After a gap of many months, I’ve been able to spend some time on my new book these past few weeks and at last feel as if I’ve returned to it in earnest. I thought about keeping a diary of its progress but instead I’m going to record key breakthroughs. Maybe they’ll chime with your… Continue reading Five Things About My New Book
Imagine measuring the year in terms of sales. You’d start with your brand-new hardback and its trade paperback editions for export or airside, the retailer specific exclusives, and the high-priced ebook. You’d add on the paperback of last year’s hardback, here and abroad. Then you’d include the relaunched backlist, all with a pound added on… Continue reading Where Are the Words?
It’s usually the case that when an agent or editor says ‘No’ to your work you hear the sound of a door closing. It’s not the end of the world. There are other doors to knock on. You need only one of them to be opened and to be welcomed inside. Occasionally, an editor or… Continue reading ‘Have You Got Anything Else?’
When I worked full-time in-house, I was very mindful of how I used my spare time for writing. I developed a system when I would write before work each morning, and then walk to the office, which took at least fifty minutes (in other jobs, living elsewhere, longer). I could close down thoughts about my… Continue reading Turning Up the Volume
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
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
I went to see a new play at the National Theatre, Sunset at the Villa Thalia by Alexi Kaye Campbell. It was a good night: an interesting play which had some potent things to say about politics and personal responsibility. It was well acted and staged. I liked a lot of things about it but… Continue reading Why I Wrote This Story