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Showing posts from March, 2014

'My Writing Process' Blog Tour

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My friend and author Robyn Roze has passed the My Writing Process Blog Tour baton to me today. Please do check out her Blog Tour article here. Thank you, Robyn.

The first rule is that I have to include a photo of myself so here's the best photo I could come up with from the last couple of years - sorry. I suppose I'd better get on with it then.

What am I working on?

Firstly, I'm continuing to work on my novel, Haven Falling. It's a fantasy novel set in a future where magic exists alongside robots. It started out as a novel for adults (as in grown-ups, not erotica) but after a rethink at the end of last year, I've decided to rework it for the 9-12 age range. My original protagonist Steve is now fourteen years old (not thirty three) and my new accompanying protagonist Blessing is eleven years old (not seven). It's the first of a trilogy and I envision the world I create in this novel leading to many other magical novels too.

Secondly, I'm working on a murder …

Something Useful for 2014 - Exercise No. 2

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Find an image of a window online, in a magazine or from your own photo collection. Write what you can see, as if you are inside looking out through that window.


This my photo. This is the house I was brought up in.

I raise a hand to shield my eyes from the summer. Against the cool shade of my home, the sunlight is glaring. My mother waits for her photograph to be taken. Under instruction from her elder sister, she sighs inwardly as her sister's friend giggles. My father poses, leaning on the flower box to take the strain off his weak hip. Another memory is being made.

Tuesday Choice Words

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Spring has gone into hiding behind a rain cloud sky here. It's the kind of weather that sets a mood - grey, cold, hurried. In a novel, it would be a forewarning of something unseen on the way.

Setting up the tension in your novel from Fiction University (the new name for The Other Side of the Story) offers more ways to create mood and tension in your writing.


Photo Inspiration for March

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At this time of year, the crows always return to nest in the trees at my children's school.


The street that the school sits on is lined on both sides with hefty horse chestnut trees. The crows reside in each of those trees, a community of raggedy nests and cawing neighbours. 

They're intelligent birds, majestic when seen in flight. They have ties to Norse mythology and Native American legends. They're also survivors, adapting to the spreading reach of mankind. Yet for all this, they are often dismissed as villains or henchmen. We have books about rabbits, otters, and owls, but crows rarely figure as heroes. 

Years ago, a fellow member of a writing class told me a story about crows. Nancy was quite elderly by this time, American with a slow, drawling accent. She and her husband had been posted in Burma for some years (her husband had some bureaucratic role). In the grounds of their home, an old, immense tree had housed a community of crows. She called them the crows' co…

Tuesday Choice Words

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I'm not a lark. Early mornings do not happen naturally to me. Unfortunately, with two children and a school run to arrange, I'm the first one up in our house. It would be nice, sometimes, to be able to just get up and write, work on my creative outpourings like my literary heroes. Oliver Burkeman thought he would try just that - spending a day following the routines and habits of some of our creative greats. You can find out how he got along in Rise and shine: the daily routines of history's most creative minds.


Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop

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Thank you for stopping by the Many Sides of Medusa Blog Hop hosted by Heather Lyons and Kelly Hashway. 
Door Prize: Your door prize for joining us is the short story prequel to the Touch of Death series titled Curse of Death. It's the myth about Medusa and how she was cursed by the goddess Athena. Claim your free gift by clicking here.
Heather and Kelly are teaming up to show you a very different side of Medusa. Forget the monster you might think she was, and check out these excerpts from The Deep End of the Sea and Touch of Death. You just might change your mind about Medusa.

The Deep End of the Sea excerpt:
But there’s no way around it. I am, in fact, a monster. A hideous one, to be precise, but as I don’t have any mirrors on Gorg√≥na, I can’t verify that one for certain. I rely on the fact that every single person I’ve frozen over the ages boasts abject fear on their face, which makes me believe they find me pretty horrifying. And it sucks. It genuinely, truly, absolutely, unequivoc…

Tuesday Choice Words

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I've been struggling with my novel writing over the last few weeks and when this happens, I always find it helpful to dip into the advice on The Writer's Village blog. This article, Seven Quick Ways To Write Sentences That Sizzle helped me finish the chapter that was causing me problems. Have a look.

The first episode of Pan Macmillan's new book webshow - Book Break

Rose-tinted Thinking?

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Two things happened to me over the last week that got me thinking about the world of writing.

The first was this. A friend informed me that I was wearing rose-tinted glasses if I thought I could make a living as a writer and that I should just get a 'normal' job. This wasn't a personal slap-in-the-face but rather this person's opinion of writers in general.

Secondly, a worried writer friend sent me the link below. The article that had so chafed on her emotions appeared in the Guardian, From bestseller to bust: is this the end of an author's life? by Robert McCrum.

This article uses the story of a handful of successful authors (Rupert Thomson, Paul Bailey, and Joanna Kavenna) to discuss whether it is profitable, or even sustainable, to write for a living nowadays. With the onslaught of Amazon, the ongoing worrying financial climate, the growing popularity of ebooks and the increasing availability of free material online, can writers support themselves financially t…

Tuesday Choice Words

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Here's an interesting way to test your writing. Take the Writer's Diet Test. I used the first chapter of my novel and got "lean, no improvements needed" - phew.