Art feasts upon its maker – is writing bad for you?

“A writer flirts with schizophrenia, nurtures synesthesia, and embraces obsessive-compulsive disorder. Your art feeds on you, your soul, and, yes, to a degree, your sanity. Writing novels worth reading will bugger up your mind, jeopardize your relationships, and distend your life. You have been warned.” David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks “Life isn’t a support systemContinue reading “Art feasts upon its maker – is writing bad for you?”

The DOs and DO NOTs of getting your book reviewed

Writing a regular column for The Guardian on weird books, I get asked by writers of all kinds to read their latest tome. And sometimes that question becomes “how do I get my book reviewed?” In the age of social media and the internet the book review is a much different beast than it onceContinue reading “The DOs and DO NOTs of getting your book reviewed”

Harlan Ellison : The Interview

Originally published in The Guardian. When Damien Walter tweeted he’d ‘literally kill’ to interview the multiple award-winning author Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman replied ‘What if the person you had to kill was … Harlan Ellison?’ Here Ellison talks about running away from home, the rights and wrongs of paying to read books and how hisContinue reading “Harlan Ellison : The Interview”

5 indispensable guides for fiction writers

Many people say writing can’t be taught. But it can certainly be learned. (I actually think it can be taught as well, or I wouldn’t teach it.) When we’re young and full of beans we like to think we know it all. It’s hard to admit to ourself we don’t how to do something. ButContinue reading “5 indispensable guides for fiction writers”

Workshop : Imagination

Term has begun at the Certificate in Creative Writing at Vaughan College, University of Leicester, of which I am very proud to be course director. We have 20 new keen creative writing students this year, of all ages and backgrounds. As part of this year’s course, I am going to open a general discussion followingContinue reading “Workshop : Imagination”

Oh please GOD no STOP writing! (so much)

There’s a terrible meme emerging from the internet writing community. It arises from good intentions and common sense, and like most examples of common sense applied to complex situations it is utterly, utterly wrong. You can see this meme at work in the debate around publishing a book a year following Steph Swainston‘s retirement fromContinue reading “Oh please GOD no STOP writing! (so much)”