Blog

Dragonfly Song

One of my favourite writers is Wendy Orr who, like me, writes for both adults and children.  Her latest book, Dragonfly Song, is likely to appeal to both, being set in Minoan Crete. The main character is a bull-dancer… That’s so far away from the era of my own books

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Bigamy vs divorce

It was publication day for The War Bride this week, and I’ve spoken elsewhere about the inspirations for it. But I thought it was worth sharing a bit more of the background – specifically, the material I collected on the prevalence of bigamy in the early 20th century. It was

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Drafts and Sr Edmund

In Year 10, my English teacher was Sr Edmund.  She seemed ancient to me, although she was probably in her 60s.  She walked a little hunched over and had something wrong with her feet (a bunion, maybe?) so that the back of her shoes were a good half inch from

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On Amateurs

One of the things I say to my students is: The difference between a professional writer and an amateur is the number of drafts you’re prepared to do. This is true.  If you want to be published, you need to learn to draft and redraft, to be radical and ruthless

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When research lets you down

When you’re writing about a relatively recent period – in my new book, 1920 – you’d think it would be easy to find out the information you need to know. It’s within living memory, if you can find any 95+ year olds. But it’s not as easy as you think.

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More Research Serendipities

This week I have stumbled across three – THREE – stories I’d like to write. In one week. Now, one of them I know I won’t write within any reasonable time. This is it: http://www.pascalbonenfant.com/18c/newgatecalendar/mary_frith_otherwise_moll_cutpurse.html Moll Cutpurse. Great name, great story. And in a week which was dominated by the

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Research junkie

I teach creative writing (at the Australian Writers’ Centre) and my students write across very wide-ranging topics. Part of my job, as I see it, is to challenge them on aspects of their work which don’t quite meet reality (or a coherent version thereof). It might be simple, like dates

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On learning from my students

Over the past couple of weeks, since The Soldier’s Wife came out, various students of mine have reviewed it. It’s an odd sensation. These are my workshopping students. Over months – sometimes years – I have taken their work apart and put it back together again. Complimented them, advised them,

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UK publication day!

So happy to tell my British readers that The Soldier’s Wife is now out in the UK – in ebook form at the moment, but the hard copy will be coming in October. At the moment, you can buy it here: Amazon UK iBooks Kobo Nook

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iBooks and me

Very glad to be able to share a link to the iBooks Best Books of the Month, on which you will find…. yes, The Soldier’s Wife. It’s a great compliment to the book, and the editorial comments on it made me immediately drag everyone in the house to have a

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