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How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

It’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robin posts, and this month we have another thought-provoking topic set by author Rhobin Courtright… ‘Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader. Do your stories ever have more subtle themes?’ When I first start a novel, I’m not consciously aware of what…… Continue reading How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

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Good to meet you…author Ruby Moone (@RubyMooneWriter)

I’m delighted to welcome author friend Ruby Moone to my blog today, on one of the hottest weeks of the year so far. We’re not used to these hot temperatures here in the north of England, but I’ve got us some chilled Vimto and some Fab ice lollies. Hopefully that will keep us cool as…… Continue reading Good to meet you…author Ruby Moone (@RubyMooneWriter)

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Happy Yorkshire Day! Celebrating with some photos and a novel set on the Yorkshire moors

August 1st is Yorkshire Day, so today I thought I’d share some photos and a post about my county. White roses, emblem of Yorkshire (Image by Wendy Priest from Pixabay) Many years ago I spent a week in a hostel in the middle of the Yorkshire moors with a group of teenagers from an industrial…… Continue reading Happy Yorkshire Day! Celebrating with some photos and a novel set on the Yorkshire moors

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How do you develop realistic characters who are different from yourself?

It’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robins, and this month the topic is… How do you develop a character who is different in personality from all the other characters you have developed, or from yourself? If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of Georgette Heyer and…… Continue reading How do you develop realistic characters who are different from yourself?

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Three tips for finding inner calm, with author Heather Brainerd (@HFBrainerd)

I’ve known American author Heather Brainerd ever since we had our first books published around the same time with the same publisher, and we’ve remained friends ever since. I hope to meet in real life some day. In the meantime, I’ve been lucky to get to know Heather as a guest on my blog before…… Continue reading Three tips for finding inner calm, with author Heather Brainerd (@HFBrainerd)

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Good to meet you…author Zoe May (@zoe_writes)

It’s been a while since I invited an author round for a chat, and so it’s a great pleasure to welcome author Zoe May today, to a blustery and showery Yorkshire. Hang your brolly up, Zoe, and I’ll make us a brew. Thanks for dropping in! Where do you live, Zoe? At the moment, I…… Continue reading Good to meet you…author Zoe May (@zoe_writes)

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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