I wrote my first story at the age of 5 or 6, in the back of a book of sums. It was about Batman and mostly comprised familiar dialogue from the TV programme ("Holy tadpoles, Batman!").


As a child, I churned out boarding school stories in which all the girls had multi-syllable names and the school was a cruise ship that sailed around the Mediterranean. Then, in my teens, I lapped up Victoria Holt's books and started writing gothic stories, though these soon developed into sagas.


In my twenties I wrote a colossal (as in 360,000 words) historical saga. Although I found an agent, nothing came of it.


Fast forward some years, and I worked with an authors' advisory service and learned a great deal about the craft of writing romantic novels.


I then joined the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writers Scheme, in which each year 250 unpublished romance writers have the chance to submit a novel and synopsis for consideration by published writers, who generously share their expertise by reading the scripts and compiling detailed reports. Wanting to build up a body of work with which to approach an agent or publisher, I  submitted three books to the NWS, one of which was The Deserter's Daughter.


Here are some posts about my writing:


Getting a Literary Agent:




Getting an agent 1  


Getting an agent 2  



From Book Deal to Publication:


The book deal  


The dreaded synopsis 


3 months to publication day  


2 months to publication day 


1 month to publication day 


Finding my book in the public library catalogue    


An unexpected and wonderful moment just before publication.


Blog Interviews & Guest Blogs:


Reading For Solace. Guest Blog on Maggie James's Website.


A Look Behind The Book with Susanna Bavin. Interview by Tara Greaves.


Using a Real Location: Setting The Deserter's Daughter in Chorlton. Guest post for Allison & Busby.




Learning from critiques  


The editing process  


More editing - on paper or on-screen 


Writing by hand  


Writing by hand 2   


Connecting with other writers 


Character development - a technique  


NaNoWriMo - is your first bound to be the best?   


Professional eavesdropping  


Why 'said' is better than the alternatives