When you have a personal story that you’re burning to get out into the world, a book is a brilliant way to do it. We’ve all read memoirs and autobiographies that have gripped us, moved us, and made us laugh (or cry). Wouldn’t it be amazing if yours was one of them? But how do you know if your story is capable of having that kind of impact on thousands of people? Even more, how do you write it so it attracts the attention of a publisher? One thing’s for sure: if you have an important story you must tell it,
Today is World Book Day 2019, an annual ode to reading, celebrated by more than 100 countries across the globe. It’s now in its 22nd year. Children and teachers across the UK dress up as their favourite book characters and the children each receive a book token so they can buy a book from a selected list of titles. The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own and it has a very positive impact. In fact,
Funny, isn’t it, how a phrase suddenly becomes topical? “February heatwave” was hardly a common Google search term a week ago, but here we are, digging out our tennis rackets and dusting off our surfboards, exactly a year on from the Siberian horrors of the Beast from the East. Is this the latest evidence of global warming, or just a random fluctuation in our notoriously fickle weather? For most of us, the answer is not especially important. But I have talked to three people in the last year who wanted help to write books about various aspects of climate change.
This week I dropped in for a drink with a friend to discuss our latest collaboration. Sue is an artist who has collaborated with me on three previous books of poems, all written about a beautiful place that we have both known and loved for decades. We’ve decided on a final hurrah, which is both daunting and exciting. It’s a serious commitment, involving a lot of work for both of us. But there is strength in that ‘us’, and we will support and encourage each other as we go along. We like and respect each other’s work, and we know
There’s an old New Yorker cartoon that shows a writer typing at his desk as a conveyor belt delivers him inexorably to a large meat-grinding drum. A sign above the drum reads ‘DEADLINE’. I’ve always liked the cartoon. And – confession time – I love a deadline. I’m less enthusiastic when that meat grinder starts to stalk my dreams, but a deadline gives me structure and allows me to plan my work. More importantly, though, meeting a deadline reassures me that I’ve given my book the best possible start on its way through the production process to publication. I know this from having