Word Crime

Every so often I take a break from fiction and pick up a factual book.  My current factual treat is Dr John Olsson’s Forensic Linguistics.  The leading expert in the field, Olsson details some of the cases he’s worked on and explains how linguistics has helped to solve mysteries and bring criminals to justice. Every chapter…

Loving a Cosy Culinary Mystery

When I was younger I loved a cosy mystery, be it Murder She Wrote, Miss Marple, Nancy Drew or Colombo.  Aside from catching the odd few minutes of Midsomer Murders, in recent years I seem to have forgotten my penchant for a good, harmless crime, where the only people who ever die are those that…

3 ways to improve your writing

I’ve taken a break from writing recently.  I felt I wasn’t really getting anywhere and needed to hone my skills by doing something different, rather than ploughing on relentless. Time will tell whether this detour has helped my writing, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the experience. Here’s what I’ve been doing: 1. Judging Contests…

Who you calling a silly cow, you stupid poo poo head?

Last week my driving escapades stooped to a new level when a fellow female driver felt it necessary to wind down her window and express her displeasure with a verbal tirade, likening my road skills to that of grazing cattle. I was on a narrow road and had just had to do some splendid manoeuvring (if…

Nuts, or creative?

When driving my son home from school this afternoon he declared, “Look, mummy, that cloud looks like a dragon!” And so it did.  There it was with its long nose breathing out smoke, as clear as day over the skies of Worthing. “Yes, but it could also be a dolphin,” I pointed out. “Oh yes,…

Judging a Book without a Cover

Having recently become a member of the Romance Writers of Australia I decided to make the most of my membership.  What a very frightening proposition this was to be as I decided to not only enter one of the competitions, but volunteer to be a judge on another. So I merrily clicked ‘send’ on my…

Books I’m loving – New Recommendations

I’ve been making headway recently on the ever-growing tower of books I want to read. Here are three I’ve loved and would highly recommend – 2 fact, one fiction: Grit, by Angela Duckworth Professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth has dedicated her life’s work to discovering what makes someone stick at…

Tips from successful writers

I firmly believe that if you work hard enough to achieve something it will happen – even if it costs you blood, sweat and tears in the process.  Despite this belief, from time to time I need an injection of inspiration from people who’ve been there, done it and got the T shirt (or the…

Tips for proof reading

Generally on this blog I steer clear of giving tips, mainly because, since I’m still to realise my ambition of becoming a professional writer, I don’t consider myself qualified for offering advice quite yet. However, as I’ve spent the last five years or so proof reading as part of my day job, this is one area I…

If you’re a winner – time to claim your prize!

If you recently entered the competition to win an audio book of Hannah Kimble by Patricia Pitt, please check the original post to see if you’re a winner! If you are, you have until the 31st July 2016 to notify me of your email address (just reply to the post) to claim your code. Any…

To self-publish or not to self-publish…

So, the moment of truth is nigh.  This weekend is the annual RNA (Romantic Novelists’ Association) conference at Lancaster University.  This is the first ever time I’ll have been – RNA virgins we’re called apparently – and I’ve come to realise it’s a BIIIIIIIG deal in the romance writers’ calendar; the biggest in fact. Emails…