Three Reasons to Write

Behind every author, professional or amateur, is a reason they started and continue to write. I have fumbled for words when asked ‘Why do you write?’, especially as I would be classified as commercially unsuccessful (no agent or publisher). But I have spoken to and listened to a lot of authors in my life, fromContinue reading “Three Reasons to Write”

Where it feels right to write

After a lifetime of working freelance as an illustrator, graphic designer, copywriter and cartoonist, I have an established working routine and a quiet studio with forty years history embedded in every dust mote – or I did have until we moved house a few years ago. I now have a smaller studio, but much ofContinue reading “Where it feels right to write”

The Parracombe Prize

Last autumn a small group of writers in Parracombe, both amateur and professional, decided to launch a short story competition. The village is unusual in that a population of less than 300 inhabitants has held an active book group for over twenty years and has several people involved in writing or in publishing services. WeContinue reading “The Parracombe Prize”

How I didn’t find a Literary Agent

A quick check on Google confirmed my worst fears. There are almost half a billion returns for ‘unicorn’ and only 168 for ‘literary agents’. Does that mean that getting into a conversation with a unicorn is more likely than getting a literary agent to consider my latest novel? This was how I approached the process.Continue reading “How I didn’t find a Literary Agent”

Three Impending Disasters

Early in 2019 I started to write Hope Island, it was completed that year and published in January 2020. It is set one hundred years in the future but it is not a dystopian fantasy. The premise was how three recognised impending disasters might shape our future. The first we are now experiencing, although soContinue reading “Three Impending Disasters”

Flights of Imagination

When I was a teenager I was told that I could have no idea what it felt like to be sixty, or even thirty. Now I’m far older and I am often told that I can’t possibly connect with the mindset of a younger generation. Frankly, I think both opinions are misjudged. We have imaginationAnyoneContinue reading “Flights of Imagination”

How do you write 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 write a novel?”

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. This is probably an aspect ofContinue reading “Plots and storyboards”

Character Spiders

Spoiler alertThis character spider contains facts about characters in my second novel The Act of Falling that don’t appear in the text. If you know anything about personality disorders you would probably work them out anyway, but just thought I’d mention that. The size of the circleMy focus is on Emily Hampton, therefore she takesContinue reading “Character Spiders”

Why do you write?

The world is not waiting with bated breath for my fourth novel. So why am I writing one? I still don’t have a simple, single sentence answer to that question – but here are some of the excuses I’ve used when I don’t feel people want the full answer. I wanted to see if IContinue reading “Why do you write?”