This post appeared first on my publisher’s website. Look out for my favourite lines from the novel this weekend. I’ll be posting them on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. Just message/tweet me a page number from 1-289 and I’ll respond with a tiny snippet. Committing to a story idea is a funny thing, at […]

I’ve not been here for a while. The juggling of balls has been hard this summer, and there has not been enough pieces of me to share around. The baby is eight months now, and I’ve been ready for months to smooth out a white page, to fill it with words until every corner is […]

National Novel Writing Month begins tomorrow, a heady rush of 30 days in which writers across the globe attempt to write 50,000 words of their project. When I look back at the milestones that have propelled me along my writer’s journey, NaNoWriMo is a key one. For newbies, NaNoWriMo is great for building a writing […]

One of the mysteries of writing is how our processes evolve. We try our hand at different techniques until we find one that fits best. Distilled down to simple binary choices: plotting or pantsing, laptop or notebook, cafe or home, desk or lap, pant or pantless. Starting a blog was central to toughening up my […]

A friend of mine recently asked me how I manage to find the time to write. She has young children, younger than mine, as well as a start up business, and it seemed to her that she’ll never be able to steal a moment for her writer self. She’s wonderful, this friend, passionate and committed […]

The processes we use in our creativity are individual. None of us work the same way: creativity is intuitive, our thoughts and approached vary. That’s not to say a template isn’t useful to guide us. Besides, it’s tempting to look over the fence and see what the neighbour has done with her garden. To this […]

I wanted to write this sooner, but life got in the way. So here I am, a few days later, writing this post on the sofa bed of a tiny apartment in the Alps. Next to me, my husband is snoring. The kids have been asleep for hours. On the telly, of all things, Predator […]

We’re hurtling into the new year, like a comet coming into land. The past twelve months have flown faster than the ones before, while Old Man Time, scythe in hand, gleefully waits. We make vows to welcome in the fresh year, hoping at the end of it we will be fitter, happier, more successful. Setting […]

It’s been a long summer and the kids are just settling back into their nursery and school routines. I have yet to find my writing rhythm, the one where I feel no resistance, where I believe in myself and the work is a joy. More than a few days away from my desk and my […]

It is past midnight. My husband is snoring next to me. He has to wake in four hours to leave for a business trip. He sleeps despite the glow of my laptop and the sound of my fingers darting across the keyboard. I write, warming my cold feet on his calves. It’s one of those […]

Like many of you, I’ve been a keen reader since childhood. Reading was an escape when my loving, boisterous family overwhelmed me, when the world was quiet and friends slept, and the television pixels seemed to zap energy rather than give it. I started with Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Judy Blume and was hooked […]

Walls washed in white Leather seats in echoing halls Piano concertos ring out through closed doors Muted tones of pre-pubescent girls clad in whispers of pink and ghostly tights Pointing, springing, arching, fingers dancing Bending the future to their will.

Hands up if you wrote a list of your priorities at the start of the year and if you have failed to maintain them. A new year holds such promise. Why do we set ourselves up to fail each year and end up feeling miserable? We try to give our lives meaning but what if […]

It’s 18 months since I first started blogging. I started this blog as an antidote to a fiction-hating friend. I was unable to convince him of the merits of fiction, and a few weeks later I wrote my first words here. It was my penance for being such a weak defender of something that has […]

In case you missed it, it’s Nanowrimo (I’m hearing trumpets, triangles and all sorts in my head right now). I’ve been writing my socks off and so far I’m on track. Tough spots are lurking for me around the corner though as I tend to get saggy middle of the month syndrome. Still, for now […]

I’ve spent the past month yearning for time to write, to dive feet first into a pool of creativity and find truths in made up worlds. Today, with the kids back at school, London visits behind me and chores done, I climbed the stairs tentatively to the attic we have set up as my writer’s […]

My head has been a whirr this week, as my final day at City Hall came and went, amidst leaving cards and speeches and the sense that a significant phase of my life has come to an end. I was a school girl when I first became interested in politics. I’d gone along to a […]