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Writing

This category contains 55 posts

Books *and* Box Sets, not Either/Or

Literary culture (as in: everything to do with books) is under threat.  Libraries are closing, media coverage is shrinking, book prizes and literacy initiatives like Quick Reads (please somebody save Quick Reads) struggle and disappear, most authors earn next to nothing.  Will Self has a regular gig on the Death of the Novel.  As an author, … Continue reading

A Week in Marseille

I’ve recently returned from a glorious week in Marseille staying with my lifelong friend G, the younger daughter of my French godmother (my own French story is here, and it’s a long one…)  This isn’t a full-on travel post as it wasn’t a holiday as such, although you could be forgiven for thinking so – … Continue reading

Starting from here and now

A belated happy new year!  This isn’t the first post I was expecting to write in 2018, but for reasons which will become apparent, I’ve decided to take a more relaxed and spontaneous approach to the blog this year. There will still be coverage of new releases and guest posts, but since it goes down … Continue reading

Launch of Stories for Homes 2 – an anthology in aid of Shelter

On Saturday night I took part in a fantastic event supported by the Folkestone Book Festival: the paperback launch of the second volume of Stories For Homes, an anthology of 55 short stories, poems and flash fictions on the inexhaustible theme of ‘home’, in aid of UK housing and homelessness charity Shelter. Like the original … Continue reading

How do you know if a novel’s worth writing?

A few weeks ago I was walking along Newport Sands in Pembrokeshire with a clear head and a feeling of serenity – unfortunately it didn’t last long.  I recently had a big breakthrough in the first draft of my new novel and want to do nothing but write, but a couple of very stressful things … Continue reading

Resilient Thinking and First Drafts

As Hemingway famously said, ‘the first draft of anything is garbage.’ (I always thought he said ‘shit’ but anyway.) And as he also famously said, ‘writing is rewriting’. Now I am not a particular fan of Hemingway nor of writing aphorisms, which I have learned to approach on a ‘pick your own’ basis, (as in … Continue reading

York Festival of Writing 2017 – From a different angle

When something inspires and motivates you, when it makes what you already love seem even more fun and worthwhile and connects you with lots of others who feel the same way, you want to be part of it.  And last weekend I got to be part of the York Festival of Writing 2017 in a … Continue reading

Bradford Literature Festival – July 2017

This is a daunting task.  I was only at the Bradford Literature Festival for a day and a half and attended just two sessions in addition to the panel I was on, but I can only hope to share a few fleeting personal impressions of this vibrant and ambitious 10 day event. It’s making a … Continue reading

News from Paris (Mon Amour)

How’s it all going? I keep being asked. It’s been a very busy and exciting first two weeks for the paperback edition of Paris Mon Amour, so I thought I’d share a few of the best moments and some still to come. SHELF LIFE There isn’t anywhere else I could start than by expressing my gratitude to … Continue reading

Paris Mon Amour – paperback publication week

This is publication week for the paperback edition of my debut novel Paris Mon Amour, and this is a difficult post to write. You’re probably thinking, ‘What? Isn’t that the best post ever?’ And you’d be right – there have been some fabulous moments recently. It’s just that I feel totally overwhelmed, and that’s hard to … Continue reading