I’m not being flippant or silly. I really have seen a ghost. In fact, the sighting sparked the interest that led to my writing Aliens Ghosts and Vanishings. I was intrigued rather than frightened, and wanted to understand it. The sighting isn’t discussed in the book. It’s nowhere near thrilling or scary enough to warrant a mention! The book …

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After getting my first junior novel published nearly two years ago, I felt certain that all would be plain sailing from then on. I had my foot in the door, as they say. It was a rude awakening when I discovered that wasn’t necessarily so – at least, not for fiction. Thankfully my non-fiction work was …

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It’s a common complaint. It’s not what you know, but who you know. Or – when it comes to getting published – it’s not how well you write, but whether you have contacts in the industry. But is it true? When I first started getting published, I had no contacts whatsoever. I sent an article …

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How many times do we say we shouldn’t put off our dreams because ‘we only live once’ and ‘life’s too short’? Many, right? But how many times do we actually, seriously think about it? Not so many – until something happens that forces us to confront our own mortality. I’ve just had one of those …

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I’ve discovered that submitting a second book to your publisher can be even more nerve-wracking than sending the first. The first time you approach a publisher, you’re kind of expecting rejection. You’ve steeled yourself for it, often through long and hard experience. But the second time, a whole new set of worries suddenly appears. Do …

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It’s the moment all writers dream about. The letter/email from a publisher saying they actually want to [dramatic drum roll] publish your novel! Ta dah! All writers have experienced the other kind of letter, too many times. The one that goes, ‘Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, it does not suit our list. We wish …

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I recently attended a writers’ conference in sunny Brisbane. First up was a panel of editors explaining what they like – and what they don’t like – to see when authors submit stories. Their tips were fantastic, so I scribbled them down as fast as I could. On the panel were David Reiter, publisher at …

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