The X-Factor Curse and Crybaby Cole

Must do a new one once this year’s series gets under way…

Jan Ruth

I talk to my editor John Hudspith, about X-Factor Fiction, Halloween, Hugging Dermot O’ Leary and Saving the World! 


John: It’s that time of year again, when writers send an avalanche to the ebook shelves hoping for a festive bestseller; when big-boobed slebs offer up their latest ghost-written shenanigans; when agents and publishers hire staff to handle the increased numbers of rejection notes. Had any good rejections lately? 

Jan: Rejection is a tough lesson. I grew up with plenty of it. (I’m talking creatively; as in, go away and do this again it’s not good enough). At primary school I was told it’s vital to experience rejection in order to improve. Character-building, even.

John: did you sob, like an X-Factor reject?

Jan: I don’t remember sobbing or clinging on to Dermot when my first manuscript thudded back through the letterbox for the umpteenth time; it had morphed into a hefty…

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To show or not to show…?

Sue Howe is a prolific flasher. And she’s really good at what she does. Here, she considers the key to balanced ambiguity – how much to give away? How strong should those clues be? Oh, and while you’re there spend a few hours devouring Sue’s shorts for a masterclass in making sure every word counts.

the long and the short of it

I recently posted a new flash story of 500 words in my online writers’ group and received a number of critiques. These ranged as ever from ‘I really liked this! Perfectly judged,’ to (more or less) ‘I don’t really get it’. This is very much the nature of writers’ groups and is often an indication of the writing styles of other members rather than their ability to offer constructive criticism, but it led me to ponder the issue of ambiguity in fiction.

I love an unreliable narrator – it’s my favourite thing, both to read and to create (see Crossed Lines, Mother’s Pride etc). While it must be quite hard to keep it going over the course of a novel (I’m currently reading Gone Girl and am finding the clues a bit heavy-handed. Check out The Dinner by Herman Koch for one of the best examples) it is relatively easy…

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A Writer’s Take On Publishing Their First Book

My hard-working writer Joy Wood tells all about learning the craft and getting that first book out there…

Lynette's Website & Blog

It seems like only yesterday that I published my first novel. I remember holding my book in the palm of my hand and admiring the cover as though I was looking down into the beautiful face of my first child. The feeling of euphoria was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. To think, this book was my very own creation, and from that moment on my only desire was to tell the whole world about its arrival.

Today is just as important to a fellow author who is due to release her first book (which is a contemporary romance) on the 15th August. The writer’s name is Joy Wood, and her book will satisfy anyone with an insatiable appetite for love, jealousy and ultimate revenge. Interested? So am I, so let’s learn more about Joy’s new novel, ‘For the Love of Emily’.

for the love of Emily 3What’s the book about? (Book Burb)

Rebecca Price Jones is a beautiful young woman with a deadly…

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My Monday Guest – Prue Batten

I love it when my lovely writers connect – you’re never too far away!