Karen Bayly

Author and Copywriter

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Invisible Me

This month, I was going to write about why I prefer genre fiction to literary fiction, but I’ve become so invisible lately, I can’t see the point.

StunningArt /

This invisibility is something women experience as they age. It seems to apply more to the average woman rat…

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Author Question: What’s your editing process?

My editing process is constantly evolving. At a high level, I follow the “Write your book four times” rule outlined in the article here. As the author notes, this is tedious and tiring. But it works. By the time you’ve finished, your manuscript should be a finely-crafted work of art.

Also, …

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Have Pun With Wordplay

I adore the literary technique of word play. This form of wit uses words to often humorous effect. It includes puns, spoonerisms, obscure words and meanings, clever rhetorical excursions, limericks, oddly formed sentences, and double entendres.

In particular, I love puns. Particularly terribl…

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Author Question: What bugs you as a writer?

The thing that bugs me most the is competing views of editors and readers (especially beta readers). It’s a balancing act that I’m still learning. Writing so that one satisfies the needs of both editors and readers is a skill.

For example, some editors have criticised me for “too much exposit…

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Boredom, Dreams, and Happiness

I’ve been a teensy bit jaded with life lately. Okay, make that a big chunk bored. It’s not just me either. I hear this sentiment echoed by friends and acquaintances around the world. Isolation highlights where our lives aren’t functioning so well, but it also underscores something more insidious. Su…

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Author Question: Who inspired you to write?

There are so many writers whose work I love, but the first to inspire me were Anne McCaffrey and Ursula Le Guin. When I started writing, science fiction and fantasy was the providence of male writers, and these two broke that mould.

I adored McCaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern” series with its stro…

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Words Into The World

I’ve been in editing mode for the past month. Editing a short story, editing a novelette, and editing my second novel. This week I felt the need to write something new, so I wrote a drabble* and a short story set in the world of “Fortitude”. However, as both were for submission into anthologies, I e…

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Author Question: How do you deal with rejection?

Good question! I used to find it so disheartening. Now I just sigh, maybe grumble a bit, and look for somewhere else to send my work.

One thing I’ve learned is that there are many reasons an editor will reject your work. For short stories, maybe it doesn’t quite fit in with their vision for the p…

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Going batty

It’s been a year for going batty. We all seem to be at a tipping point in some area of our lives. Many people have been going batty because they don’t enjoy staying at home. Others are going batty by being around family 24/7. I’m going batty with uncertainty.

Every day that I log in to work…

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Book Recommendation: The Bobcat by Katherine Forbes Riley

I finished this book before I went to sleep one night. I woke up the next day still thinking about it and cocooned in literary happiness. In many ways, this is a romance, and I’m not a huge fan of the genre. Romance is fine when it’s a small part of a bigger story, but as the focus, it usually leave…

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I feel the need for clean (sorry, Top Gun)

Recently, I did an author spot at a virtual book club meeting. Not only was it exciting to have my book featured as "Book of the Month", it gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about why I created a "clean" steampunk world.

Steampunk worlds are thrilling and wondrous, but are often grubby and …

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Author Question: What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been catching up on finishing and polishing a few short stories.  Black Hare Press has already accepted one piece for publication in one of their LOCKDOWN Sci-Fi Anthologies.

I’m editing a sci-fi story about an assassin (female) and writing a ghost story inspired by a bus stop I used to…

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Winged Warriors

Last Saturday was my Mum’s birthday. She would have been 100 years old and eligible to receive a telegram from the Queen. It would have thrilled her had she lived that long. I can never forget my Mum’s birthday as it falls on Anzac Day.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia …

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Author Question: Does music inspire you to write?

Yes, definitely. For the novel, I’m working on now (The Witch Who Wasn't), I’ve found inspiration in Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting”,  Stevie Nick's "Crystal" and Talking Head's "And She Was".

The second movement of Philip Glass’ Tirol Concerto was a huge inspiration for Fortitude. The da…

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The Art of Armchair Travel

With the world in the grip of Covid-19, travel is fast becoming a distant memory for many people. It doesnt affect me at the moment as I’d planned to travel when I retired. By that stage, I hoped to have saved enough to journey to distant lands. Unlike my peers, I’ve rarely had spare cash availab…

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Author Question: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The best thing about being a writer is creating new worlds and characters to populate that world. You can explore so many different scenarios and travel to places no-one else has ever been. You can share a vision of how the world could be - for better or worse. If you're lucky and someone actually r…

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News Booth - Getting older and getting up

There is still lots of good stuff happening out there amidst the bad but this offering is a more personal News Booth.

The Bad News: Getting older has a lot to answer for

I always thought life would get easier as I got older but I was wrong. Not that it gets any more difficult - at least not yet! H…

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Author Question: What are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on a YA fantasy novel, tentatively titled "The Witch Who Wasn't".  It's about a young witch whose parents disappeared when she was a toddler, and who a famous wizard once called "The Witch Who Wasn't". Needless to say, she has a long journey to discover herself and her place in…

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And now for something completely different...

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Author Question: How do you deal with writer’s block?

I rarely get writer's block nowadays but it has taken me a long time to get to this point. How do I avoid it? I sit down and start writing. I stop editing an idea while it is still in my head and just go with it. If I write drivel, fine. At least I know and can start again. Sometimes I use …

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