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Writing Courses for 2018

NEW NOVEL WRITING COURSE FOR 2018 I am in the process of designing a new novel writing course to be run in 2018 in central Cambridge. The course will not only provide exercises and inspiration for finishing your novel, but include at least  one one-to-one tutorial and have the option for a close critique on […]

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Obsession— my recurring theme. What’s yours?

  Sometimes, as a writer, it’s helpful to identify a common thread that weaves through our work. This can draw our focus back when our story-line begins to wander.  Identifying a consistent theme may help us rediscover the enthusiasm we felt when we started writing. It’s what makes our work unique, after all, what delineates […]

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Thick Skin Thin Skin, (how a writer needs both.)

I recently rediscovered a short story I used to love. It’s by Graham Greene, and it’s called ‘The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen.’   In the story, the narrator eavesdrops on a young couple having dinner in a restaurant. The woman is bragging to her fiancé about the advance on her first novel ‘The Chelsea Set,’ due […]

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Clutter? Or fictional catalyst? Write It In and Let It Go

 ‘Nice watch,’ I overheard a woman say to her friend in the gym. ‘Trouble is,’ the watch-wearer replied. ‘It hasn’t worked for years. But it has sentimental value, so I can’t get rid of it. And now I’m always late.’ Like her, I used to have an attachment to stuff. After my father died, I […]

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Refuge – short stories GalleyBeggarPress

Refuge is a  collection of short stories put together in order to raise money for the refugee crisis. It includes some fantastic pieces from some of my favourite authors, Stella Duffy included.  It’s an honour  to be listed alongside them.  For just a fiver you can contribute to the lives of people who have had […]

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Guardian Masterclass

Starting to write Crime Fiction with Penny Hancock and Kate Rhodes Crime fiction writers, if you need a boost, come along to our Guardian Masterclass on 2nd and 3rd May and let us help you realise your ideas http://www.theguardian.com/guardian-masterclasses/2015/mar/18/starting-to-write-fiction-penny-hancock-writing-course

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Breakthrough: Write Your Novel

Testimonials The encouragement and guidance I received from Penny and my fellow writers restored my flagging faith in what I was trying to do. It can be difficult to talk about your writing to a group of strangers but Penny was able to establish a calm and supportive atmosphere from the start. Raili Taylor   […]

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Where Do Stories Come From?

Where do stories come from? The other day one of my oldest friends was clearing out her attic and found a letter I’d written to her thirty years ago…. Friday Sept 24 1982 ‘At the moment I’m feeling a little shaken up since we drove home through very wet dark streets & I almost knocked […]

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kindle daily deals

Tideline my psychological thriller about a middle aged woman who incarcerates a beautiful teenage boy is available for 99p on kindle daily deals on Amazon for 99p Saturday November 8th 2014 only

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#mywritingprocess – Blog Tour

Blog tour The wonderful writer Susan Elliot Wright, (a fellow Simon and Schuster author) kindly invited me to be involved in this blog tour. You can find her honest account of the writing process, and read about her fascination with nature versus nurture, family, and mental health, at www.susanelliotwright.co.uk. I love Susan’s writing. Her book […]

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The writing process; Stranger than Fiction

Stranger than Fiction I don’t make a habit of peering through people’s letterboxes. But yesterday I was on one of my ‘walkabouts’, in search of images for a crime scene in my new novel, something sinister on the shore maybe, evidence of rubber gloves pulled off in a hurry, the use of ship’s rope washed […]

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Novel writing and background reading

‘Should you,’ a writer friend asked recently, ‘read books that have similar themes to yours when writing a novel? Or does this mean you might be  influenced? Put off by the brilliance of the other person’s handling of the subject? Might you feel despondent that someone’s already had your idea? Inadvertently nick an idea and […]

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Cougar ou bord de la crise de nerfs!!! Sounds so much more dangerous in French

The French version of Tideline is getting lots of nice reviews from French critics. “On connaissait les “cougars”, ces femmes d’âge mûr sortant leurs griffes pour déniaiser des garçons-jouets bien plus jeunes qu’elles. Sonia, l’héroïne du premier roman de l’Anglaise Penny Hancock, est, elle, une quadragénaire qui pousse sa félinité un peu trop loin. Alors […]

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Talking to an Empty Bed-siblings left behind

“It’s five years since my eldest child left home, but now it’s that time of year again, the shops filled with students buying value sets of crockery and stationery, harassed parents doing the Ikea run. I’m reminded of one of the most unexpected sides to our so-called emptying nest. When my youngest child, seven years […]

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Cool Places- The Greenwich of Tideline and Deptford of The Darkening Hour

“Greenwich is special. It is in London, yet parts can feel like a village in the country. It is steeped in history, yet has some of  the most contemporary tourist attractions in London in the 02 and the cable cars that cross the river. Henry VIII exercised his dogs on the Isle of Dogs side of […]

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How should controversial issues be presented in fiction ?

    How should  controversial issues be  presented in fiction ?   Our event at the Book and Kitchen in All Saints Road Notting Hill on November 22nd was one of those warm, feel-good affairs, in Muna Khogali’s home-from-home bookshop/café with its softly lit lamps, its bright cushions and squashy armchairs  that make you forget […]

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September 2013 Notebooks

September Blog – The Writer’s Notebook.   Even though my school days, and those of two of my children,  are long gone, Autumn brings with it the same sense of new beginnings I felt as a child; the holidays may be over, the summer at its end, but no matter, for there will be fresh […]

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Warm reviews for The Darkening Hour

The Darkening Hour was launched with a splash at Heffers in Cambridge on 29th August. We had a good night, with a troupe of teenage boys serving canapés made by another loyal group of friends. Kate Rhodes (author of Crossbones Yard) was also launching her second novel A Killing of Angels and it was lovely […]

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Invisible Women

In 2012 the Migrant Domestic Worker Visa was changed to one which ties workers to their employers- but this bid to reduce migration to the UK has untold consequences for the invisible women who do our domestic work behind closed doors. When I arrive at the House of Commons for a panel discussion on the […]

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