filed under How To Write A Book.

I’ve published 4 books, but I’ve just handed in the structural edit on my 5th, and am up to the final draft on my 6th. This is not a position I ever really imagined I’d be in, back when I was writing book number one. If I had been able to glimpse the future, there are a few things I would have liked to have known—saving the good names being chief amongst them! Here are a few of the lessons learned from writing those books. Save the Good Names There is a finite supply of good names, especially male names!…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, How To Write A Book, The French Photographer, The Paris Seamstress.

I taught a Plotting Masterclass on the weekend and we talked about plotting versus pantsing, and how much of my first draft would incorporate the key plot points, or whether I would incorporate those points once the first draft was finished. I get asked similar questions at each course I teach—whether the similes in my books just come out in the first draft or whether they’re something I work on later, whether the plot twists in my books are known to me in advance or whether they unravel themselves in  the writing process. So I thought it might be useful…

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

It’s been a month of reflection. I blogged last week about the things I’ve learned this year since A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald was published, which in turn made me think about everything I’ve learned since my first book came out in 210. And it’s a lot! So this week’s post is all about the things I’m glad I’ve learned along the way, and which I hope might be useful for others starting out on their journeys. 1. Never Compare Yourself to Others Comparison truly is the thief of joy. There is nothing more demoralising than looking at what another writer…

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filed under A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald.

It’s been a big year. A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald was published on April 26 and it’s so gratifying to walk into bookshops and see that it’s still on the shelf. I’ve learned a lot over the last six months since it was published and I thought I’d share my four biggest learnings with you. Enjoy Each Moment In the months before A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald was published, lots of people said things to me like: “you must be dying for April to arrive” and “I bet you just want it to be April right now”. But I didn’t.…

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filed under A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, How To Write A Book.

Why would a writer write a scene only to delete it later? Surely you’d have to be crazy to do any such thing? Well, maybe I am crazy but I can tell you that plenty of scenes get written and then deleted in the writing process. I thought that in today’s post I’d talk about why writers might delete scenes and I’ll also show you a couple of deleted scenes in A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. 1. Scenes That Don’t Have a Purpose When I start writing a book, I don’t really know what the story is. So I often write…

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filed under A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, How To Write A Book.

Last week I began a 4 part blog series all about how A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald became a published book. I started with this post on where the idea came from and this week I’m going to talk about the writing process: how I took that idea and turned it into a draft that was ready to submit to an agent. So, if you read last week’s post, you’ll know that, before I began writing, I had the idea about what Evie, my main character wanted to do—to be one of the first university trained female obstetricians in New…

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filed under How To Write A Book.

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” JM Barrie These words have been ringing in my head all week as I’ve started writing the next book. Because I’ve forgotten just how much the process of writing relies on those 3 things: faith, trust and pixie dust. And, right at the start, faith and trust are needed more than ever, but they tend to be in short supply. So, in some ways I’m writing this blog post to remind myself to trust the process, to have faith, and that eventually the pixie dust will sprinkle down. It’s Okay…

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filed under How To Write A Book.

First there was the euphoria of submitting my fourth book, One Night, to my publisher last week. This was swiftly followed by the realisation that I have to start a new book! Ahhhhh! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that starting is one of my least favourite parts of the writing process. So, I thought it might be worth showing you exactly what I do when I sit down to start writing a new book. 1. The Scrappy Idea I’ve written about this before, so I won’t dwell on it. Suffice to say, when I…

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filed under How To Write A Book.

My big focus for the last few weeks has been the final redraft of my fourth book, which has the working title One Night. A reader recently asked me what I do in the final draft, how I go about rewriting a book, so I thought I’d give you a bit of a sneak peek. The third draft is the one I print out. I sit down and read through it once, without a pen, to see how it reads, to get a feel for where I’m really engaged and where I’m losing interest, and to see how the characters…

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