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

Writing on Trains (again)

On the train during my Harrogate residency

On the train during my Harrogate residency

Amtrak have taken inspiration from the idea Sam Eades and I hatched for writers’ residencies on trains!

As a past Writer in Residence on East Coast Rail, I did a piece yesterday for the BBC World Service on the whole business.

Have a listen.

There’s also a really interesting piece by Alison Flood about it on the Guardian Books Blog.… 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