The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014 Announced - Were There Surprises?

The Man Booker Prize Longlist 2014 Announced – Were There Surprises?

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As I write, the longlist for the Man Booker prize 2014 has just been announced. It is the first year the prize has been opened up to novelists from around the world and written in English. Previous rules limited Publishers to Commonwealth authors.

The longlist this year has proved controversial for several reasons. You only have to look at the #ManBooker14 Twitter hashtag to see the questions…

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Rebecca Bradley for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. It feels undeserved but I’m really grateful. The truth is, very much like writing, I would still blog even without readers because I really enjoy it. The process helps me to order my thoughts, and I’m the kind of person who thinks through my writing, in other words the ideas come to me asI write. I find inspiration…

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Space to Read and Relax: Bookshop Cafés and Bars Around the World…

Bookshop Cafes and Bars Around the World…

What is there more enticing for any book lover than to find a combination of books and coffee (or cocktails)? I often see images of bookshop cafés,  and I idly begin to dream about finding a corner (and some time) to while away a few hours reading with a mug, or a glass of something, in the beautiful surrounds of a bookshop or an atmospheric bar. Is it just me? I suspect not! Here are some of the…

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Story is Everything

Here are 25 thoughts on creating stories, in no particular order:

  1. A lot of things have beginnings, middles and ends — but that doesn’t make them stories.
  2. True stories have two parts: first something bad happens, second something bad is fixed (or a fix is at least attempted)
  3. Plot-driven and character-driven stories don’t really exist; all stories are conflict/tension driven.
  4. Suspense, tension,…

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North Norfolk Coast

Just as I had posted the previous publication new, I discovered that another of my short stories has just been published. North Norfolk Coast has been published at 1000 Words:

Days were spent with her brother, Donald, on the beaches of the North Norfolk coast, with its wild winds and salt air. They built sand castles before the sun set; before the waves swept over the turrets, dragging them back…

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Clipboards and White

One of my short story has just been published in Litro, a London Literary Magazine. You can read it here.

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Extract:

The starched white sheets crinkle beneath my thighs. The walls are white; clinical. The door is pale and open. Beyond it, the muffled voices of people in white travelling along the corridor. I see flashes of clipboards, glasses, and white; maybe jackets. I am not sure why I am here.…

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Writing Process Blog Tour

I have been invited by author Rebecca Bradley to answer some questions about my current writing as part of a writing process blog tour. You can read her answers on her blog.

So here are my responses to the following questions:

What are you currently working on?

I am working on the ending of my second novel. The first was historical fiction, and set in 1980s/1990s Prague. It was a fictional take…

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#bookadayuk Hooked you into reading: The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm

For those of you who have been following the #bookaday posts, I’ve been up in the Alps for a week. I’m back and refuelled, and will pick up with the posts and get back to writing. We drove the length of the Grossglockner Pass, which is the highest and one of the most beautiful roads in Europe. Here are a few photos before I write about what hooked me in to reading. It seems fitting that the…

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#bookaday One that makes me laugh: Notes from a Small Island

#bookaday One that makes me laugh: Notes from a Small Island

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This particular #bookaday challenge made me realise how few books have really made me laugh. I think most book that leave their mark do so because they are suspenseful, melancholy, shocking or thought-provoking. Few are actually laugh-out-loud funny.

Bryson’s Notes on a Small Island is insightful and well observed. His wit keeps you turning the pages and I identified with his observations all…

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#bookadayuk A book you pretend to have read. I haven’t. And a confession about Romeo and Juliet

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Why would you pretend to have read a book? I’ve never lied about what I have read, because what’s the point? I do have a confession, though. We studied Shakespeare at school. I first read his work at the age of eleven and struggled with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Then at fifteen we looked at Romeo and Juliet as one of our GCSE texts. I struggled with romantic books then, and I still do in a…

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