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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

A big thank you to Suzie Tullett who nominated my blog for a Versatile Blogger Award. I am very flattered! But now, the world needs to know seven random facts about me. Hmm, is the world ready for this?

Okay, here goes:

1 I am superstitiously attached to a toy octopus my children gave me about twenty years ago and which has been sitting on my desk ever since. If the octopus ever left my desk, Cadbury's would stop making Bournville chocolate, M&S would stop making my favourite knickers, and many other equally bad things would happen.

2 I am the mother of a doctor and a scientist, but I can't even add up, so I am hoping my grandchildren won't inherit my science-idiot genes.

3 My favourite scent is lily of the valley.

4 I celebrated the Queen's coronation day by falling off my tricycle and splitting my head open, ouch. This meant my parents spent the day in the local A&E, not in front of their neighbours' lovely new telly (black and white, about six inches square, state of the art), as they had planned.

5 When my father went to register my birth he couldn't remember what my middle name was supposed to be, so I didn't get one.

6 When I was twelve, I sent Elvis Presley a fan letter, to which he did not reply.

7 I can recite the first twenty lines of Book 1 of Paradise Lost and, if you're not careful, I will.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Proffed out...

Yes, i have finished reading through the proffs of the rewrire of my novel The Penny Bagnle and I'm alsmost sure there are no misplaced commas or spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, although one or two alwasy seem to seep through, don't kow quite how!

It's been a long journey, rewriting and revising these three novels (The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain and The Penny Bangle) for paperback publication, but I've enjoyed doing it, and I have learned a lot more about my characters as I've gone along.

I've finished now, and am sad to say goodbye.

But there's a big crowd of people still in my head, all waiting to be written about! I've got two heroines pushing and shoving their way into my consciousness right now. So, ladies, which of you is going first? The one who works in an architectural salvage yard and is thirty-something as I write this post, or the one who was born in the 1920s in Cardiff's now-much-changed Tiger Bay?

Discuss it among yourselves, you two, and let me know. It's nearly midnight, and I'm going to bed!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book Launch - Meet the Author!

Anyone who lives in Devon and can get to the Torbay Bookshop in Paignton on 7 March at 6 pm will be able to meet Janey Fraser, novelist, journalist and teacher of creative writing. Janey will be signing copies of her new novel The Playgroup.

There will be wine and lots of women, although I don't know about song. But if you come along you'll be assured of a warm welcome and a chance to chat to many published novelists as well as to Janey. So, if you're an aspiring novelist yourself, it will be a great opportunity to meet some new friends.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Let's talk about love...

It's St Valentine's Day, so of course a romantic novelist will want to talk about love! It's something women talk about quite a lot, isn't it? But men don't talk about it quite so much.

This doesn't mean men don't think about love, of course. There's an interesting interview with RNA Rona Awards shortlisted author Michael Arditti on the link below, and Michael makes some interesting points about writing romantic fiction. I'm looking forward to reading his novel Jubilate, and seeing what he has to say.


I feel both genders must have lots to tell us about relationships, but many male writers fight shy of writing about emotion. I'd like to read much more relationship-based fiction by men.

One of my favourite romantic novels by a man is David Lodge's brilliant and deservedly award-winning Nice Work, which I must have read half a dozen times. It's a thought-provoking read in which we meet a character who has no time for romantic love and one who falls head over heels with someone who is unsuitable in every way. One character is the MD of an engineering company and the other is a university lecturer in English Literature.

Guess which is the hero and which is the heroine? Well, that's easy, but this novel offers us all plenty of food for thought when it comes to making assumptions about falling in love.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book of the Month - February 2012

My Book of the Month for February is one to lighten and brighten these cold and dreary winter days.

Janey Fraser's warm-hearted novel The Playgroup is about a group of people involved in running - you guessed it - a playgroup, and the tensions and issues which arise.

Janey told me:

"When my children were at playgroup, they over-fed the goldfish (the latter were rescued in time); cut someone's hair with play scissors; got there late (that was my fault); got picked up late (ditto). Their scrapes and mine inspired me to write The Playgroup."

She's having a launch party at the Torbay Bookshop in Paignton on 7 March at 6 o'clock, and everyone is welcome!