RSSCategory: How To and Tips

Seven Secret Ingredients of Classics

Seven Secret Ingredients of Classics

 There are some books that always feature in Top Ten lists, including mine. I never tire of reading Wuthering Heights, for example, or Jane Eyre, or Rebecca and at least once every few years I pick up one of the books I adored when I was younger, Little Women or Ballet Shoes or Black Beauty. […]

February 8, 2016 | By | Reply More
New Author’s Survival Guide

New Author’s Survival Guide

There it is in your inbox, the passport to the magical country that has haunted your dreams and obsessed your waking hours: Author Land. After so many false starts and rejections (only a fraction admitted to), the email has landed and the contract is coming – one of the gods of publishing (small, large, doesn’t […]

February 5, 2016 | By | Reply More
Revisions, Revisons

Revisions, Revisons

In a loft in a house outside a village on a wind-scoured peninsula in southwest Ireland, I sit curled in a wingback chair. A cup of tea steams on the table beside me. A milky June haze swells through the skylight. It is silent, but for the prattling rain and the desultory arguments between geese […]

February 2, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Why You Should Keep A Journal

Why You Should Keep A Journal

Once upon a time I had tiny children. And during that same time period I longed to write. Dishing up Cheerios and worrying about Word Counts aren’t a happy mix and I knew where my priorities lay; happy children would be a better contribution to the world than my words could ever be. So, I […]

January 31, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
The Huge, Unwieldy Beast versus Flash Fiction

The Huge, Unwieldy Beast versus Flash Fiction

When I was half-way through my novel Our Endless Numbered Days, without any knowledge that it would be published, I read Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest. I loved it, and for the first time ever I wrote to an author to tell her how I felt about her book, and that I was waist […]

January 17, 2016 | By | 6 Replies More
Many Voices

Many Voices

I’ve just written and filed 10,000 words, but before I write the next 1,500, I need to shift space in my head. The last 10,000 were written for academic purposes; the next 1,500 are to be written for one of those ‘listy’ articles you often find in women’s magazines. In the course of my career […]

January 15, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Sculpting a Memoir

Sculpting a Memoir

Memoir writers have huge egos. We actually believe that something we did is important to others. We are the like aging relatives reminiscing at Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone else at the table is anxious to talk about Billy’s wedding or Sally’s divorce, but old Aunt Mabel won’t shut up about life before the war. Her voice […]

December 19, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Five Things Writing Taught Me About Life

Five Things Writing Taught Me About Life

Playing it safe isn’t always safe. Mattie, the narrator of The Art of Crash Landing is a very flawed, not always likeable character. I’ve had people ask me why I took that risk, and while I understand what they mean, I’m not convinced that using a polite, affable main character would necessarily have been safer. […]

December 15, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
10 Ways To Kick Start Your Writing

10 Ways To Kick Start Your Writing

Joanne Harris, @Joannechocolat, is one of our favorite authors on twitter. If you do not follow her yet, you should!   1. If you’re at a creative loose end, read. If you’re not at a loose end, read. Basically, read. #TenWaysToKickstartYourWriting — Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) November 28, 2015 2. Leave your reading comfort zone. Read […]

December 5, 2015 | By | Reply More
#AmNotWriting

#AmNotWriting

The 4 things that stop Tammy Cohen writing (and how she deals with them) When asked what I do, I tell people I’m a writer. That’s a lie. What I really am is a not-writer. The truth is I spend far more of my time not writing than I do writing. I have no excuse. […]

November 29, 2015 | By | 3 Replies More