WRITING

The Invisible Days

The Invisible Days

I read somewhere recently that writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait two years to find out if it is funny. It’s a painfully accurate analogy that made me laugh and wince with recognition at the same time. Writing, you see, is a curious profession. A single day can bring […]

February 7, 2016 | By | Reply More
Card Shops and Inspiration

Card Shops and Inspiration

Like all authors of fiction, I’ve often been asked where I get my ideas and inspiration from. And, like so many others, I reply that I am never short of ideas from the worlds around and within me but there is never enough time for them all to come to fruition. The beauty of writing […]

February 1, 2016 | By | 5 Replies More
Why The Term Misery Memoir Offends Me

Why The Term Misery Memoir Offends Me

I may as well start off bluntly. I simply hate the words ‘misery memoir’. I can recall the first time I heard it. I was speaking to a sales account manager at a well known publishing house in London and she used those words in reference to my book. They were one of three publishers […]

January 30, 2016 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

New Author’s Survival Guide

New Author’s Survival Guide

There it is in your inbox, the passport to the magical country that has haunted your dreams and obsessed your waking hours: Author Land. After so many false starts and rejections (only a fraction admitted to), the email has landed and the contract is coming – one of the gods of publishing (small, large, doesn’t […]

February 5, 2016 | By | Reply More
Revisions, Revisons

Revisions, Revisons

In a loft in a house outside a village on a wind-scoured peninsula in southwest Ireland, I sit curled in a wingback chair. A cup of tea steams on the table beside me. A milky June haze swells through the skylight. It is silent, but for the prattling rain and the desultory arguments between geese […]

February 2, 2016 | By | Reply More
Why You Should Keep A Journal

Why You Should Keep A Journal

Once upon a time I had tiny children. And during that same time period I longed to write. Dishing up Cheerios and worrying about Word Counts aren’t a happy mix and I knew where my priorities lay; happy children would be a better contribution to the world than my words could ever be. So, I […]

January 31, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More

AGENTS

Q&A with Literary Agent  Maria Vicente of the P.S. Literary Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Maria Vicente of the P.S. Literary Agency

Maria Vicente is a creative and editorial agent, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Her publishing career began as an intern with literary agent Bree Ogden, and she also interned at P.S. Literary before joining the agency as an associate agent. Her reading preferences vary across categories […]

January 29, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Q&A with Literary Agent Katie Shea Boutillier of the Donald Maass Literary Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Katie Shea Boutillier of the Donald Maass Literary Agency

Katie Shea Boutillier is the Rights Director for DMLA handling the agency’s translation and audio rights and selected film/TV and electronic rights. In addition, Katie focuses on her own client list of smart contemporary women’s fiction/book club; edgy/dark realistic YA; commercial-scale literary fiction; and celebrity memoir. She looks for projects with the perfect balance of […]

January 21, 2016 | By | 13 Replies More
From Query to Book Deal: Literary Agent Carly Watters

From Query to Book Deal: Literary Agent Carly Watters

Here’s the story of how women’s fiction author extraordinaire Taylor Jenkins Reid and agent Carly Watters started working together. (Haven’t read her books? Try MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE, her most recent novel with a SLIDING DOORS twist.) In Early February 2012 I receive a query telling me the heart-breaking love story of Elsie and Ben: […]

November 11, 2015 | By | 6 Replies More

MARKETING AND PUBLISHING

Becoming a Publisher: Patrician Press

Becoming a Publisher: Patrician Press

Publishing has always been my main career but I have written several children’s books over the years. Having, however, always wanted to write for adults, in 2012 I completed my MA in Creative Writing at the University of Essex. It was then that I was inspired to create Patrician Press. I starting publishing my own […]

January 27, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
The Dos and Don’ts of Promotional Blog Tours

The Dos and Don’ts of Promotional Blog Tours

When I invited my blog followers to host a guest post to publicise my forthcoming novel, I never imagined I’d be embarking on a marathon tour of twenty-five posts over five weeks. I’m not sure if that makes me someone to emulate or a narcissistic masochist but, for what it’s worth, here are some suggestions […]

November 13, 2015 | By | 12 Replies More
Is Marketing Harder Than Writing?

Is Marketing Harder Than Writing?

I used to think writing a book was the hard part. I was wrong. Getting your book read is the hard part. I’d tinkered with short stories and penned a few poems over the years, and there was no denying my love of the written word but the thought of writing an actual book – […]

October 12, 2015 | By | 14 Replies More

SHORT STORIES

Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

He wanted you to have this. It was written with exaggerated clarity on a scrap of paper, as if the author was unsure of the reader’s grasp of English. The torn paper, rather than a proper card, another signal from the sender. It was signed Elaine, with a rounded, buxom capital E. On the padded […]

January 19, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Short Fiction: A New Year’s Friendship

Short Fiction: A New Year’s Friendship

Elaine Walsh Barrington revs up her white BMW and reverses the car out of the double garage behind the house. “I really don’t mind getting a taxi to the station again,” Lorna, her younger sister, says from the passenger seat. “You didn’t have to leave your New Years Day open house like this.” The clenched […]

January 6, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: By The Wayside

Short Fiction: By The Wayside

She’s a woman who discards anything which causes sorrow or blocks her path. A man she cares for does both, and she leaves him. She takes only what she really values, an old set of books, a few china plates of her mother’s, an abstract painting she’d found in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She abhors […]

December 20, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

INTERVIEWS

No Ordinary Life: A Conversation with Suzanne Redfearn

No Ordinary Life: A Conversation with Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn’s novel, No Ordinary Life, explores the age-old question: what price are you willing to pay for fame. But she does so with a twist: how much would you be willing to let your children pay? When not only one but two of Faye Martin’s children find fame in Hollywood, along with all of […]

February 1, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Platinum Doll: A Conversation with Anne Girard

Platinum Doll: A Conversation with Anne Girard

Long before Marilyn Monroe, another blonde bombshell glittered from the silver screen. Jean Harlow captivated audiences during the Golden Age of Hollywood and continues to do so in Anne Girard’s latest novel, Platinum Doll. In Platinum Doll, Girard explores what it took to turn Harlean Carpenter McGrew into a bigger than life movie star. How […]

January 23, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Q&A with Elizabeth Mitchell

Q&A with Elizabeth Mitchell

Elizabeth Mitchell is an award-winning journalist and the author of LIBERTY’S TORCH: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty, published by Grove Atlantic. She also wrote THREE STRIDES BEFORE THE WIRE: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing (Hyperion), which The Washington Post selected as one of the best nonfiction books of […]

January 13, 2016 | By | Reply More

Recent Essays

Miracles DO Happen

Miracles DO Happen

Let me preface this by saying I believe in divine intervention. And for me that is God, for you it may be something else…but without that intervention…The Secret to Hummingbird Cake would have never happened. During the course of this story I don’t want anyone to construe anything I say as ungrateful, arrogant or pretentious. […]

January 25, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Situation Vacant: Writing My Memoir

Situation Vacant: Writing My Memoir

Business memoirs are read in airports by corporates looking for effective strategies. First-timers also look at the style in which others write. And what to leave out. Family history travelers try to organize their material, without alienating friends and family. Writing a corporate biography requires the same skills as writing a personal memoir, plus a […]

January 21, 2016 | By | Reply More
The Huge, Unwieldy Beast versus Flash Fiction

The Huge, Unwieldy Beast versus Flash Fiction

When I was half-way through my novel Our Endless Numbered Days, without any knowledge that it would be published, I read Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest. I loved it, and for the first time ever I wrote to an author to tell her how I felt about her book, and that I was waist […]

January 17, 2016 | By | 6 Replies More
Many Voices

Many Voices

I’ve just written and filed 10,000 words, but before I write the next 1,500, I need to shift space in my head. The last 10,000 were written for academic purposes; the next 1,500 are to be written for one of those ‘listy’ articles you often find in women’s magazines. In the course of my career […]

January 15, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Writing Retreats – what can they do for us?

Writing Retreats – what can they do for us?

Writers all work in different ways. I started writing when my children were young so I was soon expert at grabbing small pieces of time whenever I could. I was forever scribbling ideas and scraps of dialogue or thoughts in a notebook – whether I was in a doctor’s surgery waiting room with the children […]

January 11, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Q&A with Susan Meissner

Q&A with Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is the prolific author of thirteen novels. Her most recent, STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD (Penguin/NAL) is the story of two women working on the movie set of Gone With the Wind during Hollywood’s Golden Age who discover the joy and heartbreak of true friendship. Her novel THE SHAPE OF MERCY, in which a […]

January 9, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More