Playing it by the book

I love reviewing and I’ve done it for many years, handing out my considered opinions on everything from trips to Disneyland Florida to television shows. Through it all, I always enjoyed book reviewing, and I was thrilled when I was invited to write for Finally, I’d found my people! I’ve now been with the […]

What’s your story in 2019?

Welcome, 2019! Another 12 months of opportunity lies before us – what does the future have in store? My crystal ball is at the repair shop, I’m afraid but I’m hoping for more great books, both to read and review and to work on in a professional capacity. If your new year’s resolution is to […]

The proof is out there…

What does a proofreader do and why do you need to use one? My work begins when the editor has had his or her say and the manuscript is almost ready to be sent out into the wild. I’ll be looking for the following things: Spelling mistakes Typos Punctuation errors Grammatical errors Missing or duplicate words Tautology Incorrect […]

Time to take pet phrases for a walk?

Are you prone to pet words or phrases? In every manuscript I’ve worked on, I’ve invariably found some word or phrase that’s overused by the writer. And, like a verbal tic, they probably didn’t even realise they were doing it! At the end of every proofread or edit, I create a report to send to […]

Think before you ink!

So, you’ve got a great story idea and you’re champing at the bit, all ready to start? Stop! Before you type that first word you have an important decision to make… Are you writing in US English or British English? You may think this is not the most important decision on the list but believe […]

Coco Channel and the art of getting things right

I began my newspaper career in the 1970s, as a copy runner at the Liverpool Echo. It was the days of hot metal, typewriters, Chinagraph pencils and shouts of “Copy up!” We sent typewritten sheets through suction tubes, from the subs room to the comps, and although I was just a tiny cog, I felt […]

Being a Beta

Recently an author friend asked me to take on a different role, that of a beta reader for his newly completed book. As a reviewer for CrimeFictionLover I’m used to expounding my opinions on the latest novels, but this was criticism taken to a new level. I began my first read with trepidation. What should […]

An early lesson in writing

On my first day as a junior reporter at the now defunct Prescot and Huyton Reporter, I was taught a valuable lesson. My editor, who I’ll call ‘Brian’, was of the old school and as I arrived nervously in his office that first morning, he informed he that I had a ‘night job’ that very […]