WRITING

In Praise of Bookclubs

In Praise of Bookclubs

One of the many unexpected pleasures publishing a book has wrought has been the opportunity to meet book clubs who have read THE LOST GIRLS. I’ve done this both locally and long-distance (via Skype) more than two dozen times in the six months since my book came out. I’ve visited book clubs down the street and […]

January 14, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Crime Fiction: Why I Love The Golden Age

Crime Fiction: Why I Love The Golden Age

I have always loved crime. I love reading about it. Fiction or non-fiction. Classic Golden Age mysteries to the intricacies of cyber-crime, polite tea with the vicar to the goriest thrillers. I love a crime story. I love the puzzles. I like the characters. I’m intrigued by the unusual methods. I’m excited by the chase. […]

January 13, 2017 | By | Reply More
Oh Mostly Male.. What No Wait A Minute…. The Best Is Last

Oh Mostly Male.. What No Wait A Minute…. The Best Is Last

Helen Lederer is best known for her role as dippy Catriona in Absolutely Fabulous as well as creating the ‘Girl at the Bar’ in Naked Video. Her debut comedy novel Losing It (Sunday Express best new novels for women) was shortlisted for the PG Woodhouse Comedy Literary Prize as well as The Edinburgh First Book Award 2015. ‘Desperately funny, desperately engaging, […]

January 12, 2017 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

Write it Forward: Five Ways to Stay Positive

Write it Forward: Five Ways to Stay Positive

“Unfortunately, your project is not quite right for us.” This was perhaps my fiftieth rejection from an agent for my first novel, which remains unpublished. I keep my favorite rejection slips in a file folder to show aspiring writers when I give a workshop. We’ve all received rejections and bad reviews. There’s no way around […]

January 16, 2017 | By | Reply More
Promotion Is Pay, Pay, Pay as You Go

Promotion Is Pay, Pay, Pay as You Go

When you’re a published author, whether self-published, with a small publisher, or with one of the big boys, you find out pretty quickly that promotion, for the most part, falls on your shoulders—and stealthily slips its sticky fingers into your wallet. Business cards, bookmarks, Facebook ads, magazine ads, Website ads, Kirkus Reviews, BookBub, any number […]

January 15, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
Writing Comedy

Writing Comedy

Humour, Comedy, Being Funny, Banter, Mirth, Being tickled Pink: as I’m writing about Comedy, it seems perhaps sensible to start this piece with some attempt to define Humour, particularly as what one person may find rib-ticklingly hilarious can leave another stone-cold dead. In the same way I am convinced one cannot possibly write a novel […]

January 10, 2017 | By | Reply More

AGENTS

Q&A with Danielle Marshall, Editorial Director of LAKE UNION Publishing, an imprint of Amazon Publishing

Q&A with Danielle Marshall, Editorial Director of LAKE UNION Publishing, an imprint of Amazon Publishing

  Danielle Marshall is the Editorial Director of Amazon Publishing’s Book Club Fiction imprint, Lake Union Publishing. Some of her recent acquisitions include the #1 Kindle best sellers Wreckage and When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker, Trail Of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani, and Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall. Danielle has also acquired the books of several WWWB […]

January 6, 2017 | By | 5 Replies More
Q And A with PFD Literary Agency Agents

Q And A with PFD Literary Agency Agents

 Peters Fraser and Dunlop is one of the longest-established literary and talent agencies in London. “We are proud to represent authors, journalists, broadcasters, speakers and estates with specialist expertise in the fields of literature, film, television and radio, live events, digital platforms and journalism. We offer our clients the best people to work with and the expertise to develop long-term value in […]

December 13, 2016 | By | Reply 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

MARKETING AND PUBLISHING

Promotion Is Pay, Pay, Pay as You Go

Promotion Is Pay, Pay, Pay as You Go

When you’re a published author, whether self-published, with a small publisher, or with one of the big boys, you find out pretty quickly that promotion, for the most part, falls on your shoulders—and stealthily slips its sticky fingers into your wallet. Business cards, bookmarks, Facebook ads, magazine ads, Website ads, Kirkus Reviews, BookBub, any number […]

January 15, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
My Eight Book Deal

My Eight Book Deal

I can honestly say that I spent the first fifteen to twenty years of my writing life constructing stories that burned inside me but using characters I thought publishers and agents would like. Over the years the majority of rejections stated ‘we liked it but we just didn’t love it’. This comment caused me to […]

November 23, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
A Day in the Life of a Publisher, with SilverWood Books

A Day in the Life of a Publisher, with SilverWood Books

SilverWood Books (silverwoodbooks.co.uk) provides self-funding authors with professional book production services, wholesale and retail book distribution, and a high level of support. Publishing Assistant Rowena Ball takes us through a typical day in the life of a dynamic publishing team… Morning Continuous communication is vital, and the day begins with running through our production schedule […]

November 10, 2016 | By | 2 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 | 1 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

Q&A with Kate Moretti

Q&A with Kate Moretti

Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of suspenseful fiction about ‘crap marriages and murder’ which she is quick is say is not autobiographical. Ha. J THE VANISHING YEAR (Atria 2016) follows THOUGHT I KNEW YOU (2012), BINDS THAT TIE (2014), and WHILE YOU WERE GONE (2016).  Upcoming in 2017 will be THE […]

January 14, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Tiffany McDaniel

Q&A with Tiffany McDaniel

Tiffany McDaniel writes with a wholly original beauty that is rarely seen. Arresting. Disquieting. Luminous. This is a sample of reviews from readers. There are a thousand more like them. “I think something deep in my soul has shifted after reading this book. My gut is still churning after turning the final page 2 days […]

December 22, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Q&A with Kerry Lonsdale

Q&A with Kerry Lonsdale

Kerry Lonsdale is the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of EVERYTHING WE KEEP (Lake Union, September 2016) and the upcoming ALL THE BREAKING WAVES (Lake Union, December 2016) and WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND (Lake Union, publication date TBD). Kerry is also a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She resides […]

November 3, 2016 | By | Reply More

Recent Essays

Music To Write By

Music To Write By

I am a toe tapper. I hum, whistle, and sing along. I have even been known to conduct the radio, although I would not recommend doing so while driving a manual transition. When I began writing Magic Flute, I wrote the last scene first (something else I would advise against). At that moment, my desire […]

January 11, 2017 | By | Reply More
Psychotherapy and Memoir: The Talking Cure and the Writing Cure

Psychotherapy and Memoir: The Talking Cure and the Writing Cure

  Without wishing to sound freakish or weird, I liken my vocation—writer and psychotherapist—to conjoined twins. Born in my midlife, they developed from the same fertilized egg, gestated in the same amniotic fluid, were nourished by the same placenta. They share the same interests, the same reading lists, and, dare I say, the same soul. […]

January 8, 2017 | By | Reply More
Coincidences Or Not?

Coincidences Or Not?

Coincidences – a dirty word for us novelists, particularly amongst those ‘who know’, i.e. the more experienced writers, and even more so, those who publish books on How to Write and How to Get Published. Accusations of resorting to outlandish coincidences instead of ‘proper’ plotting cause fiction writers’ hearts and souls to cringe. We are […]

January 8, 2017 | By | 8 Replies More
Perpetually Baffled Author Seeks Clarity For Long-Term Writing Happiness. GSOH Essential.

Perpetually Baffled Author Seeks Clarity For Long-Term Writing Happiness. GSOH Essential.

‘Are you all right, madam?’ asks the shop assistant, eyeing me with concern. ‘You look a little lost.’ I offer her the practised smile of a woman who is asked this question on a regular basis. ‘I’m fine,’ I confide with a reassuring laugh. ‘I always look like this.’ She laughs too but there is […]

January 7, 2017 | By | Reply More
When Did You Start To Write?

When Did You Start To Write?

One of the most common questions we writers are asked is ‘when did you start to write?’ and for me this question always raises a smile as the answer takes me back to my childhood when I used to write songs at a very young age and show them to my mother for her approval. […]

January 6, 2017 | By | Reply More
From Dream to Reality – My Six-Month Plan to Becoming a Writer

From Dream to Reality – My Six-Month Plan to Becoming a Writer

Ten years ago I had just begun an undergraduate degree at Oxford in Mathematics. My days were spent solving differential equations and making linear algebra summary pages. So if you’d said then that in ten years time I would be writing this blog post on publishing my debut novel Puzzle Girl I would probably have […]

January 5, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More