Category Archives: Updates

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…

07 Dec 2016

Where Have I Been and Where Am I Going?

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote this post about where I was at then and what I hoped might happen in 2016. I’ve discovered over and over again that “every step on a writing journey takes a LOT longer than you think”.  I’ve confronted and been thwarted by numerous Threshold Guardians.  I’ve definitely gone into the Inmost Cave and am having a bit of an Ordeal if I’m honest. When…

31 Oct 2016

Sheffield Short Story Competition

Back in September a friend shared a writing competition on social media.  I don’t generally write short stories – as the wonderful Berlie Doherty (one of the judges) said on the award evening, they’re a very specific skill and not one I’m interested in developing further at the moment – but it was an intriguing brief.  You could choose from 5 different opening lines and the story needed to be 1,000…

14 Oct 2015

Once Upon A Time There Was A First Chapter…

You only get one chance to make a first impression, we’re told.  The importance of that first impression – first sentence, first paragraph, first page, first chapter – is impressed on us writers time after time.  A story must instantly hook the reader and reel them in, convincing them it’s worth sticking with this book in their hands.  While that’s true for all books, it’s even truer for Children’s and…

30 Sep 2015

Fun and Games with Agents

Once you’ve written the very best book you can, then the next hurdle to get over is agents (no offence, agents!).  I think/hope I’m nearing this hurdle!! I used to be under the impression that once you got an agent you were practically guaranteed a publishing deal.  When I first started writing I probably would have kissed the feet of any agent who offered to represent me.  I still will be…

16 Sep 2015

Me, BAFTA and the BBC

In terms of catching you up as to where I’m at currently, something else I did at the beginning of the summer was to write the script for the first episode of a CBBC-style series.  As you may remember, last year I did a short online course on “Writing Drama” with Oxford Uni and this idea was my assignment for that.  The BAFTA/Rocliffe Children’s Writing comp was coming round again (I hadn’t…

29 Sep 2014

Writing A Winner

When I scrolled through the list of competitions at the Winchester Writers’ Festival earlier this year, I never imagined for a minute that I’d find myself entering the Feature Article one.  For a start there were two children’s fiction categories that I could have entered B4 (codename) into, with very little effort.  More importantly, perhaps, was the fact that I hadn’t written a “professional” article before, although I suppose I…