Blogging with Phillipa Fioretti

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Adelaide author Phillipa Fioretti has just published her latest novel “The Fragment of Dreams” and wrote the following guest post for Beauty and Lace.

One of the first pieces of advice a newly published author will hear is ‘get yourself a blog’. A good blog serves a multitude of purposes for an author and is as indispensable as a good handbag is to most women.


Like a handbag, you can keep all sorts of useful things in your blog, and if you build it well, all of those things will be easy to find – unlike finding things in your handbag.

Many authors choose to blog for and about the industry, writing for people taking their first steps in creative writing through to agents and publishers and all of those who sit between those two poles. They might blog about the craft of writing – examining writer’s tools such as point-of-view, the use of adverbs and the like.

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Or they may write about the life of an author, the stresses and triumphs, the state of the industry and review various books and present interviews other writers.

Blogging for other writers and being a part of the writing community is important because the life can be very isolating and it’s often reassuring to compare notes and give support. And a blog site also provides a source of information about the author, their background and books to those who come looking.

Other authors blog primarily for their readers, and that’s the direction in which I’m taking my blog. There are themes in my books, alongside the characters and stories, which interest me beyond the telling of those stories – themes like food and cooking, vintage clothes and photos, old films, decorative art and craft, paintings, Italy and Italians, antiquities, love and families.

The readers who come to my blog looking for more on these themes are important to me because we share our interests and can build a community around them.

I love this aspect of my blog the most, and probably because of that, it’s the most successful part. For example, I was a guest last year at a book club meeting in a private home where the members of the club had cooked dishes from The Book of Love as well as dishes I’d blogged about. It was a lovely act of generosity and such a compliment. We talked about many things, not just my book. These women cooked dishes from every book they read as a club, from boil-in-the bag dehydrated meals to complicated eighteenth century recipes. I was as happy as a clam that evening.

Some authors don’t blog, but they do have websites. And it’s those authors whose websites I – as a reader – seem to end up on. I’m looking for more of whatever it was that interested me about their book, I’m looking for what else they have written and I’m looking for what has been written about their writing lives. And sometimes I’m looking for an answer.

After finishing Sebastian Faulks’ book Birdsong I went to his website vainly hoping I would find an answer to my question … did the character Stephen know the child was his?

Of course, the answer wasn’t there. And if a reader came to my website, wanting to know what happens to Lily and William, well, there is no answer there, except that their lives go on and traces of them can be found in the pictures, recipes and writings on my blog.

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