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Project management for authors

There’s that Douglas Adams project management quote about loving deadlines. Especially the noise they make as they whoosh by. With less than two weeks to go before my Christmas short story book was due for release, I decided I wanted to cram in an extra story. You can imagine how this went down with my […]

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Writing tips: Hatches, matches and dispatches

As Australians vote to allow same-sex marriage, I got to pondering how, when writing, I often base stories around major life events. The Armchair Bride brings former enemies together. Having it all sees the bride flee a dream wedding. My next book will see Evie find new ways to cope when every familiar situation ‘dies’. […]

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Where to hunt a literary agent

There are many ways to track down a literary agent. This article shares some tips on how to power your search.

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Submitting to an agent – what not to say

If you’ve reached the point where you think you’d like to find an agent or publisher for your writing, there’s plenty of advice online. My own book – Please find attached – is rammed to the rafters with tips on how to attract attention, write a query letter, synopsis, bio and generally convince the gatekeeper […]

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Rejected by a literary agent? You’re in good company

Rejection can be crushing. There’s little joy when you receive an email that wishes you well but declares that your labour of love is ‘just not for me’. If you find yourself rejected, take comfort that you are not alone. I’ve pulled together a list of well-known writers who struggled to find a home for […]

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Writing great dialogue: Word of mouth storytelling

Inexperienced writers tend to rely on dialogue to deliver the story. It’s an absolute no-no. Victoria Wood satirised this best in her mock soap ‘Acorn Antiques’: “Apparently, being spiteful and having lots of extra-marital affairs could bring back my jaundice, so I’m going to be really nice from now on.” The fancy word for this […]

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Avoiding the laundry list

‘Laundry lists’ refer to writing where the author has tried to ram in as much detail as possible. Often because someone told them they needed to add ‘more description or setting’. You see it most when a new character wanders onto the page: ‘Ellie is tall, tanned, slim and very very blonde with big blue […]

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Marketing notes from my editor

Ready to look at marketing your finished book. Maybe I can help? Last time round, I talked about how editorial feedback made me think again about something as basic as the character names and elements of setting. How the current market expects certain things. She went further and gave me helpful tips to help pitch […]

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Notes from my editor

Monday was one of those nail-biting days. An email arrived with the first thoughts from my editor. She’s quite a big deal name in commercial fiction, so I’d been ready for a mauling. I expected her to brand my efforts as a mismatched jumble of bad ideas and inept delivery. Thankfully the broadside was gentle, […]

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An unprecedented level of calls

‘You’re getting very dark again. You need to see a doctor.’ That’s how the other half censored me as I launched into yet another tirade about how Theresa May had basically prostituted herself to the DUP to avoid having to move house just when she’d got on top of her geraniums. And so I tried […]

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