Finding the right editor for you

Finding an editor is easy. Finding the right editor is another matter entirely. You’ve probably done your fair share of googling, had a look around various forums, maybe had a peek at social media, but you’re already overwhelmed. It’s hardly surprising – there are a...

read more

Sample edits: Yay or nay?

Full disclaimer: I offer free sample edits of around 800–1,000 words to potential customers. But is this working for free or is it an investment? To some editors, the idea of offering a sample edit for free just isn’t for them and they believe their qualifications and...

read more

It’s going to cost HOW much?!

It’s the $64billion question (not literally in my case, unless you have a really long book): how much is this going to cost? It’s a simple question, but it’s the one most consumers hate asking, and the one many business owners hate answering. There’s something taboo...

read more

Dealing with downtime

While it’s every freelancer’s dream to have a full schedule and be able to turn work away, for many of us there are times where there are gaps in our schedule. Perhaps a scheduled piece of work doesn’t turn up on time; perhaps you finish something ahead of schedule;...

read more

TMI: Info-dumping and backstories

Welcome to the second part of my series on developing characters in your novel. In my first blog (available here if you haven’t seen it), I discussed the importance of character motivation, and how to make your characters’ actions believable and understandable. In...

read more

Why did they do that?

Every novel relies on characterisation to one degree or the other. While heavily action and plot-driven novels don’t require as much characterisation as, say, a literary novel, or a romance, it’s still vital that characters are three-dimensional and believable.A...

read more

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a suitably festive time, and weren’t suffering from overindulgence for too long. It’s natural to reflect on the past year and our own personal successes and failures. It’s also a good way to plan for the year ahead and decide...

read more

Editing. It’s personal

It's been a bit of a sprint to the finish this year, which is my own fault entirely for embarking on  not just one, but two courses at the same time, as well as having to do, y'know, my actual work and stuff.I can be a bit more magnanimous about it now I've finished...

read more

 My first conference

My first conference I’m writing this blog while still on a high from the Society of Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and Society of Indexers joint conference, held in York over the weekend. Forgive me, therefore, if my thoughts jump around a bit; I have calculated that...

read more

 Writing a good blurb

Writing a good blurb If you haven’t read my first blog in this series, about the importance of a good cover design, I suggest going back and taking a look at that. An eye-catching cover is the first thing that will hook a reader (and a good title, which I’ll look at...

read more

Why Heather Blether?

The mysterious vanishing island known as Heather Blether is the subject of Scottish folklore. Believed to be near Orkney and inhabited by Finfolk, Heather Blether is said to rise every few years from the depths, before disappearing again. Aside from its mystical origins, ‘blether’ is the Scottish word for ‘chat’ and heather is found everywhere around where I live in the north of Scotland.

You can read the story of Heather Blether here. And if you’re ever out on the water near Orkney and see a mysterious island, don’t take your eyes off it and make sure you have something made of cast iron to hold until you get there.