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6 of the best charming and sympathetic literary villains

It’s almost the end of June already and time for this month’s authors’ Round Robin. I’ve based my post on a topic set by author Dr Bob Rich. Something that comes up quite often when I’m editing for other writers is whether characters are ‘likeable’. In many ways it’s easier to write a villain, because…… Continue reading 6 of the best charming and sympathetic literary villains

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Are you a racist writer? On the difficulty of recognising our own prejudices…

I’m a member of three writers’ bodies in the UK – the Society of Authors, the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders. I’ve been to numerous writers’ conferences and pitched to more literary agents than I can remember. From my experience, the world of publishing in the UK is predominantly…… Continue reading Are you a racist writer? On the difficulty of recognising our own prejudices…

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Celebrating some exciting news with a paperback #bookgiveaway!

I have some exciting news today, and news of a book giveaway below… If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have heard me mention Miss Moonshine, the mysterious and redoubtable owner of a magical emporium in Haven Bridge, a fictional town in the north of England. For those who don’t know…… Continue reading Celebrating some exciting news with a paperback #bookgiveaway!

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Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

In my work as a fiction editor I often give writers the same piece of advice: focus, focus, focus on your core story. There, I said ‘focus’ three times. And here’s an image of someone focusing, too. That’s how important I think it is! What do I mean by ‘focus on the story’? Well, a…… Continue reading Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

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What draws you into a story? How to create a great opening #amwriting

It’s March 2020, and time for one of our authors’ Round Robins. When author Rhobin Courtright set this topic a few weeks ago, we didn’t know then that we’d be plunged now into the middle of a pandemic such as the world hasn’t seen. The world is suddenly a very different place. Human beings carry…… Continue reading What draws you into a story? How to create a great opening #amwriting

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Romantic passages from The Book Lovers, by Leon Garfield #RNA60

When I was a teenager, I loved Leon Garfield’s books, and I still do. It’s very sad to see that a lot of them are out of print now – titles such as the fabulous The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris, and the sequel to it, Bostock and Harris. (My older sister queued up to…… Continue reading Romantic passages from The Book Lovers, by Leon Garfield #RNA60

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5 library books I’m looking forward to reading in #RomanceReadingMonth

This year the Romantic Novelists’ Association celebrates its 60th (Diamond) Anniversary, and I’m looking forward to sharing in a year-long round of festivities. Our recent RNA newsletter says: ‘The RNA’s mission was to demand respect for and celebrate romantic fiction and here we are, sixty years later, doing just that.’ To kick-start the celebrations, the…… Continue reading 5 library books I’m looking forward to reading in #RomanceReadingMonth

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Contemporary romance and love stories in the age of instant messaging

How can contemporary fiction cope with the rapid changes of today’s world? This is the topic of this month’s authors’ Round Robin, set by author Dr Bob Rich. Since I write romance, I’ve taken the liberty of adapting Bob’s topic a little: how can contemporary romance writers cope with rapid changes and incorporate new technology…… Continue reading Contemporary romance and love stories in the age of instant messaging

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‘Fallen in Love’: a heartwarming story for Christmas

It will soon be Christmas. Time to forget the shopping and the eating and the (sometimes) stressful gatherings. This is the season of hope and goodwill. Many years ago two of my friends had a long falling out and were reconciled on Christmas Eve. It was one of my best Christmases ever, and a small…… Continue reading ‘Fallen in Love’: a heartwarming story for Christmas

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Do you have a story to tell? Author J.Q. Rose shares advice and tips on writing your memoir

One of my most treasured possessions is a type-written account by my granddad of how he saw in New Year 1900 as a child. My great-grandfather lifted him aloft onto his shoulders and they walked through the streets of Dublin, where the bells were ringing. It’s a simple story, but one that’s poignant and brings…… Continue reading Do you have a story to tell? Author J.Q. Rose shares advice and tips on writing your memoir