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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Summer's coming!

Oh yes it is - surely we'll have one this year, won't we? I've just had my hair cut, and if the sun doesn't start shining my neck will get very cold.

So my book of the month for May is Domenica de Rosa's lovely novel Summer School, in which a very mixed bunch of writers meet up in Italy and learn a lot about life, the universe and everything.

Oh, and a bit about writing, too.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The lure of the great beyond...

Well, the beyond my study, anyway. It's been a lovely weekend, and I've had fun with visitors who needed to be taken for scenic walks and then to refuel themselves in Devon pubs - oh, the fatigue, it's really taken it out of me. Or rather, it's given me a glimpse of what retirement might be like. If I live that long...

I'm not looking at the garden any more. It's too tempting, to go out there for ten minutes, ten minutes which stretch into fifteen, into an hour, two hours!

I wonder why we writers, who all love writing so much, are so great at finding ways to avoid doing any writing? I suppose firing up the brain cells every morning is a bit like getting into a swimming pool - agonising at first, but lovely once you're in? It's much easier to loll around on a sun lounger, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yet more competitions...

Here's a link to a competition for unpublished writers in almost all genres, so it's worth checking out. But read the terms and conditions carefully before you get involved, so that you know exactly what you are offering this publisher - and what this publisher is likely to want from you.

See www.kinglakepublishing.co.uk for more details.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Melissa Nathan Award for Romantic Comedy

A bit of vicarious showing off coming along here! I am delighted to see that two of my fellow romantic novelists, Katie Fforde and Trisha Ashley, have been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award this year. It's Trisha's second time to be up for this award, and I am keeping my fingers firmly twisted for both of them.

May the best woman (or man - there's one man on the shortlist) win, but I'm glad I don't have to make the decision!

More information - see breaking news at www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/26794

The New Writer

New season, new competitions, new writing - The New Writer magazine is offering everyone a bargain price subscription right now, and this publication is a great source of competitions, even if you're not a subscriber.

Check out www.thenewwriter.com/subscribe.htm and see what's on offer!

You can try before you buy, provided you send the magazine an SAE.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Even shorter...

If you're into flash fiction, you might like to know about an opportunity to write even shorter stuff - up to 75 words, and you're done.

See www.paragraphplanet.com for more details and get writing?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Calling all flashers

A new competition for flash fiction has just come to my notice, so if you can write a short story in 250 words (or less) this competition is for you!

All details are at www.emeraldwritingworkshops.co.uk.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tax and Horror and Science and Fantasy

Eurgh, start of the new tax year tomorrow, cue for lots of cursing and moaning as I search for all my receipts, and make a resolution to have everything filed and ready for action on 6 April 2011...

Anyone out there write science fiction, horror or fantasy? There's a new competition for fantasy, horror and science fiction shorts - see www.absentwillowreview.com/contest which looks quite interesting!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A great romantic read...

If you enjoy a great romantic read which will have you reaching for the Kleenex but in a good way, I recommend Mary Nichols's RNA Major Award longlisted family saga The Summer House, which is available as a hardback, paperback and in several audio versions, and is my April book of the month.