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Writing

Are Older writers left out in the cold?

Remember the much acclaimed The Icarus Girl? Helen Oyeyemi was just twenty years old when she found her literary fame. At the time it set me wondering whether, as with many jobs, there was a ‘sell by date’ for authors so anyone one hoping to retire and write as a new career is wasting their time. No room on the…
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Writing a memoir?

  Many years ago it was suggested that I wrote a memoir about being married to my Iranian husband and my experiences of the racism we suffered in Birmingham and the effect the Iranian Revolution had on our lives. It did in fact break us up and break him down. An interested agent produced a ghost/co-writer who is a best-…
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How Spiritual are You?

  I’ve been asked to work on some ideas for a corporation to introduce an element of spirituality into their workforce. Since a vein of this theme runs through the spine of my upcoming novel, “The Future Can’t Wait,” I considered this to be somewhat synchronous.   When we think about spirituality, the default definition is often linked to something…
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A setting for your novel

So many books I read are set in major cities, especially London, so when I decided to set The Cruelty of Lambs in Birmingham (UK), some people were really surprised.  ‘Birmingham? What on earth for? There’s nothing there!’ Or worse, ‘Nobody’s going to want to read a book set in Birmingham.’   In my thinking aloud this week, I’ve decided…
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Why I Don't Write Romance

    As a teenager, I couldn’t get enough of the Mills and Boon romances which I would buy second hand with the bit of pocket money I got from delivering newspapers. The dog- eared books would be swopped at school and devoured in breaks and free periods at the risk of getting detention.            My fantasies of being swept…
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Author events are the way forward.

The one thing I’ve learned from attending an excellent networking event for writers today, organised by Writing West Midlands at Lichfield library, is that people want to talk to you, especially if you’ve got a copy of your book to hand.     The people attending were at different stages of their writing journey and had pencils poised over notebooks to…
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The Controversial Writer

It takes slog to write an article, even more so a full length novel, but at this stage of the writing game you are in control. If you change your mind about something or are not sure of your facts you can scrub it and start afresh. When you are in your private world anything goes. I guess this is…
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A day in the life of a writer

I am at my most productive and creative between 8am and 2pm. After that my eyes are sore at staring at the screen and my neck and shoulders feel they’ve been put through a mangle. My day starts with a cup of strong tea with soya milk and one home-made ginger biscuit. Gluten and fat free. As somebody who suffers…
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The Loneliness of the Full Time Writer

Maybe it’s the fact that the flurry of Christmas activity is over, our homes are bare of tinsel and lights and we have to the face the reality of a new year with all its uncertainty, is the reason I feel maudlin. I was talking to a former business colleague over the holiday who said he envied my life of…
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Is Writing Cathartic?

Much depends on what you’re writing, your intended audience and why you’re doing it. Some of us feel such a compulsion to express our thoughts, ideas, feelings and visions in the written word that a day without tapping out a few hundred words is like going without our beverage of choice. Does that imply writing is a drug? In a…
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The Book on The Train!

On my train journey home I sat next to a young man who had a real book in his hand. We got chatting about books and I happened to show him mine, which I carry everywhere with me as you never know when you might have a chance to do a bit of on the hoof marketing. Enthused, he photographed…
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