I need another holiday

Sometimes when you return from your travels, you are disappointed to find that nothing major has happened in your absence. This is not the case. After three blissful weeks of no internet I came home to discover the following: I wasn’t shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award. It went straight …

Agents are like dates (sort of)

I’m really going to have to do something to occupy my time. I’m making myself crazy sitting around the house, checking the phone periodically to see if it is working. I’m waiting for an agent to ring, you see. Waiting on an agent is like dating, says a writing friend. …

The dreaded synopsis

How do you write a decent query letter? I have been sitting at my desk for hours and every version I attempt sounds dreadful. The ‘hook’ is the most challenging thing to get right, proving almost as hard to write as the novel itself. I’ve seen some real gems that …

7 things writers won’t admit

I was watching a celebrity author being interviewed on television the other day and he came off as totally smug and dishonest. 1st his hair was too coifed. 2nd his answers were way too rehearsed, almost as if he’d memorised the questions. 3rd he wouldn’t stop talking about how his …

Mad. Crazy. Happy. Tired.

I finished today. I know I promised, but I’m too tired to do a dance of joy, a shake was all I could manage. It has been weeks of 6:00 AM starts, no lunches, and evenings in front of the computer. The last few days I’ve had to drag myself …

No more great writers left?

V S Naipaul had some harsh things to say about this year’s Hay on Wye Festival, calling it ‘meaningless and unimportant’. “Publishing has gone down in quality so much in recent years and the problem is that there is no literary life any more because there are quite simply no …

Reality Show for Writers II

Some time back, I blogged tongue-in-cheek about how cool it would be to have a reality show featuring desperate writers.¬†Well, it seems they already have something along those lines. Based on Canada’s mad novel writing contest, which makes Nano seem perfectly sane in comparison. The “3-Day Novel Contest” premiered live …

The Death of Print

At the end of the 20th century, critics were complaining that no one was reading anymore and that the novel was dead. JK Rowling had a lot to do with proving those critics wrong, almost single handidly resurrecting genre fiction, as every kid on the globe waited anxiously for the …

May Novel Update

Things are progressing nicely. I currently have 70,000 printed words marked up and finished on my desk. I’ve been obsessively line editing over the past week, carrying the pages with me everywhere, even to bed. I usually edit on screen. God knows I’ve saved a lot of trees. Especially with …

Writing, the new mental hospital?

Continuing with my Amazing Writer series, is this latest gem published in the Guardian about Hanif Kureishi (Buddah of Suburbia, My Beautiful Laundrette). “The writing courses, particularly when they have the word ‘creative’ in them, are the new mental hospitals. But the people are very nice.”  The article is interesting, …