Finally, at last, etc.

I have finally stopped myself procrastinating and started the read through of draft one, novel #2.

Before starting, I:

  • Made a nice wall-chart of juicy quotes from Macbeth
  • Studied Penelope Leach to make sure my addled parenting memory isn’t confusing what a three year old child can and can’t do
  • Printed out research photos and stuck them up on my wall
  • Caught up on emails
  • Have been very quick to respond to requests from Sam Eades, my powerhouse publicist at Headline (who is sending out proof copies of CUCKOO as I write this)
  • Made up some Ikea cardboard boxes I bought last week…
  • …Boxed up old drafts of CUCKOO, taking time to look at my annotated first draft to see how much I altered (almost all of it)
  • Cleared some space on my bookshelves
  • Bought yet more index cards, stickers and stars
  • Put Draft One in another lever arch file because the one it was in had got squashed.
read more

Research wasn’t like this when I was a lass

Me by Rembrandt

Today I am feeling a little Lazarus-like thanks to antibiotics. But still happily confined to bed, where I have been engaging in research for novel #2. I am a sort of after the event researcher – I like to write unhindered by mere fact. It’s only after I make something up that I want to go and check if it’s actually true. It can be annoying if it isn’t, but that’s the great thing about fiction-writing.… read more


I have finished the first draft of novel#2. While Old Man and Littleson were out at the footy this rainy Sunday morning, I exercised my writer’s privilege and stayed in to work.

I have been anticipating the end for the last three or four days, but my characters kept spinning it out, getting diverted into yet more tension-increasing alleyways. But we finally nailed it this morning. I know I have an epilogue to write, but I need some specific New York State criminal law advice before I can write it.… read more

New York, New York!

Franklin Stage Company. By local artist Lisbeth Firmin:

The two weeks in upstate New York were entirely fruitful. An immersion in the sensory world was really important – I rely so much on environmental detail to tell my stories. One particular case in point was how noisy the American countryside is, with all the crickets, cicadas, katydids, coyotes, chained up guard dogs and dirt bikes. I had remembered it as being really quiet. And then there’s the different feel of American grass underfoot – coarse, almost sharp – when compared to the more silky British lawn.… read more