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

Incubation is a greatly underrated but hugely important part of the writing process, of how an idea becomes a book. Everyone talks about the actual writing and the redrafting and the editing but few people talk about the thinking time. I guess that’s because it’s hard to talk about: blogging about time spent doing nothing other than thinking could quickly turn into a very dull post! But I’m going to give it a go because it’s been on my mind a lot lately as I incubate an idea that will hopefully become a book for 2020 (crazy far away I…

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filed under How To Write A Book.

The one question I’ve been asked by readers at every event over the last two months has been about my writing routine. I know I’ve blogged about it before, but probably not for a couple of years, and I’ve just realised I have lots of new readers who haven’t read my previous posts on the subject. So, given the number of questions I’ve been asked about it lately, I’m going to shed some light on my writing routine. The 4 Parts of My Day My day basically falls into 4 parts. Part 1: 6am-8am, which is before the kids go…

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

Last year I wrote a post about deleted scenes in A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald. I got so much feedback about it that I’ve decided to write a post about the deleted scenes in Her Mother’s Secret. Apparently writers don’t often share their deleted scenes but I think it’s really important to understand that nobody begins with the perfect novel; a first draft is an exploration of what the story is and, to truly explore, you have to be prepared to try some things that don’t work. Which is why I’ve decided to open up my Trash in Scrivener and pull…

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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.

I can’t believe it but it’s only 2 weeks until Her Mother’s Secret will be in stores! So I thought it might be a good time to start sharing something more about the book. Over the next 4 weeks, I’ll be running a series of posts which take you behind the book covers, and tell you a little about where the idea for Her Mother’s Secret came from, the research process, the writing process and much more. This week is all about the inspiration behind the book. For me, it’s never one thing that inspires a book. It’s always a few things,…

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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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