Job Application Writing Tips

If you work in IT you don’t admit it when you meet people. They will inevitably reply, “Oh, really? I have this problem with my computer…” and you end up spending precious hours of your life telling near-strangers to turn it off and on again.

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I hear lawyers and doctors get this too, but the advice is less “turn it off and on again” and more “you’re fucked, mate”. Writers aren’t immune to this phenomenon. I’ve been asked to look over all sorts, from award nominations to website copy to job applications.

…and, one time, an erotic story someone had written in which she had sex with her fiancé’s brother. In church. And, even though it was a fantasy, gave him a small penis. She commented on the penis’ smallness during foreplay. Honestly, I struggled to give it more than a 3/5 (the story, not the penis).

Thankfully, this blog is not about that story. Continue reading

Sex Scenes

Sex scenes used to terrify me. Not writing them, but letting people read them. I soon discovered this is common among writers, and most of us dread it for the same reason: we’re afraid readers will think we’re living vicariously through our sex scenes. That they will think that’s the type of sex we want to be having. And that’s a very intimate thing for people to know.

It’s also bollocks (in a manner of speaking). I’ve written sex scenes with six different characters. Well, I mean, not together. I don’t think I’m accomplished enough with pronouns to pull that off without diagrams, and I can’t draw.

Stick figures Continue reading

Writer’s Block? Nah. Cat Block.

Writer’s block isn’t something I’ve ever struggled with. Perhaps it’s because I write (non-fiction) for a day job–my boss is laid back and generous, but I don’t think it’d fly with him if I said “Hey, Ivor, I have writer’s block today so I’m just going to play Solitaire until home time. Make me a cup of tea?”

He probably would make the tea though. We are British.

For my writing process at least, there’s no such thing as writer’s block.

But there is cat block. Continue reading

Book Review -ANYONE BUT YOU, Jennifer Crusie

Stars: ***** / 5

I have a confession to make. This is the first Jennifer Crusie book I’ve read.

I know, right? What kind of romance fan am I?

I blame my mother. If you’d heard her talking about ‘Mills and Boon’ (the UK brand for Harlequin) with the kind of disgust usually reserved for serial killers and estate agents, you’d have paused before buying one too. My heart beat reached 178/minute when I researched–in the dark, by torchlight–how to be published with them, and I prayed she’d never find out.

But when my wonderful agent said my writing reminded her of Crusie, one of her favourite authors, I just had to bite the bullet, risk being disowned, and buy one.

Naturally, I bought the one with a cute dog on the cover.

AnyoneButYou Continue reading

Books

My first novel is UNTOUCHABLE, a contemporary romance set in London.

Rachel Shaw is destined to be a spinster cat lady, even though she’s only twenty-three and only has one cat – so far. She suffers from crippling contact phobia, thanks to growing up with junkies tainting her drug-addict mother and their home with grubby hands. Intimacy is out of the question, and she can’t imagine why anybody asks for it.

Her one shot at love is Alex Graham, the only man she’s ever trusted enough to touch. He respects her boundaries without question. He lets her get snot on his expensive shirts when she cries at sad movies. He even gives her the courage to stand up to her bullying boss.

Alex is as protective of his heart as she is of her body. She trusts him instinctively but he’s evasive about everything: his strangely-shaped scars, the business trips that leave him drained and haunted, the circumstances of his father’s death. Maybe he’ll let her into his world if she lets him into her personal space.

As they begin testing their boundaries, Alex’s double life catches up with him. A stranger arrives with score to settle, whispering Alex’s damning secrets into Rachel’s ear. Perhaps her 6’5” gentle giant isn’t so gentle. Perhaps his trips are personal rather than business. Perhaps everything he ever told her was a lie – maybe even when he claimed he wasn’t falling in love with her.

A second novel is in progress. Ally Rivers has fallen in love… with her BFF’s father.