I am tremendously excited to have finished my new novel, Farewell Olympus, which was an entirely new writing experience for me. Now it’s time to think about cover copy and book descriptions. I find it difficult to describe my own work, partly because I dislike blowing my own trumpet, partly because I can never decide what it is exactly. Farewell Olympus is no exception: I think it’s funny, but in a dry, seldom laugh-out-loud way. I also think it’s clever and entertaining, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? It has elements of mystery and thriller, but it’s definitely not either of those. About all I can say with any confidence is that it’s fiction. Here’s what I have come up with so far.
Sometimes seemingly straightforward advice turns out to be more complex than we think. For instance, ‘Write what you know’ always sounds clear and simple. Who would disagree with it? Of course I should write what I know – how could I write what I don’t know? But what do I know?
‘Write what you know’ is actually a little depressing when you think about it. It excludes so much – alternative worlds, characters whom we’ve never met (many of whom we wouldn’t wish to meet), extreme experiences we can feel fortunate never to have undergone – all these things are excluded by ‘Write what you know’. Continue reading
Like many people, I take the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to make plans and outline some goals for myself. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I go about doing this and why I sometimes succeed and why I sometimes fail to achieve my goals.
It’s always dangerous to generalize from one’s own experience and say that what works for one person will also work for everyone else. However, I’ve found certain things useful and you might too – perhaps you’ve already found these things out for yourselves. Continue reading
‘Where do you get your inspiration?’ is a question guaranteed to stump and embarrass me. I immediately think of a lofty genius reclining on his or her Olympian height, while the Muse flutters about overhead, looking for a place to perch. That’s not me up there, and it’s not how I get my ideas (when I get them).
Most writers have a much more down-to-earth approach to their writing. Stephen King, for example, says this: Continue reading
How ideas and images come to mind and coalesce into some form of fiction has always fascinated me. In my experience, writing is less akin to a minutely executed military campaign, with every step and possible eventuality planned and considered beforehand, and more like the process of giving birth – a lengthy period of mysterious gestation, followed by a sudden and painful burst of creativity.
There are plenty of wonderful writers who spend months – years – planning everything beforehand. Continue reading
I write literary and contemporary fiction: novels and short stories.
I also write book reviews and blog about writing, publishing and indie authors.
My career is in publishing: writing, copyediting, project management, both in-house and as a freelancer.