24 Jul 2017

What Would Be Your Superpower of Choice?

A few years ago I bought some Fink family discussion cards (which are just brilliant and I totally recommend).  They contain allsorts of questions that not only promote discussion, but enable you to discover a different and deeper side to people! My favourite question in the whole pack was “What would be your superpower of choice?” I didn’t have to think hard at all to answer that.  It’s mind reading. …

14 Jun 2017

Music, Lyrics and Magic

Words are powerful.  Music is powerful.  When the two come together they can create magic! Music can not only elevate good lyrics to greatness though; it can also, unfortunately, elevate crap lyrics through catchy (read: irritating) melodies.  You know what I mean – that song you hear in the morning that gets stuck in your head and you find yourself singing it throughout day even though you hate it! It…

31 May 2017

Jupiter – Inspiration for “The Truth Beyond”

I LOVE space.  Exploring it would be the ultimate adventure.  What we do know is awesome and beautiful, and there’s so much more that we have virtually no idea about.  In fact, I find it so mind-boggling that I can never find adequate adjectives to help me communicate the feeling it gives me!! NASA’s Juno probe survived another close sweep of Jupiter recently, sending back the most incredible pictures (definitely…

21 May 2017

What Drives Me As A Writer – My Writing Manifesto

On my last round of agent submissions, one agency threw me when they asked for something different to the usual author bio, pitch, back of the book type blurb, synopsis, first 10 pages or 3 chapters, etc. etc.  They wanted to know “what drives you as a writer?”. Argh!  Something clearly drives me as a writer, otherwise I wouldn’t still be doing it.  I came up with a few ideas…

29 Apr 2017

48 Hours of Inspiration and Creation!

A few weeks ago I had huge fun taking part in a 48 Hour Flash Fiction competition!  I didn’t make the shortlist sadly (6 stories out of the 418 entries – perhaps I came 7th?!), but I wanted to share my story with you, as well as give an insight into its creation. The challenge was to write a sci-fi flash fiction story of up to 2000 words in 48…

03 Apr 2017

Journeying Lord Of The Rings-styley!

I’ve been struggling with writing again in the last few weeks.  I may have been positive and upbeat in my last post, but once the rejections start rolling in and you read articles about how celebrity authors are shutting children’s authors out of their own trade you can very quickly feel like writing to get published is pointless. In fact, I’ve even decided that it’s not over-dramatic to compare the…

01 Mar 2017

Five Top Tips for Agent Submissions

I’ve just finished a whole month’s worth of preparation for agent submissions for my YA manuscript and I learnt SO much from the process that I really wanted to share some of it! 1. Do thorough research I looked at the website of every single agent on Querytracker who was currently accepting YA submissions (450+ agents from the UK and US)!  It was time-consuming, but essential in order to become more familiar…

15 Feb 2017

Taking The Plunge

I’m teetering on the edge of something at the moment, have been for aaages in fact: looking at what I should be jumping into, considering it, pacing along it, but too nervous to take the plunge. We can all feel this way.  Whether it’s sliding into a cold swimming pool, starting a conversation with a stranger or standing on a wooden platform high up in the trees, ready to step…

31 Jan 2017

Give Up Work, Pursue Your Dream?

At the beginning of January I went back to work – the paid employment type – for the first time in 5½ years!  When I took voluntary redundancy in 2011 it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a year out to pursue my long-held-but-neglected dream of being a writer. That year has stretched a loooong way.  It took me two years to really get going with any writing.  Once…

17 Jan 2017

You’re A Fake, Baby

Chatting with a friend about last week’s blog post I was reminded of the biggest lie in our society about beauty. It would be bad enough for our self-esteem if we were aiming to look like, and judging ourselves against, the most beautiful people in the world.  But what we’re usually comparing ourselves to when we look at models and celebrities – especially in print – is a complete unreality. Even 25…