RSSCategory: Contemporary Women Writers

Writing and NIA

Writing and NIA

I had not consciously connected Nia—a holistic movement practice—with my work as a novelist until Women Writers asked me how Nia inspires my writing. Once I really started thinking about it, I realized that I can credit my Nia practice with helping me both develop and take great joy in my writing. First off, what […]

November 18, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Working with a Critique Group can Improve your Manuscripts

How Working with a Critique Group can Improve your Manuscripts

I wrote my first four novels without any outside input up to the point when I sent the second draft to a small group of pre-readers, made more changes and then on to my editor. Then I moved home from London to the English south coast and started work on novel number five, which became […]

November 17, 2017 | By | Reply More
Five Things you Should Never Say to Authors

Five Things you Should Never Say to Authors

Since my debut YA novel came out I’ve learned a lot about publishing, marketing, and the importance of writing the next book. Another thing I’ve learned is that as an author there are certain statements and questions I hate getting. In general, I think people mean well or they just aren’t thinking at all, but […]

November 16, 2017 | By | Reply More
Should You Write What You Know?

Should You Write What You Know?

I’ve never written about what I really know. As a journalist, I didn’t know what it was like to be held hostage, or to be homeless, but I wrote about those subjects anyway. I wrote of happier things too – a woman who gave birth to twins after seven rounds of IVF, a weird form […]

November 16, 2017 | By | Reply More
Lena Manta and Her World of Storytelling

Lena Manta and Her World of Storytelling

It was 2007 when my fourth novel, The House by the River, was published. No one, not even I, could have imagined how many thousands of readers this meandering river would touch, how many people it would wash away in its path, how many would come to love it and hold it so close in […]

November 14, 2017 | By | Reply More
Sex and Horror in Gothic fiction

Sex and Horror in Gothic fiction

A good ‘scare’ is a wonderful aphrodisiac. Horror prickles our skin, and works icy fingers through our blood. It demands a visceral reaction. How delicious is the sensation of fear: an echo of carnal delight. It’s hard to say where pain ends and pleasure begins in Gothic fiction, in those dangerous undercurrents, on the razor […]

November 14, 2017 | By | Reply More
Reinventing the Classics: Shakespeare Now!

Reinventing the Classics: Shakespeare Now!

The historian Yuval Noah Harari argues that large numbers of strangers only co-operate by a belief in common myths perpetuated in our folk stories and accepted by our religions. These infiltrate into literature and with time, become our guidelines. Though the worlds they describe might be different, they provide a torch for solving present day […]

November 13, 2017 | By | Reply More
Writing the Book You Want to Write – Without Barriers

Writing the Book You Want to Write – Without Barriers

You have had one of your brilliant ideas for a novel. It is shaking you by the tail and won’t let go. You’re excited, energised. ‘But is it commercial?’ you ask yourself. ‘Is it what agents and editors are looking for at the moment? Can you imagine the marketing? There are plenty of soul-searching questions […]

November 12, 2017 | By | Reply More
Rethinking Structure

Rethinking Structure

In the light of the recent sexual misconduct cases, I have been questioning again the way that we tell story. The hero’s journey, taught on so many creative writing MFAs the world over, is still our go to method for structuring our story. It is either an inward journey or an outward one. We walk […]

November 11, 2017 | By | Reply More
And Still I Write

And Still I Write

In the early spring of 2013, my husband and I left our careers in Seattle to move to a remote peninsula in the northwest reaches of the state. It’s the place where we’d intended to retire someday, but we had another twenty years of work ahead of us. After crisscrossing the country and oceans to […]

November 8, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More