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Debut Panellist at Iceland Noir

Debut Panellist at Iceland Noir

I’ve been attending crime writing festivals for the past few years, initially as a fan and a reader, and later as a crime writer hoping to find her way onto the publishing ladder. A couple of weeks ago I attended my second Iceland Noir in Reykjavik, and this time I...

That Lucky Break

That Lucky Break

I’ve never been superstitious. If a black cat crosses my path, I’m more likely to emit a remarkably authentic ‘meow’ than worry about whether it passed from left to right. But Friday the 13th of October 2017 turned out to be the luckiest day of my year. It was the day...

The Benefits of Literary Festivals

The Benefits of Literary Festivals

The author’s working life is a solitary one. No one else can translate the data in a writer’s head to the screen or notebook. The task is theirs alone, a one-person job. In the quiet of the office, the shed, or the corner of the dining room table (in my case), the...

Christmas Ghosts

Christmas Ghosts

We used to think there were ghosts in our house. In the dead of night we regularly heard phantoms moaning, occasionally shouting. Our mother hushed them with her calm throaty whispers and smoothed their anguished brow. For a brief flicker of an eye in the darkest part...

Reviews that Set Your Book on Fire

Reviews that Set Your Book on Fire

As a novelist on the road to publication, I was urged early on to register as a reader and reviewer on sites such as Goodreads. To quote the great tutor, Stephen King: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”  Immersing oneself...

Celebrate Writing in the Leap Year

Celebrate Writing in the Leap Year

We have this extra day! What shall we do with it? It’s Leap Year! Babies born today will only get to celebrate the true anniversary of their birth once every four years. It’s special. I woke up this morning thinking I should write something extraordinary: A...

Satisfy your Creative Passion

Satisfy your Creative Passion

Last month I was thrilled to have one of my short stories read out on BBC radio. “The Summer of ‘76” is set in my teen years in the mid-seventies. The story is a work of fiction, but evokes memories of people and places in my adolescence. It has made me reflect on the...

Get into Character and Read Aloud

Get into Character and Read Aloud

If you’re a writer, you probably spend many hours isolated in your shed or at the working end of your dining room table, alone with your literary thoughts. Some writers believe their creativity is enhanced with a little background music. But most of us prefer to work...

Exercise the Writer’s Mind

Exercise the Writer’s Mind

My last blog talked about the dreaded phenomenon of Writer’s Block, and last week’s article in The Woolf told of the advantages of displacement on a writer’s retreat with the intention of triggering creativity. Basically, getting writers out of their comfort zone....

Why don’t the majority of boys read?

Why don’t the majority of boys read?

Over the past few days I’ve had the pleasure of watching my great niece spend half her time with a nose in a story. She is not yet seven, and I suspect her reading level surpasses those of my teenage boys. I wouldn’t know for sure. They never open a book. My sons’...

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