Teen Fiction vs Young Adult

The novel I am currently developing is a change of direction for me. There is no rural setting; the action takes place around a suburban housing estate and a secondary school. It is set no further back in the past than the 1990s, which does not count as a historical setting. And my main charactersContinue reading “Teen Fiction vs Young Adult”

One Year On

It was one year ago that I blogged about beginning the process of submitting to literary agents in the hope of moving beyond self-publishing. I had a spreadsheet of agents to approach, a meticulously crafted begging letter with the all-important elevator-pitch, a carefully thought-out synopsis and highly-edited first three chapters of my novel. And beginContinue reading “One Year On”

Merry Christmas

So Christmas Eve has come around again. The cake is decorated, the presents are wrapped, and I am watching The Fiddler on the Roof with a nice drink. Later, we will finish the story that my daughter wrote and get ready for the big day. Christmas Day will be lovely, with the food and music,Continue reading “Merry Christmas”

10 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Story for Advent

Absolutely FREE and very easy to use – no shopping required. Fun and original stories that keep the suspense going all the way through Advent. Can be cut to fit into any size of re-usable Advent Calendar. Recyclable, no plastic waste. Healthier than chocolate or sweets. Something new and different every day. A real treatContinue reading “10 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Story for Advent”

Passing the Baton

When I was young, writing was something that came naturally to me, but was also something weird and freaky – I didn’t know anyone else that wrote for pleasure. I had friends who were good at writing, who wrote amazing stories for English lessons, but as far as I knew, they didn’t go so farContinue reading “Passing the Baton”

Have You Got that Book…?

I have some reading for you today. Writing about the old Waterstone’s in Stratford-upon-Avon has made me nostalgic, and so, in honour of that old shop that doesn’t exist anymore, I publish this extract from Have You Got that Book..? and dedicate it to all the people I worked with. Apart from tidying up someContinue reading “Have You Got that Book…?”

The Bookshop

My novel Have You Got That Book..? is set in a bookshop called Phoenix Books, but I will absolutely admit that it was based on the bookshop I was working in. While Phoenix books was located in a fictional suburb on the far outskirts of London, my bookshop was Waterstone’s in Stratford-upon-Avon, and I liftedContinue reading “The Bookshop”

Summer Reading

Summer is a time for reading. At least, that is what the literary types would have us believe, with their lists of best summer reads in the press and summer reading special offers in the shops. Happily, I concur – one of the best things about summer holidays is having time to read. Before weContinue reading “Summer Reading”

My Earliest Reading Memories

In my newspaper of choice, the literary review section includes a Q&A Interview with famous authors, asking about their favourite/worst/most moving/most influential books. It includes a question about the author’s earliest reading memories. Reading the interview this weekend made me wonder about my earliest reading memories, and I realised that I had a few thatContinue reading “My Earliest Reading Memories”