Review: Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood 4/5

Alias Graceis the first Margaret Atwood book I’ve read – The Handmaid’s Tale is on my to-read list for work, while looking at the rest of her list on Amazon, she seems like the kind of author I’d love, especially the dystopian fiction. Aliace Grace is the story of Grace Marks, a convicted murderess in Canada who’s been in prison for nearly thirty years, and is telling her story to a doctor tasked by her supporters with finding the truth to help her obtain a pardon. Grace claims to have no memory of the murder itself, but everything around it is …

Review: Self-Publishing Attack!

The full title of this book is “Self-Publishing Attack! The 5 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws for Creating Steady Income Publishing Your Own Books” and, really, what an offer! To learn the things I need to do to create a steady income writing? Awesome! While this book is pretty awesome in what it offers – and doing it in 141 pages for £2.56 on kindle – it’s also very realistic and honest about what exactly Bell is offering. He doesn’t promise magic, and he doesn’t promise six-figure salaries. What he does suggest is the successful ways he’s found, through his own experience …

From 2k to 10k – Rachel Aaron

Rachel Aaron’s short e-book on how to increase your writing per hour is, so far, excellent. There’s lots of useful information on how to plot more successfully in advance, how to improve your hourly word count by a little more planning – and last night when I did this I did indeed nearly triple by usual word count from pitiful to half decent! I’m still reading this, but am about 3/4 through, and about to put into practice some of what she suggests, so will feed back on how successful it is!

Review: Strange Meeting by Susan Hill

Susan Hill’s novel set in World War One takes its name from a Wilfred Owen poem – Strange Meeting – but, as she says in an author’s afterword, there’s very little else to connect the novel and poem together. Written in 1971, it tells the story of John Hilliard, a soldier who, in the first few pages, is wounded and returns to England. He spends a little time there, then goes back to the front where he meets David Barton, a new officer yet to experience battle. The two of them become very close; at some points it seems that they’re …

Review: On Writing (Stephen King)

You must not come lightly to the blank page. Stephen King‘s book about writing – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – is part autobiography and part advice manual. It’s a great read for anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of writing and looking for some practical, down-to-earth suggestions. The first section is the autobiography – what got King into writing the books he does, his long love of horror films and horror novels, his first attempts at submitting stories to magazines in his teens, gathering a large collection of rejection slips on a nail in his bedroom, through submitting …

Review: Wide Sargasso Sea

The prequel to Jane Eyre is often hailed a classic of post-colonial literature: does it live up to the name? Wide Sargasso Sea (Penguin Modern Classics) is the story of Bertha Mason, Rochester’s unfortunate wife who ends up locked in the attic at Thornfield, a ghostly presence tormenting Jane – and Rochester – throughout the book. According to the student edition (an excellent version for anyone interested in studying this text) Jean Rhys disliked the way that Charlotte Bronte had demonised her character from the West Indies, and thought that her presentation suggested racism endemic in the British Empire. To an …