Admiral Nelson had three daughters called Nicki, Shakira and Beyonce.True or False?
Are we still interested in the First World War?
I’m fascinated by music and have been making it all my life (everything from church choirs to Rock/Reggae/Folk Bands…). So when I come across regimes that want to ban certain types of music, it makes me sit up and listen.
When I was researching my book Auslander, about a teenager in Nazi Berlin, I was intrigued to discover the Nazis detested ‘Swing Music’ – that lively jazz from the 30s and 40s that people loved dancing to.
Let’s be frank. Although film makers are forever borrowing plots from history, they’re not really the best of pals. I love watching a film as much as the next man, but it does annoy me when film directors and script-writers take massive liberties with history to make their films more appealing to youths in Idaho, Essex or Queensland. I think the moral of the story is, don’t put what you see in a film into a history essay.
Don’t ever write books for a living if your ambition in life is to drive a red sports car. Go into banking. Or become a doctor or a lawyer. True, a tiny few of us become JK Rowling, but most writers (certainly me) are delighted if their books make them a modest living. I love what I do, and this is a job with perks. The greatest (along with wearing pyjamas til 5.00PM when you’re working from home) is travelling places to research your books.
During her time as Inside a Dog’s Resident Author, Paula Weston revealed both the cover for her new book Haze as well as the design process behind her first book, Shadows. Never one to pass up a good idea, I thought I'd take the chance to do the same myself by offering you a look at the cover for Vanguard Prime: Wild Card, never before seen by the public! I also thought it would be a good opportunity to show you guys how much work goes into getting a book cover just right.
One of the questions that writers are asked more than any other is "Where do you get your ideas from?". In fact, it's such a popular question that I have a series of posts on my website called The Ideas Shoppe dedicated to answering it. Because with a question so broad, there's a lot of ways to answer it. But there's one answer that covers all the others and it's a simple one. Ideas come from boredom.
I love writing dialogue. When I’m putting together a first draft, I’ll often focus on the dialogue in a scene first and add the narration and description afterward. My aim is to always make my characters punchy but realistic in the way they speak. It can be tricky, though. If dialogue is something you struggle with, here are some pointers you may find useful.
Earlier in the month, I outlined the storytelling technique that the TV Tropes site has dubbed a Chekhov's Gun. In the interest of identifying a few more common storytelling conventions, I thought today I'd introduce you to the Tomato Surprise. And if you've been writing long enough, it's a trope you've more than likely already used yourself!