Continuity Edit

As many authors do, I write many drafts of my books. Partly this comes from the early years in which I had very little time to write, and fitting writing into irregular time slots resulted in untidy early drafts. Draft 4 is what I call my Continuity Edit. I have a story with a beginning,... Continue Reading →

Guernsey, 1917

The First World War was a century ago, which is as far in the past as the American Civil War was when I was at school. Nobody who fought in it is still alive and it is harder for the modern generation to understand than the Second World War. Countless films, books and TV series... Continue Reading →

The Twitter Campaign

So I’m trying something different, a Twitter Campaign. Mostly it is to test the water, see how effective it is. After all if the Russians can change the result of elections by mass tweeting, there must be some power in social media. Although it was my sixth novel Glint of Light on Broken Glass was... Continue Reading →

A Writer’s Year

January is a hectic time at Guernsey Museum, as we turn around all the temporary exhibition spaces in three weeks. For me it means checking and proofing all the wall text, and numerous press releases. New Year's Day is also when I like to pitch into the new book - NRT in the case of... Continue Reading →

How I Stopped Being Too English

Whilst selling my books at a Winter Fayre this weekend I tweeted “I sometimes feel I’m too English for this”. I’m no shrinking violet, but when I first came into writing I felt uncomfortable pumping up my own books (and hence, myself). I didn’t have the ego to say “my books are great, buy ‘em”,... Continue Reading →

Guernsey Literary Festival

It was close to home in more ways than one. I’m not on the organising Committee, but our Castle hosted some Literary Festival events and I had three slots to participate in, so it was a busy few days preceded by a week of preparation around the ‘day job’. The fun began with a reception... Continue Reading →

Alderney Literary Festival

This has to be the best literary festival in the land (if you count the tiny island of Alderney as 'in the land'). Its cosy, its intimate and its focus is firmly on history: historical fiction, biography and non-fiction. As the speaker's room at the Island hall only accommodates an audience of 50, there were... Continue Reading →

Thou Shalt Not Kill (part 1)

'Artie, could you kill a German?’ ‘Course, easy.’ ‘No, but really kill him if he was standing just over there?...’ George challenges his brother as Glint of Light on Broken Glass enters the summer of 1917, with the Great War at its height and no sign of it ending. Artie’s reply is off-the-cuff, the stock... Continue Reading →

The 3/4 Point

How many times have I been watching a film and two-thirds the way through thought 'finish it now!'. Likewise when reading books, a point often comes where I feel the author is spinning the story out, or we are anticipating the  denouement so why another red herring? Some books feel simply too long at this point. I... Continue Reading →

A Sense of Place

In a recent debate on a writers' forum the question was asked whether you had to actually have visited a place to use it as a setting for a novel. My answer to this is both yes and no. YES if the place is well known, such as London, and many of your readers are... Continue Reading →

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