Funny old business launching a book

First you have an idea, then you think it through, conjure up characters or sometimes try to stop them yammering at you, then you imagine a setting and stir all together into a really sticky problem.

Several months later or sometimes a year later, out comes a typed manuscript. If you’ve […]

Not a whinge about author income. Ah, wait...

The cheesed off look

If you go through the mainstream system, your agent will sell your book to a publisher (or you may sell it direct). You get an advance of anticipated earnings on the books, then after that amount is ‘earned out’, you start getting royalties.

But apart from the ‘big cheese’ authors, […]

Are conferences good for you?

With critique writing partner Denise Barnes (Photo: Anna Belfrage)

Spring and summer are the conference seasons and can sometimes create quite a hectic schedule; I’m on and off planes all the time with a few days in between. And then you squeeze a holiday in somewhere. The airports seem to blur together after a […]

Throwing a sickie

And breathe…! Or not.

Well, I’ve been having some difficulty doing this over the past fortnight. I flew home from the highly energising Dublin Writers’ Conference with a raging sore throat and feeling like a superannuated wet dishcloth. The tiredness could have been due to the conference (it was fairly intense), but the sore throat […]

Being boringly inclusive 

Lionel Shriver is opinionated. She got into a lot of trouble in some quarters for criticising the ‘idolisation of diversity’. Mary Beard is similarly opinionated (but has an endearing smile); however, she tries to be balanced. Owen Jones is opinionated – just listen to any debate he takes part in. Diane Abbott raises hackles with […]