Starting out- events

One piece of advice I often give to aspiring writers is: go to events. When you’re on the outside, publishing can seem like an ivory-towered citadel that’s doing its best to keep out the unpublished rabble. In truth, it’s a business that’s looking for new product – it’s just that the product is your very…

More about starting

I have a few more things to say about getting started (what?? it’s almost like I’m procrastinating). I talked last time about taking yourself seriously. But how do you actually do this? Here are five easy ways to start becoming a writer. -Create space in your life for writing. For some people this may be…

Starting

I love starting new things. Notebooks, all shiny and fresh, with no teastains or scribbled shopping lists.  Pens, before the lids get lost and the ink runs dry. And ideas, before they get ruined by, you know, actually writing the damn thing. Iris Murdoch said that every book is the wreck of a great idea,…

What’s it really like to have a book launch?

If you’re anything like me pre-publication, you probably spend a lot of time day-dreaming about this moment. You’ll be drifting about in a fantastic outfit, accepting congratulations with a humble smile, having fun….Everyone is there, from your parents to your friends, to your worst enemy (magnanimously invited to see your triumph), and is that Salman…

The Thirty List

You may have noticed I have a book out today. But what’s this? The cover is pastel, and has a cartoon dog on? Surely there are no dark crimes in this?? Busted – this is my attempt at a romcom/chick lit/contemporary women’s fiction book. There are issues about what to call it, but essentially it’s…

Seven ways to stay positive (in the face of dropping advances, ongoing rejection, and an onslaught of articles in the Guardian)

Listen to this as a podcast – http://claire-mcgowan-ink-stains.podomatic.com/entry/2015-04-23T07_00_25-07_00 I had planned this time round to say something about a technical aspect of writing – creating suspense, perhaps, or working with viewpoint. Those are both very important, but lately I’ve come to realise that I still need to say more about the way how you feel…

Just get on with it! How to finish your book

(You can also now listen to this or download it as a podcast! Fancy huh). A few weeks ago I gave a talk to the London Writers’ Café (a great group, check them out!) about how to finish your book. I think this is an area that gets neglected sometimes. It’s easy to start, in…

March update – listspiration

Happy March! I’m off to Paris tomorrow to see if I really do love it in springtime (if not I shall stay indoors eating pain au chocolat), but before then here’s a quick update of what I’ve been doing. My first romcom The Thirty List is out in June, and here’s a teaser of the…