Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bringing your characters alive

How can you bring the characters on the page, your very own creation to life?  Here’s some ideas -

1. Write a back story – what are their likes/dislikes, what was their childhood like, did they have a pet, have they ever been the victim of a crime etc… Knowing these things will help you to understand how they will react to situations and people. 

2. Cut out pictures from magazines and use them as a basis for your characters.  Being able to see your characters can help you to write about them.

3. Give characters a theme tune.  This can be any song or music that brings out their character.

4. Base characters on people you know, but don’t base just on the one person.  Make them an amalgamation of different people. 

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Success at last!

Just got an email saying that Pulp Press want to publish my first novel, a pulp fiction revenge book provisionally called How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks. I'm over the moon. It will be published in August 2011.

It's about a one legged barmaid who ends up killing a lech in the seedy bar where she works and has to go on the run with a sack of gangster's cash and a hot gun. 

What really makes me happy about this is I absolutely loved writing this book.  I had so much fun. Maybe because I thought it's about time that there were books where women wern't just window dressing or victims or the detective solving a crime who's weighed down by childcare arrangements

I know there's a long road ahead with editing and what not, but I'm so excited. 

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Readers Digest £5,000 for 100 words

I have just entered two stories in the Reader’s Digest flash fiction comp.  The big prize is £5,000.  Imagine what you could do with that? 

Stories must not be more than 100 words and that excludes the title, so no need to add that into your word count.

If you fancy a go.

Friday, 10 December 2010

How to promote your book with a kidnapping

These days, authors have to do more and more to publicise their books.  But being available for book festivals and interviews and having a website is not enough. 

Crime writer Stuart MacBride is going to write and direct a kidnap scene to promote his new book Shatter The Bones.  You can read about it here -

Personally, if I knew how I would love to turn Vile City into a computer game. 

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Walking Dead

Has anyone else been watching The Walking Dead, starring Andrew Lincoln who played Egg in Thats Life as the cop who's in a coma when the Zombie virus strikes? 

Although I've been enjoying it, I have two complaints - 1. not enough Zombie action
2- I don't think Zombies would attack and eat a horse.  For once thing, its human flesh Zombies want and specifically human brains.

At least that's my opinion.

What does anyone else think?  If you haven't seen it, here's a link to the trailer on YouTube - 

One thing the programme has done is inspire me to try my hand at my own Zombie novel.  Hope I can do this brilliant genre justice.  In the meantime, I'm having vivid Zombie dreams.

S'now fair

No buses or trains.  People abandoning their cars in freezing weather and trudging down the motorway like refugees, turning the M8 into one giant car park.  ‘It was like The Day After Tomorrow’ my brother told me. 

He spent four hours running around Glasgow trying to find a way home.  Went to the Bus Station.  No buses.  Went to Information,’ What do I know?’ shrugged the man in the booth.  Some information perhaps?

Same story at the train station.  ‘Oh, but there is a train ten miles away from where you really want to go and it leaves in five hours.’  Bloody fantastic info, especially when they tell you AFTER you bought your ticket.

Eventually he got home seven hours after his brother went into get him in a Land Rover.  Something about their gears makes them good in the snow apparently.

Anyway, I’m listening to this and whilst I’m thinking how terrible it is, I’m also thinking wouldn’t it be great to write a zombie novel set in the snow?  Imagine it, survivors walking by and they see a snowman and think,’ how lovely it is that kids are still doing normal things like building snowmen.  Then the thing moves and it’s a blooming zombie!  I can just see folk jumping in their cinema seats when I sell the movie rights to Night of the Killer Snow Zombies!.  

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Editing needs to be done on paper

This past few days I have been editing a novel I've been working on.  I thought writing on a computer screen and using a spell and grammar check, that my work would be error free.  Then I decided to take the advice of others writers more successful than me and print it out and edit it with a red pen.

My, that red pen has been busy.  And you know what, as well as getting rid of all the mistakes I have made, I have improved the manuscript and re-written parts of it.

Editing on paper may seem laborious and old fashioned, but boy is it needed.  As writers we are so close to our work, we don't always see the mistakes.

Friday, 3 December 2010


A publisher has expressed an interest in one of my novels.  After the initial Yippee and dance around the room, I am now left waiting by my laptop and the phone, hoping they will get in touch.    

They say no news is good news, but sometimes I wonder.  Being a writer is to be full of doubts, to knock yourself down and continually ask, ‘am I good enough?’ 

I would love this publisher to take on my book because I believe they are bringing out the kind of books that people will enjoy reading. 

Hopefully the next time I mention them it will be to say they've given me a most emphatic yes.  But, if they don't.  I won't give up.  I will still keep on writing on toilet paper when I go to the loo.  I will write on bus and train tickets, on menus and napkins.

DI Duncan Waddell - Detective in a Coma Book 2

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