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Showing posts from May, 2011

Piles of patience required

After I got my feedback back from Lovely Agent, regarding novel 2, I re-read my manuscript for the first time since submitting it; about 3 months.  And oh boy - it read embarrassingly like a first draft. 
Even though at the time I was convinced it was as good as it could be, it would have benefitted from being thrust under a cushion for a while and a complete rewrite, because things leapt out of the pages, even without the feedback.

A couple of gaping plot holes, a fairly unlikeable main character, and WAY too many repetitions of the word 'heap' for a start. As in 'heaps of fun' and 'piled into a heap' and 'a heap of toast'.  What is it with me and the word 'heap'?  I wasn't even aware I liked the word, and I certainly can't stand it now.

I think at the time I was too keen to get it sent out, worried the agent might think I wasn't up to the task of completing another novel if I messed around for too long - but with hindsight I should…

Guest Post by Alison Pick

I'm delighted to introduce author, Alison Pick, to my blog.  Alison is the author of acclaimed new novel Far to Go, a beautifully written account of a Jewish family living in Czechoslovakia just before World War II, whose existence is threatened with the arrival of German forces. 
I'll be posting a full review of the novel next week, but in the meantime Alison tells us about one of her favourite books ...




To ask a writer about her favourite book is like asking Old Mother Hubbard which of her many children she prefers. Which is to say, there is no single answer, or the answer changes from moment to moment, day to day. Still, though, it’s something I love to ask other people, with the understanding that tomorrow the answer will be different.

So. At the moment, the book I love the most, the one that is keeping me up at night, is called ‘Everything I Ate: A Year in the Life of my Mouth.’ It is a fairly straight-forward concept book in which the author, a photographer, took a pictur…

Murder in the aisles

I've been in Tesco's a lot lately. Not shopping. That's waaaaaay too boring.

No instead, I've given up a child for adoption, had a couple of affairs, abseiled down a mountain, murdered a woman on a cruise ship, talked a man out of killing himself, joined a mother and toddler group and made a scarecrow.

Okay, not literally. I've been hunched over my netbook in the cafe there, writing stories, fuelled by tea and cake. It's become an addiction. (Not the cake - that was already an addiction.)

In spite of the noise I seem much more focused than at home, where a starling darting past the window can distract me into cutting the grass, or a hint of cobweb can lure me into hoovering the curtains. Or opening an email can lead to hours on the interweb, laughing manically at a moonwalking hamster on You Tube.

I think the staff are puzzled. They slip round corner where I sit out of sight and sneak looks at me while wiping down tables. I make sure I buy a cauliflower or a…