Learning to be a duck
Nobody likes rejection. Throughout life there are many occasions when we feel its pain: not being included in friendship groups at school, being excluded from that party, not getting into the school you longed to attend. Not getting the grades you needed for your first-choice university, being dumped by your first boyfriend/girlfriend (and many more after that). It hurts. Time after time we get knocked back, our self-esteem dips, our confidence wanes. Yet repeatedly we get ba
Dealing with the dodgems
In the days leading up to publication, I could provide a fascinating case study on the ebb and flow of human emotions. My feelings career around like a malfunctioning dodgem ride at a funfair, veering from one extreme to another, from side to side, from fast to slow, jolting my confused brain at every turn. One moment I love my book, with its brand-new, unopened feel, its evocative cover, my name in big letters. My story, which somebody who knows about publishing books - prop
"There's so much research to do." Is there, really?
When I was around 17 years old, I mentioned to my father that I’d like to write a novel. I’m not sure whether I was thinking about a career in writing, or if I was simply interested in getting a book published, but I’d always enjoyed creative writing in my English classes at school, and relished using my imagination to make up stories. My father’s response was to say: “Don’t be silly. You won’t be able to write a novel. There’s so much research to do.” I remember at the time
Free to write fiction
Before I finished my novel, Dare to Remember, I took a creative writing course. I wanted to learn the best way to become a published novelist, and so I soaked up as much knowledge as I could – from courses, books and other writers. Towards the end of the course, our tutor asked us what we had got out of the course. Normally I hate being asked this question, having been on many courses when the truthful answer would have been too impolite, but because the course had been parti