Finish your freakin’ novel. Here’s why

I’ve often been asked by aspiring authors if they should send three sample chapters to a publisher and try to get a contract that way. Alarm bells. If that’s what the publisher is asking for,  by all means send them sample chapters. Always give them exactly what they want. That’s, ‘How to be an Author, 101’.…

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How I built a new, author website

Up until a couple of months ago I had severe website shame. My author website was a shambles. It was out of date. It was clunky. It was a technical nightmare, built around grids and tables, unwieldy fecking boxes that made me wail every time I tried to tinker with them. Because I couldn’t access…

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What defines a main character?

Sometimes we refer to people as ‘real characters’. How weird. Is this uniquely Australian? Is it an Australianism? ‘Oh, my great aunt was a real character!’ Either way, it’s nearly always a term of endearment. There are loads of characters in my daily circle. The old bloke who wears a duster coat, drives a 1950s…

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Chick lit for tweenies. Ten tips to get you started

Generally speaking, tweenies are kids in the 8 -12 age group. But in the world of children’s books, the category is tighter. Somewhere along the line, astute marketing execs identified a subset. These are kids aged about 10 -12, and their needs and interests are complex, often contradictory. As most parents will tell you, a couple of…

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How I started an online business. And accidentally created a thriving community

I run a business. It’s called girl & duck. It feels weird to call it a business. I didn’t know you could love a business. But I do. I adore it. I’m obsessed with it. When I’m creating stuff for girl & duck, I’m in my genius zone. (Have you read that book? The one…

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