Monday 12 March 2012

Childhood Reading

'Currently Boo is on a reduced school timetable, which is playing havoc with my writing schedule. It does mean that I get to spend a lot of time with him, which as we’re still getting to know each other is really nice.
One of the best things about hanging around with an inquisitive seven year old is that you get to see the world through their eyes. When you’re answering questions about how the world works, it makes you pause for a moment and think ‘Actually, that is kind of cool...’'

Read the rest at

Monday 27 February 2012

Apparently Self-Employment Means Self-Motivation. Who Knew?

I’ve been writing for years. Years. Partly because I love it, partly because I have a husband who was ok with me pursuing a dream thatmight pay off...

View the rest of this post at my new blog. 

Monday 20 February 2012

Muppet Mania & The Craft of Storytelling

'American readers of my blog are probably wondering why I'm talking about The Muppetsnow. Because the new Muppet movie came out at Thanksgiving in North America, whereas us Europeans on the other had to wait until last week - almost three months later - for its release...'

Read the rest of this post at my new home

Monday 13 February 2012

I've Moved!

My blog has moved!'s more like I've started a new one. You can find me at

I've tried to move Google Friend Connect over, but I'm not sure if I've got it quite yet...

Hope you're all having a great day :)

Friday 27 January 2012

Coming Out of the Writing Closet

The problem with setting up an online business (and self-publishing is a business) is that lots of people are baffled by a process where you make money without actually producing anything tangible, or leaving your own house. Some of my friends who are professional bloggers have this problem, when they're asked what they do a lot of people don't understand how they manage to keep a roof over their head.

Not that I'm keeping a roof over my head just yet - my husband is doing that while I work to keep us in expensive coffee beans.

But he set up his own company providing journalistic and copywriting services, a lot of it on the internet and is also part owner of a financial news website. Despite explaining it numerous times, a lot of our relatives still have no clue what he does. When someone asks for the nth time, it gets irritating. While it's lovely that people care enough to ask about our life, it's a bit like asking someone to repeat something they said that you didn't quite get. You can ask twice, after that it's impolite and you need to pretend you understood, slap on a smile and change the subject.

So, anxious to avoid the whole twenty minute explanation about e-books, self-publishing, and where in the name of God my two history degrees figure into the equation, I decided to avoid the situation in the only way I knew how.

I told no one in real life except my parents and a couple of close friends.

In the writerly blogging community it's easy to forget that not everybody knows that the publishing world is in a state of flux. That self-publishing is now a viable career option. It's difficult to explain without a twenty minute spiel. And honestly?

I'm not comfortable talking about myself and monopolising a conversation for that length of time. When I got engaged, I told a few people and let it all filter out. I've done the same with writing. I know that some people might feel a little bit hurt, but I just find it difficult to talk about myself. Part of being a natural introvert, I suppose.

Anyone else have the same kind of issues?

Wednesday 25 January 2012

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award - And Why It's Great For Aspiring Authors

It's that time of year again! The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The competition takes 10,000 entries in two categories - young adult and general fiction. Over a few rounds they whittle down the entries to pick one in each category.

The first stage is based on a pitch that you write for your book. This simulates a reader browsing in a book store, the pitch is like your back jacket copy. The second round is based on your first chapter, and the third on your book as a whole.

Five reasons why it's great for aspiring writers:

1: It's free. Most contests aren't, so this is a big plus in its favour. If you have a completed novel, you've nothing to lose. (You can enter self-published novels, but not book that have been traditionally published)

2: It helps you learn how to market your book. You can get help writing and polishing your pitch from other writers on the ABNA forum. Even if you don't win, you can use this to write your query letter to agents and publishers.

3: If you progress beyond the pitch stage you get relatively impartial feedback on your writing.

4: You get to know lots of people on the forums. There's great camaraderie in the writing community, which makes a mostly solitary occupation a little less lonely.

5: There's always the chance you could win, and get a publishing deal with Penguin worth at least $15,000. Not to shabby...

What have you got to lose?

Monday 23 January 2012

Out of Office - Back on Wednesday

Hi all,

Sorry that I haven't been online. Polly Pocket is leaving tomorrow, and we're finding it more difficult than we thought. I don't want to moan about it, yet can't thing of a topic for an upbeat post. So I'm going to leave it until Wednesday.

Thanks guys x