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How to write attention grabbing sentences: active vs passive construction #amwriting

With the huge number of novels available these days, it’s important to grab your readers’ attention immediately or they may never read past the sample pages Amazon offers. There’s lots of advice out there on writing those all-important opening lines – start with action, suggest something unusual, be controversial etc. – but I want to […]

Touring the Isle of Harris, #OuterHebrides day 7 #Scotland

Our second day on Harris was planned well in advance around a visit to the North Harris Eagle Observatory. I have seen a golden eagle once before, up on the north coast of Scotland, but this particular site has a resident pair and sightings are frequent, so with fingers firmly crossed, off we set. On […]

4 steps to writing your Amazon book blurb – notes from #20BooksLondon

Sharing a bit more of what I learned at 20BooksLondon, here is a resume of the notes I took on blurb writing. Now I’m fairly confident about my blurb writing ability, but I’m very aware in this industry things change – what works this week doesn’t next (especially in marketing), so any of the latest […]

#20BooksLondon – World building with a difference #publishing

When I was trying to figure out what to share first about the lessons I learned at the 20Books conference, I decided the best thing would be to talk about the one thing I didn’t take notes on before I forget! I didn’t take notes because this is never going to be me (I think), […]

How I sold 1,000 books over the holidays #marketing #bestseller

Here is my promised share of how I sold 1000 books and became a bestseller (in Canada and Australia, at any rate) over the 10 days of the Christmas/New Year holiday. Settle in, folks, this is going to be a long post. First up, what I did was nothing ground breaking, just plain old advertising […]

Authors, do you use beta readers? Editors? I have a guilty secret… #amwriting #amediting

Since I joined the Indie publishing scene back in 2013, I have read SO many times the advice, nay instruction, ‘thou shalt not publish without having your work professionally edited/proof read/beta read’. But I have a guilty secret… I don’t use editors or proof readers. Gasp! Isn’t my work trash? Well, apparently not, if my […]

Writers, how do you manage your time? Have you discovered the Pomodoro technique? #TimeManagement #amwriting

I shared this technique earlier on Marcia Meara’s blog, THE WRITE STUFF, while Marcia continues her clear up after the destruction visited upon her home by Hurricane Irma. I am not a full time writer. Like a lot of others, I have to fit my writing time around my full time business. And my business is […]

Playing the tourist – Loch Ness #Scotland #Highlands

Haven’t done one of these for a while, but most of this year has been a blur of work with no time for sightseeing. I managed to cram an entire day off into the schedule on the end of my last Highland trip and decided to play the tourist. We’ve actually owned a property nearby […]

Nottingham University #ShortStoryCompetition #winner – yours truly!

A couple of months ago, my University (Nottingham) newsletter announced a short story competition for alumni. How could I resist? The story was to be set on one of the campuses, and had a limit of 2000 words. Quite a challenge for someone accustomed to writing fantasy novels of epic length, but I decided to have a go, and chose a […]

#BookReview – P.S. I Forgive You – A Broken Legacy by D.G. Kaye #Memoir #Narcissism

On the eve of my father’s funeral, I find myself writing my review of this memoir with a real sense of gratitude that I was lucky enough to have loving parents, and little dysfunctionality in my family. My father was raised in a rather Victorian household, (he was born in 1919), where children were seen but […]