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Writing

This category contains 50 posts

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

First time at the London Book Fair

As you may have noticed, this is a pretty noisy and packed week in the book world, which completely mirrors my own schedule of late.  In view of this, I have decided to postpone publication of my Spring Spotlight author Addison Jones’ post on Postwar California for a little while – it is simply too … Continue reading

Good Sex Night at Waterstones Gower Street

When I sit down to write a sex scene – and there is certainly no shortage of them in my debut novel Paris Mon Amour – I don’t think about it.  I get the characters in a room and let things take their course. And to me that is a less daunting prospect than it … Continue reading

Finding the Words

‘There are no words.’ ‘Speechless.’ ‘Unspeakable.’ How often have you said, read or heard one of the above this year?  They seem to encapsulate everything 2016 will be remembered for, alluding to the inadequacy of language to convey the full force of shock, outrage, disillusionment, at one event after another. The irony is that we … Continue reading

Guest Post – Alison Layland on Literary Translation

Considering my passion for foreign languages and fiction, I can’t believe it’s taken over five years to invite a literary translator onto the Sofa.  Today I am delighted to be rectifying that with a visit from Alison Layland, and whilst she was busy writing her guest post, I decided to read her latest translation, of … Continue reading

Autumn in Paris

  I’ve recently returned from a typically intense five days in Paris, where I was not so much planning my next novel as wandering around waiting for the elements to take shape – something I’ve previously described as like looking at the world through an extra powerful pair of glasses.  To some extent, I’ve been doing this … Continue reading