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Writing

This category contains 60 posts

A Novel Process – the ‘Re-type Draft’

Like many novelists, I get asked a lot of tricky questions and that’s not likely to change when my next book comes out. (Yes, I’m saying ‘when’ because I have to believe that to put myself through this.)  Today’s post – by popular demand! – looks at some of those questions and my experience of … Continue reading

The Word for Freedom – Stories of Women’s Suffrage

This week I am delighted to be featuring The Word for Freedom, an anthology just published to celebrate the centenary of female suffrage in the UK.  Amanda Saint, founder of Retreat West, joined forces with fellow author Rose McGinty to bring together these 24 stories, all donated by the authors to raise funds for London … Continue reading

Autumn preview 2018

Welcome back to the Literary Sofa – I hope you enjoyed a long hot summer and some good books.  This is a quick Hello, I’m back! and glimpse of the upcoming programme on the blog. I always know it’s been a good break when I come back raring to get stuck into everything, and there’s nothing … Continue reading

Guest Author – Catherine McNamara on Writing about Sex and Desire

Back to my Summer Reads and I’m declaring this week’s post a Special Edition, partly because it’s a change from the normal format but mostly because I am so thrilled to be hosting the talented and lovely Catherine McNamara, whose second solo short story collection The Cartography of Others was recently crowdfunded by many and … Continue reading

The Word for Freedom – Short Stories of Women’s Suffrage

There’s a pause in my Summer Reads programme this week – the planned guest post is postponed until late July, but  something very exciting has popped up in its place… Amanda Saint, author and founder of Retreat West Books, has joined forces with fellow author (and past Sofa guest) Rose McGinty to curate and publish … Continue reading

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