Top Tips for Writing

Here's tips I've gathered over time from other writers and have found useful. They may offer a nugget of help to you too. 1.Write every day. Something, anything! Especially when you don't know what to write, or you're not feeling it. Some days are easier than others when words will flow, the jigsaw fits together and you haven't lost the plot (pun intended). Hey presto, you have a satisfying piece of prose before you! Congratulate yourself, for on other days it can be a struggle of monumental proportions. If you could see me at those times, I'm as likely to be gazing out the window over at the hill opposite, wondering how the cows stay upright and don't roll over, as they chew the grass, mea

In case you missed it!

Here's what happened in April! Welcome to my website and blog! What took you so long? Baby Be Mine: Sowing the Seeds No, I've never met my characters in real life, or have I? The Chapel micro pub and Bookshop in Broadstairs, Kent! Find somewhere calm! Rose McGinty's book launch for her debut novel, Electric Souk Plus, interview with Simon Barber who is writing his debut novel, Man in the Television. My current reads for March /April with book reviews My (current) favourite reads

Find somewhere calm....

One of the best places for me to mull over a plot point or character, or just simply to clear my head, is to head to Shorne country park. There's nothing quite like fresh air and greenery to blow the cobwebs and search for those eureka moments in unknotting a problem or two in the plot. I use this local country park to run (I use the term loosely, but hey I'm moving), or to take a brisk walk. Stopping to say hello to friendly dogs and their owners. Or see the many mothers and their toddlers in search of ducks or maybe the swings (they have a lovely children's park here too). Concentrating on my work in hand, it wouldn't be the first time I've got funny looks for talking out-loud to myself a

No, I've never met my characters in real life, or have I?

I 've been asked a lot about my characters and where do they come? Contrary to popular belief, they are not based on anyone I know. They are not so and so from such and such department. Or, didn't he used to work at blah blah blah? No! A fellow writer once asked, "did I actually know Soots?" Soots being one of my main characters in Baby Be Mine. The writer had said that Soots was written in such a way that I surely must have known her. I take that as a great compliment. Getting characters right can be tough. I have to live and breathe them for a long while in my head. Like little movie reels. So that I can hear their voice and know what they are going to say or how they are going to act and

Baby Be Mine: Sowing the Seeds

Back in the day, working as a health visitor, when you were able to develop long term relationships with women and their families, it was a real privilege to be invited into their homes to share in their lives and of their children until they started school. Not everyone wanted you to visit of course, and parents (invariably mothers) could spend inordinate amount of time avoiding you, or telling you where to go in no uncertain terms. The irony being that these were the very families that really did need your attention! Nevertheless, women shared their ups and downs in raising their children, and building relationships (or otherwise) with their partners, and significant others. Family life w

The Chapel micro pub and bookshop

I recently spent a lovely day catching up with my good friend, Sue, in Broadstairs on the Kent coast. Broadstairs is an unspoilt, quintessential seaside town that is lively and vibrant, attracting many families to the beautiful town and sandy beach. It was a gorgeous sunny day as we walked by the beach, even with the stiff sea breeze. There were even brave wetsuited surfers catching the waves! In the picture below, the building at top left (brown brick, white window frames), is Bleak House. Overlooking Viking Bay, it's where Charles Dickens used to stay for summer holidays, in what was then known as Fort House. It's long been disputed as to whether this building was the inspiration for his n

Rose McGinty's Book Launch!

Recently I had the great pleasure of attending my friend Rose McGinty's book launch at The Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse London. Electric Souk is based on Rose's experiences of working in the middle east. It was wonderful and fun to see her success celebrated, and to catch up with mutual friends. Look out for an interview with Rose coming soon. See also: books / current reads.

What took you so long?

I have Mr Hayward, my English teacher at senior school, to thank for putting me on the road to writing, even if I have taken somewhat of a detour. I loved english and creative writing and he inspired and encouraged me to continue this into adult life. My career advisor teacher had other ideas. I didn't actually say I wanted to be a writer as even to my fourteen year old ears it sounded pretentious. A journalist, perhaps on a music paper, is what I had in mind (music being my other passion). I remember that teacher, she didn't give me a second glance, head bowed at her desk as she shuffled papers. I had a clear view of her wide grey parting. She said, "with your predicted grades it's nursing

What to look out for!

Under 'Blog' - I'll be sharing my journey writing Baby Be Mine, and all things writerly (is that a word)? Look out for - my weekly blogs Under 'Interview' You'll find occasional conversations with fellow writers. The first interview is with Simon Barber, Faber Academy alumna, where we discuss the joys and frustrations of being unpublished writers, top tips and favourite books. Simon is writing an interesting novel, The Man in The Television. The part of his book that I've read is truly weird (in a good way), spooky and gothic. Watch this space! Look out for - upcoming interview with Rose McGinty, author of Electric Souk. Under Book's I'll share the books I'm currently reading. Chosen at ra

Hello and welcome to my Blog!

I'm naturally shy (outgoing in the right circumstances)! Not usually given to over sharing, even though I'm on Twitter and Facebook, so it seems slightly strange that I'm here typing out a blog! Like many writers I'm as yet unpublished but that hasn't stopped me dreaming of doing so. Writing a novel has been a journey full of ups and downs, a rollercoaster in fact (thats two writer cliches for you)! Writing is hard work, although very different from my career in the NHS for, well quite a few years, but hard work nevertheless. Having said that, there is a real pleasure to putting 'pen to paper' and crafting a story, watching how the characters develop as they drive the story along. More abou

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