Hilary Mantel – a few, inadequate words

Since the death of Hilary Mantel last month, there have been many words written and broadcasted extolling her brilliance as a writer. There is nothing new I can add to the eulogising, but to let the death of my favourite author go by without writing about it seemed amiss. She is someone I have mentionedContinue reading “Hilary Mantel – a few, inadequate words”

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”

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”

Losers

One of my favourite films is Little Miss Sunshine. Its story of an odd-ball, dysfunctional family driving across America so the young daughter can take part in a beauty pageant is so funny that it makes me shriek with laughter – Uncle Frank’s running, the inappropriate dancing, the manhandling of Grandpa out of the hospitalContinue reading “Losers”

Things I will never have to worry about if I don’t get published!

This time last year, I was busy using Lockdown to write a new novel and getting on really well. This year, Lockdown 3 has been very different. I have been in school almost full time, working with those students who were entitled to keep coming in. I also volunteered to be on the Test andContinue reading “Things I will never have to worry about if I don’t get published!”