Killer Women

Killer Women

Your hot ticket to crime writing’s coolest weekend: Unmissable masterclasses, sharp-shooting workshops, hard-hitting pitching sessions, all with the very best in the business. Book now and be the Next Big Thing Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October, 2017 Browns, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4AG

Interesting Links

Discover the dish that hijacked Queen Victoria!

I put this literary misquotations quiz on my Facebook page and got a lot of fun comments so here it is again. Can you get the wrong lines right? As a big fan of Game of Thrones, I found this really interesting: Drama Queens – why it’s all about women and power on screen right now We have all bad eating days – even Queen Victoria fell foul of Chicken Curry!

A Writer Writes

Feeling ‘drafty’: the highs and lows of editing!

What I love about editing As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the first draft of my book was sent off and I was awaiting the response. When it came, it was largely good – at least my agent and editor loved the story, the twists and the structure. But as is often the case (with me, if not with any other writer) there were parts of the novel that seemed as clear as day to me, but not to those reading it! Back came the comments, some so good I wanted to do a little jig around the room, others less favourable. And that’s when it becomes important that, as a writer, I love my job – because each of the comments should be seen as an opportunity to make the book better, to improve the narrative or strengthen the personality of a character. I want readers to have

A Writer Reads

A Writer Reads for August

I only have a couple of books to talk about this month, mainly because I’ve been moving house and haven’t had as much time to read as I would like. But the two I have read have been amazing! The book club of which I am a member comprises a group of women with very different tastes in reading. Some prefer literary novels, some more commercial fiction and it does end up providing opportunities to read a wide variety of novels. This month, the selection was commercial fiction in the form of the wonderful Marian Keyes. I thought I had read all of her books, but this one seems to have passed me by. The second book that I thoroughly enjoyed was by Erin Kelly, who writes so well. This book has done well in the charts recently and has some amazing reviews. These are books that I’ve enjoyed – but

Dying to Write

The shopping list to die for!

Once again I have been inundated with entries for The Perfect Postcard competition! It’s great that so many of you are putting pen to paper and letting your imagination take you to all the weird and wonderful places outlined in your two-sentence trips! As always it was hard to choose an outright winner but I’ve opted for Barbara Lawther with this intriguing scenario: Exhausted, chilled to my bones. Heavy bags now empty. Dreams fulfilled for another year. Sorry to say I won’t see you again – now that you don’t believe. Love, Santa Well done Barbara – I wonder will you and all the other hopefuls write more? To that end, this month’s challenge is to write a deadly shopping list with no more than FOUR items under your catchy title. Follow this example and ENJOY: Example shopping list. Pete’s surprise birthday party Sausages Cyanide Bedroom Slippers Dog biscuits. Send

Sleep Tight

Sleep Tight for iBooks and Kobo

For some time now, my books have been available exclusively on Amazon – but I’ve had many requests for other versions so I have now made Sleep Tight – my third novel – available on other formats. I’m excited to see what happens, so if you have friends that don’t read on paperback or Kindle, please do spread the word. To buy on Kobo or iBooks, click here  


A Writer Writes

It’s easy to think that a writer’s life is at the very least a romantic one. Perhaps we all sit in our plush leather chairs behind our grand desks and wile away the hours tapping effortlessly on our Macs? Sadly, the reality is much closer to TOO MUCH reality! I work from 8am until 8pm every day of the week, breaking only when I travel for literary events and festivals where I am also working. It’s hard and frustrating and tiring and like most writers I wouldn’t change a thing! In this new-look newsletter I am going to note some of my highs and lows to let you see how tough being a self-employed scribe is. For example, this month I have had endless technical problems with my email and I have wasted hundreds of lost hours trying to solve them. Sometimes it’s soul-destroying and I have to remind myself that


A day in the life of author – Maggie James

Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels. The first draft of her first novel, entitled His Kidnapper’s Shoes, was written whilst travelling in Bolivia. Maggie was inspired by an impending milestone birthday along with a healthy dose of annoyance at having procrastinated for so long in writing a novel. His Kidnapper’s Shoes was published in both paperback and e-book format in 2013, followed by her second novel, entitled Sister, Psychopath. Her third novel, Guilty Innocence, has now been published, and like her first two, features her home city of Bristol. She is currently editing her fourth novel, The Second Captive.


“A Paroxysm of Nausea”- author Tim Adler tells us why he writes

 “…just as a paroxysm of nausea swept over him,” I finished, looking up from my exercise book. My schoolmates looked bored, and somebody flicked a chewed-over paper ball at me. Paroxysm. Not a word you hear used much in everyday language, but I’d read it somewhere and decided to shoehorn it that week’s chapter. My English teacher was thrilled though. Every Saturday I was persuaded to stand in front of my class and read the latest instalment of a serial adventure I was writing. One month it was Doctor Who, another it was my version of a James Bond yarn. No sex, just gadgets. Not that I needed any persuading. I loved storytelling. Being an only child, a lot of my time was spent drawing comics and poring over books while my idea of heaven was taking the bus to the local library and just trailing my hand along the

First novel – top ten tips

John Mountford has been a keen commentator on this blog for many months. Has has just published his first novel, and I asked him to share some tips about his experience with us all.  I have just Amazon-published my first novel, KILL MANDELA, two years and ten months after writing the first word. Despite the plethora of help for new authors on the web, I took my fair share of wrong turns along the way. And so I decided to give something back by adding my bit to that vast pool of self-publishing help – and where better than the blog of one of the most helpful writers in the business, Rachel Abbott. A quick disclaimer: these tips are from my personal experience, and may not perfectly match your circumstances. Nonetheless, I stand by them.