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Slogging Through the Mud

Or, what to do when you start a lot of books and don’t have the brain space to finish them? Read more

Your Reputation Precedes You – by Chris Nuttall

Your Reputation Precedes You – by Chris Nuttall

 Never do an enemy a small injury.

-Machiavelli

I got asked to give some writing advice, so … here is a story for you.

A year or so ago, I wrote a short story for a collection.  The organiser was kind enough to accept it.  Everything went swimmingly until I saw the proofs and discovered – horror of horrors – that he’d spelt my name wrong.  It was an outrage!  It could not be born! Read more

How to Choose, or, an LTUE After Action

A week has gone by. A full, full week. A week in which Dave got to be Dave much more than Daddy. It was weird, and I’m still processing. I think I want to do that more often, though probably not *too* often. I’d spend all my time transitioning from one state to the other, and then back. Sounds exhausting, and I suspect would severely impact my production.
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Taking Responsibility–A Blast from the Past

I have always been a reader. When I became a mother, I did all I could to teach my son to love the written word. It was sometimes an uphill battle. There was the teacher who used reading as punishment, setting impossible goals and choosing the worst books possible. Then there were the required summer reading lists with books often containing age inappropriate topics. This post came out of the latter and shows just how important it is to know what our kids are reading, especially for school. Read more

Super-readers and their interests

I was, thanks to Michael A Rothman pointing me at it, looking at some of the Bookbub data. Now: words of caution, these reflect largely ‘super-readers’ – people who read a lot and are therefore interested in this service. The data may not reflect the overall sales patterns at all (for example, literary fiction in absolute numbers sells less than sf –which is why I always wonder at the self-elected ‘elite’ of sf and their frantic desire to be accepted by… literary fiction.) Read more

Story from the Start: 1 – Getting an Idea.

One of the requests was for a “class” on writing a story from the idea phase to publishing. I’m going to try, with two sides, so to speak. One a story in a known world, one a brand new world. I have no idea how long this will take.

1. Known World. I needed some stories for a Familiars* story set, to be called G——- Familiar. I already had three based on previous characters, maybe four, so I needed someone and something new. Hmm, what to do, what to do? Ah, a reader asked if I ever did Familiars that are domestic cats or dogs. Sure, why not. So I decided on a dog, because cat Familiars are just strange. Read more

Francis and MacLean

Last week’s post about the modern gothic romance led to an interesting comment thread, as a discussion of Alistair MacLean sprang up in the comments. While I had not read Mary Higgins Clark before the book I reviewed last week, MacLean was an old familiar friend. I don’t recall when I first encountered him – but I was young, probably a preteen. The First Reader and I were talking about him, and for some reason Dick Francis – another childhood favorite of mine – came up. Their main characters had much of the same outlook on life, he commented. I agreed. Perhaps Francis was influenced by MacLean? he suggested. I turned back to the computer and looked it up. Read more