authors · editing · Favourite writers · work-in-progress

Opening Up and Closing Down Your Writing

It’s been a good summer for reading. Three books have particularly captivated me, all American as it happens: Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett, Modern Lovers by Emma Straub and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. Each has brought me great pleasure and offered insights into my own work. Commonwealth is the story of two families blended… Continue reading Opening Up and Closing Down Your Writing

Bookbybook · meet the author

bookbybook 07: Mavis Cheek

Imagine being told your first novel wasn’t a first novel after all? Mind you, given the extraordinary range of Mavis Cheek’s incredibly popular novels, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that she defied categories from the start. In interviews, she is frank with her own autobiography and  fearless in using parts of it in her fiction. But… Continue reading bookbybook 07: Mavis Cheek

authors · Bookbybook · meet the author

bookbybook 06: D.J. Taylor

When I conceived the idea for these bookbybook interviews, D. J. Taylor was one of the first people I wanted to ask. He has published novels, story collections, histories and biographies – all of which stand alone, but have influenced each other. If you mapped his 30-year career you would have a pleasing diagram of… Continue reading bookbybook 06: D.J. Taylor

authors · editing · Independent publishing · work-in-progress · writing life

Standing On Top of Your Manuscript

In my editing life, I’ve been using track changes a lot. I’m all for it. It’s efficient – no waiting for manuscripts to thump through the letterbox (or having to collect them, mysteriously shredded, from the post office); no expense of high-level security postage, lest it gets mislaid en route. It’s great for culling repetitions… Continue reading Standing On Top of Your Manuscript

authors · Bookbybook · children's books · Uncategorized

bookbybook 05: Sophie Masson

I wrote a little about Sophie when I linked to her interview with me on this blog, but you could never run out of things to say about her passion for good books and commitment to building a successful, respected writing life. Given Sophie’s eloquence and generosity, it seems best just to let her speak,… Continue reading bookbybook 05: Sophie Masson

editing · work-in-progress · writing life

On Letting Ideas Have Their Way

So, I’ve started some new writing. You might remember I hold to Joan Aiken’s adage to ‘be mean with your ideas’. But I’m not sure I’m in control after all. I had one idea – a phrase, really; a question – that arose from nowhere but conjured both the world of Minna and Jeff in… Continue reading On Letting Ideas Have Their Way

authors · Bookbybook · meet the author

bookbybook 04: Laurie Graham

I met the fabulous Laurie Graham through the wonderful writer Michelle Lovric. By that time, Laurie had published over a dozen novels. I realized I knew of her books, but hadn’t read them. How authors curse people like me. But I’ve remedied that now and urge you to read them, too. Alongside the steady stream… Continue reading bookbybook 04: Laurie Graham