I have moved the whole blog to a new address. Please join me over there as no new posts are being added here and I have removed key info from this old version ...


When you get there, PLEASE rejoin as a "follower" - changing addresses means I lose my 230 lovely friends!

NB also - all comments are intact on the new version.

Friday, 21 August 2009


I have been overwhelmed (in a good way) by the huge increase in followers and page hits in the last few days, presumably because of Edinburgh book festival activity. The downside to this is that, because I'm not even halfway through my events yet, I am getting behind on replying to your comments and also to the many lovely emails you've sent me.

Be patient - I will be back! Of course, I haven't physically gone away, but I am not at my desk enough to reply at the moment. I tend to read your messages on my iphone while reclining on carpeted sofas in the famous Yurt, but then someone comes along and I get talking and never manage to reply. (Want to see pics of said Yurt? See here.)

Just to give you a sense of what's to come:
  • tomorrow, (Sat 22nd Aug) I'll be posting the results of the covering letter competition and you'll get the Definitive Guide to Covering letters. This will happen while I am giving a workshop at the book festival on "The Perfect Approach", and I know that some of you will be there. Hello in advance!
  • on Mon 24th, I have a fairly trenchant Pointy Thought for you
  • and crabbit old bat will be going into full rant mode about something that Really Bugs Me. Not sure when but as soon as possible. It's something I need to get off my chest and which I know most of you will agree with but some may not ...
  • we need a Submission Spotlight soon - do keep your entries coming. There's no deadline for these - I just put one up every now and then. If you've already sent me one and I haven't used it, DON'T take this as a rejection or criticism. It's not a sign of anything at all except that there was one that I thought would work better on public display than yours. And I may use it yet anyway. (See here for the rules.)
Meanwhile, keep writing and keep reading. And I'm back to the Yurt today, but NOT doing any events - hooray for a day off and the sun's shining! - just some meetings with lovely people, including coffee with my great friend Lindsey Fraser (Fraser Ross Associates, lit agents), to tell her all about the fascinating dinner I had last night with the Minister for Culture and some seriously famous authors - I kept looking round and thinking, How did this happen? When you think how long it took me to get published, how many years of failure I had to endure, and I end up in this company, in the same week that I hosted a huge party with guests like Margaret Drabble, James Naughtie, Ian Rankin and many many others - you should take heart: there's hope for everyone!

Luckily, I have enough fabulous shoes to cope with all these sparkly eventualities. Yesterday was the turn of the turquoise boots.