A Sense of Place

Reuben Powell Claydon House Heygate Estate

Claydon House, Heygate Estate, by Reuben Powell. For more of his work, go to Hotel Elephant http://hotelelephantgallery.blogspot.co.uk/

When I’m thinking of a new story, I usually start with a ‘what if’ question – what if you couldn’t remember parts of your childhood? (Tarnished) ‘What if, sixteen years down the line, you bumped into the man you nearly left your husband for (indeed, your own personal ‘what if’) and you still had that deep chemistry thing going on?’ (Every Vow You Break), or ‘What if your husband died and his lover hung around in your life, claiming in no uncertain terms that you owed her something?’ (Her Husband’s Lover).… read more

Rant on piracy

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It seems a bit mealy minded to put up an angry post after such a long silence. The current lack of airplay has been down to Dark & Stormy festival, about which more in a bit. But I need to get this off my chest.

<RANT>

I have become increasingly outraged at the whole piracy issue. I have set up a Google alert for all my books and always follow up and report all instances of piracy.… read more

How NaNoWriMo stopped my fear and helped me find my fourth career

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(This post expands on a NaNoWriMo pep talk I wrote a couple of years back).

Are you at the end of the first week of NaNoWriMo 2013? If so, congratulations!

If you are (and even if you’re not), it’s likely that you will be very familiar with this scary thought:

When you start to create something, YOU ARE FACED WITH INFINITE POSSIBILITIES.

You may sense the germ of an idea, a character, a colour, a bit of story or a setting, but beyond that, once you sit down to start whatever it is you’re making, anything can happen; you’re simply finding the best path through the whole universe of choice.… read more

The First Reader

What a first reader looks like

What a first reader looks like

When the first proof copies of Cuckoo were distributed, I likened the feeling to taking my knickers off in public.**

But I have found something in this writing process far more challenging even than that, and two weeks ago, on holiday on France, I had to go through it again.

The most difficult part is the very first read.

Well, not the very first read – I do that myself, obviously (and god knows, that’s hard enough).… read more

TARNISHED launch

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Last week it was the launch party for TARNISHED, held at Brighton Waterstones. Despite the strange, heavy April snowstorm that kicked off at about the same time as the launch, it was a great night. Loads of people turned up and enjoyed wine generously supplied by my publishers Headline, and amazing mozzarella, parmesan, parma ham and various salume provided, as ever, by my sis-in-law’s company the Ham & Cheese Co.

A book launch is a marvellous thing for the author.… read more

About Plotting and Planning

Last week I ran a three-hour MA class on plotting at City University. Apart from being one of the scariest things I have ever said yes to (and I admit this as a constant yes-person), planning the session coincided with a small sea-change in my working process.

If you have even glanced at some of my previous posts, you will have gleaned that, in NaNoWriMo parlance, I am a pantser, not a plotter.… read more

Next Big Thing

The Street in Tankerton

Last week, Rosanna Ley tagged me in her blog for this, which is a sort of chain blog thing, where you answer questions about your next book and tag five other writers to take up from you. It’s a great idea, but I’m suffering from mathematics, because practically everyone I know has already done it.

So I’m not able to pass it on to quite five, but I hope you’ll take a look at the blogs of the lovely writers at the end of this article, who should be posting within a week (but it is the holiday season, so perhaps we can be a bit more lenient about timescale than we might normally be).… read more

Why editors are important

When I finished the very first draft of my first novel Cuckoo at the end of NaNoWriMo 2008, even I knew that I needed to do a lot of work to get it into a shape where I could show it to anyone else. After all, it had only taken me thirty days to produce. The pants to pearls ratio was pretty high.

So I worked on it for another ten months, until it was the best it could possibly be.… read more

Too Much to Do!

Jamie Harrison interviewing me at Crawley Wordfest. I might look a bit miffed, but that's my thinking face, honest.

I have had an extremely busy week with my Every Vow You Break launch party on Tuesday and the Cuckoo One Town One Book event as the finale of Crawley Wordfest.

‘But surely,’ I hear you say. ‘That’s only two things to do in a whole week? Most people have to do at least thirty things a day to make their living?’

The thing is, I’m working every other spare minute on the second draft of my third novel, (which now has the working title Bad Jean).  … read more