We plunder our own lives

Val McDermid spoke these words when interviewing a fellow author on BBC 4 Front Row recently; ‘That’s what we authors do,’ she said, ‘plunder our own lives.’ And I was thrilled to hear her say this. For that is exactly what I do. Initially I was surprised as her novels are psychological thrillers, always featuring […]

Marketing – the task to be avoided?

Publishers employ whole departments to market their writers’ books – though I hear they are not as proactive as in the ‘olden days’. As an indie author none of this is available; we are on our own to promote our work Marketing is a skill learnt on degree courses. A science of psychology, knowing to […]

Awarding stars

We all know that blissful moment of receiving a good review. Written on Amazon or Goodreads, or in some other publication, it is what writers crave. Or that pleasure might come from someone coming saying; ‘I really enjoyed that last book you wrote’. And even better, though not financially so; ‘I’ve lent it to … […]

Killing off characters

I recently saw a stage version of ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ by Michelle Magorian with my grandson, aged eight. A favourite novel which I read when it was published in 1981 so I had remembered that some of the story is bleak, including unpleasant revelations for a child his age. However I knew that the problems were […]

What does a tick represent?

The tick of approval? And, of course, that is what the sign represents. ‘I like this; I approve; well done; pat on the back’. Those are the meanings which I used to understand the tick to say. Essays marked with ticks here and there were a boost to whatever writing had been completed. A quick […]

I should have written a diary

I recently saw a production of ‘Angels in America‘ at the National Theatre. An excellent play, subject matter, script, performances, which I remembered seeing many years ago. I could visualise the image of the angel, a huge white feathered creature spotlit at, I think, the end of the play. And that was the problem. Was […]

An end to ‘grip-lit’?

How interesting to read that an agent, not wishing to be named, expressed the view at the London book fair last week that; ‘we really need to move on … We want something more positive, something more life affirming.’ I am so relieved that this view has been expressed. I found ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The […]

The ‘hunger’ to write

I have been intrigued by The Guardian’s series of articles in which well-known writers explore where and when they write. Some have been reassuring – the prevarication, the sidelining, the excuse of what else needs to be done. I particularly enjoyed Sebastian Barry thinking that ‘having something else to do other than writing … creates […]

Should you read a book before seeing the film?

An article in The Guardian recently, ‘Should I read the book first?’, prompted me to respond, more accurately to shout back; ‘Yes!’. However that’s a fruitless way to give my opinion and I didn’t feel that I needed to write a letter. Said article was a discussion about future adaptations to a film format.  But I fear […]

Which person narrative?

My last two published novels, ‘A Retrospective’ and ‘Ladybird, Ladybird’  have been written in first person narrative style.  ‘I’ am the character which is to some extent an easy way for the writer to reveal thoughts, feelings and actions.  The reader can also travel with that character allowing all others involved in the plot to […]