Picture this

It’s a peculiar sensation to see first cover visuals for your first novel. They’ve got the story’s title and your name – your name – writ large. And one of them is a perfect expression of what the book’s about. It jumps at your throat, it’s gorgeous, professional and an image that you couldn’t ever thinkContinue reading “Picture this”

Global corona virus suspension order

In light of the corona virus pandemic, governments around the world have got together and made an important declaration. The Coordinated Global Governmental Announcement (CGGA) is being made in response to the rapid spread of the virus. The devastating contagion has caused a variety of national lockdowns, forbidden civil sniffling and coughing in public, bannedContinue reading “Global corona virus suspension order”

Hilary Mantel at the Royal Festival Hall

On the 6th March, 2020 Alex Clark, a journalist and broadcaster, interviewed Hilary Mantel live on stage at the Royal Festival Hall. The two discussed Mantel’s the Mirror & the Light, the final part of her Cromwell trilogy that began with Wolf Hall. The conversation held an audience of some 1500 people absolutely spellbound. ImageContinue reading “Hilary Mantel at the Royal Festival Hall”

Discontent leads to progress

Without discontent there can be no progress, which is probably how I have ended up here, doing this, writing blogs about writing and fiction. Not that life’s been an endless series of gloomy torments, because it hasn’t. But discontent is a powerful driver borne of dissatisfaction and suffering. I did all my suffering a very,Continue reading “Discontent leads to progress”

Where does getting your novel published actually start?

Obviously with writing the thing in the first place. But then what? Most first time wannabee authors, me included, haven’t a clue about the publishing business. We all think that the most important thing of all is the manuscript, but that is naïve and foolish. Very foolish. It’s foolish because the most important thing aboutContinue reading “Where does getting your novel published actually start?”

The trials of getting your novel published part 2: Some more of the journey

Last week seemed overrun with other peoples’ work, technical stuff, reading fiction (a 723 page work of historical fiction completed over an immersive four days), wrestling with social media and of course keeping the website alive and active. There was also a bit of helpful wrestling with a fellow author at Unbound whose book, Draca,Continue reading “The trials of getting your novel published part 2: Some more of the journey”

Dangerous Ideas

Yes, unless it’s dangerous an idea does not really deserve to be called an idea. But these days where every little thought gets shared online and shredded, most new ideas are about as dangerous as a small and rapidly evaporating puddle on the pavement. Why is that? Is it because all the exciting ideas haveContinue reading “Dangerous Ideas”

Invention is the mother of necessity

In reading and critiquing Best First Novel Award contenders it occurs to me that I am too harsh, too demanding and way too mean to these brave writers. It makes me wonder what would I say about the Draftsman if Unbound puts it forward as a candidate? There is certainly lots to say about thisContinue reading “Invention is the mother of necessity”