How to plan out your story

Writing a story can be hard work (and here I speak from experience, unfortunately). You can have an amazing idea to work with, a fantastic central character and a dastardly villain, but then… you hit a wall. How do you start? What’s the main plotline? What happens where, and what if I think of some…

Review: I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott

Susan Holloway Scott brings all her considerable expertise to this book, and it definitely shows: I really enjoyed reading this more unconventional take on American history, and seeing Alexander Hamilton through a completely different lens. Holloway Scott plunges us straight into a living, breathing eighteenth-century America, where Eliza Schulyer, the daughter of a Dutch family,…

Review: The Assassin of Verona, by Brent Brandeth

I love Shakespeare as much as the next person. I studied it through high school, sixth form and university, which gave me a decent passing knowledge of most of his plays and means I a couple of quotes memorised that are unlikely to come in useful for the rest of my life. Still. There’s one…

Review: Cold Blood, by Robert Bryndza

Erika Foster is back! And bruised, and battered, and badass… Cold Blood is the fifth book in Robert Bryndza’s Detective Erika Foster series, and he definitely ups the ante here when it comes to stakes, character development and cold-blooded murderers. Two suitcases wash up on the banks of the Thames. Inside are two dismembered bodies-…

Review: The Growing Season, by Helen Sedgwick

I’m not altogether sure what to think of this book. I went into it expecting a kind of dystopian thriller, and what I got instead was a detailed, nuanced portrayal of the way in which society perceives motherhood, childbirth, and how we as humans deal with separation, loss and love. Heavy stuff. So I picked…