Books, Writing

Scar’s Pet Words

I read a lot. I also make a lot of notes about the books I read. Some of these turn into reviews on here; others just languish in my notebooks for years. Some are especially meaty quotes or things I want to think about later.

Some are just beautiful words.

This is a post that’s going to be updated over and over again, I’m sure. At the moment my Beautiful Words I’ve Found In Books list goes something like this.
Continue reading “Scar’s Pet Words”

Writing

Drafting A Query Letter To A Publisher

The “Hello please buy my book” letter is one of the most nervewracking things you’re going to have to write. But you do have to do it, unless you want to go the self-publishing route, because otherwise your book’s going to linger in your archives for so long that it’ll end up being out of date.

One of the most annoying things when you’re trying to get your book published is how vague a lot of the advice is. “Find a publisher, send a query letter, get a book deal.” Um, yeah. I know. But, like, how?

Now I’m not saying I’ve got this all figured out, but I have one published book under my belt so far, and the query letter I sent to a publisher didn’t get a negative response (though they did ask for a little more detail, but that’s in the outline rather than the email itself… more on outlines in a future post).

So here’s the text of the email I sent them, with details redacted but otherwise intact.  Continue reading “Drafting A Query Letter To A Publisher”

Travel

So Florence Is Pretty Awesome

I recently went to Italy for the first time. I landed in Bologna, got on a bus to Modena, felt very excited about the trip… and then was intensely disappointed when I discovered that Modena is a shithole.

“What’s wrong with me?” I wondered. “Do I just hate Italy? Am I in a terrible mood for no good reason? Is it because it’s my first time abroad in over a year?”

None of the above, as it turned out. It was just Modena. When I went to Florence a few days later, I discovered breathtaking views, rolling countryside and delectable cuisine.  Continue reading “So Florence Is Pretty Awesome”

The Changeling's Fortune by K.C. Lannon
Books

The Changeling’s Fortune by K.C. Lannon

A while ago, Christa forwarded me a tweet from an author who was looking for a Romani sensitivity reader. The fact that K.C. Lannon was looking for one in the first place impressed me: while sensitivity reading is a growing field, I’ve never heard of someone using one for characters of Roma descent, and most of the books I’ve read which feature members of the travelling community have been starkly stereotypical (the obvious exception being Miriam Wakerly’s excellent novels).

I got in touch with K.C. Lannon and she sent me her manuscript, The Changeling’s Fortune. I sensitivity read it, which was pretty easy because Lannon had done her research beforehand, so whilst I made a few suggestions it wasn’t like so many of the wildly unaccurate representations I’ve read in the past. The book will be coming out shortly, so I thought I’d do a quick review of it on here.  Continue reading “The Changeling’s Fortune by K.C. Lannon”

Personal

30 Questions

A while ago Abby Norman, who wrote the utterly fantastic book Ask Me About My Uterus and runs the excellent podcast Let Me Google That, posted a series of questions on Medium which she asks herself every year. Surprisingly, none of them are about her uterus.

Since I’m an ex-MySpace-kid and I love a good online survey, I thought I’d answer them this year, since there are thirty of them and I’m thirty. Did I mention I’m thirty? I MADE IT PAST TWENTY WITHOUT DYING, Y’ALL. Continue reading “30 Questions”

Weekly Round-Ups

How Do You Fit It All In? #4

The fourth instalment in a series in which I answer the ongoing question “How do you fit it all in?”, which people ask me when I tell them what I do. Continue reading “How Do You Fit It All In? #4”

Books

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

When I picked this book off the shelf in my local charity shop I thought it looked familiar. Then I read the blurb and it sounded like a storyline I recognised, but I still wasn’t sure if I’d read it before. Since it was only £1, I took it home and read it in the bath.

It turned out I had read it before, but I didn’t notice until quite far into the book, so it must have been a long time ago. And it didn’t matter that I’d read it already, because it was very good.

Continue reading “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler”