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

trees

(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

Back to work

Hard at work researching in Serifos

I’m finally at my desk for the first time in six weeks. It’s a bit depressing that the summer’s nearly over, but I’m also very excited at working on my notes for novel #3 (promised for this week by Editor Leah) and starting on novel #4.

I’ve been away almost all that time, mostly in Greece, where I was researching my new novel – parts will be set there in the early 1980s, where my (British) main character is backpacking alone in her gap year.… read more

If the writing goes tits up…

I’ve just had the most enormous fun making a trailer for Every Vow You Break. For me, writing is like running a movie in my head. So, it seems, is making a movie.

Last week, on a bitingly cold but brightly sunny day, I wrapped up so warm that I could barely move and set off into the wilds of Stanmer Park with YoungSon’s fancy schmancy camera. After half an hour of fiddling, I worked out how to switch it on, and I set off into the woods.… read more

What I Learned While Editing…

3 am, San Francisco Hotel bathroom

I’ve not been around for a while because, among other things, I have had my head down on draft 2 of novel #2. I had some fantastic notes from EditorLeah, AgentSimon and AsstAgentAriella, and have been working on them, weaving new plotlines back and forth, making sure the little boy doesn’t age rather too rapidly to serve the story (!) and cutting out one of the two prologues and one of the secret rooms.… read more

And Back to Work

What I did in my holidays. Come and see this if you fancy 'a rather tiresome sight gag involving leopard-print underpants' (Independent)

I just got my editor’s notes through, and I’m very excited. It has been a long wait, with me alternating between telling myself that a) she is very busy and has lots of notes to write for lots of novels and b) that the novel has revealed itself to be so full of problems and loopholes and red herrings and, just, well, shite writing, that it is taking her far longer than she anticipated.… read more

I Love Kemp Town Bookshop

So this is what you see when you walk in the door at the wonderful Kemp Town Bookshop in Brighton.

I went in the other day while Big and Little Sons were having their hair cut over the road at Barber Black Sheep (proud holder of the title of  best named shop in Britain), and introduced myself as a local author. They ordered the Cuckoos, and when I went in to sign them this morning, look where they had put them!… read more

Under the Kosh

It’s all gone quiet again round here. Reason being  I am working my ever-increasing-in-size-because-sitting-on-it-all-day butt off trying to get my second novel into a state where I feel I can let others look at it. I’m rewriting at around 5000 words a day, and very little else is being done, except necessary trips to the gym to offset hours of sitting on a chair…and to the kitchen to stock up on hot cross buns.

I just got back from York Festival of Writing, which was like a shot of adrenaline.… read more