WRITING

Lena Manta and Her World of Storytelling

Lena Manta and Her World of Storytelling

It was 2007 when my fourth novel, The House by the River, was published. No one, not even I, could have imagined how many thousands of readers this meandering river would touch, how many people it would wash away in its path, how many would come to love it and hold it so close in […]

November 14, 2017 | By | Reply More
Sex and Horror in Gothic fiction

Sex and Horror in Gothic fiction

A good ‘scare’ is a wonderful aphrodisiac. Horror prickles our skin, and works icy fingers through our blood. It demands a visceral reaction. How delicious is the sensation of fear: an echo of carnal delight. It’s hard to say where pain ends and pleasure begins in Gothic fiction, in those dangerous undercurrents, on the razor […]

November 14, 2017 | By | Reply More
Reinventing the Classics: Shakespeare Now!

Reinventing the Classics: Shakespeare Now!

The historian Yuval Noah Harari argues that large numbers of strangers only co-operate by a belief in common myths perpetuated in our folk stories and accepted by our religions. These infiltrate into literature and with time, become our guidelines. Though the worlds they describe might be different, they provide a torch for solving present day […]

November 13, 2017 | By | Reply More

HOW TOs and TIPS

My Writing Process (or Lack of One!)

My Writing Process (or Lack of One!)

I always feel a bit guilty when people ask me about my writing ‘process’. It’s the same when people ask me about Game of Thrones. Confession: I don’t really have one and I’ve never watched a single episode (sorry GOT fans!). Basically, I just sit down somewhere – anywhere – and write. I don’t even […]

November 20, 2017 | By | Reply More
Writing and NIA

Writing and NIA

I had not consciously connected Nia—a holistic movement practice—with my work as a novelist until Women Writers asked me how Nia inspires my writing. Once I really started thinking about it, I realized that I can credit my Nia practice with helping me both develop and take great joy in my writing. First off, what […]

November 18, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Working with a Critique Group can Improve your Manuscripts

How Working with a Critique Group can Improve your Manuscripts

I wrote my first four novels without any outside input up to the point when I sent the second draft to a small group of pre-readers, made more changes and then on to my editor. Then I moved home from London to the English south coast and started work on novel number five, which became […]

November 17, 2017 | By | Reply More

AGENTS

Q&A with  Laura Bradford, Literary Agent

Q&A with Laura Bradford, Literary Agent

The Bradford Literary Agency is a boutique agency which offers a full range of representation services to authors who are both published and pre-published. Our mission at the Bradford Literary Agency is to form true partnerships with our clients and build long-term relationships that extend from writing the first draft through the length of the […]

November 7, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Sarah Landis, Literary Agent Sterling Lord Literistic

Q&A with Sarah Landis, Literary Agent Sterling Lord Literistic

Before joining Sterling Lord Literistic in 2017, Sarah worked as an editor for fifteen years, holding roles at G.P. Putnam Son’s, Hyperion Books, HarperCollins Children’s Books, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Over the course of her career, Sarah has had the pleasure of editing many talented authors including the likes of: Jodi […]

October 29, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Literary Agent Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Q&A with Literary Agent Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Patricia Nelson joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. She represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively building her list. In general, Patricia looks for stories that hook her with a unique plot, fantastic writing and complex characters that jump off the page. On the adult side, she is seeking women’s […]

March 22, 2017 | By | Reply More

MARKETING AND PUBLISHING

Social Media: To Share Or Not To Share?

Social Media: To Share Or Not To Share?

In this golden age of social media, I still find it a bit of a novelty that I can tweet my favourite author.  Even more so on the occasions when they tweet me back! Having this kind of direct access to an author would have been unimaginable just 20 years ago.  Back in the old […]

July 4, 2017 | By | 14 Replies More
Covering Your Assets

Covering Your Assets

  When you browse around in a bookshop or on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or wherever – what is the first thing you look for when choosing your next book? The author’s name? The amount of stars it has from reviewers? The book’s description? Or is it the book cover? I admit to often […]

May 26, 2017 | By | Reply More
How to Build a Better Book Launch

How to Build a Better Book Launch

You have worked your heart out to write your book, sweated, been anxious, revised, revised, revised, researched, then sweated some more, revised again, copy edited, argued with designers over the book cover and at long, long last…you have a finished book. Congratulations! Now, how to give it a coming out party, to help it debut […]

SHORT STORIES

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s Why: Short fiction by Anne Leigh Parrish

Here’s why. You slump, shrink, curl down in your seat, never stand up straight. As if an arrow might pick you off. Not an arrow, a bullet. Not a bullet, a blow. Not a blow, words. Not words, looks. Here’s why. You’re a freak. Four inches in one year? Your father’s colleague says he keeps […]

May 20, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

Short Fiction: The Gingerbread Man by Judy Pollard Smith

“Where are you off to? “ Sally had asked me. I felt a bit guilty I must admit. I was supposed to be home boning up for my job interview in the morning. I really wanted the job at Kelly and Hart Publishing and I don’t know where my head was when I agreed to […]

February 26, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

Short Fiction: A Sliver of Ivory by Vanessa Lafaye

He wanted you to have this. It was written with exaggerated clarity on a scrap of paper, as if the author was unsure of the reader’s grasp of English. The torn paper, rather than a proper card, another signal from the sender. It was signed Elaine, with a rounded, buxom capital E. On the padded […]

January 19, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More

INTERVIEWS

Q&A with Lydia Kang

Q&A with Lydia Kang

Lydia Kang is an author of adult and young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve […]

October 5, 2017 | By | Reply More
Q&A with Jardine Libaire

Q&A with Jardine Libaire

Jardine Libaire’s searing second novel WHITE FUR (Hogarth, May 2017), a postmodern Romeo and Juliet is charged with grit, lust, sex, fury, temptation, and desperation. (More below. The interviewer is chomping at the bit to spill it all here, but let’s get to some questions for Jardine first.) Jardine also collaborated on the book GRAVITY […]

September 24, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More
Q&A with Kathleen Barber

Q&A with Kathleen Barber

Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. A registered yoga teacher and incurable wanderer, when Kathleen isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling the world with her husband. Her debut thriller […]

September 14, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More

Recent Essays

Five Things you Should Never Say to Authors

Five Things you Should Never Say to Authors

Since my debut YA novel came out I’ve learned a lot about publishing, marketing, and the importance of writing the next book. Another thing I’ve learned is that as an author there are certain statements and questions I hate getting. In general, I think people mean well or they just aren’t thinking at all, but […]

November 16, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Should You Write What You Know?

Should You Write What You Know?

I’ve never written about what I really know. As a journalist, I didn’t know what it was like to be held hostage, or to be homeless, but I wrote about those subjects anyway. I wrote of happier things too – a woman who gave birth to twins after seven rounds of IVF, a weird form […]

November 16, 2017 | By | Reply More
Writing the Book You Want to Write – Without Barriers

Writing the Book You Want to Write – Without Barriers

You have had one of your brilliant ideas for a novel. It is shaking you by the tail and won’t let go. You’re excited, energised. ‘But is it commercial?’ you ask yourself. ‘Is it what agents and editors are looking for at the moment? Can you imagine the marketing? There are plenty of soul-searching questions […]

November 12, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Rethinking Structure

Rethinking Structure

In the light of the recent sexual misconduct cases, I have been questioning again the way that we tell story. The hero’s journey, taught on so many creative writing MFAs the world over, is still our go to method for structuring our story. It is either an inward journey or an outward one. We walk […]

November 11, 2017 | By | Reply More
Writing And Bad Habits

Writing And Bad Habits

My Twitter biography reads “seriously trying to avoid caffeine and adverbs; succeeding in neither”. Over the years I’ve tried most tactics to motivate and fuel myself to write. Back in 2005, when I was writing the first draft of what became my coming-of-age novel What a Way to Go, I went on a one-week writing […]

November 10, 2017 | By | Reply More
And Still I Write

And Still I Write

In the early spring of 2013, my husband and I left our careers in Seattle to move to a remote peninsula in the northwest reaches of the state. It’s the place where we’d intended to retire someday, but we had another twenty years of work ahead of us. After crisscrossing the country and oceans to […]

November 8, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More