Why a book is like a loaf of bread

I accidentally used this metaphor while speaking to a student the other day, and the more I think about it, the more it holds true. When you make bread, something miraculous happens. A bowl of lumpy gloop is transmuted into an entirely different thing- different state, different matter, different texture and taste and smell. When you…

Bucket lists, and how to set any goal

What’s on your bucket list? Running a marathon, visiting Macchu Piccu, buying a house? Some goals take ages to achieve. There’s no way I could run a marathon unless I trained for a year, and probably not even then. And I couldn’t get really good at Spanish without some serious study or immersion. Could I…

A lighthouse in a storm

All about the research stage, and the weird stuff I’m obsessed with for my new book. Includes lead poisoning.

Openings – the one thing you need before you start

This week I’ve been reading the submissions for our bursary competition on the Crime Thriller MA I run at City University. We asked for the first 1,000 words only, because in theory a great crime novel should have grabbed the reader by then. Easy, right? Or is it? It got me thinking about what really…

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…

Splitting in Two

So, I’m very VERY pleased that I am going to have two books coming out this year. The next Paula Maguire, THE SILENT DEAD, will now be out in November. In the meantime, I’ve written a romantic comedy (which I promise does have real and actual jokes in) about having to start over in life….

How I write

My writing process by Claire McGowan   There are a couple of questions that always come up when I’m being interviewed, and which I really should have worked out better answers to. One is: are you disciplined with your writing? And the other is: how much research do you do? At the moment I write at…

Where do books come from, Mummy?

Where do you get your ideas from? It’s a common question. Some authors get annoyed and fire back snappy answers. I buy mine on eBay! I order them up, one adventure story with a strong female lead and side of elves! I don’t find it annoying, just puzzling. Every month since I was seven, at…