Blog Tour Day 2: About the cover


Today’s blog tour stops off at From First Page to Last. This fantastic blog is the brainchild of Janet, who says of herself:

I’m…a 36 year old, wife to one, mum to two. I work in legal publishing, so I spend all day reading legislation.  I have a thing for reading and so I thought I’d set up this blog to record my bookish ramblings.

Her blog is a mixture of reviews, author/publisher spotlights and bookish news.… read more



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

TARNISHED publication day!

It’s a funny old business, publication day. Particularly when it’s your third book and you’re writing a fourth, and the deadline is looming.

For your first novel you go out and have a long, boozy lunch, ‘possibly’ followed by an ill-advised walk along the seafront. Your second might see you nipping out to the pub and perhaps sharing a bottle or two of champagne in the evening with a couple of mates.… 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

Strangeness on a Train

I’m writing this the night before I appear on the Radio 4 Today Programme to talk about my writer-in-residence-on-a-train gig. I’m scheduling the post to publish just after I have finished. You will know, dear reader, if I have made a tit of myself, talked garbage, or forgotten what I was saying mid-spout. I have that yet to discover.

Strangeness on a Train is the short story that resulted from my East Coast London-Harrogate-London writer-in-residence tenure.… read more

Julia and the Book Factory

On Friday I went with Sam Eades, my lovely publicist at Headline, to Clays printers in Bungay, to see Every Vow You Break roll off the presses. I had been told by David Headley at Goldsboro Books and S J Watson that it was an astounding day out (‘like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for book nerds’), and that the sandwiches were very good. They were right on all counts.

After those remarkable sandwiches at Cambridge House, a beautiful Georgian building where the company started and which they now use for hospitality, We were shown around the massive factory by the lovely Vicky Ellis and Phil and Steve, having a peek at every single part of the process.… read more

Just a few tiny amendments…

Well, the WONDERFUL bound proofs of Every Vow You Break came through, and, as you can see, like me, AgentSimon thinks they’re fab.

But, really, publishers. Let a writer loose on her book before it’s published? When it looks like a real book? ‘Dear Lovely Editor. I’ve got just a few teeny weeny amendments to that bound proof.’

Is there a florist on the Euston Road that does deliveries, I wonder?

Still, it’s worth it if the final result is a DLP (Dead Letter Perfect) published hardback version on 29 March.… read more

Best Laid Plans

CUCKOO paperback – in a bookshop near you, at a nice price

So, I didn’t keep up my resolution to post here three times a week during NaNovember. Man, it’s hard, writing 50,000 words in a month. Even when it’s the day job. Nearly there, though. Just 1500 to do tomorrow before midnight. Might just about do it.

Hats off to everyone who has managed to get their novel written this month. Especially if you’ve had to fit it around work, children, aged parents, ill pets, whatever.… read more