In which I am grateful: What a month!

On Sunday, my book will have been out in the world for one month.

I’ve gone from being incredibly nervous, to being elated, stressed, joyful, tired, back to nervous, and then elated again.

Bearing in mind that I’m an anxious sort of person, I’m pleased with how I’ve coped and how much I’ve enjoyed it. It helps, of course, that my reviews have been positive beyond my wildest dreams! I know that the inevitable bad review will happen, but at least I now have a cushion of praise to hold in front of my face and soften the blow.

I’d been warned that a book release – whether digital or print – is always a kind of anticlimax for the writer (nothing, after all, can compare to the years of working, wondering, hoping and dreaming of publication), so I was prepared for that.

I was also prepared to feel terrified, exposed or ignored.

I wasn’t, I’ll be honest, prepared for the overwhelming amount of support and kindness; the nice comments, the amazing reviews, the pats on the back.

Thank you. Seriously, everybody who has bought the book, reviewed it, commented, sent me nice emails, messages, cards and tweets – thank you.

Scrivener Love


Well, I’ve been using Scrivener in earnest for about a week now and I love it.

All the things that I like to do when writing (write scraps of scenes out of order, set word count targets, move scenes around, keep multiple versions of the same WIP) are super-easy to do. There are loads of other things that I’m not really using at the moment (the ability to tag chunks of text with ‘meta data’ such as POV character, for example) but I’m sure I will eventually…

To be honest, I’d probably pay for this software just for the brilliant ‘full-screen mode’. I love seeing just my page of typing, with the rest of the screen faded out – it really helps me to focus.

Plus, Literature and Latte (the developers) are offering 20% off Scrivener until the 14th June. So if you’ve been hesitating over buying it, today would be a good day to make the decision!

In which I am hasty

crow roadJust a quick post today, as I’m determined to up the word count on my WIP and if I have any spare time I’m going to re-read The Crow Road in honour of the great Iain Banks.

It’s the last stop on my blog tour and I’m with fellow Carina author, Katlyn Duncan, giving a mini-tour of my writing room.

My writing column at Novelicious this week gives a brief overview of the classic three act structure for novels and screenplays.

The always-brilliant Keris Stainton has written about her writing process here.

Neil Gaiman is as thoughtful, kind and truthful as always in his post on the loss of Iain Banks.

Back to work

red_typewriterI had the best book birthday, and have been busy over the last few days with social media, drinking lots of celebratory Prosecco and chatting with friends and family about my book.

It’s been so much fun, but very  ‘me, me, me’, and I apologise to those who might be getting sick of me mentioning my book. I’m going to stop very soon.*

But now publication day is over, the book is out and I need to get back to work. I have a fairly tight deadline for the follow up to The Language of Spells and I need to knuckle down. Especially considering the kids only have another four weeks of school before the long summer holday… Eep!

In the spirit of refocusing on writing, I’ve got a few writing-craft links to share. Hope you find them useful.

YA author, Natalie Whipple, has written a great piece on using description.

Emma Darwin’s clear and useful post on the benefits of using Scrivener for creative writing.

Sarah Beth Durst examines the tricky art of opening a story. The Writer’s Toolbox: First Lines.

My writing column for Novelicious this week is, appropriately enough, all about writing advice.

Oh, and I’m also on my publisher’s website talking about using collage and casting the characters in The Language of Spells.

* Soon-ish, anyway. Sorry.