A Moment With: Nell Dixon.

nellNell is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Her books include Christmas Ever After, The New Bay Series and Radio Gaga. Today, Nell shares her five tips for new writers.

Read lots.

Keep writing.

Write what you love.

Don’t be scared to reach out to other writers.

Never be scared to edit.


For more information about Nell and her books, visit her website: www.nelldixon.com

Follow Nell on Twitter.

For more information on the Romantic Novelists’ Association, visit their website: www.rna-uk.org

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Events: Peter F Hamilton

peter f hamiltonPeter F Hamilton will be at Foyles on 8th October to celebrate the upcoming release of his new book, The Abyss Beyond Dreams (which is a prequel to his popular Void trilogy.)

The event is taking place on Wednesday 8th October 2014.

It starts at  7pm and is being held at Foyles on Charing Cross Road in London (it’s being held in the auditorium on Level Six.)

Since the publication of his first novel, Mindstar Rising, Hamilton’s grand space opera visions have enthralled readers worldwide, with over two million copies of his books now sold.

Tickets are £5, and this includes a glass of wine.

To find out more or to book tickets, visit Foyles website: http://www.foyles.co.uk

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Writing Room: Hi.

rp_writeanything-300x1991.jpgWriting Room is our online writing group.

We post a prompt.  Once you’ve written your piece, post it in the comments box below. Anyone is welcome to take part and it’s an opportunity to post work plus give and gain feedback.

Today, we are introducing ourselves to our characters.

As writers, we spend a lot of time with the people we create in our imagination but how well do we know them? How much you know your characters will depend on what kind of writer you are and what planning you do before you begin. Today’s exercise is about asking your characters questions about themselves and getting to know them better.

Ask three of your main characters the five questions below. You can choose to either share your answers in the comments box below or simply tell us whether this exercise helped you and why.

Ask your characters the following:

Continue reading

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Book News: Graeme Simsion

rosieThe Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion is the follow-up novel to the fantastic, The Rosie Project.

I loved The Rosie Project and completely fell in love with Don and Rosie. I was lucky enough to attend an author session with Graeme where he told us a little about this new novel and I have been looking forward to its release ever since.

The Rosie Effect is due to be released by Michael Joseph on 25th September 2014 and is available to pre-order in hardback and e-book.

About The Rosie Effect:

With the Wife Project complete, Don settles into a new job and married life in New York. But it’s not long before certain events are taken out of his control and it’s time to embark on a new project . . .

As Don tries to get to grips with the requirements of starting a family, his unusual research style gets him into trouble. Continue reading

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Courses and Competitions: The Writers’ Workshop Writing Course.

writers' workshopCreative Writing Flying Start is a four-week online course aimed at beginners.

This is a course which aims to shed light on the whole creative process. The course helps you get those words from head to heart and onto page or screen. The first few exercises are designed to stimulate creativity and to get you into the writing habit. Above all this is about having fun, about letting your imagination fly.

The course will include an introductory period followed by four weeks of study which will look at Self, Other People, Language and Writing the Story.

It’s being hosted by The Writers’ Workshop and the course is £195. The next available course dates are 2nd September and 4th November. Continue reading

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News: Unseen Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Chapter Released.



Roald Dahl’s classic, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory turns 50 in October.

It is certainly one book that has stayed with me from my childhood and that is why I am excited about the Roald Dahl estate releasing a previously unreleased, unused chapter.

This chapter was not used in the 1964 published book. According to the chapter, there are two new children and another two are referenced but none of which feature in the published novel. These children are Tommy Troutbeck, Wilbur Rice, Augustus Pottle and Miranda Grope.

The characters in this chapter visit the Vanilla Fudge Room in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

The draft chapter which was featured this weekend in the Guardian, reveals that in earlier versions of the novel, there were as many as ten golden tickets and ten children as opposed to the five children we are familiar with – Augustus, Veruca, Violet, Mike and of course, Charlie. Also in early drafts, it’s been indicated that Charlie was accompanied to the factory by his mother and not Grandpa Joe.

Y0u can read this unseen chapter at www.theguardian.com


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September’s Book Corner – A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

A-Girl-is-a-Half-Formed-Thing_largeBook Corner is our monthly online book club.

How it works…

We love books and we love chatting about them even more. Anyone can take part in our book club. Every month, we pick a new book for discussion. We will post a question to kick things off and then you can talk about any of your thoughts about the book in the comments box below.

This month, our pick is A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride.

About the book:

This experimental debut novel tells the story of a young woman’s traumatic coming-of-age in rural Ireland, as she struggles with her abusive family and clings to her relationship with her terminally ill brother.

(Published by Faber & Faber. April 2014.)

Buy from Amazon in paperback and e-book.

Continue reading

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Review: Created, The Destroyer by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir.

Sphere, August 2014.

Sphere, August 2014.

Created, The Destroyer was originally published in the early 70′s and has now been republished by Sphere. It was released on e-book on 21st August 2014.

About the book:

Sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, ex-cop Remo Williams is rescued from the electric chair at the eleventh hour and recruited by a secret government organisation named CURE. From this moment, he ceases to officially exist.

From now on, he will be an assassin, targeting criminals who are beyond the law. Remo’s trainer is a grouchy old Korean named Chiun, whose mastery of the terrifyingly powerful martial art of Sinanju makes him the deadliest man alive.

Together Remo and Chiun set forth on their epic, impossible mission to vanquish every enemy of democracy – every bad guy who thinks they can escape justice.

This is a new era in man’s fight against the forces of evil.

This is the time of the Destroyer.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. I had very little knowledge of it before reading aside from the fact that I knew it was a series.

This book began well and drew me in. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Of course I knew Remo was going to escape his execution but how was a mystery and it was interesting to see how his rescuers got him out of that situation.

Remo is a believable hero (you don’t find out too much about his past aside from the fact that he was in Vietnam. I would have liked to have known more about him.)

Continue reading

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Mick’s Musings: Torn Between Two Stories.

rp_Mick-Arnold1-224x3001.jpgThere should be a song in there somewhere. Set at some time from the seventies where all the ladies (and gentlemen) had big hair, knew it and weren’t ashamed (I know as I was one). Anyway, today’s story concerns a tale of two stories. Whilst waiting for the critique from the NWS reader – did I mention how wonderful they are? – I allowed myself to be persuaded to start the Children’s story I had the idea for a couple of years ago up in the Yorkshire Dales. I remember the day well, as my lady wife and I were on holiday and she was anxious to get an early start for a trip to (another) castle/ancient town/something else she wanted to see in case it fell down. I was sat at the breakfast bar whilst she was finishing getting ready and this single line came into my head from somewhere:

The Four Hedgehogs of the Apocalypse.

What followed was about thirty minutes of frantic scribbling as what came into my head, was desperately (and slightly illegibly) jotted down in a too small notepad; all the while with my lady wife looking over my shoulder and tapping her watch in a very meaningful way. Then, it got pretty much forgotten about until I’d finished the story that went off to the RNA NWS scheme. In the meantime, as happens, around three or four other ideas came from somewhere and vied for prime-spot in the ‘next to be written’ pile.

My heart and gut actually wants to write another romance, but I’ve decided to allow myself to give this children’s one a go. So far, there are only two and a half chapters written, so much slower than I was hoping for, but I think I’ve just had a minor ‘block’. I do love Walter the Henchtoad and his evil boss Greyback the Squirrel (grey of course), but I’m not exactly enamoured with a couple of the names I’ve given my hero Hedgehogs, but I guess they’ll do to let me keep writing, I can always change them later.

Continue reading

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Daily Prompt

Someone was knocking on the door. They knocked three times.

Book Corner – September

Book Corner – September


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