filed under How To Write A Book, The Paris Seamstress.

I wanted to talk a little about perseverance. About continuing on against the odds. About doing what you love despite the doubts. About not giving up and holding on to that beautiful shining dream you have even if it seems so far out of reach. My latest book, The Paris Seamstress, has been selling its little socks off. At times, it feels a bit like it’s happening to someone else and I’m watching the experience from a distance. At other times it feels so bloody exciting that all I want to do is laugh and dance and sing and shout.…

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filed under Author Interviews.

I’ve known Lauren Chater on social media for a few years and had the absolute pleasure of first hearing her work read aloud at the Historical Novels Society Conference a few years ago. It immediately struck me as unique, lyrical and the kind of writing I wanted to hear more of. So I was absolutely thrilled when her first book, The Lace Weaver, was picked up by Simon & Schuster and published recently.You can win a signed copy of this gorgeous book just by leaving a comment on the blog post below. Over to Lauren to take us through her…

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filed under The Paris Seamstress.

Last week I talked about my trip to Paris to research The Paris Seamstress; this week is all about my trip to New York. A lot of the research books that I read before I went talked about Paris, in terms of fashion, as being the city of art, whereas New York was the city of industry. So I went to New York prepared to find a slightly less romantic version of the fashion industry than what I had found in Paris. But did this turn out to be true? New York’s Garment District I once again organised a private…

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filed under The Paris Seamstress.

One of my most favourite parts of my job would definitely have to be travelling overseas for research. Who wouldn’t want to go to Paris and New York and places in between all in the name of work?! And the trip I organised for researching The Paris Seamstress was especially spectacular, full of discoveries that inspired scenes for the book. The Théâtre du Palais Royal For this trip, I organised a private tour guide to take me through the Sentier, Paris’s historic fashion district. I met my guide at the Palais Royal, which backs onto the Sentier. There, I made the…

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filed under How To Write A Book, The Paris Seamstress.

As The Paris Seamstress will be published next week, I thought it was a good time to take you behind the scenes and describe how I went about writing and researching the novel. Last week, I published a post about how I got the idea for the book, which you can read here. This week, I’m going to talk about why it’s so important for me to have a clear and vivid opening scene in my mind when I’m writing, and also how The Paris Seamstress evolved from a straight historical novel to a dual narrative that combines both contemporary…

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filed under The Paris Seamstress.

I much prefer redrafting to starting a novel and The Paris Seamstress only served to confirm this preference; it is definitely the one book of mine that was the hardest to start. I sat down in November 2015 ready to write my 20,000 word pre-first draft only to discover that I didn’t really have a story idea. I had a character in my head and this character had a very distinctive voice but I didn’t know who she was or why she was there. I let the voice lead me and while I really liked a lot of what I wrote, I had no…

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filed under Book Reviews.

I have been reading some amazing books over the last two months so I thought it was my duty to share with you what I’ve been reading. I hope you’re ready to add some books to your tbr pile! This month it’s a mix of historical fiction, contemporary fiction and memoir. If you’ve read any of the books I’m discussing, please let me know in the comments below what you thought of them. Over to the video!     Books reviewed: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell, The Betrayal by Kate…

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filed under Author Interviews.

You know how there are some people whose instagram feeds always look completely stunning? Well, Vanessa Carnevale is one of those people and she is a writer to boot, so I thought it would be great to have her as my next guest for Where Stories Are Made so we can all see pictures of what our offices could look like, if only we tidied them a little more often! You can also win a copy of her brand new book, The Memories That Make Us, which I have read and loved and can thoroughly recommend. Over to Vanessa! 1.…

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filed under How To Write A Book.

I’ve long been aware of the physical dangers of the writing lifestyle – long hours spent sitting behind a computer aren’t that good for anyone’s body. I’ve had a sit/stand desk for a couple of years, which I use to alternate, in half hour stints, between sitting and standing. I use a perching stool rather than a chair which promotes active sitting and no slouching and I walk or go to yoga each day to break up the periods of sitting in front of a computer. Alas, even with the best of intentions and a reasonably ergonomic setup, I have…

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filed under A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, Her Mother's Secret, How To Write A Book.

What a difference a year makes! I remember vividly, during the school holidays last summer, sitting at my kitchen bench, furiously working away on something on my laptop, and being interrupted by one of my three lovely children for the millionth time. I remember shutting the lid of the laptop, (I can’t remember if I answered my child’s question or not though!) and putting my head in my hands and wondering what the hell I was doing. My Mini Crisis of Confidence Why was I working so damn hard during the holidays – when my kids wanted my undivided attention…

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