How to write a book

What movies get wrong – and right – about authors. And Elizabeth Taylor: Ep47 FREE podcast for writers

Here’s someone you might never have heard of. Elizabeth Taylor. No, not that one. There’s a novelist Elizabeth Taylor.

I discovered her through this book, Angel, which is about a monstrous, astoundingly successful romantic novelist. There’s a movie, too, which misses many of the nuances, but both versions are full of truths about the publishing industry and the world of writers – details that movie makers usually get completely wrong.  See how many you agree with.

That’s what we’re talking about today. My co-host is independent bookseller Peter Snell.

Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.

If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, my Nail Your Novel books are full of tips like this. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. If you’d like to support bricks-and-mortar bookstores (US only at present) use And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.


Undercover Soundtrack

‘Unending feelings of loss and loneliness’ – The Undercover Soundtrack, Chrissie Parker

for logoMy guest this week has a historical novel with two timelines, each of them full of loss and turmoil. Music by Portishead, Jem and The Moxy defined the characters and their dilemmas, hurling her into their lives and channeling their emotions as she wrote. Modern Greek music by Elena Paprizou and Glykeria inspired the setting – the island of Zakynthos. She also writes short stories and poems and performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival 2013. She is Chrissie Parker and she’s on the Red Blog with her Undercover Soundtrack.