Oxford Literary Festival. This year only got to three events, but they were all fascinating and very different and – especially today with the sun shining on all the golden stone and lots of happy people sitting in the quads – I was reminded how lucky I am to live in Oxford.   Simon Jenkins on […]

What’s unique about human beings?  Not tool-making, not language, not solving physics problems. Storytelling. It’s Think Week in Oxford. A week’s worth of challenging (and free) events. The one that might be of most interest to readers of this blog was a lecture by Gregory Currie, Professor of Philosophy at York:’The Human Mind and the […]

Got over-excited after an agent ‘called  in’ my whole novel and a chapter breakdown. But they didn’t take me on.   I should have known it would be tears before bed time.  But I’m glad to say I actually enjoy the feeling of hope and confidence that sweeps over me when I press the send button […]

Over the last three days I’ve experienced at second hand what it is like to be sought after by the media. It’s been exciting. My friend Nora Crook, Professor Emerita at Anglia Ruskin University and a noted Shelley scholar, has discovered some Mary Shelley letters in the Essex Record Office and the news ‘broke’ while […]

…at least until that agent either rejects the novel  or insists that I add more words. I  added some more episodes and de-summarised a bit more, got it to 66,000 words (thanks to all who gave me advice on length!) and finally ‘queried’ a few  agents. Now one of them has the whole thing and […]

Someone who knows what she is talking about told me that I’d be wasting my time approaching agents with a novel of only 60,000 words. Unless I’m Julian Barnes or Heinrich von Kleist. Perhaps it isn’t ‘fully realised’ ? That’s the posh way of saying skimpy and trivial. What’s to be done? I hate long […]

Third time lucky? I have twice written a new blog today and twice it has vanished after I pressed ‘Publish’ so I am just doing this as a test. If it works I will continue and try to reproduce what I wrote before – about  the godless asembly and about my novle that is too […]


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