06/11/2017

To quote Hamilton – a musical I have listened to on loop to such an extent that my collie Gypsy now barks along in tune! – ‘every action’s an act of creation’. For me, particularly when it comes to novel writing, this is a reminder that we are not only creating when we consciously sit down with pen and paper (or Macbook and fingers, but that’s not quite as catchy, is it?) Instead, we are making choices and ‘creating’ our own worlds all day long. We can’t control everything, of course, but t...

20/10/2017

One of my favourite modern works of fiction is The Goldfinch, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Donna Tartt. With art and animals (and even art about animals!) there’s no mystery whyThe Goldfinch spoke to me so deeply, and you may already be familiar with the 1654 painting by Carel Fabritius that gives the book its title. Slight yet significant, this artwork is very close to my heart. Although its official residence is in the Hague, I was incredibly fortunate to view it in person wh...

06/10/2017

‘What’s it about?’ That is the first question a person will ask when you tell them that you’re writing a novel. Of course, many writers choose to keep their work secret, and I can understand why (there’s no point in well-meaning friends planning your book launch when it feels like a decade will pass before you finish the damn thing!) But I can’t be coy when a quick google search leads straight to my writing-a-novel blog, so I’m doing my best to be bold if Pentimenti comes up in conversation. And...

21/09/2017

One day I’ll fly away … in last week’s blog, I wrote that a change of setting has taken place in my novel, now that my draft has finally (finally!) reached the halfway stage. Up until this point, my central character Ellen has been spending time in the centre of Glasgow: her favourite locations (or the favourite locations I have chosen on her behalf!) include the city’s famous parks and the fictional art gallery of Lavery’s (named after the Glasgow Boy artist John Lavery – check him out!) Howeve...

04/09/2017

‘Where the story goes today is up to you’ ... I wrote this line yesterday on a sign next to my novel-in-progress notebook, sitting on a small table inside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. To cut a long story short – not something writers find easy, I'm afraid! – GoMA’s open exhibition season has allowed members of the public to propose their own ideas for events, so for one day only it became the home (and debut public outing!) of my first novel. Its title, Pentimenti, takes inspiration fro...

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