Monday, 29 March 2010

Experimenting in Plain Sight

To my mind, there is a wonderful sweet spot halfway between the mainstream and the avant-garde, a place where fascinating things happen. This is where left field bands go to record their "pop" album, or quirky Jewish filmmakers decide to make a Capra-esque comedy. Tempering our artistic ambitions in order to actually make some money can be so much more than just "selling out" - popular culture is constantly driven forward by this commercial cross-pollination.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Signing Bonus

How I feel about book signings depends on whether I'm approaching it as a writer or a reader. The writer in me loves the idea of meeting my public (especially as they mostly exist in my head at present). Signings are also a cost-effective way for publishers to support bookshops, sell books at full price and ensure that none of the signed copies can be sent back!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

I'm on Tall Tales & Short Stories!

Does this mean I've finally made it? What's that you say Mum? Yes, yes, I'll finish writing the book first...

SCBWI Undiscovered Voices Winner: Nick Cross

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Emotional Resonance

I might wear my heart on my sleeve, but provoking a genuine emotional response to my writing is something I'm still working on. Maybe that's why I feel a need to write for boys, because emotions are something that can remain implicit - only surfacing at key moments to highlight the plot.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Visibility Spell

I'd like to think that you are so riveted by my words that you haven't noticed the lack of adornment on this site. The words, after all, are what matters, not some amusing viral video or a flashing banner ad for teeth-whitening products. Yet there was something very definitely missing, and that thing was a photograph. I considered waffling on about the whole brain logo thing being mysterious, or some progressive attempt to 'build a brand', but it was easier just to stand in front of a camera and pull a face. So there you have it, another mystery solved.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Losing Your Voice

As writers, we hear a lot about "voice", the mysterious quality that somehow differentiates our work from someone else's. Because it is a vague and ineffable thing, voice is often used as shorthand to proclaim one person's work and denigrate another's. The publishing industry is desperate to find "original voices", but much like the movie industry it doesn't know what these are until it finds one. Just this week I made one of my writing friends feel bad (and myself too) by telling them that I didn't think they had a strong enough voice. I still think I was right to say there was a problem, but I so, so wish there had been a better way of expressing it.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Buying Undiscovered Voices

Just a quick note to say that if you would like your own copy of Undiscovered Voices 2010 to treasure (or keep in the loo), that they are now available for a mere fiver each from the UV Website.

I don't get any royalties from this, sadly, but I do get a big smile every time I hear that someone's read it. Which is much nicer, but harder to spend.