The sound of a good book

Four years ago, I wrote a blog post about the smell of a good book. Today, I am going to talk about a different sense: the sound of a good book. I am speaking of audiobooks, that alternative to the traditional method of reading which can prove to be just as good a way of experiencing a book and, if I dare say it, sometimes better!

I first started considering reading via the audiobook format when Continue reading

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What’s in a word?

Being a writer, I have an innate fascination with language and how words are used. Being a writer of historical fiction, this fascination extends to how the usage of words can change over time. As I write and edit my novels, I am constantly looking up words to make sure that they were in use during the time period in which my books are set (the 1800s). This has led me to make some interesting discoveries along the way!

I refer to various websites when researching word usage and the origins of different phrases, but my main source is Continue reading

They say a change is as good as a rest – but a rest does the job too

Back in April, I wrote a post about not breaking the chain, which involved making sure I did at least one writing-related task every single day. Having started the chain on the 3rd of January this year, I am pleased to announce that I kept it going for 185 days straight. Despite the best of intentions, however, I knew that I would have to break the chain eventually and ended up doing so on the 7th of July.

But I broke it in spectacular fashion and have in fact taken almost a month off from writing…! This was in order to Continue reading

The preferences of a writer’s palate: fancy meal or messy takeaway?

What do you like to see when you open a menu? Perhaps you are attracted to a dish that is described in elaborate language, seasoned with exotic terminology, and served like art on a plate. Or maybe you prefer a more humble bill of fare and don’t mind how sloppy it looks so long as it tastes delicious.

This is sometimes how I view reading books. I would put literary classics in the fancy meal category and more lighthearted material in the messy takeaway category. Both can appeal for different reasons but, like the food they represent, both offer Continue reading

Don’t break the chain: a writer’s mantra

No, this isn’t about spam mail claiming you will have seven years’ bad luck unless you forward it to 100 other people. It’s about motivation, consistency and – after a while – pure obstinacy!

I came across the notion of ‘Don’t break the chain’ in a recent blog post by crime author Catherine Ryan Howard. Always generous with advice, Catherine offered up some productivity tips and one of them was to not break the chain. She recommended putting Continue reading

Giving up on a book – when do you make that call?

Up until very recently, I was a firm believer that you should always power through a book to the end, regardless of its appeal, length or quality. This principle was motivated by a number of factors, including:

  • a simple desire to find out what happens
  • a respect for the time and effort the author has put into producing the work
  • a sense of completion at the end that aligns with my inbuilt impulse to neatly box away everything in life

Unfortunately, I have encountered a book which has forced me to abandon this enduring cornerstone of my existence.

Prior to Continue reading

2016: Time to take stock

Another year has passed which means it’s time to look back over 2016 and assess how it went!

December 2016On a global scale, I think many people are in agreement that the year has been something of a disaster, with regard to both international politics and the loss of numerous celebrity greats. On a personal level, I’ve found it to be a year of bad luck in quite a few different aspects, although there were memorable moments too, including special weddings of very close friends. But, for the purposes of this blog, the question is how did I fare out in writing terms?

My final post of 2015 included these words: “2016 will see Continue reading