RSSCategory: How To and Tips

What’s Your Story About?

What’s Your Story About?

This question used to make me sweat. I’m not talking about a bit of perspiration on my brow or trickling down my back. No. Way. The sweat I’m talking about was an Albert-Brooks-news-anchoring flood like in the movie Broadcast News. It was the kind of perspiration tsunami where a shower and a fresh change of […]

January 18, 2017 | By | Reply More
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 This was perhaps my fiftieth rejection from an agent for my first novel, which remains unpublished.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
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
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
2017: THE YEAR TO END MALE BIAS IN THE LITERARY MEDIA … HERE’S HOW

2017: THE YEAR TO END MALE BIAS IN THE LITERARY MEDIA … HERE’S HOW

Women buy two thirds of books. Women writers dominate the best seller lists and came out blazing in the 2016 Costa shortlists. So why doesn’t the literary media give us the editorial space we deserve? Two years ago, VIDA conducted a survey of some of the key literary titles in the UK and US. Its […]

January 4, 2017 | By | Reply More
Why Writing Blog Posts Makes Me Queasy

Why Writing Blog Posts Makes Me Queasy

  Since I’ve become a published author in 2014 I have been pressured by mavens of the publishing universe and author friends to participate in blogging—a seldom-welcome avalanche of words. Maybe my ten years at the computer, writing, have turned me into a recluse, but I have to admit that I rarely appreciate the barrage […]

January 4, 2017 | By | Reply More
Why Would a Woman Write a Male Protagonist?

Why Would a Woman Write a Male Protagonist?

  A few weeks ago, I found my carefully honed work/childcare balance compromised when some emergency editing came up and I had to take a (generally preserved for mothering) Friday to do it. A woman I had not met before stepped in as babysitter and at some point asked about my novel. ‘Is it about […]

January 3, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More