Sign Language

What is it about reading a sign? You’ve seen it plenty of times—someone drops litter beside a fully signed-up trash can, dogs and their human slaves roam unfettered on a dogs-on-leashes only beach, we skip across the road when the sign says, DON’T, and junk mail appears in the letterbox, despite the sign that asks otherwise.

Read More
Michael Collins Memoirs and Writing

Bad sex in Fiction

The winner of this year’s Bad Sex in Fiction is about to be announced.

Last year, for passages in his book, For the Shape of Her, Rowan Somerville won the 18th Bad Sex in Fiction award.

Read More
You want me to read what?

What should writers read?

You can’t be much of a writer if you’re not a reader. And you should have read sufficient of your genre if you intend to become good at it. It’s a bit pointless writing historical romances when you only read sci-fi, don’t you think?

Read More


Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs. ~ John Osborne

Read More

Finding time to read

In Michael Hyatt’s blog about five ways to find time to read, he comes up with some useful ideas. You can read the blog post here.

Finding reading time seems to be a real problem for many avid readers.

Read More

So Much For That

Things are about to warm up around here. Shorter, sharper blogs, delivered with far more frequency. Not that we’ll lose all the thinky posts—they’ll still be there, and we’ll have a few more from time to time.

Read More

Biography or bat poo?

There are bios and there are kick-arse accounts of someone’s life. So, what makes a bum-kicking bio good to read? Is it the story—what happened to the subject—born in a concentration camp, survived three global conflicts, and married a prince?

Read More

The Last Book

No, it’s not the last book I’ll ever write. And, in my line of work, it certainly isn’t the first. That’s what I do—write books for other authors, or coach people to write their own.

Read More

Stream of consciousness

It happens to all of us, except perhaps the incredibly gifted and prolific writers we hear about pumping out 5-10,000 words each day—you know the ones—who will sell you an eBook on how to write a novel in just one week.

Read More

Beginning of the end

You’re on the final approach—the countdown to the end—a moment you’ve been dreaming about for the last few months, or years maybe. You’ve crafted your book over countless hours, fashioned the characters, and perfectly assembled everything you want to say.

Read More

The loneliness of the long-distance writer

In the olden days—no guys, that’s not a mere twenty years ago, let’s say the mid 1800s—we can picture the writer, sitting at his or her desk, quill in hand, staring contemplatively out over some peaceful English rural scene.

Read More


‘I haven’t been educated about writing,’ she told me, ‘so how can I write a book?’

I was meeting a book coaching client for the first time and did she have a story to tell.

Read More