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 …

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 …

I’m no good at waiting

I’m doing a terrible job of distracting myself, so I don’t focus on the fact that someone at this very moment is holding my manuscript. I’m not naive enough to think they will be reading it any time soon, just knowing they have it is nerve wrecking enough. Here are …

Cocktail Agent Party

YOU ARE INVITED said the notice, to a cocktail party thrown by an important literary agency who (if you’re lucky) will one day want to recruit you. Stop by, schmooze, mingle. Be prepared to describe yourself and your breakthrough novel in five fabulous words or less. Be there, be square. …