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

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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't do it - how not to have your novel rejected!

I'm about to start writing an article for Writing Magazine about fending off those dreaded rejection letters, of which I have a pretty impressive collection myself. I couldn't paper the whole house with them, but I could probably paper a smallish room!

Anyone got any tips for success? Or want to share what not to do?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

RNA Conference soon, ooh!

RNA Conference soon, am really looking forward to it this year because there will be some great speakers, and also it's in Caerleon, where the food is excellent and the alcohol is cheap(ish). Do I dare hope the good weather I'm enjoying today will last until 8 July?

Summer conferences and festivals are wonderful places to meet other writers, both published and yet-to-be-published. If you want to pitch something to an editor or agent it's much harder for them to say no if you're sharing a bottle of wine over a relaxing meal and the atmosphere is generally good-humoured and convivial.

I know, I've tried it in the past, and it has worked for me - big grin!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A fascinating place...

You never know what might be tucked away behind the facade of a beautiful old house, and I certainly didn't know what lay behind the imposing but also self-effacing white door in Exeter's Cathedral Close.

A friend who is a member of The Devon and Exeter Institution recently asked me if I'd like to look around, so of course I said yes - as a writer, new experiences (well, most of them) are always welcome. But I'd never have expected to find this amazing place, straight out of the nineteenth century, flourishing in our cash-strapped present.

The interior is painted white with touches of that lovely Regency green which somehow manages to be both warm and cooling at the same time. The windows have the best view in Exeter - the gorgeous Norman Cathedral and the Cathedral Green. The library holds a wonderful collection of books and periodicals, many of which can be borrowed by members.

I'm going to apply to join, so all fingers crossed a current member will agree to sponsor me and the DEI will let me in.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Anybody else in Devon and surrounding districts out there?

The RNA is famous for its regional chapters, and now there's one in East Devon to which I belong.

If you're a member of the RNA, if you live around here, and you would like to be pointed in the direction of the pub where we meet up once a month, please email me at mail@margaretjames.com and I'll do just that.

I'm all heart. Well, naturally - I am a romantic novelist, after all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lots of chocolate and also some money to be won, hurrah!

If you have a gorgeous husband, boyfriend, partner, or you just think your best friend is adorable and also hero material, now is the time to enter him in this competition, and win lots of chocolate and some money for both of you!

Just go to this link and click away. You'll need a photograph so the rest of the world can vote for your favourite man. It will only take you a minute or two, so have a go, yes? If your man wins, it could be the start of something big for him, perhaps...


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Talk by E V Thompson

One of the greats of historical fiction, E V Thompson will be giving a talk in Paignton Library on Thursday 23 June at 3 pm. He'll be chatting about his long career and signing copies of his latest novel Churchyard and Hawke.

Tickets for the talk are available at the library itself or at the Torbay Bookshop, and should also be available at the door. I'm really looking forward to this!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jackson Brodie

So this is the televisual incarnation of Jackson Brodie - Draco Malfoy's Dad!

I'm really looking forward to watching Case Histories tomorrow night, and suspect Jason Isaacs is going to be perfect. Well, as long as he's had a haircut...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Book of the Month - June 2011

My Book of the Month for June is Pamela Cory's lovely novel which evokes the golden days of Las Vegas, when Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack made it the place to be - to make your name and to become a legend yourself.

Texan beauty Hassie Calhoun wants to be a legend. A beautiful girl with the voice of an angel, she leaves her home town and makes her way to Las Vegas, where she meets people who will use her, want her, abuse her - and love her, too.

A charming story about a girl growing up into womanhood and finding her place in life, this is a great summer read and comes highly recommended by me!