A beautiful, perceptive novel: The Centauress by Kathleen Jones

91L-IxcUnbL._SL1500_‘The biographer, Alex thought, was always the observer, the outsider, the one whose job it was to be objective and impersonal. But how was she to do this in Zenia’s case, when she was getting more and more involved? Drawn into the story and in danger of becoming part of it? Wasn’t this what anthropologists feared? That the very act of observation affected the behaviour of those observed, the chain of events?’ Continue reading

A Brutal Truth

writer-wretch‘The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing: isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.’ – Robert De Niro

If you’re a writer – or aspire to be – I recommend you read this article, ‘The Truth about Publishing’, by author Ian Irvine. Irvine was writing specifically about traditional publishing (and the article was written in 2005, meaning that some of it is slightly outdated now), but what he has to say is also relevant to self-publishers. Whichever path you take, or aspire to take, much of Irvine’s article will probably apply to you. Continue reading

Clichés must die. Or must they?

At the end of the day...

At the end of the day… Image c/o Wikimedia Commons.

A wee confession: I have a soft spot for clichés (and before anyone points out that this too is a cliché, I know…). They interest me, not least because many of them are just so absolutely, effortlessly right. A howling wind? That nicely sums up the feral, primal intensity of the wind on the (also-clichéd) dark and stormy night. Stabbing somebody in the back is a vivid image of the painful brutality of betrayal. And thinking outside the box is sometimes the best thing you can possibly do. Continue reading

A potentially controversial post…

Loving Imogen CoverIt’s time to don my flak jacket and helmet and try to look brave, because I’m going to talk about the potentially controversial topic of controversy. This is something of a pertinent issue for me. My novella Loving Imogen has a somewhat controversial theme, and though nobody’s complained yet, someone might. Indeed, given enough time, someone almost certainly will. Continue reading