Guest posts Writing tips

A Novel Approach

I’m delighted to welcome my friend and fellow Ocelot Press author, Jennifer C. Wilson, to the blog today. Her latest book, aimed at writers, A Novel Approach, was published yesterday by Ocelot Press. She tells us how the book came about and what it aims to do. I’ve had a sneak peek, and I know that budding and experienced writers alike will find it really helpful.

Over to you, Jen…

Is there a novel in you? Let me help you find out…

Publishing Writing tips

Rolling in the Aisles: 10 Tips for Doing an Author Talk

Yours truly signing books at the Parisot Literary Festival

Doing an author talk and reading or a public book launch can be intimidating if you don’t have much experience. And public speaking generally is daunting unless you’re one of life’s extroverts, which I’m not. I have done quite a lot of it in past incarnations, sometimes to hostile audiences, but it still makes me nervous.

Corsica Writing tips

Researching #Corsica: yes, but which one?

The citadel dominating the town of Corte, surrounded by rugged mountains
The citadel dominating the town of Corte, central Corsica, surrounded by rugged mountains


You’ve no doubt heard of Google alerts. They’re a useful way of keeping abreast of new items on a topic that interests you, without having to scroll through search engine pages to find them. You can try different keywords and set the alert to varying frequencies and in several languages.

Writing tips

8 Stocking Fillers for Writers and Readers


What would you like in your Christmas stocking this year? A three-book contract with one of the big ones, perhaps? You can’t get those at Amazon or Waterstones, unfortunately. Decorative notebooks are always handy, if a bit predictable, but I hate sullying them with my scrawl, so several unused ones languish in my desk drawer.

There are still a few shopping days to Christmas, so here are some other suggestions you can give your nearest and dearest – or ask them to give you – for writing and reading accessories.

Author interviews Writing tips

Write Despite – Procrastination

Sunset on Corsica - well worth procrastinating for
Sunset on Corsica – well worth procrastinating for

Fellow Crooked Cat author Margaret K. Johnson has invited me onto her blog today to take part in her ‘Write Despite‘ series, in which women writers talk about their writing challenges and how they address them. So I’ve focused on a topic close to my heart – procrastination – about which I wrote on this blog not so long ago.

Read more here:

Margaret is a novelist who explores the theme of women triumphing over adversity in her writing. She also runs courses that focus on triumphing over adversity in order to write, or using writing to overcome adversity.

You might also like:

In Praise of Procrastination
10 Thoughts About Blogging Part 1
10 Thoughts About Blogging Part 2


Writing tips

In Praise of Procrastination

View from the window - an invitation to procrastinate
View from the window – an invitation to procrastinate

I am a procrastinator par excellence. My motto is, “Why do something today if you can put it off until tomorrow?” I wrote my university essays at midnight, fuelled by industrial-strength coffee; I submit my competition entries at the last minute; and I’m often to be found tapping away frantically with a client’s deadline looming only hours away.

Writing tips

10 Thoughts about Blogging Part 2

My desk
Where the blogging gets done

Here’s part two of my post about blogging. You can find part 1 with thoughts 1-5 here. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I have several years of blogging and a lot of trial and even more error behind me.

Writing tips

10 Thoughts about Blogging Part 1

#2 Cap Corse - Genoese tower
Genoese tower on Cap Corse. Corsica provides me with endless inspiration

I’ve been blogging for around six years and I maintain not one blog, but two. I’ll explain why below. When I first started, I barely knew what a blog was. The learning curve was vertiginous – and you learn new things all the time.

Fiction Novels Writing tips

Milestones or millstones? Or how to stop beating yourself up when your writing goals elude you

Where the writing gets done - or not...
Where the writing gets done – or not…

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I invariably break them before January is over. And there’s something about these worthy tablets of stone that kills one’s enthusiasm even before they are fully formulated.

For a few years, I faithfully used to set out my writing goals for the year. I even tried to make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound), as all good goals should be, or so I was taught when I took my MBA. 

Articles Magazines Writing tips

Words with JAM April issue

The April issue of Words with JAM is now out.  This is a great mag; there’s something in it for everyone, from short stories and poetry to articles about writing a non-fiction proposal or setting up a blog.