Read our featured debut authors' top tips for writing
Everyone has a book in them, but how do you go about transforming it into a published work of fiction? We've asked our featured debut authors to come up with their top 10 tips for budding writers.
Laura Barnett - The Versions Of Us
The Versions of Us follows three different versions of a romance between Cambridge students Jim and Eva, and has been hailed by critics as this year's One Day. "Turn off your mobile. Ignore the siren call of dirty dishes. You can load the dishwasher later, but you may not have another chance to write," says Laura.
Carys Bray - A Song For Issy Bradley
Carys Bray's beautiful and heart-breaking debut tells the story of a devoted Mormon family who are struggling with the loss of their youngest daughter, Issy. Carys' advice for new writers includes: "Leave out the bits a reader would skip".
Michael Christie - If I Fall If I Die
Michael's remarkable debut novel is a poignant and heartfelt depiction of coming of age. "Find idols, read obsessively, admire them accordingly," he says. "If you can't find somebody to admire among the thousands of utterly brilliant human beings who have performed this art throughout history, then you're definitely deluded."
Claire Kendal - The Book Of You
The Book Of You is a terrifying psychological thriller about obsession and power, perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep. Claire gives tips on handling rejection and seeing criticism as a gift.
Lottie Moggach - Kiss Me First
Lottie Moggach's debut novel is Kiss Me First. A brilliant and disturbing novel about the trials and limitations of living life online. Fittingly, Lottie warns: "Guard your writing time zealously and do not waste even a minute of it online. Save the Internet as a reward for reaching your target for the day."
Sally Green - Half Bad
Sally Green didn't start writing until she was 48 and her debut novel Half Bad has since been sold in 45 countries. Sally says: "When describing people, less is more...Hemingway, my favourite short story writer, was renowned for not describing characters…he trusted I'd know what his characters looked like from the way they acted – and I do."
Paula Daly - Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
Paula Daly's Just What Kind of Mother Are You combines a gripping plotline with a thought-provoking examination of family life. Paula advises: "If you get stuck when writing your novel, try writing down three things that must to go in the next scene for the story to move forward."
- Read Paula's debut author tips
- More about Just What Kind of Mother Are You
- Buy the book
- Read Clare's debut author tips
- More about The Year of the Rat
- Buy the book
Clare Furniss - The Year of the Rat
Clare Furniss' The Year of the Rat has been cited as contender for YA novel of the year – pretty impressive for a debut. Clare advises: "Find other writers to chat to either locally or online. Writing is a solitary business and everyone tends to think you're a little bit mad for doing it. It helps an awful lot to speak to other people with the same passion."
Gill Hornby - The Hive
Gill Hornby was working as a journalist when she decided on a career change, and her first novel The Hive has was published last year. Gill says: "I could not have written fiction when I was younger. Writing is one of the few things you can start doing in middle age, after a career break, older, wrinklier, heavier...and nobody seems to mind."