Charlotte wondered if he was aware of her, or the other circus goers - mums and kids who had paid an extra 50p to gawp at the show’s ‘performers’ in a shanty town of pens and tents behind the big top.
If Sphinx was aware, he feigned regal indifference.
Charlotte moved closer, her tied-back copper hair a righteous blaze in the sunset, and dared to touch the cold mesh. She imagined the lion dreaming of the open veldt, its horizons shimmering in the heat haze, with no cruel humans in sight.
That’s where you should be, Charlotte thought, angrily. Not caged among these throbbing generators, caravans and lorries. Not forced to earn your dinner by jumping through hoops.
It was the 1980s, for heavens sake, not the 1890s when people knew no better.
Her pulse quickening, Charlotte glanced around for a door to the enclosure. She’d set him free this minute if she could.
Not that she would dare, with all the families around. She didn’t want anyone hurt, no matter how misguided they were in paying to see an ‘entertainment’ that made slaves of creatures as noble as Sphinx.
She forced herself to be calm. There was a longer game to play.
“Beautiful, isn’t he?”
Charlotte jumped at the sound of a man’s voice, close behind her. She spun around and found herself staring at the broad chest of Guy Starr, the circus owner.
Click here to buy The Fairground Girl and Other Attractions - three stories of women in unique worlds on the fringes of entertainment.
In The Fairground Girl, Beatrice falls pregnant by fairground worker Eddie and runs away to join his world in the rock'n'roll years of the 1950s.
In The Lion's Den, animal rights activist Charlotte goes undercover to expose cruelty at the circus and finds herself torn between two men and two ideologies.
In Blue Eyes and Heels, Angel fights for equality in the world of professional wrestling.
Read all three adventures in The Fairground Girl and Other Attractions.