filed under How To Write A Book.

The best things about being a writer are obviously the fame, the fortune, and the glamour, right? Well, I haven’t been lucky enough to find any of those things but here I am, still writing. And despite not having those things, I still think I’m lucky anyway. Teaching a couple of courses to aspiring writers over the weekend reminded me of this so I thought it might be good to share with you what exactly it is that I love about writing. We so often hear stories of how hard writing a book is; maybe it is hard sometimes but there…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, How To Write A Book.

I have a fascination for the clothes the characters in my books wear. Fashion and character is something I spend a substantial amount of time researching. Why do I bother? I could easily use that time to do some other more “serious” research; after all, clothes are thought to be fairly trivial items. But they’re not. For me, they’re an essential part of getting the character onto the page. How Clothes Get Character Onto the Page? As a writer, I have four main methods of getting the character to come to life in the reader’s mind: dialogue, action, thought and description. If you’ve…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, How To Write A Book.

Last week, in Part 3 of my blog series about Her Mother’s Secret , I talked about the process of actually writing the book. I finished at the point at which I was about to send it to my editor, thinking it was amazing and wouldn’t need much work in the way of structural editing. Ha! I was very deluded. 19 Pages of Notes I received back from my publisher 19 pages of single-spaced notes for the structural edit. 19 pages! Can I tell you how daunting it is, when you think your book is fabulous, to receive an email…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, How To Write A Book.

Welcome to Part 3 of my blog series taking you behind the covers of Her Mother’s Secret. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Today’s post is all about the writing process, what I actually did when I sat down to write the book and how easy (or hard!) it really was. Her Mother’s Secret was my fourth book and my second historical novel. I knew what I was doing right? Wrong! In the Beginning … The book covers twenty years, two seperate timeframes and has two different female protagonists. One of those is Leo, who’s trying…

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filed under How To Write A Book, The French Photographer.

I’ve talked before about the fact that I don’t really love writing the first draft of a novel. I prefer the redrafting process because then I know what the story is and I’m not struggling every day to work that out. But I don’t think I’ve been one hundred percent honest in saying I don’t like first drafts. What I find torturous and terrifying and very hard work is the first 20,000 words, the pre-first draft, which I’ve written about here. Once that’s done, writing the first draft of a novel is actually fun! Recap: The Pre-First Draft Every year from…

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filed under How To Write A Book.

A very big welcome to my first guest for the year in my occasional series of interviews with emerging writers. One of the things I love most about teaching writing courses is that I get to meet other writers and it was great to meet Nadia King at my Plotting Masterclass a couple of weeks ago. I hope you enjoy reading about her writing journey so far, as well as the tips she has to share. On to the interview! Describe the book you’re currently working on. My current wip, Sam and Ranga, is about ten-year-old Chloe and her secret…

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filed under How To Write A Book.

It’s much nicer to do things we’ve done before, things we know, things we’re certain about. But, as writers, I think this is one of the worst things we can do. Today I wanted to talk about why it’s a good thing to think that the book you’re writing is too ambitious, to wonder if you have the skills to finish the story you’ve started to write. We Never Plan to Make Ourselves Uncomfortable When I sat down to write A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, I didn’t deliberately plan to write a book that was outside my comfort zone. I…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing and Motherhood.

I love interviewing other writers, and I especially love taking to them about how they make the best use of their time to fit in writing, plus work, plus family, plus everything else that they do to live a full and fun life. Every writer I’ve ever spoken to for this interview series has slightly different tips to share, but I always learn something. This week, I’m talking to the lovely Vanessa Carnevale. Vanessa Carnevale is the author of The Florentine Bridge, a book I was very privileged to read in manuscript form, and which is like the best holiday…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing and Motherhood.

Confession: I may have had a mini-meltdown just before Christmas over what the hell I was doing with my life. Writing and motherhood no longer seemed to mix. For a couple of days, I remembered all too clearly just how much more money I could be making if I was still working in marketing, rather than writing books. Not to mention how much nicer my clothes would be! From high heels every day to almost not remembering the last time I’d worn shoes because my current place of work is on the kitchen bench with three delightful children running around.…

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filed under Author Interviews, How To Write A Book, Writing and Motherhood.

Happy New Year everyone! I’m very excited to be back blogging after a little break and what better way to kick of 2017 than with some advice about managing the juggle that is life, writing, kids, working etc and some great tips on how to make time to write. I’m here with the lovely Lauren Sams, whose new book, Crazy, Busy, Guilty has just come out. Lauren is also the author of She’s Having a Baby, and works as a freelance writer for magazines such as Elle, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. She has a 4 year old daughter and another beautiful baby on…

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