Latest Posts

The Excitement of Winning

I was going to post about something else today, but feel I have to write about winning the Cinnamon Press novel award with my novel The Piano Player’s Son. I am filled with joy at the affirmation of my writing. Publication isn’t until October 2013, and I hardly know how I shall contain... read more

What’s in a Title?

How significant is a title for a novel, a short story – or a poem? What do we expect of a title? A successful title will probably grab our attention – hook us in some way -intrigue, surprise or amuse us, or suggest something of the work’s subject or flavour. And what... read more

The Importance of Rewriting

Nabakov, best known for his work Lolita said ‘One cannot read a book: one can only reread it. A good reader, a major reader, an active and creative reader is a rereader.’ He goes on to explain his belief: ‘When we read a book for the first time the very process of... read more

Goodbye Stones

I’ve blogged about The River of Stones before, but today is the last one, a month of looking, noticing, absorbing,  writing. Choosing the stone to write each day has been great fun, although much more challenging than I had expected. One of the best things has been sharing the stones with others... read more

Building an author platform

Sometimes it seems the only thing that matters these days is MARKETING. You have to network, plug, sell, tell, promote … on and on … you have to be out there shouting from the rooftops: Look at me! I’m here!  If you’re a writer that means ‘building an author platform’. Writing,... read more

The Joy and pain of ‘small stones’.

This January I’m taking part in the River of Stones. This is an idea, set up by Fiona Robyn of Writing Our Way Home  where people – from all over the world – write a small stone every day in January.   The idea of the small stone is that you give... read more

Is it worth entering competitions?

Writing competitions are everywhere now. Novel, short story, flash fiction, poetry, published, unpublished, self-published – the list goes on and on. Each one motivating us to get on and finish a piece of writing, or sending us back into our cocoon of procrastination. If I don’t enter, I can’t fail.... read more

Feeling the pinch at Christmas?

Double dip recession. Collapse of Euro. Rising unemployment. Is this the hardest Christmas in decades? For some, yes, but certainly not all! It was such thoughts that gave me the idea for an alternative version of a carol for my writing group’s Christmas-fest. To be sung to the tune of... read more

Flash fiction

A few years ago, I had a three-minute thriller broadcast on Radio Nottingham, but until recently I hadn’t done any more shorter fiction. For the last two or three months, I’ve been experimenting with flash fiction and am finding it’s quite addictive! I’m doing an online flash fiction course with... read more

Samuel Beckett

Sometimes you can tell your frame of mind from the quotations that appeal to you. I’ve always loved the quote from Samuel Beckett: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. There’s something about the philosophy that describes the experience of writing – producing your ‘baby’,... read more