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Utter madness, but for once there’s a method in it.

As well as working part-time to pay the bills, together with my brothers and sisters, I am now helping my mother to care for my dad who has dementia. I urgently need to find a way to free up precious writing time. The only way to do this is by cutting out marketing time. That…
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Help: my eBook business model is broken

When the line between lending and piracy becomes blurred

A few weeks ago, I was watching a topical panel show. When the question of plastic pollution came up, one of the panelists replied, ‘No, you’re not laying the blame at my door. I bought plastic on the understanding that it would be recycled. It’s not my fault if someone went and dumped it in…
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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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Writers Who Walk

Creativity, Well-being and Inspiration

I’m a walker who writes. In my childhood years, as one of five children, ‘I’m a walker’ wasn’t something you needed to explain. It was a given. We even had our own chant. ‘I left (start with left foot) my wife with forty-four children and don’t you think I was (skip) right, right, right. I…
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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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My Reading Year 2017

According to this article by Beulah Maud Devaney in the Guardian, the average reader will read 3,000 books during their lifetime (assuming they make it to 90). Like many readers who chose books they are told they ‘ought to read’, Devaney felt cheated when she didn’t enjoy an estimated 300 of the the 900 books…
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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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Do Something Amazing: Support Authors for Grenfell

No one in the UK can be unaware of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, earlier this month, but many of my readers are from further afield. Fire broke out at a high rise residential tower block in West London, home to between 400 and 600 people. So far 79 people have been declared dead, but…
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Behind the Book: The story behind Life in a Hospice: reflections on caring for the dying

This week, Virtual Book Club is taking a break and I’m handing over to Ann Richardson. Ann has worked as a social researcher most of her working life, writing books, articles and reports from interviews with ordinary people about specific health and social care problems. Most of this writing was addressed to professionals working in…
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My newsletter subscribers responded. I listened.

I received a massive 70% reply rate to a survey I issued to my newsletter subscribers. Thanks to them, I now have a fairly good idea how subscribers felt about the free copy of I Stopped Time they received in return for their email address.  They rated it 4.77 out of 5. 76% recommended it…
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