Phill's Blog

Notes, news & ramblings about writing


Phill's Blog

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Another Award for Paradise Girl!

Paradise Girl has received a B.R.A.G.Medallion. B.R.A.G. is an acronym for Book Readers Appreciation Group, an organisation that has brought together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of book clubs, located throughout the United States and in ten other countries around the globe. Books are read by a panel of readers who […]


September 4, 2018, Phill
The First 50K Words Are the Easiest!

I’m working on Aftershock, the follow-up to my novel Paradise Girl. In a couple of previous blogs I’ve talked about how when I came to write Paradise Girl I did it as a ‘pantster’, working with an overall idea and shape but basically making it up as I went along. Because Aftershock is a follow-on […]


July 4, 2018, Phill
Planner or Pantster?

A regular discussion among writers is about the best approach to the long and sometimes daunting business of writing a novel. When you sit staring at the blank sheet or screen with 70,000 words ahead of you, what do you do? Some say that best route is to plan everything very carefully. Stephen King and […]


May 30, 2018, Phill
Getting Undressed in Public

Writing is a solitary business. I know there are pairs and groups of writers who have been and are very successful, but mostly it’s something that people do on their own. And in the early stages it’s very private. In my own case I become so absorbed in the world I’m creating that it can […]


February 24, 2018, Phill
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