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My latest blog posts

My latest blog posts

My latest blog posts

Alternative plot directions

Do you remember those ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ books for children that were in vogue in the 1970s and ’80s? The idea was that the reader, rather than the author, had some measure of say over the direction of the plot. Such fun for a child; though tricky to write, I imagine!  

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Burning Embers-inspired fruit salad

It’s the start of January, and for many of us that means an end to the indulgences of the Christmas season and renewed resolutions to eat healthily – good, fresh foods, sensible portion sizes and the five-a-day of fruit and veg. What better recipe, then, than one for an African-style

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The artistic hero

What does a woman look for in a romantic hero – in the object of the protagonist’s affection in a romance novel? Of course, we like him to be handsome and mature and intelligent and brave and masculine. We’re likely attracted to sensitivity and a sense of humour and a

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From writing a single book in a lifetime to 4,000…

If writing your first novel is hard, writing your second is harder still! The Huffington Post recently ran an interesting article on ‘One-hit-wonder authors’ – famous authors who only ever wrote one book. The authors included in the article are: Anna Sewell – Black Beauty Boris Pasternak – Dr Zhivago Cyrill

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The perfect man?

What makes a perfect man? Does such a man exist? Perfection is surely subjective – so what’s your idea of a perfect man? These are the fundamental questions explored in a recent survey commissioned by Remington (the UK supplier of hair care and personal care appliances). Remington asked 2,000 women

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A Touch of Moonlight

Regular readers of this blog will recall that one of my favourite poets, and one whose verses inspired me while writing my novel Burning Embers, is the 19th-century poète Leconte De Lisle. As a reader, I enjoy rich imagery, words that create vivid pictures in my mind; and as a

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For Auld Lang Syne

Is there any more well-known but misunderstood refrain through the English-speaking word than that of ‘Auld Lang Syne’? It is, of course, the song that, traditionally, we sing at midnight on New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay  if you’re Scottish) to say farewell to the old year and celebrate the new –

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Burning Embers as a word cloud

I love words and I love art and creativity, so I think word clouds are a fabulously fun innovation. You copy a section of text into a program, and it generates word art based on a random selection of words (well, they say random, but I suspect the algorithm finds

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