I like art that is a frame. My preference is for paintings that go right up to the edge. I love reading novels that start in the middle of something. I like to imagine and hope beyond the end. The sense that there is more which extends from what we are being shown gives depth, interest, reality. Does this approach make for a satisfying ending … Continue reading Satisfying Reading: The Ending
There are four blogs which I make sure never to miss. It doesn’t matter how crazy my life gets, I make a mental note to read these four even if there are months in between readings. When thinking about this post, I realised that, while each is ostensibly about pursuing writing endeavours, the blogs have more than writing in common. They are honest. The writers … Continue reading Blogs I never miss
Chick Lit: Friend or Foe? I have been reflecting recently upon genre. The publishing industry says separating novels out into different sub-sections helps to sell books. Selling books is good; I know that. However, I can’t help but feel a little uncomfortable with the way novels by women are sub-categorised. The term Chick Lit has always bothered me. Perhaps this is because the word ‘Chick’ … Continue reading Chick Lit: Friend or Foe?
Everyone is different. What I think works in fiction might have some overlap with what you think works in fiction but, equally, we will have areas where we disagree. Imagine a beautiful Venn diagram. (Imagine it because I don’t know how to create one here.) I am here to suggest, like Jack Palance in City Slickers, that you find what works for you in the … Continue reading Writing Fiction: What Works For You?
Here are a list of the best books I read in 2017: Fractured – Catherine McKenzie Fry – Lorna Dounaeva (I also recommend The May Queen Killers, because that’s brilliant – but I read it last year, so I shouldn’t really include it here.) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Sparks Naïve Super – Erlend Loe The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin … Continue reading The Best Books of 2017
I love short stories. I always have, so I don’t understand why collections are deemed not to sell well. I buy them. Short stories are glimpses into worlds. They allow a sip of the extraordinary. They indulge suggestions of weirdness, surreal, supernatural in a way that might seem absurd in a novel. I grew up on Radio 4, which fed me a steady diet of … Continue reading Reading Short Stories
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. To celebrate, Blue Moon Publishers created an article, which you can read below. “I think of Women’s Fiction as being a handy label for work that is considered to appeal to women. It cuts across genre and style and, as such, can be impressively wide-ranging. I know a little something about being a woman, so my writing quite naturally gives … Continue reading What is women’s fiction?
Cambridge WordFest has been re-branded Cambridge Literary Festival, but it shall always be WordFest in my heart. WordFest has an earthy, funky feel, as though Ali Smith made it up. This morning, as part of CLF(Winter), I went to see Sarah Moss (Cold Earth, Bodies of Light, Signs For Lost Children) in conversation with Neel Mukherjee (Past Continuous, Lives Apart, The Lives of Others). I … Continue reading Sarah Moss and Neel Mukherjee