When is a novel finished?

This is a kind of zen koan – a mind-bending unanswerable question – for many authors. But as I’m getting ready to send off my next manuscript, these are the ten questions I ask myself:

  1. Prose – is it fresh, evocative, vivid, agile?
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Is it worth paying for a copy-edit?

First, I’m an author, not a copy-editor, and I’m not selling any services. For my first four books I didn’t use a copy-edit as it would have cost me around a thousand pounds to do so per book, and I didn’t think it was worth it.… Read the rest


Why I wrote 66 Metres

I wrote Sixty-Six Metres over the course of several years, initially stopping after 7 chapters and putting it down for eighteen months while I was working on something else. But it actually started back in 2011 when I had a short story called ‘No Diving’ published online.… Read the rest


Landing a publishing contract with Harper Collins…

I remember staring at The Call letter when it came in, and at first thinking it was just another rejection. But something in my brain snagged… and then, an OMG moment, especially when I read the ‘three-book’ part. I had to re-read the letter several times, and call Charlotte, my brand new Carina UK editor, to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating!… Read the rest