My debut novel ‘Sing Fox to Me’ (2016) is about lots of things: Tasmania, Thylacines, twins, loss, grief, displacement, dementia, kookaburras, sibling rivalry, masculinity, and Down syndrome. I don’t want to say that my novel is mostly about Down syndrome but it is, at least in my mind, mostly about fourteen-year-old Samson Fox, and Samson…

Pitching stories is a vital part of writing non-fiction. Whether you’re a freelancer or on staff, you’ll have to present compelling ideas in a timely and engaging way. Unfortunately, the process can feel like hacking out a part of your soul and offering it to someone. It’s an act that exposes your ambition and vulnerability…

The idea to write a book came from an unusual source. For years, whenever I have travelled, and I have been through over 85 countries, I would write long hand-scrawled letters home to my mother; twenty, forty pages of ‘nonsense’, as she called it. They were often boring, but sometimes filled with unlikely adventures of…

While I’ve had three novels published (using a different structure each time), book number four, The Other Side of the Season, is my first dual time period piece, with the storytelling load spread over two winters—1979 and 2015. The obvious benefit of the dual time period structure over the use of other methods is having…

I’m one lucky freelance writer. I’ve spent a couple of decades as an editor before crossing to the other side of the desk, so I know a fair bit about what editors want. I also have an intimate acquaintance with what constitutes an ‘author from hell’: that writer for whom an editor is always mysteriously…

Characters: we love them, we hate them, sometimes we want to be them, but the most important thing is that, no matter how we feel about them, they are our guides through the stories we read. So, how do you ensure (and when I say ‘ensure’ I mean ‘do your level best’) that your characters…

ONE of the common questions I am asked when I talk about my memoir, Bad Behaviour, is whether being an editor helped when I was writing the book. Yes seems the obvious answer in many ways, but the insider’s experience of the publishing industry did also add layers of complexity I hadn’t anticipated. Before Bad Behaviour…

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