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In Memory

Today would have been my father’s birthday – a once forgettable date, lost between Christmas and New Year which led to rather a meagre birthday present haul. I never forget it now. He died twenty years ago, a few months before his 58th birthday and I still miss him desperately. He was a painter who gave up […]

Living Narrative

Do you live in narrative? Are you someone who always has a little voice in her head interpreting, describing, novelising your daily life? If you have such a voice are you a) mad? b) possessed? or c) a novelist. I now think the most usual answer is c) but as a child I did worry that it […]

Write up and write downs

I wouldn’t say being a writer is an emotional roller coaster because 1) it’s a cliche and 2) neither flying pigs, wild horses nor any other improbable kind of animal incentive would get me to ride on one. I don’t like what roller coasters do to my guts and my inner ear, but I do like being […]

Five ways to do it

There are many ways of writing a novel . A brief poll established that of writers I know the top five locations for novel writing are 1. in an office or shed, (everybody’s doing it ) The great thing being that simply going there convinces everyone that you are working even though you might just be internet […]

Mythanthropy

I like myths: I depend on them. They are the source of much of what I write and the foundation of my writing. My personal myth is as necessary to me as the air that I breathe or the coffee that launches my writing day. My personal myth is that writing is easy, fun and unimportant. ‘You […]

Teaching Myself

What do you think of when you think of a creative writing tutor? I summon the figure of an older woman with wild hair and a ‘sensitive’ nature and come up with Margaret Rutherford’s medium in Blythe Spirit. I try again and produce Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney, in short, faced with the words ‘creative writing tutor’ I […]

Histrionics

I’ve always liked history – reading historical novels, studying it ( in moderation) and now writing it ( in slightly modified form.)I’m not a real historian – not remotely – and even when I studied it, I liked the ‘what if’ questions much more than the facts. I’m not that keen on facts to be honest. They are […]

A wolf in woman’s clothing

I am a wolf. This is somewhat inconvenient because wolves don’t cook or clean or shop for food. I also seem to be something of a stay-at-home, chocolate eating wolf, inclined to sleep a lot: a semi hibernating wolf who, lacking opposable thumbs, is pretty useless at living my life. I thought I was going to have […]

Defining Moment

It seems pretty obvious to me that a writer, writes. It isn’t very complicated you are a writer if you write and a fiction writer if you write fiction and a children’s fiction writer if you write children’s fiction. So far so good. But what if you are not actually writing – just talking about it? Can […]

Playing Devil’s Advocate

In an earlier blog post there was the suggestion was that one of the aims of education might be to encourage children to love reading. Now I believe passionately that every child should be taught how to read, but that is about it. This is a dangerous thing to say here, but I’m not sure that people who […]