Friday, 2 April 2010

Off to the flying ducks

One of the most vibrant writers’ groups in the north of England is how I remember the Flying Ducks (RNA-North), but I haven’t been to the meetings since they changed to Thursdays some years ago. However, yesterday I made it to their monthly lunch and talk in a pub near Harrogate.

Great to find the meeting packed, to make contact with old friends and to find out what everyone has been up to, and to find it as vibrant a group as ever.

The meeting was run by author, Linda Acaster who had apparently taken everyone to task last time for their lack of online presence. Several people had created blogs or beefed up their websites as a result of Linda’s severe words. One of these was Liz Gill who has not only started a blog, but arrived with a camera, took photos of everyone and promised to display them on her blog.

The meeting touched on the current state of the publishing business from various author angles – who is buying, who isn’t, who is trimming budgets (everyone) and how they’re doing it; publicity and who is doing what; Irish PLR and how to reconcile the receipt of an 8 Euro cheque and the 10 Euro bank charges required to cash it (answer: join ALCS); what do libraries buy and how do they decide; and we had a saga title poll run by Bill Spence (Jessica Blair) that proved conclusively that we know what we’re talking about.

I couldn’t begin to mention everything that was covered, but will just highlight a couple of things – Shirley Heaton’s Relative Strangers, is going a storm, and Evelyn Orange’s excursion into e-books and print-on-demand led to a very well-thumbed example book by the time it had been all round the table.

I took a couple of photos of my own after the meeting had finished and a few of us were having tea before heading for home. A long journey but well worth it.


  1. Good grief, did we get through that much business? No wonder I needed a sleep when I got back. And what's all this about 'severe words'?? What? From little, friendly ol' me?

  2. Sorry I missed you. It's the first meeting I've missed in ages too. See you at the next one?

  3. Loved the write up about the Flying Ducks and it was great to see you. It was a wonderful meeting and I like the photographs of the tea party which followed. It's become something of a tradition. Hope you will be able to come to the next meeting.