Phill's Blog

Notes, news & ramblings about writing


Phill's Blog

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The Novel is Dead

The novel is dead. Or so people have been saying for decades. In the pre- and post-war heyday of the silver screen it was the movies that were going to kill the novel. Then it was TV that was set to finish both the novel and the film industry. What these predictions failed to take […]


October 21, 2017, Phill
Dear Reader…

I’m glad you’re here! The connection between us is a special one. A writer exposes him or herself when they write. Who was it who said that no-one ever wrote a novel that was not autobiographical? Having a stranger read your work is a bit like letting them into your bedroom to rummage through your […]


September 12, 2017, Phill
My Writing Journey (part 4): the WSI

Anyone who gets seriously involved in writing (and by that I mean is looking to finish a work and get it published) will fairly soon come across what I have termed the Writers’ Support Industry (WSI). It seems to be mainly associated with fiction, because although I was a publisher of non fiction for ten […]


July 23, 2017, Phill
My Writing Journey (part 3): Agents

A few miles across the moor from where I write this blog lies Haworth parsonage. There, more than 150 years ago, three enormously gifted sisters produced novels and poems that were monumental in their passion and originality. Anne, Charlotte and Emily Brontë wrote their works by hand, page after laborious page, with a quill pen, […]


June 18, 2017, Phill
My Writing Journey (part 2)

My first novel, Paradise Girl was published at the end of January. I say first, but actually it’s the third one I’ve written. The real first is called ‘The Poisoner’s Garden’. I’m more of a plotter now, but to begin with I simply had a vague idea that I wanted to write a story about […]


May 15, 2017, Phill
My Writing Journey (part 1)

At the recent launch of Paradise Girl someone asked me, ‘How did you get into writing?’ I can’t remember exactly what I answered, but it’s a question I’ve thought about a lot since. So here goes. I’m not going to talk about how I came to write Paradise Girl because I covered that in my last […]


April 17, 2017, Phill
How I came to write Paradise Girl

I’m lucky to live in a converted farmhouse overlooking the Calder Valley. The views from the house are spectacular, and I spend far to much time each day simply gazing at the scenery. Although the house is on its own land and not close to any others, there’s always some activity to see and hear. […]


March 16, 2017, Phill
Writing is Easy

Writing is easy. Well it is, isn’t it? Of course, I mean the physical process, not the creative one. Developing the theme, plotting, developing convincing characters and expressing all this in a way that will capture readers is as taxing as it must have ever been. Bringing a novel from concept to finished volume demands […]


February 22, 2017, Phill
What ‘Additional Facts’ Really Means

We are privileged to be witnessing the birth of a new world view. It is nothing less than a revolution in how we are expected to respond to events and interpret them as true or false. Until January 20th, 2017, a statement about something that had happened was boringly binary. It was fact or it […]


January 24, 2017, Phill
What’s What in Regulars

People have been taking me to task about my short stories. I say on the 10 Minute Tales page that the free story will change from time to time. However, readers point out that Regulars has been up there for several months. OK, fair cop. I’ve been on the verge of replacing it a few […]


January 4, 2017, Phill