Posted in In which Anna vomits her thoughts at you

I’m Not Dead, and a Note on PitchWars

I’m so grateful for all the messages expressing deep concern that I stopped blogging precisely when coronavirus was at the height of its UK rampage. Oh no, wait, I’m not, because THERE WEREN’T ANY MESSAGES.

None of you even checked if I had enough toilet paper. Shame on you.

It’s almost as though I don’t have adoring fans who spend all day on my blog, hitting F5 in the desperate hope that I will impart some new words of wisdom. But I know that can’t be right. My mum says I’m brilliant and everyone wants to be my friend, and the only reason nobody comes to my parties is they’re intimidated by how great I am. She wouldn’t lie, would she?

Anyway, now that Pitch Wars mentors have been announced, I know potential mentees are going to be looking around my blog to get an idea of what I like to read, and handily enough most of my recent posts are book reviews. Perfect, right?

However.

I hope it’s obvious, but I would like to point out that my reviews, while erudite and insightful (e.g. “So, wow, Romans liked cock, hey?”), are not entirely serious. I slave and I slave on this blog to make my readers laugh. Of course, now that I know none of them actually care if I’m ALIVE OR DEAD, going forward I will only be blogging about serious matters such as dinosaurs and why children are awful.

Just don’t take anything here too seriously. Ditto my Twitter. And my face. I was born this way, nothing I can do about it.

P.S. I’m so excited to read all your entries! And that bit is serious. Promise.

Posted in In which Anna vomits her thoughts at you

5 Ways To Help A New Author

By “new author” I mean “me,” but it sounds more magnanimous this way.

Publication seems like the end goal for writers. Actually, it’s just the beginning. Unless we sell gazillions and become household names, there’s no guarantee of being published again. Hell, even being a household name isn’t enough – RandomHouse refused to publish Joan Collins’ manuscript, even though they’d already paid her, because it was so terrible.

Most of us receive contracts for one, two, or three books at a time; rarely more. Once those books are published, we need to convince the publisher (or another publisher) to give us a new contract. Lots of factors come into play but, naturally, sales figures are one of the biggest – publishers are businesses, and they need to make money if they want to keep publishing books.

So, if there’s an author whose books you love – or just an author you love – and she isn’t at Rowling levels of stardom, how can you help her get that next contract?

1. Buy the book.

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Continue reading “5 Ways To Help A New Author”

Posted in In which Anna vomits her thoughts at you, Writing advice that may or may not be completely wrong

It’s Not Easy Being Green – Author Envy

Authors on the whole are a neurotic, anxious bunch. Okay, most aren’t quite as bad as me, but nearly all of us fret. A lot.

Maybe it’s because we’ve trained ourselves to scrutinise our words and the impressions they make, and that extends into over-scrutinising everything. Maybe it’s because publishing is like war – 5% terror and 95% waiting – and in those periods of waiting we inevitably overanalyse and catastrophise everything. Maybe it’s Ebola. I don’t know.

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Whatever the reason, one of the consequence is that most of us suffer from author envy at some point. Maybe at every point. When you’re unagented, you’re jealous of authors with agents. When you’re agented, you’re jealous of authors with publishing deals. When you get a deal, you’re jealous of authors with bigger deals. When you get a big deal, you’re jealous of authors with… better hair, or something. Those coiffured bastards.

Who are they sleeping with, huh??

Continue reading “It’s Not Easy Being Green – Author Envy”

Posted in In which Anna vomits her thoughts at you

5 Horror Movies to Watch this Halloween

I’m a horror junkie. Yeah, I know: I write fluffy romcoms and I don’t believe in ghosts, demons, or anything supernatural, and any serial killer trying to abduct me would need a winch and a high tolerance for whining.

But I love horror. Gorefest or fade-to-black mindfuck. Serious or satirical. Hollywood or made in someone’s garage with a £10 budget and a bit part for Dave’s mum because she made all the sandwiches for the three-person crew.

The only thing I don’t do is Generic Monsters – zombies, vampires, and werewolves can all fuck off. Notable exception 28 Days Later, which is definitely worth a watch.

So, here are my recommendations of five movies to watch for Halloween…

THE POWER OF ANNA COMPELS YOU (to watch)

1. Severance (2006)

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Continue reading “5 Horror Movies to Watch this Halloween”

Posted in In which Anna vomits her thoughts at you

I Made the Headlines

Well, okay, just one. I’m super proud to announce I’m now an author with the Headline Publishing Group, along with authors like Neil Gaiman, Jill Shalvis, and Martina Cole.

Can I just reiterate: I CAN PUT MY NAME ON A LIST WITH THESE AUTHORS. I CAN’T EVEN.

My wonderful agent Amanda Jain announced the deal yesterday and no, it wasn’t an April fool. Don’t think THAT thought didn’t keep me up all night, ’cause it did.

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Join me in screaming incoherently and still a little bit worrying it was an April fool!

Posted in In which Anna vomits her thoughts at you

12 Things You’re Allowed To Hate

I’m reading The Road to Little Dribbling, a travel memoir by Bill Bryson.

In this morning’s chapter, Bill (I feel like I can call him Bill, after spending a decade travelling the world with him in his books) promoted a concept he’s come up with: we should all be allowed a list of a dozen things we hate without having to defend, justify, or explain it.

I think with most of mine, the explanation is self-evident:

  1. Small talk.chit-chat
  2. People who call holidays ‘holibobs.’
  3. Love Actually.
  4. The people and charities dedicated to saving giant pandas from extinction.
  5. Portmanteaus.
  6. Books written in present tense.
  7. Gullible fools who claim the Loch Ness Monster isn’t real.
  8. Olives.
  9. People over 20 who brag about how much alcohol they drank on a night out.
  10. Brexit (see #5) and everyone who voted for it. All 20 million of them.
  11. The fetishisation of coffee.
  12. Centipedes.

What’s your list?