Tag Archives: inspiration

Should writers also be readers?

30 Jun


Image courtesy of Marin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The last book I read was Gone Girl, which was just fantastic. Great style, great twists, really did it for me. Trouble was, I stole a few hours from my writing schedule to read it. I know I shouldn’t have, but it was so good, I just couldn’t put it down. And it made me want to reach for my next read straight away. I am already halfway through Killing Me Softly by Nicci French, another book I can’t put down.

I used to read all the time. I spent far more time reading than writing. But that was partly because I was commuting to work every day, and what better to do on the tube than read? Since I had my children, I’ve read a lot less. In fact, it took me a couple of years to finish reading The Thread by Victoria Hislop. Not because I didn’t love it, but because I find it hard to commit to a chunky book the way I used to, knowing that I don’t have hours at a time to devote to it.

I’m making a reading comeback though. Last year, I set myself a modest goal on reader’s website Goodreads. I decided that I would read 10 books by the end of 2013. As someone who likes to tick things off lists, I felt strangely pleased when I met that goal. This year, I’ve set a goal of 15 books and I’m already 8 wonderful, delicious reads down. The more I read, the more I want to read. And the more I want to write too, because reading good books is so inspiring. Reading bad books can be useful too. When something about the book doesn’t quite click, I like to try and work out what it is, so that I can avoid making similar mistakes in my own writing. Luckily I have excellent taste (or just plain luck), and all the books I’ve read so far this year have been corkers.

I’ve heard writers who say they are too busy to read, and if I’m honest, I was one of them for a while, but I think I’m past that now. As I work on making writing my career, I know that reading needs to be an important, yet enjoyable part of my work.  A good story haunts you. It forces you to think about it, long after you’ve put the book down. Without reading, I think it would be hard to grow as a writer.

How much do you read? Do you find that reading interferes with your writing schedule, or does it enhance it?



I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award 2013!

11 Apr

Roberta Capizzi nominated selfpublishbible.com for the Liebster Award just over a month ago, but I’ve been so tied up with my book launch that I haven’t had a chance to post about it.

First of all, thank you Roberta. Friends, you can check out Roberta’s Dreamworld here.


Here are the  rules of the LiebsterAward:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been chosen.

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

11 facts about me:

1. I once went to Austria by mistake. I was only 11 and my (ex-navy) mum was doing the map reading, using a German map. There was no Euro in those days, and we we had no Austrian currency, so we had to make it a quick visit.

2. I was once given a homework assignment of taking over a small African country and putting my brother in charge of the military. My brother was really up for it.

3. I destroyed my last microwave by microwaving a thermometer. In my defence, I had a newborn baby and I was very tired. 

4. I’m obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest. I went to see it live a few years ago when it was in Kiev. I am very excited that Bonnie Tyler’s going to represent the UK this year. My dad was less thrilled to hear the news since ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ reminds him of when he had a nose job. 

5. I used to work at the British Home Office. Oddly, when we moved into new premises, they decided to name one of the buildings FRY. I was in the middle of writing my novel at the time, so it freaked me out a little. I took it as a sign.

6. I used to worship the pink plastic crack. No, that’s not some kind of illegal narcotic. I’m talking My Little Ponies. I used to be one of the organisers of UK Ponycon, a collector’s convention that takes place every year in the UK. One year we raised money for charity by asking celebrities to sign customised My Little Ponies. Bill Bailey’s had a beard. The convention’s going to be in Cardiff this year, if anyone’s interested.

7. Our car got towed from outside the birthing centre when I was in labour with my son (Halloween 2009.) I made sure it didn’t happen a second time by having my next child at home. I gave birth, then went back to bed. Take that, traffic wardens. 

8. Just over a year ago, my baby daughter and I were on the cover of the Independent. My  parents were going on the Titanic Memorial Cruise to mark 100 years since the Titanic disaster. And since my Grandad waved off the original Titanic when he was a boy, I thought it would be fitting to dress my kids up in naval outfits to see their grandparents off.  We ended up on the BBC news, on Yahoo, and in newspapers all around the world.

9. I can run twice around the duck pond. Maybe three times when I’m feeling really inspired.

10. I’m such a terrible cook, I forget to put any pasta in the lasagna and my three year old makes better mash than me. Luckily my husband is a budding masterchef.

11. I went to Japan a few years ago and I just love Japanese toilets! They have so many knobs and buttons, you just don’t know what they’re going to do next. One public bathroom I went to even had a map on the door, so you could choose which loo you wanted to use. Also a big fan of the British ‘Loo of the year’. Always get really excited when I find one.

The blogs I have nominated:

(Some may have more than 200 followers, and others may have been nominated before, but it can’t be helped!)

1. http://lornasvoice.com

2. http://petedenton.wordpress.com

3. http://ramiungarthewriter.wordpress.com

4. http://www.saffronbryant.blogcatapult.com

5. http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com

6. http://thevampirequeen1.blogspot.com

7. http://nickrennie.wordpress.com

8. http://eyedancers.wordpress.com

9. http://katieajennings.wordpress.com

10. http://redpenofdoom.com/about-me

11. http://laurajhogan.wordpress.com


Here are my questions

 1. What was the best moment of your life?

2. If you had a time machine, what year/era would you visit?

3. Would you consider yourself a pessimist or an optimist?

4.What is your greatest passion in life?

5.If you could choose anyone, dead or alive to write a guest post for your blog, who would you pick?

6.Who would you most like to throw a custard pie at?

7. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

8. What kind of music do you like?

9. What book would you take with you to a desert Island?

10.What are your favourite pastimes?

11.What would you like your last words to be?

As always, thanks for reading! Please leave a comment 🙂





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