Catching Up with Jo Lambert
Margaret James Blog
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3y ago
It's always lovely to catch up with my writing friends, so today it's my great pleasure to be chatting to Jo Lambert and finding out what she's been doing since we were last in touch.  Although she has been commercially published in the past, Jo is self-publishing her latest novel, and she's sent me some thoughts on the process. "Every writer dreams about getting a book deal don’t they?  To many, it’s the holy grail of writing; the ultimate destination for an author. Having my book accepted by an agent or publisher was foremost in my mind when I wrote my very first novel.  ..read more
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Chatting to novelist Gilli Allan
Margaret James Blog
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3y ago
It's always a great pleasure to chat to Gilli Allan and to hear about what is going on in her writing life. This week the paperback edition of her novel Buried Treasure is published.  I think you will agree that it has a gorgeous cover! It suggests straight away that this novel will feature an archaeological excavation and its after-effects. Look at that golden S in Treasure - isn't it a lovely artistic touch?  Gilli's novel isn't just about digging up the past. As she explains in her own blog:  'Buried Treasure is less about material treasure (or even archaeology) t ..read more
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I'm on the main stage at the ChocRubyFestival today!
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
Hello Readers Today, it's my turn to be on the main stage of the #ChocRubyFestival, an online event for Choc Lit and Ruby authors to connect with readers. I'm talking about my favourite among my Choc Lit and Ruby novels, which is Magic Sometimes Happens. There's a chance to win a paperback of the book, too. It's the story of two unlikely lovers. Patrick Riley is a married American scientist and father of two small children whose personal life is in turmoil. Rosie Denham is a single British PR consultant who is trying to forgive herself for messing up her life in just about every possible ..read more
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Catching up with the novelist Valerie Holmes
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
It was a great pleasure to catch up with Valerie again and to hear about her latest work. But first, a bit of background! Valerie’s first breakthrough into print came when she won Writing Magazine’s Annual Ghost Story Competition back in 2002. Over forty novellas later, she is currently writing The Yorkshire Saga Series for Sapere Books and is about to celebrate the publication of the fourth in the series, which is In Sickness and In Health and comes out on 13th April. The series of stand-alone, fast-paced adventures is set in the early nineteenth century: a time of dramatic social ..read more
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Short Stories Big Prizes
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
One of the UK's longest-established writing groups, Exeter Writers, runs an annual short story competition for which the first prize is £700 - quite a gratifying return on 3,000 words. We also offer second and third prizes, and a special cash prize for an author who lives in Devon. The closing date is 28 February 2020. Check out our website for details of how to enter - and good luck! http://www.exeterwriters.org.uk/p/competition.html ..read more
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Exeter Novel Prize
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
It's that time of year again! All the hundreds of entries have been safely received, and also lots of requests for reports on these submissions. This means the CreativeWritingMatters team of Sophie Duffy, Cathie Hartigan and myself will be reading day and night in order to find those sparkling literary diamonds we know will be there! This year, we've received entries from everywhere in the world - from countries large and small, countries where the official language is English and countries where it's not, but where it is clearly well taught in schools and universities. Who will be our winn ..read more
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Merry Christmas and...
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
Hello, all my friends and relations who read this blog - thank you for checking in now and again. It's always lovely to hear from you! I hope everyone I know in real life, and also virtually on Facebook and Twitter, had a calm and peaceful Christmas Day and will enjoy the rest of the holidays. I spent yesterday with my extended family and had a great time. Oh look, that big box of chocolates is nearly empty. How did that happen? I'm guessing we're set for a scary ride as we head into 2020. So hold on tight, look after those dear to you, and let's hope we all manage come through, reaching ..read more
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Notes from the Lost - chatting to Cathie Hartigan about her latest novel
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
It is my great pleasure to welcome fellow novelist Cathie Hartigan as my guest today.  It's also publication day for her latest novel Notes from the Lost, a wonderful story set in Italy and parts of the UK, especially Exeter and London, two cities she knows very well. Cathie, please tell us something about how you came to write this book? Thank you so much, Margaret, for inviting me on to your blog. A hessian shopping bag would not normally be a source of inspiration for a novel, but the unassuming outside disguised what it contained. I knew it was treasure. I’d had a conversatio ..read more
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Meet Chris Penhall and learn all about her Ruby Fiction debut
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
I was excited to hear about writer Chris Penhall's success as both a debut and prizewinning novelist, and I have been looking forward to chatting ever since I heard that Chris had won a competition sponsored by award-winning independent publisher Choc Lit and Your Cat magazine.  Chris's prize is publication by Choc Lit's sister imprint, Ruby Fiction. Let's find out more about Chris. She's a freelance writer and radio producer for her local BBC Radio station, as well as being an Associate Producer for the Richard and Judy Book Club Podcast. Born in South Wales, she has also lived n ..read more
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Writing and Running with Christine Stovell, Author and Athlete
Margaret James Blog
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4y ago
Today, it's a huge pleasure to chat to the author and athlete Christine Stovell, who is a talented poet, novelist, journalist, sailor and also a dedicated runner.  Here's Christine in running mode... ...and sailing mode... ...and just-being-Christine mode. Let's ask her to tell us all about what has been going on in 2019. 'New Year, for me, is always a time for reflection. I began 2019 with a long, hard think about writing. A novel I'd loved writing, Follow a Star, didn’t kick-start my fiction career as much as I'd hoped, nor did the novella Moonbeams in a Jar, which came after Fol ..read more
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