Twenty-Five Best books of 2021

Looking back over my year of reading, what strikes me now is how hard it is to categorise some of the books. Many were sold as contemporary fiction but turned out to be what we might have previously defined as sci fi/ fantasy. Meanwhile the world of...

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Be kind to yourself – extracts from October newsletter

I find it slightly ironic that my last newsletter, sent out in July, talked about barriers to writing and in particular about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, examining the idea that if you are under stress then you're less able to be creative. Well folks, that's the...

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Top Ten Stephen King Novels

Book festivals have had to adapt to covid, moving events to be fully or partly online, which is a shame in many ways but does mean that this September, Bloody Scotland, the annual crime and thrillers book festival in Stirling, was able to host none other than the...

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The best novels with unusual narratives.

Do you have a great idea for a novel but are struggling to work out how to tell the story? Or are you midway through telling a story and feels it needs a bit more? This blog is all about novels which push the boundaries of narrative. Non linear narratives - this is...

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What stops you writing? – extracts from July Newsletter

July: What gets in the way of you doing what you want to do? I think most people have something they really, really want to do, but sadly many of them will never get around to fulfilling that desire. This seems to me particularly true if the wish is to do something...

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Top ten novels set in the workplace.

After a year of virtual working, do you feel more than ready to get back to the real workplace? Hold that thought for just a second. Can you remember what it was actually like? The commute? Getting dressed up (or dressed down)? Those weird people you work with - are...

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Top Ten Enormous books which are worth the investment.

I don't know about you, but I often hesitate before picking up an enormous book, even if I know it has a fabulous reputation and friends are urging me to read it. Even though I am a quick and voracious reader, it's quite an investment, isn't it? So in this blog I'm...

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