10 things I learned from writing a novel

After six years, I have a manuscript. It’s not perfect. I have no doubt that a professional assessment will highlight a number of areas I still need to work on. But I’ve got a complete story, and I love it. The last few years have been quite a ride. Here are ten things I have […]

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It Is Finished

Well, well, well. What could that intriguing pile of paper be? Looks like a book manuscript to me. Looks like the blood, sweat and tears of 6 long years poured out on 187 pristine white pages and printed off today. It looks like the finished* manuscript of my first novel. Excuse me while I pop […]

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Employing a Professional Proofreader

This is an article I wrote for NZ Business and Management Magazine. It’s in the November issue, which is out now. You’re a business that prides itself on communicating effectively to its clients and prospects. You produce brochures, flyers and other written marketing material. Your website is a major component of your communications plan. Your company produces […]

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Interview With The Author #3

Here’s the third and last instalment of my interview with myself about my first novel, which I hope to finish very soon. You can catch up on the first two parts here and here. You’re a proofreader/editor as well as a writer. Is it difficult to switch between correcting other people’s work and creating your […]

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Why good grammar matters

“Sticklers Unite!” is the rallying cry from Lynne Truss in her #1 New York Times bestseller for grammar nerds, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. I’m a stickler and proud of it. And not a closeted one, either. My profession—proofreader, editor and writer—is just a tiny giveaway, for a start. Then […]

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A Novel Leap of Faith

…but not always for the reasons you might think. I’m working through my nearly-finished novel for about the umpteenth time, revising, editing, spell checking, deleting, replacing. I’m very nearly there. Soon I’ll be at that point where I’m changing a word here and restructuring a sentence there just because I can, and because in that moment […]

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What Makes a Good Proofreader?

I wrote this article for New Zealand Author, the official publication of the New Zealand Society of Authors. It was published last week. You have drafted and redrafted. You may have had some or all of your manuscript assessed. Finally, with relief and incredulity, you have typed The End and poured yourself a glass of […]

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My Wee Winning Story

My, that’s a large one. I refer to the photo of my face that jumped out and slapped me as I opened the April issue of Reader’s Digest (New Zealand edition). With the issue finally out today, I can announce that out of thousands of entries I am one of two runners-up in the NZ Readers […]

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