Notes from Ireland

Last Saturday I finished the first draft of my novel. I sat in a café for two hours whilst my daughter was at a party a couple of streets away, and I put the last of my editorial marks on screen, then emailed it to my writers’ group. On Sunday, I flew away. Literally. It…

Mad head. Sore back

It was my daughter’s birthday this week, which coincided, as with any week, with a lot of homework, and her mother on a deadline. That last bit is not so usual, although I do spend much of my working time in a state of panic at how much I’ve got to do, and how little…

Writers dreaming

A few nights ago I had a dream about a staff, a stile and a horrid dark dank dungeon. There was a woman in the dungeon and I knew she was going to torture me. When she poured liquid on my face, I accepted my fate: that I was doomed. The only way out of…

Why being a writer is bad for your health

1. Sit arse on chair and don’t get up. 2. Frown lots. 3. Drink too much coffee and eat too much cheese. 4. Go back to the kitchen and make another piece of toast. 5. Editing is more interesting with a glass of wine. 6. It takes years to finish a bloody book – I…

All that glitters

During the past two weeks I’ve been sleeping in a tent in a field on the south coast of Cornwall, in the place where my third novel is set. I’ve been holidaying with friends and family, and writing, and all the time making mental notes of the subtle changes in weather, the habits of local birds;…