WRITING

How My Probation Career Influenced My Writing

How My Probation Career Influenced My Writing

It’s always hard to know, isn’t it, which came first? The chicken or the egg. And that’s how I feel about my life as a crime writer, and my previous one as a probation officer. Let’s say my probation career was the chicken. I went into the job in my early twenties, burning with a […]

August 20, 2016 | By | Reply More
Writing Adventure Stories For Children

Writing Adventure Stories For Children

Writing for children, it has been said, is just like writing for adults, only much harder. So why would anyone attempt to write a novel for 8 – 12 year olds? I started by mistake. I’d loved the stories my Dad had told me, and being Irish, he spun some really good yarns. He had […]

August 17, 2016 | By | Reply More
How Writing a Book Taught Me the Pleasures of Cooking

How Writing a Book Taught Me the Pleasures of Cooking

For the first 27 years of my life I didn’t cook much. Once I got married, Søren, my husband, did most of the cooking at home. I could follow a recipe if I needed to, but I couldn’t just look in the fridge as my husband could and put a meal together. I was never […]

August 15, 2016 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

Don’t Kill Your Darlings, Set Them Free

Don’t Kill Your Darlings, Set Them Free

For writers, often the most frightening advice we receive is to “kill our darlings”¾to cut loose those Hope diamonds that, while gorgeous, are sinking the boat we’re trying to steer to shore¾the beautiful opening sentence that doesn’t tie in whatsoever with the opening paragraph (or the rest of the story), the intense supporting character who […]

August 26, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
How To Use Pinterest As A Writing Tool

How To Use Pinterest As A Writing Tool

At first blush, it may seem a little odd to consider a pictorial social media site like Pinterest a valid writing tool. After all, most users pin things like home decorating ideas, crafts, recipes, and vacation wish lists. But as an author, I also find it to be an invaluable research tool for characters, setting, […]

August 24, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Look Away. You Don’t Want to See This.

Look Away. You Don’t Want to See This.

He narrowed his eyes…with downcast eyes…her eyes darted to the window…she found him with her eyes…her eyes glistened with unshed tears…he blinked in surprise…she stared in amazement…he focused on the ground. Do you see the theme? These phrases are only a handful of the many I found in the rough draft of my work in […]

August 21, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More

AGENTS

Q&A with  Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader  at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Q&A with Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing is an award-winning independent press nestled on the Oregon coast in a tiny town called Deadwood. Nancy Cleary has spent over twenty-five years as a professional graphic designer and author branding expert. Wyatt-MacKenzie has published hundreds of products over the last 18 years with a special focus on mom writers. They traditionally publish […]

July 27, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Q&A with Erin George, Senior Associate Editor of Henery Press

Q&A with Erin George, Senior Associate Editor of Henery Press

ABOUT ERIN: After graduating with honors and a B.A. in English, Erin George, now a Senior Associate Editor, found a home at Henery Press. Her interest in publishing stemmed from a lifelong dream of reading fabulous books all day, every day, and editing was a perfect fit. She currently lives in Dallas, TX with her […]

May 7, 2016 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Literary Agent  Leigh Eisenman  of Hannigan Salky Getzler “HSG” Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Leigh Eisenman of Hannigan Salky Getzler “HSG” Agency

Leigh is a junior agent with Hannigan Salky Getzler (“HSG”) Agency. After ten years of practicing law, she decided to follow her dream of becoming part of the New York City literary landscape. She worked for a year at Folio Literary Management prior to moving to HSG in the fall of 2015. Leigh is also […]

April 30, 2016 | By | Reply More

MARKETING AND PUBLISHING

The PHD I Didn’t Do and the Digital Apprenticeship I Did

The PHD I Didn’t Do and the Digital Apprenticeship I Did

‘Are you going to enrol for a Phd?’ As a longterm author with a varied back list, learning digital skills was a higher priority. ‘No. I’m going to do an e-apprenticeship instead.’ I opted for a digital apprenticeship to revitalize my literary output. Mistake or a significant learning experience? I needed to re-organise my literary […]

April 16, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
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 | 4 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 | 13 Replies More

SHORT STORIES

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s why. You slump, shrink, curl down in your seat, never stand up straight. As if an arrow might pick you off. Not an arrow, a bullet. Not a bullet, a blow. Not a blow, words. Not words, looks. Here’s why. You’re a freak. Four inches in one year? Your father’s colleague says he keeps […]

May 20, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

“Where are you off to? “ Sally had asked me. I felt a bit guilty I must admit. I was supposed to be home boning up for my job interview in the morning. I really wanted the job at Kelly and Hart Publishing and I don’t know where my head was when I agreed to […]

February 26, 2016 | By | Reply More
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

INTERVIEWS

The Goodbye Year:  A Conversation with Kaira Rouda

The Goodbye Year: A Conversation with Kaira Rouda

It’s only fitting that Kaira Rouda’s latest novel, The Goodbye Year,  (http://www.kairarouda.com/) takes place on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  All of the characters in the novel stand on an edge—the divide between who they were and what they can become as they face graduation, divorce, and even the prospects of staying together.  As […]

August 1, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Q&A with  Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader  at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Q&A with Nancy Cleary, Founder, Designer, Chief Hand-Holder and Cheerleader at Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing is an award-winning independent press nestled on the Oregon coast in a tiny town called Deadwood. Nancy Cleary has spent over twenty-five years as a professional graphic designer and author branding expert. Wyatt-MacKenzie has published hundreds of products over the last 18 years with a special focus on mom writers. They traditionally publish […]

July 27, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Q&A with Karma Brown

Q&A with Karma Brown

As if being a National Magazine Award winning freelance journalist, foodie columnist (check out these recipes. Yum! Blueberry clafoutis anyone? Sesame-ginger noodle salad?), all-around cool runner/sister/wife/mother, and cancer survivor weren’t enough, Karma Brown became an international bestselling author with her debut novel. COME AWAY WITH ME is a heartbreaking and emotional story of one woman’s […]

July 11, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More

Recent Essays

Finding Myself At A Writing Residency

Finding Myself At A Writing Residency

 It’s a warm day in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard where I am attending a two-week writing residency at Noepe Literary Arts Center. It’s an intelligent and generous group of writers and visual artists, and I am grateful to be around them in this creative space sharing disappointments and contentment. We share a bond that most people […]

August 13, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
5 Crime Fiction Blunders To Avoid

5 Crime Fiction Blunders To Avoid

In addition to being an author, I am a big crime fiction, psychological thriller and mystery fan. Though I have always read this genre, I’ve spent the last year absolutely immersing myself in it, reading and reviewing everything I can. In addition, I’ve been discussing the genre with lots of other fans as part of […]

August 12, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Falling in Love with the Enemy

Falling in Love with the Enemy

After the end of the Second World War, my aunt married a German whom she had met before the war began. They were deeply in love but, for obvious reasons, the marriage sent shock waves through my family and no doubt through his. It must have taken all their determination and courage to weather the […]

August 11, 2016 | By | Reply More
Historical fiction – Modern Themes

Historical fiction – Modern Themes

I like to think of my books as offering intelligent escapism. While I write about past times I try to do so in a way that people today can identify with – posing the kinds of dilemmas and problems, challenges and triumphs that are relevant today – even though the way we respond to them […]

August 10, 2016 | By | Reply More
The Baker’s Dozen—13 Lessons I Learned in the Kitchen that Made Me a Better Writer

The Baker’s Dozen—13 Lessons I Learned in the Kitchen that Made Me a Better Writer

I have been writing fiction for about seven years, but I have been baking twenty-three years, and almost everything I needed to know about writing I learned in the kitchen. Mise en Place— This is a French cooking term that means to put everything in its place. It’s the practice of measuring out all of […]

August 9, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Writing From The Heart, Not For The Market

Writing From The Heart, Not For The Market

When I was in my early twenties, I started writing vignettes and short stories as a creative conduit for emotion, situations and affairs of the heart that I could not understand as I lived them in the moment.  Writing them down helped me reflect on what I saw and allowed me to distance myself from […]

August 7, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More