RSSCategory: On Writing

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
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
From Rejection To Seventeen Book Contracts

From Rejection To Seventeen Book Contracts

When people ask me when I first became a writer, the most honest answer is, “Three-years-old.” When they ask me when I first became a professional novelist, the most honest answer is, “Three years ago.” Why so much space in-between? When I was three, I used to dictate stories to my parents, because I had […]

November 8, 2017 | By | Reply More
Engineers, Authors, and Assassins – Thriving in a Nontraditional Field

Engineers, Authors, and Assassins – Thriving in a Nontraditional Field

Men have accomplished most “firsts” in history, but there are some notable exceptions. A woman invented Kevlar. A woman discovered pulsars. A woman wrote the first computer program. More surprisingly, the world’s first serial killer belonged to the more “fragile” and “demure” gender. I first came across that fact last fall: the world’s first serial […]

November 7, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
The Crazy Ones

The Crazy Ones

There seems to be a mantra in our office: “That’s a crazy idea—let’s do it!” I hear this phrase uttered at least once a week, describing an upcoming story pitch or new marketing campaign, and I smile every time I hear it. More than a decade ago, it was this mantra that started Tethered by […]

November 6, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Working as a Commisioning Editor Helped me Become an Author

How Working as a Commisioning Editor Helped me Become an Author

There are a LOT of characters roaming around inside my head. Some good, some bad, some murderous, some loveable. There’s even some loveable murderers in the mix at times. Working as a commissioning editor, I spend my days wrapped up in the fascinating world of other writers’ novels – from Sunday Times bestsellers to debut […]

November 4, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Mythical Women in War and Love

Mythical Women in War and Love

Heroic women in fiction are not ‘wondrous’. Brave, smart, resourceful, strong – these have always been standard female attributes. It’s the stories that changed, or rather, how the narrative is framed. The recent discovery by modern genome research, that a high-status Viking warrior buried with two war horses in Birka, Sweden, was a woman, is […]

November 3, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More