Characters in setting

Rounded, multi-layered characters are essential if you want people to be engaged in your story. Reading is an emotional trip and we want to gasp, shiver, feel rolls of warmth, resentment, sympathy, fear, loss, and triumph as we turn the pages.

Superwomen are fine in some contexts – we like a bit of pushing over […]

Historical mystery novelist Susan Grossey says 'knickers'

Today’s guest is Susan Grossey, the inventor of Constable Sam Plank, one of my favourite law enforcers. “I have been in love with words ever since I realised, at age three, that those squiggles on the page actually meant something,” she says. Susan edited the school newspaper and managed to do lots more reading and […]

10 reasons why a book is a good read?

Yep, it’s an old question, but a good one. Choosing and enjoying a book is very personal and each reader’s view is subjective. This is why reviews of any one book can vary so much! But here’s my personal take on what makes a good read for me (YMMV).

A well-paced story, with a […]

Calm down, dear, it's only a novel!

Today I’m delighted to welcome writing friend Carol Cooper to the blog. She’s an author, family doctor, and medical journalist. After a string of health books, she turned to writing fiction. Her novel Hampstead Fever featured in a prestigious front-of-store promo in WH Smith travel bookstores. Carol lives in Hampstead and Cambridge and is working […]

Five quick and dirty writing tips

Writing friend Keith Dixon asked me in one of those round robins on Facebook to share five writing tips, but without copying his (curses!).

After nine, soon to be ten, books you’d think it would be easy, but the problem is that over that time, I’ve gathered a jumble of writing dos and don’ts. It […]