Debut author top tips
'Everyone has a book in them' as the saying goes, but how do you go about turning that kernel of an idea into a published work of fiction? We've tapped into the wisdom of those who have done just that; the debut novelists whose creations have been featured on Mumsnet, and asked them to come up with their top 10 tips for budding authors.
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, which has been described as "the first coming of age novel for the internet generation". 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, which had Mumsnetters reading late into the night. 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; I had nothing to say, and even if I had, no confidence with which to say it. 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."