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Channeling my inner Olivia Colman: Smash all the Windows wins The Selfies 2019

Winning an award produces a whole raft of emotions and, as Olivia Colman proved so charmingly at this year’s Oscars, it is impossible to predict how you’re going to react. I learned that I’d won the Daily Mail First Novel Award when I was at home on my own, beginning to get really quite nervous…
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Smash all the Windows shortlisted for The Selfies Award 2019

As a self-published author, I get to blow my own trumpet. (After all, I have no-one to do that for me.) And so with a small introductory fanfare, I can confirm that Smash all the Windows has been shortlisted for the first Selfies Award, produced by BookBrunch in association with the London Book Fair.  “The shortlist we’ve come…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 1: Smash all the Windows

For the next few weeks, Virtual Book Club will be taking a break. Instead, I’m going to bring you an exploration of the use of art in fiction. Fictionalised stories behind real painting; novels based on the lives of real artists; fictional artists, fictional works of art; fictional members of real art movements; fictional muses…
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Smash all the Windows: the typesetting

The Making of a Book

We’re nearing the finish line. Now we turn to the book’s interior. What is it going to look like? And how will that add to (or detract from) the way that the reader experiences the book? From Wiki: Typesetting is the composition of text by means of arranging physical types or the digital equivalents. Stored…
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Smash all the Windows: the proofread

The Making of a Book

This week we come to the final edits and the proofread. And for this I used Perry Iles. He describes his job as ‘look after the small stuff’, but attention to grammar, spelling and consistency (is it proofread, proof read or proof-read?) is vital at this stage, when the temptation might be think you’re on…
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Smash all the Windows: the structural edit

The Making of a Book

In this week’s blog, I focus on the structural edit. It includes a contribution from my structural editor, Dan Holloway, the person Stephen Fry might have had in mind when he said, “We are not nouns, we are verbs.” “I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who…
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Smash all the Windows: my cover design process

The Making of a Book

This week will be the first of a short series of posts about the production of Smash all the Windows. Its cover design has been attracting compliments, with many people wanting to know about my cover design process.  One of the other huge joys of self-publishing is choosing how to present your work. Given that…
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Smash all the Windows is available for pre-order!

Since winning the Daily Mail First Novel Award in 2008, I’ve become known for writing about big subjects and giving my characters almost impossible moral dilemmas. What interests me is how people behave under pressure, because it reveals so much about them. And as the tagline of Smash all of the Windows suggests, my new…
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As I turn 50…

A smattering of facts about 1967 and a very special offer

On this day in 1967 I made my entrance into the world. To celebrate my 50th birthday, I have discounted the price of my *ebooks by 75%. This means that from 17 – 24 October, you can get your hands on I Stopped Time, These Fragile Things, A Funeral for an Owl, An Unchoreographed Life,…
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The Night When the Trees Fell Down

Reflections on These Fragile Things and The Great Storm of 1987

The Great Storm of 1987 was an unreal experience for me. It coincided with the last night of a holiday, a week during which I’d had no access to newspapers, television or radio. In South East England whirlwinds ravaged, but in Cornwall (two hundred and eighty miles due west), I was shaken awake. The house…
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