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On Spaceships, stormtroopers and trying to get this parenting thing right

On Spaceships, stormtroopers and trying to get this parenting thing right

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT. BIG FAT SPOILERS FOR ROGUE ONE. DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT ROGUE ONE SPOILERS. ALSO BRIEF REFERENCE TO A BIG FAT SPOILER FOR THE DIVERGENT SERIES YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. LOTS.   Why I won’t be taking my […]

On books, covers and the judging thereof…

On books, covers and the judging thereof…

If the old proverb is to be believed, you should never judge a book by its cover. Except where, well, books are concerned, ironically! When I go into a bookshop, like most people I see there, I tend to browse the tables, rather than the […]

Café W – Waterstones, Bath

Café W – Waterstones, Bath

One of my two favourite writing spots. It has pretty much everything you could ask for, including other writers. How do I know? You can just tell. There’s a certain sort of frowning concentration, punctuated by bouts of staring into the middle distance, usually followed […]

On wine, whiteboards and Raymond Chandler

On wine, whiteboards and Raymond Chandler

I’m between editing stages at the moment, so I’ve made a start on my next novel. It’s actually a restart, rather than a new start. I was originally working on this project on the Bath Spa MA course, but I was struggling with the setting […]

On hammocks, Ferraris and Instagram

On hammocks, Ferraris and Instagram

One of the very few downsides of being a writer is that you’re never entirely off-duty. You can’t really switch your brain off, the way you can switch your office computer off. If I go more than a day without writing, I tend to get […]

Coffee House Rules

Coffee House Rules

One thing I’ve discovered about writing is that where you write can have a huge impact on what you write. If I’m writing at home, I tend to move around the house over the course of the day. I think there’s some sort of migration […]

On editing, wet shoes and the Spanish Inquisition…

On editing, wet shoes and the Spanish Inquisition…

Warning: this post is very, very long. Which is slightly ironic, given that its main focus is on getting your word count down. To quote Ser Davos Seaworth from Game of Thrones, ‘I apologise for what you are about to see…’   In my last […]

On shrubberies, Ugg boots and editing

A couple of days ago I went up to London to meet my editor, Bella Pagan at Tor. Editing is about to commence. Following on from my post about the similarities between plotting a novel and assembling flat-pack furniture, I had considered a follow-up post […]

The Language of Leaving

I had no intention of posting about the referendum. I don’t have any particular insight into the economics of the debate – although I do know enough to shout at the television screen during adverts that make simplistic claims about leaving the EU freeing up […]

Everything I know about plotting I learned from Ikea flatpack furniture…

Everything I know about plotting I learned from Ikea flatpack furniture…

So far, my maternity leave has involved more furniture assembly than I anticipated. Somehow it always seems like a good idea right up to that moment when you realise that none of the three hundred unidentifiable pieces laid out on the floor bear any resemblance […]