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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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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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The tragic life of the Brontë sisters, and new photos of the parsonage at Haworth

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know I live in West Yorkshire, not far from Haworth and the home of the Brontë sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. I’ve visited the Brontë parsonage many times. Every time I discover something new, and I always come away with another perspective on this extraordinary family. With each…… Continue reading The tragic life of the Brontë sisters, and new photos of the parsonage at Haworth

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Old and new – 13 brilliant books set in Yorkshire in the north of England

The landscape and people of Yorkshire have inspired writers for hundreds of years. With its rich history and incredible variety, it’s no surprise the county has produced such a wealth of great literature. I’ve written a few articles about books inspired by or set in Yorkshire over the years, but with brilliant new books coming…… Continue reading Old and new – 13 brilliant books set in Yorkshire in the north of England

romance · writers

Why romance writers are “frittering their talents away” writing a predictable genre

Earlier this week an author colleague posted a link to a review of her latest novel. The reviewer was highly complimentary regarding the author’s writing skill, but he expressed deep disappointment that a writer of her ability was “frittering away her talents in a genre that didn’t deserve them” – ie romance novels. Boy meets girl, boy…… Continue reading Why romance writers are “frittering their talents away” writing a predictable genre

books · novels · Uncategorized

From Wuthering Heights to The Secret Garden: Literature inspired by Yorkshire in the north of England

I’m part of an excellent Book Club on Facebook, whose members organise actual meetings – not just in the virtual world, but in real life! This weekend many of the members will be meeting in Leeds, in my home county of Yorkshire, to talk about books. It sounds a brilliant day out, but sadly, I…… Continue reading From Wuthering Heights to The Secret Garden: Literature inspired by Yorkshire in the north of England

books · novels · writers

Literature inspired by the Yorkshire moors

Earlier this week I listened to an Open Book programme on BBC Radio 4. It was an episode called Literary Landscapes: Ross Raisin and Yorkshire. The episode was billed as “a ramble through northern moorland and the works inspired by it”. Since this is exactly where I live, you can imagine how excited I was…… Continue reading Literature inspired by the Yorkshire moors