The Unlikelihood of Happily Ever Afters in Writing: Why We Should Enjoy the Moment


I’ve mentioned a couple of times now that I entered the 2015 Ampersand Prize, a writing competition for young adult and children’s writing, and managed to attract the attention of one of the judges. I’ve also mentioned that I failed to win or even be shortlisted, despite attracting that attention.

The likelihood of happily ever afters in writing is, as it has ever been, very small. The numbers of people who win competitions or simply succeed in getting published are comparatively low and the numbers just keep getting lower as you add the extra elements of happily ever after. Good reviews. Good sales. Awards. Subsequent publishing contracts. Financial security. Fame.

So this is me enjoying the moment as I share with you parts of the correspondence I received from that Ampersand judge. Sure, the moment is long over but the memory of that moment is still a glowing ember – blowing on it gently brings it back to life and casts it in a warm light like an orange sunrise breaking over the horizon. Continue reading


White Wash: Original Chapter One


Two days ago I posted the first chapter of White Wash, the currently unfinished sequel to my currently unpublished next novel, Black Spot. What follows below was originally the first chapter of White Wash until I realised it wasn’t working. It wasn’t working, I believe, because this series of books is Livia Black’s story, not Sebastian White’s story. I hope you agree that I’ve made the right decision. Continue reading

The Writing Path Not Taken


At the heady heights of the Twilight movies success and as The Hunger Games movie was beginning to grip everyone as well, a friend suggested that I should attempt to write a similar series of books. Young adult for all intents and purposes but with mainstream crossover potential and, most importantly, with film adaptation in the forefront of my mind.

Perhaps for those who aren’t writers, it seems that writing a successful book series that becomes a successful movie series is as simple as having the idea and seeing it through. But knowing what will strike a chord with young adult readers and Hollywood producers at any given moment is almost impossible – I’m still trying to figure it out.

Continue reading