Happy Sunday everyone! Just a quick note to say that myself and my brilliant editor Charlotte Mursell (who works at HQ Stories, HarperCollins) are going to be taking part in a pitching session at Retreats For You writing retreat down in Sheepwash, Devon, on the weekend of 9th/10th March 2019. We will be giving advice on… Continue reading Pitch your book to an editor!
I did a workshop a couple of weeks ago at the lovely Chiswick Book Festival (which if you've never been I'd really recommend, it happens every September I think and there's a huge range of brilliant talks - everything from cookery demonstrations to author panels and discussions) - anyway, my workshop was on how to… Continue reading Writing a Psychological Thriller
I am speaking at a couple of literary festivals this summer which I'm very excited about! I am also running a workshop on writing a psychological thriller on September 15th at the Chiswick Book Festival, so if you think you have a novel in you, please do come along! Tickets here (booking advisable). For those… Continue reading Upcoming book events!
As an editor, part of my job is to send authors feedback on their novels and let them know what I think is working well, and what perhaps needs a little more work. As a writer now too, I’ve also experienced this from the other side and I wanted to do a quick post about… Continue reading Responding to edits on your book
Someone on Facebook recently posted to ask me about how to restructure an entire book if it needs a bit of an overhaul. This is something I work with authors on at Avon, and it’s also something I had to do for my own book, so I do have a few tips on the best… Continue reading Restructuring your novel
I recently had a bit of an odd experience in an author Facebook group, and it got me thinking about the wider writing community. I suppose I have been lucky – this was the first time I’d ever been subjected to online hate, and let me tell you, it wasn’t a picnic in the park!… Continue reading On being kind to each other
I had someone ask a question recently about how to write a first draft and thought I'd do a blog post on this. The short answer is: you just have to write it! That's not the most helpful piece of advice in the world, but it is the truth. Writing out that first draft can… Continue reading Writing a first draft
When I first started trying to write, I spent ages agonizing over how to craft a good synopsis to send to literary agents. It was before I worked in fiction publishing, so I didn't have as much knowledge about how it all worked as I do now. But after a question from the lovely Rae… Continue reading Writing a Synopsis
Whenever I speak to other writers, one of the things I'm always endlessly curious about is whether they plot out every stage of their novel, or simply start writing and see where the book takes them. I'm definitely in the latter camp, although I did try to plot as much as I could for my… Continue reading Plotting vs winging it
Signing with a publishing house is undoubtedly a very exciting experience, but it can also come with a side of confusion, especially for debut authors. It can be hard to let your work go, because you’ve worked on it so hard and up until now, you’ve been in control (perhaps with your agent too). I… Continue reading Your publisher’s decisions
I'm so delighted to be hosting the wonderful writer Mel Sherratt on the blog today. I've had quite a few people asking me about self-publishing over on Facebook, and because my experience is only in traditional I decided I needed a bit of an expert to step in, and Mel very kindly agreed to answer… Continue reading Self-publishing vs traditional: author interview with Mel Sherratt
One of the things people ask me quite often is about time - how there's time to write, especially when you have a full time job/several other jobs/children or a family to look after. I don't have kids so I can't currently comment on that, but I will say that I have the utmost respect… Continue reading Managing your writing time
One of the things that crops up again and again when speaking to writers is the idea of rejection. Hand on heart, I don't think I know a single author who has not been rejected in some shape or form, so believe me when I say it is not uncommon and you are NOT alone!… Continue reading Dealing with rejection
One of the things that gave me a huge amount of anxiety when I was first trying to get published was being on submission, which I've written about briefly before. However, the thing that crops up time and time again through talking to other writers is the waiting times - how long it can sometimes… Continue reading Why the submission process takes so long
I had some great suggestions for blog posts this week from the lovely Book Connectors Facebook group - thank you everybody for commenting! It was really interesting to see some of the questions people were wondering about, and I want to do my best to try to answer some of them in the next few… Continue reading Publicity – what to expect as a new author