Showing posts from November, 2010


Just for fun, here's a list of quotes from rejection letters, and similar, and the books and authors they relate to.

"We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."

(Rejection letter for Carrie by Stephen King)

"An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull."
(Rejection letter for Lord of the Flies by William Golding)

"He hasn't got any future."
(Said by one publisher to a colleague, of John le Carre)

"I haven’t the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say…Apparently the author intends it to be funny – possibly even satire – but it is really not funny on any intellectual level."
(Said by a potential publisher of Catch 22 by Joseph Heller)

"It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA."
(From the rejection letter for Animal Farm by George Orwell)

"There certainly isn't enough genuine talent for us to take notice."
(Said by a potential publisher of …

Stay-at-Home Mum

I'm going to say something very controversial. I expect a lot of people will disagree furiously with me. But it's my blog, and if I can't use it to express how I feel, then what's the point in having it?

I wish we could go back to the days when the father went out and earned the money, and the mother stayed at home and cared for the children and looked after the house.

I've mentioned here before that I have three jobs. I work for LawCare (, I'm an Avon Rep, and I'm a writer. I'm in the lucky position of liking all my jobs very much, and I'm lucky that they all involve working from home. But I wish I didn't have to do the first two.

Years ago mothers didn't go out to work. The income was provided by the husband and father, and it was enough. But we can't ever go back to those days, because when women started working too, families became much richer and, as a result, house prices went sky-high. Now most families cou…

Ghost Writing

Dawn French is everywhere at the moment because she's just published her first novel. I love Dawn French; she was superb in The Vicar of Dibley and she makes it OK to be fat, but I confess that despite acknowledging her comic genius generally, not for one moment, when I heard her talking about her novel on Radio 2, did I actually believe she'd written it.

I must have been involved with the writing industry too long; I've become sceptical. Partly it's because I have a good friend who, as well as writing her own books, is a ghost writer. She's signed a cast-iron contract not to reveal who she writes for, but she makes a fair living out of writing books which others then pass off as their own work. It's pretty common, she told me.

Since I learned this, I have come to realise that of course it is going to be common practice. Writing well is a skill, like any other, and (there's a risk here that I'm going to sound terribly pretentious and big-headed) I have se…