Monday, 19 November 2012

I Wrote it My Way - Ali Bacon

If you've been following the plot you will know, dear reader, that a variety (eclectic mix, it has to be said) of lovely authors pop over for a quick ramble here to tell us about how they 'wrote it their way'. The potted histories of how they found their genre and style have been fascinating - and so different!

Today I am delighted to welcome Ali Bacon, who joined the wonderful Love a Happy Ending group in the summer of this year. Her author biography there begins, rather tantalisingly, with the words, 'Ali Bacon was once banned from entering Switzerland, but since then has led a relatively blameless life working in libraries and IT.'  Are you left curious to know more?
She says,' My Way – or still finding it! One of the (many) fascinating things about taking up writing is finding out just what kind of writer you are. The trouble is it takes a while, and even when you have developed a theme, a genre or a style, things can still change!

In my first novel (some snippets on my blog here) a middle-aged woman loses her way when a past lover re-enters her life. Joanna Trollope? Well not quite (it didn’t get published for a start!) but I called it a literary love story and felt sure this was my territory.
Then A Kettle of Fish (just published!) came along and in many respects took me by surprise. I found myself writing about a young person (I am now of ahem mature years!) growing up in Scotland (which I left 30 years ago!) with all kinds of secrets emerging from the woodwork. The characters bore little resemblance to any I had written before. I also made a conscious (I hope not too conscious!) effort to give the book the distinctive flavour of the area where I grew up. I’m delighted it’s getting some really good reviews, but it’s neither  love story nor particularly literary. Oh dear, what next? Another coming-of-age book? Another Scottish novel?

Then while writing Kettle I got the germ of an idea for a new book set in Edinburgh – in 1843. Aagh! What happened to contemporary fiction?

So while most of my writing friends can put themselves squarely in one particular genre, I’m still thrashing around in search of what mine might be. But it does make for an interesting journey. So do take a look at A Kettle of Fish to get a feel for my style, and if you have any advice on where to go next, I’m all ears!'
Thanks so much, Ali. I found this really interesting and can empathise 100%, as I appreciate the necessity for labelling books, but it is not always easy to decide where your books belong. There are a couple of bits here on genre, way back when ? In November 2009! I seriously need to do a follow up on those ...

Here are some places where you can find out more about Ali and her writing.
A Kettle of Fish from Thornberry Publishing (Kindle edition)


  1. Hi Miriam - I agree that the whole genre debate is fraught with problems. so many books fall into 'contemporary fiction' and we would all like to stand out. I think my book is a 'coming of age novel' but that label seems to have fallen out of use - and sounds a bit dull, which I hope mine isn't! But labels do help in lots of ways. Like you I think I'll have to invent a new one!
    Ali B

  2. Enjoying your book right now, Ali.