My Writing

Sealing night: Rebecca

August 31, 2011

Deleted scenes from the cutting room floor: an extract from Sisterwives Practical things.  These were the things I focused on, the day of the Sealing: the cooking rota, the mouths to feed.  The last minute alterations to the dresses the girls would wear.  While at the same time trying to keep Mariah and her brood out […]

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‘Questioning the bedrock of any structure…’

August 31, 2011

I’m delighted to have my first review of Sisterwives.  It’s up on Lit Endeavors, a blog and all-round amazing resource written by American reader Jennifer Orozco.  As a voracious reader, a writer and mother-of-four, Jennifer is particularly interested in gender, sexism and societal double standards.  So I’d hoped that Sisterwives – which is intended to challenge views of women […]

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Talking the hind leg off a donkey

August 24, 2011

One of the lovely things about being a soon-to-be-published novelist is getting to talk to people.  In the last couple of weeks it’s been a pleasure to be interviewed about Sisterwives, about my literary influences, about my work for the Arvon Foundation and about the writing process.  When it comes to all of those things, really, […]

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Homecomings and gateways

August 7, 2011

It’s a poignant thing, coming home.  There is familiarity mixed with the distance of estrangement.  The house smells like itself, like it does always, but you’ve forgotten and the time away reminds you.  The place feels bigger, or smaller maybe.  It’s changed irrevocably since you were last there because of the things you’ve done in the meantime, the places you’ve been, […]

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Unveiling the cover

June 30, 2011

Here it is….the cover of Sisterwives.  It won’t be too much longer before I’m holding the book in my hands! Tweet

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Gemini Soul

June 24, 2011

One thing writing gives me – and perhaps what I love about it most – is a sense of spaciousness.  In a story, there are no limitations; I’m free to zoom across time and place, in and out of characters’ heads.  But there’s more to it than that.  For me, the writing process permits a […]

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Sisterwives blurb

May 29, 2011

The back jacket blurb for Sisterwives is finally done.  Funny word, blurb.  A bit like ‘blurt’ or ‘blab’, when you think about it.  But there’s nothing uncensored about the paragraph below.  It took several iterations and some work with a mighty red pen (well two, actually – the other one belonging to the very patient editors at Crocus Books).   […]

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The Long Path to a Novel

May 4, 2011

This is how it starts.  You have an idea, something you feel an itch to write about.  It’s rooted in the past, in real people who really existed but when you think about it, the project is decidedly novel shaped.  You do some research, visit some museums and galleries.  Your interest grows further.  One day, […]

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Editing: where the dialogue begins

March 16, 2011

Yesterday I sent off the finished proof of Sisterwives.  I really loved this bit of the process: homing in on the detail, checking words for spelling accuracy (bodhrán, for example), rewording sentences or paragraphs that needed refining.  Prompted by my editor, I added a couple of last minute extra scenes, too.  I’d been avoiding them, […]

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How many people does it take to publish a novel?

February 9, 2011

After years of being closeted away in my writing space (or, I’ll admit it, sometimes writing on the laptop in bed), it’s wonderful to be featured as a ‘news story’ on the website of The Literary Consultancy, announcing the forthcoming publication of Sisterwives. Reading TLC’s press release brought it home that though the graft of writing […]

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