Sunday, 10 January 2016

My latest articles in Writing Magazine

Being asked not so long ago about what the secret is to writing, prompted me to think about how to distil the concept - if there is such a thing. (I'm a professional writer, so don't really analyse what I'm doing day-to-day, which is to sit my glutes on a chair and get on with it).

But it did produce a (reasonably - at least in the title) succinct answer in my latest Beginners page in February's Writing Magazine, which I called 'The 3 secrets to successful writing'.

Actually there were more than three, but I threw a couple of others in for free. They included 'work hard and often', which to my mind is a no-brainer applying to any job if you want to succeed.

I mentioned it only because somebody at a writers' conference once remarked, "It must be lovely sitting down at home all day, scribbling away for a living." Yeah, like it's that easy.

To counter it, a quote I include in the article is the one that goes, 'the harder I work, the luckier I get'. It wasn't my invention, and I've heard it attributed to several people. But it really does carry more than a grain of truth.

The New Author profile this month is Mike Craven, who comes to bookshelves with his debut novel, 'Born in a Burial Gown', published by Caffeine Nights.

Mike uses the unusual theme of a central character (in his case DI Avison Fluke), having the restriction of a serious illness - Burkitt's Lymphoma, which prevents blood-clotting. If it were known by his superiors, it would instantly put him out of a job, as any injury could be fatal.

Since Mike also suffers this burden himself, he brings a great deal of personal knowledge to the character. In addition, having spent many years in the probation service working with dangerous offenders and extremists, he carries a great deal of useful background knowledge to add colour and depth to his writing.

You can read more about Mike on his website here.


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