Welcome!

I've set up this blog so that all my friends, relations and colleagues in the world of writing can keep up to speed with what I'm doing - from now on, I'll never have to say sorry for not keeping in touch.

Or anyway, that's the plan.

So do please link up with me on Facebook and Twitter - https://www.facebook.com/margaret.james.5268 and https://twitter.com/majanovelist.

I hope everyone who reads my posts will find something of interest in them - news from the publishing world, competition guides, author gossip, and updates on my own career.

So please keep reading!

You can find my novels as digital downloads on Apple iTunes, Kobo, Kindle and Nook, and most are available as print paperbacks, too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guest blogging

I've been guest blogging today, answering questions about myself and my books. This is quite a novelty because in my capacity as a journalist working for Writing Magazine I am usually the one asking the questions and shining a torch into my victims' eyes as they squirm.

I must be fair and say I haven't been doing any squirming today. The questions I've been asked have been polite and reasonable, so I've been happy to answer them. The interviews and articles will be published next month, there'll be book freebies and giveaways, and maybe chocolate, too.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quiller's Place - The View From The Shed: Anti-Conning Writers Day

Quiller's Place - The View From The Shed: Anti-Conning Writers Day: "This post originally appeared on 25th March 2011 on my blog HERE. I thought it was worth giving it a permanent page so that it could be acce..."

No writer likes to be conned, and this article on Sally Quilford's blog points out some things we should all know!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award


Thank you, Lucie Wheeler, for presenting me with a Stylish Blogger Award!

I'm now supposed to tell readers seven things about me:

1 I've studied Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, and when I was a teenager I wanted to become an archaeologist. But then I got distracted, and that ambition is being held over until I retire. Now I'm getting on a bit, I'd like to contribute by sitting in a comfortable Finds Tent, cleaning up trays full of artefacts, rather than crouching in a muddy old trench doing any digging myself.

2 My all-time favourite novel is Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, closely followed by David Nicholls's modern day take on the same story, One Day.

3 I've written all my novels and everything else sitting at the same desk, a Victorian one I bought nearly forty years ago, first of all on a Smith Corona typewriter, then on a green screen PC, then on a more modern PC, then on a laptop. It doesn't get any easier.

4 My children haven't inherited my story-telling DNA - one is a physicist and the other is a doctor. My grandson hasn't yet decided what he's going to be, but since he's only five he has time to make up his mind.

5 I'm not sure if I really believe in ghosts. But a few somebodies out there talk to me, and sometimes I quite like having them around.

6 I was born in a Victorian workhouse, like Oliver Twist. But by the time I put in an appearance, it had become one of the first NHS hospitals. Its address was Workhouse Walk.

7 I celebrated Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Day in the same hospital, having cut my head open by falling off my tricycle into a rockery, ouch. I had rather a lot of stitches!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Off on my travels...

I have a new novel out on 1 May, so now's the time to start promoting it and making people aware of its existence. It's called The Golden Chain and is the sequel to The Silver Locket. You'll find cover images which include links to buy (just click on the cover itself) to the right of this post.

I'll be spending some time over the next few months travelling and doing publicity, but not always literally. These days, writers make blog tours, so I'm lining up some bloggers who will hopefully want to talk to me about me and my books.

If anyone out there is running a writing-related blog and would like to speak to me about any aspect of writing, or run a competition to win one of my books, or just chat about the literary world in general, do please get in touch via mail@margaretjames.com.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Going global

It's always interesting (or at least that's my excuse) for bloggers to look at their blog stats and see where their blog traffic is coming from these days.

I'd expect to see dark green blobs on English-speaking parts of the world, but today I notice China has gone dark green. I wonder why? Anyone out there in China reading my books?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Harry Bowling Prize

If you've written a novel (or even if you've just started a novel) which has an urban setting anywhere in the world, and if you haven't yet had a novel for adults commercially published, you might like to consider entering your work for the Harry Bowling Prize 2012.

The shortlisted entrants are invited to a party where the winner will receive £1,000 and the runner-up £100. At the party, you'll get to meet a top London agent, some of the Headline editorial team, and probably several published novelists, too.

More details - see www.harrybowlingprize.co.uk. The closing date is 30 September 2011, which seems a long way off now, but these things have a habit of creeping up on us...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ebooks - PS

I was just wondering - if ebooks do take over, what are the charity shops going to sell, apart from old clothes and unwanted gifts of evil-smelling bath foam?

I buy lots of books from charity shops and I always recycle them, even though I know some other authors don't approve of this. In my view, I'm supporting the charity rather than robbing the author. But that's an argument which will run and run...

What will we have in future, used ebook hubs?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ebooks - the takeover begins...

Or actually, it began years ago when someone first realised you could sell books this way. Most publishers these days buy ebook rights as a matter of course, and some authors find ebooks outsell print copies easily.

How long will it be before the printed book goes the way of the spinning wheel and the manual typewriter? I've still got my own Smith Corona manual, on which I typed my first novel, tucked away in the back of a cupboard for when the revolution comes and I need it. But could I touch-type perfectly now? I doubt it!

I read my first whole book on an ipad last weekend. I enjoyed the reading experience. So now I feel like a traitor. But should I?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book of the Month March 2011


My Book of the Month for March is Jill Mansell's delightful romantic comedy, To the Moon and Back. If you need an antidote to all the gloom and misery of these depressing times, give Jill's lovely books a go - they're bound to cheer you up!

The mass market paperback isn't available just yet, but the book is already in several other formats. So if you can't wait for the paperback, why not consider the hardback or ebook?