Eight weeks later

July 30, 2013

Eight weeks ago I had my partial oophorectomy, so I thought it was worth writing a little update. Obviously my story is just my story, it’s not medical advice or anything. I write it because there seem to be so few first person accounts of an op like this online, and it might prove reassuring [...]

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A slightly different approach to book cover design

July 28, 2013

There’s a lot of advice on how to design book covers floating around the internet. Lots of it is very sensible: Your book cover should reflect the genre and cleave to its tropes. It should reflect the tone of your story, communicating to potential readers what they are getting before they even open the book. [...]

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Why all self-publishers should sell direct

July 25, 2013

I’ve written a piece for The Writing Platform on why I think all self-publishers should control at least one point of sale and sell direct to their readers.  The self-publishing process has become pretty well established by now, a received wisdom that shapes every entrepreneurial writer’s secret dreams: 1. Write book 2. ??? 3. Profit! [...]

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Why ‘free’ is neither a panacea nor the enemy

July 24, 2013

This blog post started off as a comment on Glyn Moody’s Google Plus post linking to this post on Medium about ‘free culture’, and the discussion that ensued. You might want to read those first. The biggest problem with discussions of how to financially support the artistic sector, as per the article Glyn linked to, [...]

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The genesis of Queen of the May

July 9, 2013

I started writing Queen of the May, which I published Monday, towards the end of September 2011, a week or two before Kevin and I were due to leave our flat in Arsenal for the quieter (and cheaper) environs of Woking. Kevin was working abroad and I was packing up the flat on my own, [...]

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Argleton and Queen of the May by the numbers

July 5, 2013

I finally sat down and trawled through all my website stats and Kindle sales reports for Argleton, which I published in August 2011 on my website and then the next month on Amazon. The results are interesting, to me at least, because the numbers are far higher than I had anticipated. I counted downloads of [...]

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Queen of the May reading at the Brixton Book Jam

July 1, 2013

I have been invited to read an extract from my upcoming novella, Queen of the May, at the Brixton Book Jam, 7.30pm, 8th July, at the Hootananny in Brixton. It’s free, so there’s no excuse not to come along! Each reading is about five minutes long, and I’m hoping to be on in the first group of readers (so that [...]

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Left at the lights

June 23, 2013

Sometimes, just when you think you’ve got everything nailed, when your plans are coming along nicely and all the pieces of the jigsaw are slotting neatly into place, something comes along and blows everything out of the water. For some years now, Kevin and I have been plotting our move to the US. A few [...]

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Queen of the May Kickstarter pitch video: What should it include?

June 12, 2013

I’m slowly working my way through the final stages of preparing Queen of the May for publication. At the moment, I’m thinking about the new Kickstarter project whilst my beta readers get back to me with typos and other bits of final polish for the manuscript. I have to say that I’m very excited about [...]

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Partial oophorectomy done, not quite dusted

June 10, 2013

Last Monday, at the hideous hour of 7.30am, I went into Ashford (Surrey) Hospital to have my partial oophorectomy, the removal of my left-hand ovary and the 8cm chocolate cyst that was attached to it and still growing. The staff at Ashford were lovely (once I found the right department!). I was rapidly seen by [...]

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FIW13: Bobette Buster, Building the universe of your stories – POST RETRACTED

June 1, 2013

On Thursday 30 May, I went to the Futurebook Innovation Workshop, organised by  The Bookseller and The Literary Platform. It was a fascinating afternoon of talks from a wide variety of speakers, and one person that really stood out was Bobette Buster, a Hollywood story consultant who gave a talk on the mechanics of storytelling. I took copious notes, as [...]

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Reading women

April 29, 2013

Last month, when I wrote that we need a female Dr Who, I was struck by the fact that, in the discussion on Twitter, quite a few people were mentioning female writers that I hadn’t heard of. I realised that my own knowledge of women writing in my favourite genres of science fiction and fantasy [...]

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Bye bye ovary, ovary bye bye

April 19, 2013

As regular readers will know, I’ve had two ovarian cysts over the last year. The first one was removed August 2012 but within five months a second one had grown on the left ovary again. The cysts are endometriomas, which means that a little bit of uterine lining has made its way into my ovary and started [...]

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What do readers want from frontmatter and endmatter?

April 10, 2013

A while ago I stumbled on this post from Eric Hellman exploring the question of what sort of front- and endmatter makes sense for ebooks, given that many of the pages that we see in the front of paper books have a purpose related to the printing process. Says Hellman: A good example is the [...]

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New short story: The Lacemaker

April 9, 2013

Right at the end of last year, I wrote the first draft of a short story, The Lacemaker. It’s had a good ol’ polish and now it’s an ebook – in mobi, epub and pdf format. It’s now available for 99p from my ebookstore or, if you fancy getting it for free, you can join my mailing [...]

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