filed under Book Reviews, Books and Reading.

I’ve just about recovered from a busy weekend chairing a few sessions at the Perth Writers’ Festival. I also went along to lots of other sessions to hear my favourite authors, as well as authors who are new to me, talk about their books. My Favourite Festival Moment Most of you know I’m already a pretty big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert; I loved her novel The Signature of All Things and what she has to say about creativity is definitely worth listening to. So it was with great anticipation that I settled in to watch her speak at the writers’…

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filed under Book Chat Video Book Club, Book Reviews.

I have so many great book recommendations for you in this month’s Book Chat! As promised, I’ve read The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, and Mothers Grimm by Danielle Wood. In the video below, I let you know what I think of the Booker Prize winner and also why I think every mother should read Danielle’s book. I’ve also had to read 7 other books for the panels I’m chairing for the Perth Writers’ Festival and I give you a quick summary of each in the video. There really is something there for everyone, from historical…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing Tools.

Besides a computer, which is obviously a given, there are some other tools I use to make my writing life so much easier. Here are the 8 writing tools for authors I couldn’t live without. 1. Scrivener Of course you knew that was going to be my number 1 tool! What can I say, since I started using Scrivener to write my books in 2013, I haven’t looked back. You can find out all the reasons why here, but, suffice to say, if you’re still using Word or similar to write your book, you might be making your writing life harder…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing Tips.

What makes us love a book? What draws us into the story so much that we can’t put the book down? There are a few things that a writer can do, and one of those is to sharpen your plot structure by doing the unexpected. What does that mean? Well, often in a book, the main character comes to a place where they have to choose to act. How they act will have consequences. And usually, those consequences will result in your character winning or losing something. What are the Consequences? I want to focus on the consequences, rather than the…

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filed under How To Get Published, Writing Tips.

Brooke Davis’s debut novel Lost and Found has been a bestseller here in Australia and now it’s taking the rest of the world by storm. So how did she manage to get her foot in the door and get her book published? I know lots of my readers have questions about how to get published as a writer. In this occasional series, I hope to inspire you by sharing the stories of other writers who’ve managed to achieve the holy grail of a published book. Brooke’s story is one of patience, determination and dedication and I hope you enjoy it!…

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filed under Book Reviews, How To Write A Book, Writing Tips.

So that was 2014! Did a year ever fly by so quickly? First, a HUGE thank you to everyone who has visited me here over the last year. Since I launched this new site in May, 58,000 people have spent some time reading through these pages! Many of you have commented and interacted with me, which I love. I look forward to seeing you all here again in 2015. I’m going to take a break from the blog for about a month and will be back to blogging about all things writing and reading in mid-January. Meantime, here’s my wrap-up…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing Tips.

Last week I asked my newsletter subscribers if they were interested in a mentoring type program, where, as well as teaching writing, I would read sections of each writer’s work-in-progress and give feedback. The response was overwhelming! And it reminded me of how lucky I was when writing my first book; I was writing it as part of a Masters course and so I had a supervisor giving me regular feedback. There are lots of problems writers face on their journey to finishing a book and getting feedback is just one of them. So, here are my solutions to the 5…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing Tips.

I was teaching a group of writing students recently and, as I was talking, I realised how much of the content I cover comes not just from my experience of writing books, but also from my experience of reading books. Since I’ve been writing, I can never mindlessly enjoy a book; I’m always looking at how it works and why it works. I might not always do this at the time of reading, I might reflect on it later, but it’s definitely a big part of my reading process. With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you 7…

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filed under Australian Women Writers Challenge, Book Chat Video Book Club, Book Reviews.

This month I laughed a lot and I thought a lot as I made my way through my reading pile for Book Chat. I read Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Effect, which I liked even more than his hugely successful book, The Rosie Project; I reviewed this for Book Chat a few months ago. You can find out why I loved The Rosie Effect in the video below. Margaret Atwood has turned her genius to the complications of ageing, of being near the end of a long life with no real future to look forward to and with only a past to look…

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filed under Writing Tools.

Can you believe we’re halfway through November?! Where did 2014 go? Christmas is just about to drape its tinsel all over us so, with that in mind, here are some great ideas for Christmas gifts for writers – all of these things are on my list for Santa! 1. LiveScribe Notebook by Moleskine I love to write parts of my first drafts by hand, with a pen, in a notebook. There is something about changing from the screen to pen and paper that shifts the gears of my mind and makes the words flow. But it always seems inefficient to…

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