How to research a novel

‘Write what you know’ is classic advice – for good reason. We all want our work to have a tang of authenticity, and staying within familiar territory can make things more truthful, and certainly a heck of a lot quicker. And as I wrote in my last blog, no matter how well-intentioned, endless research can easily become a procrastination tool.

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What Time is Love? update…

Publication day approaches… and has been brought forward to 26 May 2022. What Time is Love? is available for pre-order now, from your favourite independent bookstore, or this link takes you to a range of online retailers. Final copies are imminent, but we have a cover design!

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How to finish a novel

This first post in a series of blogs about writing was going to be on how to start a novel. But I feel like starting is rarely the problem – whereas finishing often is. Whether you plan a book out or plunge right in, the beginning is always full of shimmery possibility. And then… the reality of the words on the page often disappoints. Hence the urge to polish and polish, re-writing the first chapter or section over and over.

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What Time is Love? funded by Arts Council England

In autumn 2021, I was successful in my application to ACE for a Project Grant to finish working on my novel, What Time is Love?

I am extraordinarily grateful to ACE for this funding and support, which enabled me to finish writing, editing, fact-checking and proof-reading the manuscript, ahead of my agent Tristan Kendrick submitting it to publishers in the New Year.

Writing a novel

Some exciting news: I have signed to RCW literary agency for a currently work-in-progress novel. My agent is Tristan Kendrick, who I am thrilled to be working with as the book progresses.

The story imagines one couple meeting at three different points during the 20th century, looking at how changes in class, gender and social mobility impact on a relationship.

Alongside the actual writing, I’m conducting oral histories with people who lived through the late 1940s/early 1950s, the late 60/early 70s, and the late 80s/90s as research. I’ll be putting up some posts about that process as I go along, as well as more general reflections on the writing process.