The joy of book research

“There is no delusional idea held by the mentally ill which cannot be exceeded in its absurdity by the conviction of fanatics, either individually or en masse.” Continue reading The joy of book research

One-Style-Fits-All: The Worst Advice Ever

I sent a query the other day and got quickly rejected because the size of my book exceeded their maximum. In addition to this perfectly sense-making reason I also got a list of writing tips to improve my writing. It made me feel extremely bad for about a second. Continue reading One-Style-Fits-All: The Worst Advice Ever

The Simplest Way to Market Books

Book marketing is tough. I know because I’ve tried it and I’m still trying. The choice of what some like to call marketing tools is stunning. There are also thousands of people ready to help you with what is effectively your war effort — a war on global oblivion of your brilliant work of art. However, there’s a much simpler way. Continue reading The Simplest Way to Market Books

Two Eyes or a Bestseller

My right eye has been bothering me recently. I think I’m seeing flashes of light at the edges of my peripheral vision and it’s making me nervous, after two years ago an ophthalmologist warned me to watch for the flashes as they could be an early signal of impending doom, also called retinal detachment. No, this is not fiction, sorry. Continue reading Two Eyes or a Bestseller

Writers, Give Me Your Recipes

In a book by one of my favourite crime writers, a secondary character tells the main character — a crime writer — that some of her fans are unhappy with her. Why, the writer asks, is the plots or the characterisation? No, it’s because you mention food a lot in your books but never give the recipes, the secondary character says. Continue reading Writers, Give Me Your Recipes

A Profound Look Back at the Week: December 7-13

It has been another week of vaccine and lockdown news, as well as lockdown and vaccine news, and I don’t even want to start on Where the Economy is Going (Any economy. Anywhere) so I won’t. Let’s talk about something more profound. Continue reading A Profound Look Back at the Week: December 7-13

The Absolutely Best and Greatest Thing about Books

I saw this article (about publishers going insane, basically) the other day and after the initial shock followed by the usual outrage – increasingly milder these days – I recovered to my usual cheerful self amazingly quickly. Because I remembered something important. Books already written cannot be unwritten. Continue reading The Absolutely Best and Greatest Thing about Books

Hello Voice, Are You There?

Those of the writing breed who have ever dared the Path of the Query have seen that every publisher worth their salt — and even those not worth any — wants what they usually call a unique voice. Now, the dominant school of thought these days teaches us that each and every one of us is born unique and this is probably true in some ways. In others, however, we need to work to develop that uniqueness and this is especially true when it comes to the author’s voice. Continue reading Hello Voice, Are You There?


I’ve always been a staunch opponent to metaphors comparing people to machines. It could be because of my not exactly positive opinion of the behavioural school of psychology (the original one) but anyone telling me they’re going to X place in nature to “recharge their batteries” is asking for it. And yet I must admit there is something we share with machines. The need for downtime. Continue reading Downtime

The Great Romantic Binge 2

WARNING, in case some pre-teens are reading this blog, which they aren’t. The following text contains references to the mating process in humans, commonly referred to as sex. I can’t believe I just wrote this.

That’s right, I’m doing a second romantic binge, this time on books. I found a lovely collection of 17 romantic novels and novellas online and I’m about halfway through it. Which means I’ve had the time and the accumulation of information to make some conclusions. Continue reading The Great Romantic Binge 2