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The symbolism of the seasons in literature, with four brilliant examples

Spring is my favourite season, and this month we have the perfect topic to discuss in our authors’ Round Robin; Does the season ever play a part in your setting? How do you think seasons affect setting and plot, either physically or metaphorically? The seasons definitely play a part in my own novels, but before…… Continue reading The symbolism of the seasons in literature, with four brilliant examples

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A history of the Orient Express and A Tale of Two Sisters, by Merryn Allingham @canelo @merrywrites

It’s a great pleasure to welcome author Merryn Allingham today. Merryn is a fellow member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and I was excited to find her latest book features a trip on the Orient Express. I love travelling by rail around Europe and this is a journey I’ve always wanted to do. Merryn is…… Continue reading A history of the Orient Express and A Tale of Two Sisters, by Merryn Allingham @canelo @merrywrites

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7 tips for self-editing your book

It’s time for this month’s authors’ Round Robin, and author Robin Courtright has set us another excellent topic… How do you self-edit your books before submitting or publishing? When I wrote my first novel I knew very little about the editing process. In my naivety, I thought editing involved checking for spelling mistakes and picking…… Continue reading 7 tips for self-editing your book

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How to make a living from writing: some useful tips from the London Book Fair #lbf

My first ever visit to the London Book Fair was an inspiring and thought-provoking day. One of the talks at Author HQ was on how writers can boost their earnings. The room was packed, indicating that this is a hot topic for many! Most authors earn less than a living wage from their books alone,…… Continue reading How to make a living from writing: some useful tips from the London Book Fair #lbf

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#Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters

When I’m editing fiction and making notes in the margins of a manuscript, there are a couple of comments I make more often than any others. One of them is ‘show, don’t tell’, and another is ‘focus on the story’. What’s my book about? A piece of advice I often give to writers is to…… Continue reading #Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters

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Mystery, superstition and romance in the novel In the Mouth of the Wolf

Today is release day for my novel In the Mouth of the Wolf – hooray! The book is a re-release of A Year of Light and Shadows, with a fresh new cover that I love. I decided to change the title, too, to reflect the fact that one of the big themes of the story…… Continue reading Mystery, superstition and romance in the novel In the Mouth of the Wolf

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Developing secondary characters, and some classic secondary characters from film and literature

A belated happy New Year – and apologies for the gap in blog posts for a whole month. First there was Christmas, then a virus and then moving house. I’m really glad to be back on track, and ready for the first authors’ Round Robin of the year! And this month the topic is ……… Continue reading Developing secondary characters, and some classic secondary characters from film and literature