This tag is associated with 10 posts

Autumn 2021 on the Sofa

It’s great to be back in circulation after a long break from blogging and social media and even better to have got my usual September fired-up feeling back after it went completely AWOL last year. In huge contrast to summer 2020 I’ve been extremely lucky over the last few months, spending a lot of time … 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

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

Words and poetry and me

It’s no surprise that last week’s post by Isabel Rogers on What a Poet can teach a Novelist was a huge hit. The idea for the post came from the input Isabel R has given me with my writing and to judge by the reaction, she could probably have set up a specialist editorial consultancy … Continue reading

Paris Before and After

One morning last week I found myself on the Eurostar to Paris with a strong cup of coffee, reading a book about Baudelaire, one of my literary heroes (‘influences’ sounds a bit pretentious).  Rain pelted the windows, the sky low and heavy as he painted it in his poem Spleen but that didn’t matter to me.  I … Continue reading

Coping with Rejection

I recently wrote this article about rejection for a competition and rather fittingly, it didn’t get anywhere. When I was telling some writer friends about this over lunch a few days ago (I had to see the funny side), they said I should post it on the blog so I’m doing it before I can … Continue reading

My First Five Years as a Writer

It’s five years to the day since I started writing fiction (for someone so terrible with numbers, I am surprisingly good with dates).  By that I mean actually doing it.  Not thinking about it.  Not talking about it.  I’d been doing that for years. During the period leading up to me signing with my agent … Continue reading

Things I hate about my writing and other people’s

OK, hate is too strong a word, but even blogposts need a good title… I’ve been in hypercritical mode lately and I’m hoping this will get it out of my system.   It’s happened before.  At university I spent four years overanalysing and pulling to pieces the greats of French and German literature.  Parts of this I loved, … Continue reading

What Makes a Sexy Fictional Hero?

This post is a bit of fun.  Do not even think about taking it seriously. When I first had the idea of writing about sexy fictional heroes, I was concerned that it might appear frivolous.  So I took one of my regular soundings on Twitter and got a response that was, well, enthusiastic to say … Continue reading

Write What You Know?

There are many sayings about writing and almost as many clichés, the number one surely being ‘There’s a novel in everyone.’ I’m not getting into that. This is about that other old chestnut ‘Write What You Know’ (WWYK), usually attributed to Mark Twain (although I’m happy to hear he didn’t particularly follow it).  I’ve always instinctively … Continue reading