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, September 30, 2011

Awayday in Guildford - Romantic Fiction Workshop at the Appleseed Bookshop, University of Surrey

Sue Moorcroft and Paul Vlitos arrive for the workshop at the Appleseed Bookshop.

Christina Courtenay and Kate Johnson get ready to tell the audience how to write romantic fiction - or how they do it, anyway!

Juliet Archer is delighted with her new-look book jackets for The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade me.

I had a good time yesterday doing a workshop on romantic fiction in the Appleseed Bookshop, which is on the campus of the University of Surrey. My fellow Choc Lit authors and I were warmly welcomed by the bookshop staff and by Paul Vlitos, novelist and member of the Department of English at the university.

Paul started everything off by asking us some good questions such as how do we create our heroes and where do we find inspiration. Then members of the audience joined in, and at one point it looked as if things might get a little bit contentious as we discussed Heathcliff - hero or troll?

I think we left that particular issue unresolved. But we were delighted to be able to take part in a lively discussion, and we enjoyed ourselves very much indeed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I don't know what Blogger thinks it is playing at right now. My lovely followers aren't visible any more, but I've rapped Blogger with my ruler and told it to reveal all your photographs again.

I don't know if Blogger will obey, but please be assured I'm still following you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

RNA - Exeter Chapter

Even the horrid headwear didn't weaken the Reverend Austen's resolve...

I had a good time at the local RNA chapter in Exeter today.

We discussed - among other things - the fecundity of Jane Austen's mother. Shame on the Reverend Austen, why couldn't he leave the poor woman alone? Oh, but - if he had left her alone - we probably wouldn't have had Jane, would we?

Obviously, God moves in a mysterious way.

If I'd been organising things, however, Mrs A could have had Jane first, then a couple of those admirals and whatnot, but she needn't have had all eight. She clearly did her best to put the Reverend Austen off by wearing a sort of hideous shower cap with a matching chin strap, as the silhouette above reveals. It equally clearly didn't work.

If there's anyone out there who would like to join the Exeter Chapter, please get in touch with me and I'll give you more information. We meet for an informal lunch in Exeter once a month, and you don't absolutely have to be a member of the RNA, provided you're writing romantic or relationship fiction of some kind.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bookshop Event

The Appleseed Bookshop in Guildford is hosting a romantic fiction event for Choc Lit authors on Thursday 29th September, so it would be lovely to see anyone who lives in Guildford or nearby that evening at six o'clock.

The bookshop is on the campus of the University of Surrey, but anyone interested is very welcome to come along - you don't have to be a student or member of the university.

There should be chocolate...

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I've just read a post on Lucie Wheeler's blog about J K Rowling, and am copying my comment to my own blog now.

I've read and re-read all the Harry Potter books, don't know quite why because I don't read any other children's books unless they've been written by my friends. So it must be magic. At the moment, I am re-reading Order of the Phoenix, which is probably my favourite, even though Sirius dies, boo hoo (sorry if that's a spoiler, guys).

JKR is living proof that some people can have it all, but we're not allowed to write about people like that in novels, are we - we would be accused of making our characters unbelievable. Yes, life is much stranger than fiction...