RSSCategory: On Writing

Sending the Elevator Back Down

Sending the Elevator Back Down

Several years ago, I heard an author say that when a writer “makes it,” it becomes his or her job to send the elevator back down for those waiting their turn. It was a great way to encourage authors who’ve made it to the other side—who got the publishing deal or who’ve seen their book […]

December 10, 2016 | By | Reply More
Writing the Unthinkable

Writing the Unthinkable

When I first started to write, it was to escape. I longed, like a snorkeler, to slip beneath cool waters and linger below the surface of another world. Bangkok was a city burning on its fringes with protests, and I began by invoking these sights and smells. This grew into a novel, a portrait of […]

December 6, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Reaching Back and Recovering Women’s Voices

Reaching Back and Recovering Women’s Voices

My passion is bringing women back from the past. I wrote Wilde’s Women when I realised that (male, for the most part) biographers had largely ignored the brilliant women who helped make Oscar Wilde the man he was. That’s why, last Saturday, 26 November, having spent two intensive days sitting in a lecture theatre in […]

December 6, 2016 | By | Reply More
Why It’s Important To Write -and Read- Romance and Erotica In An Age Of Plentiful Porn

Why It’s Important To Write -and Read- Romance and Erotica In An Age Of Plentiful Porn

He’s one of my oldest friends, and so, when the words come out of his mouth, I first think I’ve misheard him. “Excuse me?” I say. And he says it again, and I ask him to repeat it, again. No, that’s what he actually said. “How do your parents feel about your new career as […]

December 5, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
An Open Letter to Writers at Every Stage of Publishing

An Open Letter to Writers at Every Stage of Publishing

Dear Writer, Isn’t it amazing how we wake in the pre-dawn hours, or stay up well past midnight to write? We sit alone at our desks with our words, letting them flow as a plot unfolds. In time, a story transpires, a manuscript is finished, and a book published. Writing is a lonely, isolated road […]

December 1, 2016 | By | 17 Replies More
Creating A Family Through Fiction

Creating A Family Through Fiction

I read recently about a woman who had no family photographs of her early life so collected pictures of people she didn’t know. For years, she trawled junk shops for old family portraits and strangers’ photo albums to invent a family history. Only as a new mum did she stop buying other people’s pasts and […]

November 30, 2016 | By | Reply More
Telling the Story That Haunts You

Telling the Story That Haunts You

I told my first ghost story last fall in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the annual Women’s Fiction Writers Association Retreat. I was embarrassed at first, because the truth was, I believed it. I really did. I heard them. I saw them. At a writing workshop run by Kimberly Brock, award-winning author and founder of Tinderbox […]

November 30, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
The Good Wife Guide

The Good Wife Guide

Asparagus has its own breaking point, a place at which it will naturally snap when bent in half. Once this green spear breaks and rids itself of its unsavory bottom wonderful things are possible, roasted asparagus, grilled asparagus salad, asparagus frittatas . . .you get the idea. When one hits her own personal “bottom” they […]

November 28, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Shelley Day: Why I write

Shelley Day: Why I write

Oh, the irony, the irony, of being asked to write a piece on Why I Write, when I’m not actually writing at all, and haven’t done for months. I say ‘not writing,’ but I don’t actually mean Not Writing. Because I have been writing. I couldn’t not be writing. Only what I’ve been writing is […]

November 25, 2016 | By | Reply More
Why Fiction Matters

Why Fiction Matters

Imagine a world without stories. What a terrible place that would be! Stories hold up a mirror to the world; at its best, fiction has the power to be the “hammer with which to shape the universe.” If all the world is a stage, then fiction writers have many parts to play on it. They […]

November 22, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More