Reading & Writing

Hell Train Now Stops In Germany


The Germans, do you know them at all? Lovely literate people, smart and terribly self-deprecating. Berliners, awesomely friendly folks. I just went to Oktoberfest (in September and in Tokyo, I admit) but all those oompah-tunes and gallons of great beer and sausages (a bugger to eat with chopsticks) – what’s not to love? And they […]

Get Ready To Choose The Plot!


Okay, you lot. I’m tired of coming up with everything around here. You know, plots with beginnings, middles and ends. It’s time for you to do some work for a change. Only you can stop me before I kill again. This Sunday sees the launch of the Dead Good and Specsavers #ChooseThePlotcampaign. Following on from Michael […]

What Does A Publishing PR Do?


Publishing PRs can be a bit of a punchline; there are plenty of jokes about posh girls called Daisy or Emma looking to fill the time between finishing school and marriage to a trustafarian, but in reality a good PR is worth her weight in diamonds (they’re usually women, although I know a few male […]

What Does A Copy Editor Do?


I suppose they used to be called proof readers, and their role is subtly different from that undertaken by the main book editor. Once the manuscript reaches them, the main themes have been addressed (in my experience there’s very little editorial interference, more a matter of advice) so they can concentrate on the flow of […]

What Does An Editor Do?


Your editor will most likely be the person who brought you into the publishing house.  You are their discovery, and therefore you’ll work closely with them, so you’ll need to be compatible. I’ve known a couple of editors who have put up with badly behaved writers, but generally there’s an atmosphere of mutual respect. First […]

What Does An Agent Do?


I’ve been asked this so many times – ‘Do I need an agent? Don’t they just take a percentage from you and do nothing for it?’ To which I can only answer, absolutely not, the good ones don’t. Just because Amazon has promoted some amateur writers who have got to the top of their Direct-To-Ebook […]

Should Writers Read Their Reviews?


Any writer who says s/he doesn’t read press reviews is a liar. We all do, without fail, because it’s human nature (also, if they’re good they get forwarded on by all sorts of people). What we should never do is over-analyse them. Or believe in them. I know how hard it is to get reviewed […]

The Writing Process: Where It Begins


For the first time in an age I find myself seated at my desk with a clean slate and an empty screen. True, there are five titles sitting in a folder, possible ideas for new books, and at least two of these are workable. But my agent has asked me what I would like to […]

Frightening New Collection Coming

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There are going to be a total of twenty books from me coming out as e-editions this year, including nearly all of my short stories, and a brand-new collection of short stories entitled: ‘Frightening’. I hope to be able to price this below the usual level to encourage new readers. I’d told myself I wasn’t […]

Is There Another Way To Create A Heroine?


They’re known as WIP films, and have been around as long as cinema. I suppose my favourite Women In Peril films would include ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘Link’, ‘Wait Until Dark’, ‘The Hidden Face’, ‘Suspiria’, ‘Julia’s Eyes’, ‘Panic Room’, ‘The Hidden Face’ and ‘Penumbra’, but there are many others. One could even describe ‘Aliens’ as a WIP […]