Writing Blog

Why historical fiction is like science fiction

This blog first appeared at the beginning of September as a guest blog on the History Girls website, a lively writerly forum created by women historical novelists.

We history girls often like to wax lyrical about the amount of research we do to source the details of the era and characters we’re writing about to […]

By |October 5th, 2014|Writing|Comments Off on Why historical fiction is like science fiction


(You will find a much longer and less solipsistic feature about book covers in the September issue of Mslexia)

Here is what real North Shields herring girls looked like in 1898, painted from life by the artist Winslow Homer at that time: wind-scuffed and bundled up in ungainly layers – dressed for the job, in […]

By |June 18th, 2014|Fiction, Herring Girl, Writing|2 Comments

Them or em?

A longer feature on on the challenges of conveying regional dialect without alienating readers appeared in the Guardian Review on 4 October, sparking 120 comments – and counting. You can add your three ha’p’orth here, and/or below.

Do readers need as much molly-coddling as publishers think? In the course of writing Herring Girl, I was advised […]

By |June 5th, 2014|Fiction, Herring Girl, Writing|6 Comments