Twenty Years of Harry Potter

20 years. Wow. Time has flown. It was 20 years ago that, while driving across to Ireland (via ferry) for a summer holiday (in very un-summery weather), I sat in the back of the car with my younger brother while our mum read aloud a strange new book from the school library about a boy called Harry who discovered he was a wizard. At this point the book was barely known about among my friends and classmates, but I felt like each page brought with it a cauldron full of fascination. I had no idea just how big it was all about to get. In the following years, Harry Potter books would become both my reason for and my first experience of pre-ordering from Amazon, and cause an excitement around waiting for the post to arrive on release day morning similar to that of waiting for Christmas. And the delivery always arrived with a smiling postie, like they knew exactly what...
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Another year over – 2017 and what’s to come.

Another year over – 2017 and what’s to come.

It has been a busy year. 2016 has flown by; the last couple of months in particular seem to have disappeared in the briefest of flashes. My NaNoWriMo adventure in November was again successful, although I was unable to blog about the latter stages and my ultimate victory due to my website breaking. For the last few weeks I managed to get it to the point whereby visitors could access the site (albeit without any plugins working), and it was only once I was off work for Christmas that I had a chance to sit down and figure out what was wrong, tinker, and finally fix things so I can be writing this post right now. And with that, here are a few updates of what's been going on. The Fire That Scorched The Sky My story for NaNo this year is one that I feel incredibly close to. It's an idea I originally had long ago, an idea that grew and matured...
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A Tale of Two WriMos: NaNoWriMo2016 and the Inner Struggle

A Tale of Two WriMos: NaNoWriMo2016 and the Inner Struggle

Like the sequel to some kind of action adventure book, I find myself undertaking a new NaNoWriMo journey this year, only this time for NaNoWriMo2016, the stakes are higher, the tiredness is greater and the days are passing away faster than ever before. Will I make it to the word count in time? This sequel does have a happy beginning. Following on from the joyous climax to last year's instalment, I have self-published my first novel, The Magic of Christmas, and the sales and downloads on Amazon are encouraging and incredibly supporting to my own confidence as a writer. I still cannot really believe that on a bunch of people's Kindles sits a book written by me. A book that was largely written in a month. If you're still in doubt about what NaNoWriMo can bring, then I feel this is a perfect example. Before NaNo 2015, I viewed myself as an aspiring writer. Now, having had a novel completed for the best part of a year,...
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Thinking of NaNoWriMo 2016: Choosing a Story

As November approaches, I find myself thinking more and more about NaNoWriMo and what I will spend the month working on. Last year, my first attempt at the challenge went really well. In a way, I think it went too well. I am sure that this time around the rigid regime that I stuck to a year ago will falter, crack and fall apart, destroying my momentum and leaving me wondering how I ever managed it at the first attempt. I find myself feeling more nervous about it this time than I did initially. Last year The book I chose to write last year was one that I did not have much investment in to begin with. I came up with the idea for NaNoWriMo, as a story to write within the constraints of the challenge. It had one key idea, one plot, one main character and one point of view. I knew how I wanted it to end, and I knew...
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Returning to Exile

As NaNoWriMo came to an end, a large part of doubt shifted around inside my head, revealing what had been hidden underneath it: Exile. Exile is a novel I have spent a huge amount of time planning. I have a scene-by-scene plan of everything that will happen, which character is where, whose point of view the scene will be told from, and how it feeds in to a larger story. It took me the best part of a year, just to do this, and I think I now know why. For every scene I planned, I got more and more restricted. I was limiting where I could go and what I could do when I got around to actually writing the thing. I had thought that having it all planned out in such depths would lead to the simple task of just writing to 'flesh out each section'. This worked really well for my PhD thesis. It is not the same for...
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