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Archive For: Novels

How do authors over 60 define success? Marylee Macdonald investigates.

How Do Authors Over 60 Define Career Success? by Marylee MacDonald Career success for writers over 60 looks quite different from the success of writers profiled in such places as The New Yorker’s 20 Best Writers Under 40 or Granta’s  Best Young American Novelists. Writers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s can’t enter these literary ... Read More

Feelgood or Uplit?

“Feelgood ” refers to films or books that portray people and life in a way that makes us feel happy or optimistic. “Uplit” – a new term which I found in The Guardian and which is derived from “uplifting literature” – seems to mean the same thing. It works best when there is some sadness, some realism, to ... Read More

Writing about Humanism

(First published in Humanist Life, July 2016) ‘It’s as though a door opened and someone beckoned; I didn’t respond, and the door was closed for always. I was still a non-believer, but not so militant now – perhaps because of that little Madonna, or because of my friend Maria who trusted in that God of ... Read More

“Also Bought…” (Another Amazon Mystery)

My novel Timed Out is usually classified as ‘mature romance’ or ‘women’s literary fiction’. (I snobbishly  prefer ‘literary fiction’ though I know that doesn’t sell books.) It is about an older woman trying to turn her life around after she retires, doing Internet dating and also  pondering again the Big Questions. On its  book page Amazon.co.uk lists ... Read More

Five brilliant novels but I couldn’t enjoy them

John Crace Being Dead. Begins with a gruesome murder and then traces the victims’ lives leading up to that moment, and describes in detail the putrefaction of the corpses. I was too squeamish for this, though John Crace as a writer of beautiful and evocative prose is second to none. Margaret Drabble The Dark Flood Rises. A ... Read More
6 Things I’ve Learnt in the Week before Release

6 Things I’ve Learnt in the Week before Release

 When they say they have never heard of your publisher, smile sweetly and express surprise. ‘Oh, haven’t you?’  And don’t call Driven Press ‘a small global press’ – call them ‘a global press’. When they ask what happens in the end of  Timed Out, don’t tell them – just suggest they’ll find it interesting. Don’t ... Read More

The Cliche Rules OK

One person’s witty, eloquent brainwave is often another person’s cliche. We are urged to avoid them: story cliches, adjective-with-noun cliches, metaphor cliches, phrase cliches. And how we hate being caught using one. After all, we writers call ourselves creative and we think we are original, daring, imaginative. And that’s especially true of those who have ... Read More
The Launching of a Novel

The Launching of a Novel

Some people who like to see and hold a printed copy, and that is what you can provide at a book launch or a literary festival talk.  And meeting people is fun, even if you don’t  break even  when you have  factored in your  time and the refreshments. I have arranged two launches for my ... Read More
Creating a Buzz

Creating a Buzz

I don’t remember any buzz around my non-fiction books. Rather expensive lunches with my old-established publishers and a smart party with no books for sale certainly did nothing much for promotion. There were some reviews in the journals, and they appeared in bookshops and libraries, and that was the extent of it. Now  I have  ... Read More