When ‘The Call’ came from Carina UK, I can honestly say I was overwhelmed with such a rush of emotions that, for once in my life, I was at a loss for words. I felt excitement mixed with a fear of the unknown and, if you can believe it, relief! Relief because all my hardContinue reading “‘The Call’”
I have used the word ‘barbaric’ countless times today in regard to Chris Grayling MP banning books being sent to prisoners. For me, it is entirely an act of barbarism. Oxford Dictionaries online defines barbaric as, ‘savagely cruel’, also as, ‘primitive, unsophisticated’. This act is all of that, and more. Books are educational. They offer usContinue reading “Banning books in prisons? Barbaric.”
I often think about this. For me, there’s a fine line between an integral truth to your writing, and entertainment. I have picked up books and, frankly, been bored by how credible they are. After all, isn’t genre fiction about escapism? What strikes me as slightly ironic about people who bang on about ‘credibility’ is that I,Continue reading “What does it mean to be credible when writing?”
In an ideal world, the answer to the above would be categorically ‘no’. However, writing is a hard game which requires an extraordinary amount of patience and self-belief. Anyone who says it’s easy, might not be going about the whole business in the right way. Or they are kidding themselves.
Rejection is tough. God knows I’ve cried, I’ve thrown pillows across the room, I’ve drunk one too many vinos and then cried even harder the next day because my head hurts so much. There is, however, such a thing as good rejection. If an agent/an editor gives you feedback (it is a precious resource – don’t dismiss it with a wave of a hand and a ‘they don’t know what they’re talking about) grab it with both hands and use it. Rejection can arrive in the form of a standard letter – stash this away. If you receive an email or anything with a few nuggets of why the answer was ‘no’, take it on board and use it. You’ve been handed a gift. Sure, the temptation is there to think you’re above it all – no need for any help here, thank you but, frankly, you’re not. We all need help. We are all always learning.
If the advice doesn’t make sense then go to an editorial consultancy. My favourite is
Writing is a funny business. I’ve written two books over the last year (one being a rewrite). A month or so ago, I stopped writing. It was as if I had run out of steam and I managed to convince myself that I couldn’t do it anymore. The irony? The past month has left meContinue reading “The highs and the lows”
A few months ago, I decided to re-write an existing novel and move away from police procedural. It was an interesting exercise and one that I approached with some trepidation. It had always been my intention to write a series of detective novels; was this really going to work? Yes. It worked because I hadContinue reading “My writing journey: a new path”
Love in books and in life exists in a multitude of forms: adoration, obsession, lust, jealousy and even, or especially, friendship – plus many more. When I write, I aim to push the boundaries of the ‘ordinary’ and perhaps what people expect from a married couple, partners or a boyfriend and girlfriend and reveal someContinue reading “Hearts, cupids and all that”
I know it’s an absolute cliché but I do live, breathe, sleep and eat my work. In fact, I’m not sure what I’d do if the ability to write was ever taken away from me. I have always been writing – be it short stories, diaries, poetry and more recently, novels – it has becomeContinue reading “The importance of dreaming”
If my books are a reflection of ‘what I know’ then I really should be locked up, quite frankly, and doing life. But it is important to get inside the bad guy’s head as well as the good guy’s. So, no, hand on heart I know nothing about murder but what I do know isContinue reading “Write what you know. Really? Even if he’s a murderer?”
When I started writing my first book I didn’t think a title was of any importance. In fact, I was three-quarters of the way through before a very wise owl told me, ‘I’ve got a title for you. Try it on for size.’ I did and never looked back. A title, you have to realise,Continue reading “What’s in a title?”