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



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

A gamble

Some of the bare bones of novel #3

After a busy Christmas and New Year, I knew I had to buckle down to the second draft of novel #3, which I had spent most of December planning out on my Scrivener virtual cork board. A stretch of quiet, concentrated time was what was needed. I also had a bit of location research to do in Tankerton and Whitstable.

OldMan has had a few weeks of working from home – a rarity in his line of business – and he has been saying for a long time that, as he’s around to hold the fort, why don’t I just take myself off for a week and just write.… 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

Editor response to novel#2

She loves it! She couldn’t put it down! She’s excited about working on it!

That’s good, then. I’ve just got to wait for her notes then I can make it better. It’s a strange time. I’m desperate to get at it, but I can’t touch it yet, because I need Leah’s notes. So I’m going to have a bit of a’ holiday’, redesigning OldMan’s website, doing his posters and flyers for his Edinburgh Festival run and thinking about novel#3.… read more

Can I have my wife back please?

The upside: pasta and pesto, home made by LittleSon

The title of this post is taken from OldMan’s facebook status update for the weekend, addressed “dear novel writing”.

Yesterday I sent the second draft of  novel#2 off to AgentSimon, and I also hand-delivered the corrected paperback proofs of Cuckoo to Headline Towers (the paperback is out on 13th October 2011).

The past month has been insane – I have worked sixteen hour days, seven days a week to get novel#2 into a presentable state. … read more