Where do you write?

I am fortunate. After a lifetime of working freelance as an illustrator, graphic designer, copywriter and cartoonist, I have an established working routine and a studio with forty years history embedded in every dust mote – or I did have until we moved house two years ago. I now have a smaller, newer studio, butContinue reading “Where do you write?”

Writing can't only be a mirror

When I was a teenager I had no idea what it felt like to be sixty, or even thirty. Now I’m older I am told sometimes that I can’t possibly connect with the mindset of a younger generation. Frankly I think both opinions are misjudged. We have imaginationAnyone who is astute and observes those aroundContinue reading “Writing can't only be a mirror”

Timing is everything

I spent seven months writing a book about the world 100 years after it has recovered from a pandemic virus, rising sea levels and massive solar storms and what happens? The same month I started sending my manuscript out to agents, we get a pandemic corona virus and a threat that the western Antarctic iceContinue reading “Timing is everything”

Do you write within a genre?

I didn’t set out to write in a particular genre. In fact I’m not sure where the plot for my first novel came from, but I am fascinated by the way most of us make decisions in our teens that inform and influence the rest of our life. I have heard, on more than oneContinue reading “Do you write within a genre?”

Choosing character’s names

My character’s names often change as a novel develops. Sometimes the original name just doesn’t seem to suit the way the character or their backstory develops. There’s a theory called nominative determinism which speculates that your given name might define what you do in life. I don’t subscribe to that theory, but names do needContinue reading “Choosing character’s names”

How do you start a novel?

I had heard from many different sources that there is a tendency to put a version of yourself front and centre of your first novel. I wanted to avoid this trap so decided to write from the perspective of a young woman. Writing is a form of escapism and jumping both gender and age wasContinue reading “How do you start a novel?”

How to act like a human

Everyone human being is made slightly different. Given that there are now over seven billion of us that’s pretty remarkable. It’s also not surprising that some of us malfunction in minor ways. When I was a childI thought everyone else had a sixth sense that I was lacking. As an adult, and after several differentContinue reading “How to act like a human”

The World in AD 2000

This is an essay my father wrote in 1937 about the what he expected the world to be like in the year 2000. I’ve included a transcript for easier reading. The World in AD 2000 – David James Aiken Sixty three years hence? think of sixty three years back! would the average man of eighteenContinue reading “The World in AD 2000”

Plots and storyboards

My first novel was planned meticulouslyI had no idea how ‘real’ authors developed their plots. Previously I had tried to write a novel with very little planning and my plot got confused – even the characters in my novel got confused. So I set about working out everything beforehand. Here is my nerdy, old-fashioned, personalisedContinue reading “Plots and storyboards”