Idleness and guilt

This has to end! This idleness and guilt. What would Virginia say? Maybe this situation has prevented me visiting an exhibition of her work. I cannot face her disapprobation. You see it comes down to this. I have all the time in world so I watch the birds. Endlessly busy flitting from feeder to feeder, […]


Real and imaginary, side by side

In a discussion I heard recently – I believe on Radio 4 – an author was asked which writers influenced them and by whom they measured their own work. The response was, yes, that there are those ‘go-to’ authors to whose writing they aspire. That is not to say copy, for, as was said at […]


A romance is the genre claimed for ‘Mothering Sunday’ by Graham Swift, a novel which I’m reading for the third time prior to discussing at Book Group this month. Yes, it is a marvellous story of love but never borders on the sickly sweet, happy ending which I’ve always associated with that genre. I’ve avoided […]

Literary fiction – into reality

Literary fiction has been in the news; concern that since the recession it has been particularly badly affected. There are also fears that things could get worse in the post-Brexit world. It is easy to see from the best seller lists that populist, genre fiction, is doing well, particularly promoted on Amazon with sales of […]

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 […]