WRITING

When The Going Gets Tough

When The Going Gets Tough

I always wanted to write. But I never quite believed that I could write my own book. Let alone publish it. My husband Marc is a firm believer that anything is possible if you’re willing to work hard enough for what you want. We had our first child in 2007 and it was the biggest […]

September 2, 2015 | By | Reply More
Here, There and Nowhere

Here, There and Nowhere

As an American author, living in Britain, writing a novel about Florida, I am accustomed to existing in a semi-chronic state of dislocation. I have a mid-Atlantic accent which sounds to Brits like I’m right off the boat from Appalachia, but to Americans is pure Downton. Although 35 years of living in the UK have […]

September 1, 2015 | By | Reply More
The Inspiration behind Burnt Paper Sky

The Inspiration behind Burnt Paper Sky

It took me many years to get around to writing my novel. Years of dabbling with one idea or another, and never really taking my ambition seriously. Years of letting life get in the way. So by the time I wrote that first sentence, I was in my early forties, I’d lived quite a lot, […]

August 27, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Writing is Just a Day at the Beach

Writing is Just a Day at the Beach

If you combined all five Great Lakes and poured them over the U.S., we’d be under 9.5 feet of water. I live less than 10 miles from Lake Michigan, the third largest lake, and almost never visit. I usually walk on familiar paths with predictable landscaping close to my neighborhood. Similar to my walking routine, I usually write […]

August 23, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More
Emily Dickinson – Breathing Life into a Legacy

Emily Dickinson – Breathing Life into a Legacy

“She was not daily-bread. She was star-dust.” Martha Dickinson Bianchi on Emily Dickinson The Belle of Amherst’s poetry lives on. It’s been almost 130 years since Emily Dickinson’s death, and yet her works are as popular as ever, with over 1,600 scholarly articles published about her poetry in the last 25 years. Yet whilst her […]

August 18, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

On Facts in Fiction: Sinkholes and Breadcrumbs

On Facts in Fiction: Sinkholes and Breadcrumbs

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines research as “the activity of getting information about a subject,” but every writer knows the true definition is “the squandering of eternities on the Internet under the guise of checking stuff.” Writers are a curious lot, so the invitation to explore a new city, an unusual job or a soap brand from […]

September 1, 2015 | By | Reply More
Six Top tips on writing characters

Six Top tips on writing characters

I had to cut 49,000 words from the 100,000 word manuscript of my third book, The Silk Shop in Hanoi. Of my two point of view characters, one wasn’t working. I tinkered, I edited, I tore my hair, and yes, I swore, but the character was still wrong and had to go. It was heartbreaking […]

August 31, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Girls and Trains: How a Title can impact on Sales

Girls and Trains: How a Title can impact on Sales

When I wrote my second psychological thriller, it was originally called Dead in her Tracks. My agent at the time, decided it would benefit from a better title and we settled on Girl on a Train. Now, to many of you, that might sound familiar – or does it? At least a year after my […]

August 29, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
When to Keep Secrets and When to Tell Truths

When to Keep Secrets and When to Tell Truths

Good fiction starts with a good story. Good historical fiction adds a well researched and articulated sense of time and place. Good historical fiction based on a well-documented era in one’s own family provides an author the rare opportunity to bring a loved one’s legacy to the future. Writing my recently released novel, Even in […]

August 21, 2015 | By | Reply More
How To Write a Nonfiction Proposal

How To Write a Nonfiction Proposal

We’ve all been there – you’ve been secretly scribbling away, researching, collecting interesting sources or articles, and googling like mad. Finally, one day you think, “Could I take my secret project and turn it into a real book? Would anyone want to publish it, or even read it?” In my particular case, I had yet […]

August 19, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More

PUBLISHING

Truths and Lies about Self-Publishing

Truths and Lies about Self-Publishing

Some say self-publishing is the greatest invention since sliced bread. Others say it’s ruining the industry. A lot of people have weighed in on this hugely popular phenomenon. Now, it’s my turn. I’ll address a few commonly held ideas and say if they’re true, or false. Self-published books are low quality. False. However, there is […]

August 25, 2015 | By | 2 Replies More
My Culinary Route To Publication

My Culinary Route To Publication

Occasionally I’m asked about how difficult I found it to get a publishing contract. The short answer is that in 2011, I emailed my novel to an agent and then spent a year polishing it before I got a two-book deal. The long answer is – well, go fetch yourself a cup of coffee (and […]

July 31, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More
Self-publishing – What I’ve Learned

Self-publishing – What I’ve Learned

Eighteen months ago I self-published my novel Dappled Light, based on the life of James Stewart, a medical missionary whose reputation was tarnished by a liaison with Mary Livingstone, wife of the explorer. Stewart subsequently married my great great aunt Mina, the daughter of a wealthy Scottish shipbuilder who was himself the subject of a […]

July 27, 2015 | By | Reply More
How The Writing Community Shaped Me

How The Writing Community Shaped Me

The publishing world is one of the biggest learning curves I have ever faced. Two years ago, or thereabouts, I grabbed a tatty old notebook that my kids kept stealing pages from, and a part chewed pen and I began to write. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I have learned a […]

June 25, 2015 | By | Reply More
The Highs and Lows of Life After Publication

The Highs and Lows of Life After Publication

It took years to get The Lodger published. I chose the traditional route and it was a long, bumpy journey, strewn with rejection letters from agents and publishers. Tears were shed and manuscripts ripped up. Publication was an unattainable goal, a holy grail, an end in itself. Several times, I was on the point of […]

June 8, 2015 | By | 11 Replies More

MARKETING

Top 3 Truths About Book Marketing

Top 3 Truths About Book Marketing

Would you rather help 10 women change their lives or sell 1,000,000 copies? Honest reader feedback is the most precious thing an author could wish for. In the world where you can pretty easily buy and swap reviews, people reading your book and telling you it has had an impact on their lives make all […]

August 3, 2015 | By | Reply More
Why Am I Terrified To Launch A Book?

Why Am I Terrified To Launch A Book?

When I hear people say “no one is talking because they’re all glued to their smartphones and computers” I totally disagree. In the world I live in I’m connecting with more and more and more people globally and IRL (In Real Life for those that don’t know). I’ve been at yoga workshops and had people […]

June 28, 2015 | By | 2 Replies More
Facebook: Love It or Leave It?

Facebook: Love It or Leave It?

Back in February a writer/friend, Donna Zukaitis Falcone, posted a question on Facebook:  Building a platform as a writer: Can it be done without Facebook in the 21st century anymore? Do the old tried and true ways still work in a digital age? She sparked a lively conversation, and it struck an especially resonant chord […]

April 16, 2015 | By | 20 Replies More
The Third Stage of Writing: The Promotional Stuff

The Third Stage of Writing: The Promotional Stuff

Sometimes as writers we need to push ourselves to do things we don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. I’m not talking about the content or the writing process here, but the stuff that comes after publication. The promotional side of things. Like a lot of writers, I am fairly introverted and a fairly private person. So […]

December 24, 2014 | By | Reply More
What Makes You Pick Up A Book?

What Makes You Pick Up A Book?

What makes you pick up a book and read it? The cover? The blurb? The title? — Women Writers (@WomenWriters) December 3, 2014 @WomenWriters Cover, recommendations, sometimes award thingies on the front, author’s name…many, many things. — Heather Wheat (@hwheaties) December 3, 2014 @WomenWriters An interest in the subject matter, the title, and the endorsements. […]

December 5, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

BY SPONSORS

How Courageous Are You?

How Courageous Are You?

Since publishing my own story a year ago, and gathering the stories of  women who wished to share their truths in a collaborative anthology, I have been reminded just how difficult it can be to put our truths out into the world. Sharing our stories makes us vulnerable to criticism and judgment. Yet our life […]

November 5, 2014 | By | 12 Replies More
Qaisra Shahraz: Researching a Novel in Morocco

Qaisra Shahraz: Researching a Novel in Morocco

Qaisra Shahraz, born in Pakistan, is a critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter and has lived in Manchester since she was nine.  Her books have been published in numerous countries and translated into various languages. We asked her if she could tell us about her latest research for her novel based in Morocco. Apart from journalism, research […]

October 18, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
Memoir Writing Tips

Memoir Writing Tips

Heidi Siefkas wrote a memoir about her extraordinary story of survival. We asked her if she could share some memoir writing tips with us. Writing a memoir is an all-in, unveiling of your most private experiences to the world. It’s not a sneak peek, but the whole enchilada whether good, bad, or Montezuma’s revenge. I’m […]

September 1, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More
Why I Chose to Self-Publish

Why I Chose to Self-Publish

I’m sure there are some who write entirely for themselves, but most of us do so for other people. But how do you get your words turned into a book, so that your story can be shared? The traditional route was to attract an agent. He or she would then go on to find a […]

June 16, 2014 | By | 20 Replies More
Memoir Competition Mslexia

Memoir Competition Mslexia

There are some amazing competitions for women writers! We didn’t want you to miss this one! Mslexia Women’s Memoir Competition is for full-length memoirs from unpublished memoirists. The only competition of its type in the UK, Mslexia is looking for memoirs of at least 50,000 words of prose that narrate actual events in the writer’s […]

June 15, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More

FICTION

Failure First, Success Second

Failure First, Success Second

I failed at getting my first novel published and I stopped writing. I wrote a young adult science fiction novel while also playing Division I college basketball at the University of Richmond. Writing helped me cope with the various pressures and expectations in athletics and academics. Working on that story allowed me to escape when […]

April 8, 2014 | By | 15 Replies More
Growing a Thick Skin by K. A. Laity

Growing a Thick Skin by K. A. Laity

Dorothy Parker’s work may be awash with cynicism, but so often she is right on the money. In her wistful poem “Observation” she considers doing better with her life—getting to bed early, abstaining from riotous overindulgence and undoubtedly completing the work for overdue deadlines. But in the end the famous wit concludes, But I shall […]

November 27, 2013 | By | 35 Replies More
Under “A Different Sun” – with Elaine Neil Orr

Under “A Different Sun” – with Elaine Neil Orr

US Author and Professor of English at NC State University, Elaine Neil Orr [ENO] answers WWWB’s Anora McGaha’s [WW] questions about A Different Sun her first novel telling the story of a US slave owner’s daughter who marries a missionary and moves to Africa, where her worldview is turned upside down. – Anora McGaha, Editor […]

November 1, 2013 | By | 5 Replies More
Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz, Released October 7, 2013

Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz, Released October 7, 2013

Revolt by Qaisra Shahraz is Launched Arcadia Press launched Revolt by the international best-selling English / Pakistani author Qaisra Shahraz. We have been following her international travels to exotic literary festivals in China, India, Indonesia, Germany just to name a few. In preparation for Qaisra stepping up as Site Sponsor for Women Writers, Women Books, […]

October 8, 2013 | By | Reply More
You’re a Writer. Now Act Like One!

You’re a Writer. Now Act Like One!

My entire life had been in a single large city.  I loved the important hustle of the daytime and the somewhat dangerous excitement of the night. Art and fabulous food fed my deeper cravings. Still, I always felt that my forever life was waiting for me somewhere drastically different.  On impulse, I moved to San Diego, […]

September 6, 2013 | By | 62 Replies More

Recent Essays

Interview with Rowan Coleman

Interview with Rowan Coleman

Rowan Coleman is the internationally bestselling author of an astounding twelve novels, most recently WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS and THE MEMORY BOOK (released in the US as THE DAY WE MET). She’s been compared to Jo Jo Moyes and Nora Ephron. She lives with her husband and five children in a very full […]

July 6, 2015 | By | Reply More
Female Friendships in Literature

Female Friendships in Literature

Men have dominated the friendship scene in books throughout literary history. Pip and Herbert, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Frodo and Sam, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, Romeo and Mercutio. The list goes on and on. Straight forward, no nonsense bromance at its best. Delve into the archives for a history of female friendships however, […]

August 17, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Top 10 Tips for Aspiring Authors

Top 10 Tips for Aspiring Authors

I don’t proclaim to be a best-selling author or a writing expert. I don’t have a hundred books or ten years of being published under my belt. I have only been published for eighteen months (though in that time I have had three short stories, five novellas and two full length novels released – so […]

August 15, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Life Is A Boat

Life Is A Boat

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. What stopped me will be familiar to anyone who’s ever been there: kids, relationships, work, life. During my twenties and thirties we’d travelled sporadically as a family, and moving around always seemed to unlock the words. I’d come back from each trip with a notebook full of jottings […]

August 13, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
The Novelistas – A Great Group of Writing Friends

The Novelistas – A Great Group of Writing Friends

The NW Novelistas (also known as Novelistas Ink) are a group of friends, who also happen to be writers, and meet each month for lunch, writerly gossip and mutual support. The group was founded over fifteen years ago by Sunday Times bestselling author Trisha Ashley, and as you can see from our latest books , […]

August 12, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
The Connection With Readers

The Connection With Readers

When my debut novel was published, the component of the writing life furthest from my mind was arguably the most obvious. Readers. It wasn’t as if the novel was the first time my work that had made it into print. As a freelance journalist, I’d seen my byline for years, but the satisfaction it engendered […]

August 8, 2015 | By | 4 Replies More
Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life

Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life

I was a Hasidic woman, from age fifteen to forty-five. You’ve seen them, the Jewish ultra-orthodox, the men in beards and hats and black clothes, the women in long modest covered, even covering their hair. I had an arranged marriage to a Hasidic man while still a teen and bore seven children, birth control forbidden. […]

August 7, 2015 | By | Reply More