Places I write

Ah, the glamorous writer’s life. In the movies, writers sit at old pine desks in airy houses, or at beautiful cafes where they can nurse a single cup of tea for hours as their brilliance pours forth.

In reality, you snatch whatever time you can wrench between life’s other responsibilities (full-time job, needy animals, families, social life, studies, housework…). Front Page News got written on kitchen tables, couches, hallways of government institutions between meetings, damp lawns on lunch breaks. Most of the time, the brilliance doesn’t pour forth, but stutters out between walking the dogs, fixing a snack for a sick partner, the stumble between the car park and the office and moments on long car trips before I get motion sick. Still, thanks to a handy Instagram filter, these places too can look as glossy as Hollywood movie! Enjoy, some snaps from the places I wrote and edited Front Page News. Mind the cat hair.

Guys. Do I have the perfect teapot for proofing my crime novel.

A photo posted by @kdthestrange on

Places I copy edit: off the rock wall in fishing town, Iluka. #amediting.

A photo posted by @kdthestrange on

An assemblage of writing cats. One is more useless than the others.

A photo posted by @kdthestrange on

View from the office this afternoon is good, but a tad glarey.

A photo posted by @kdthestrange on

Writer's life. #amwriting #amediting #amprobablymakingitworse.

A photo posted by @kdthestrange on

Book available to pre-order online (aka what is life even?)

I'm still not convinced that this whole book business isn't an elaborate troll by some friends with access to a Penguin email. I mean, who gets picked out of the slush pile, really? Anyway, one thing that's adding a terrifying sense of realness to Front Page News coming out is the fact that you can pre-order it online:

This is ludicrous and exciting and nauseating. The cover hasn't been sorted yet, so Doge can act as a stand in below. Doge gives it five out of five wows.

Carry On and the need for queer representation in YA

Hello. You may have figured out by now there are several things I'm passionate about. Books, reading, cheese, anything with fur, David Bowie. I'm also passionate about more diversity in literature - YA in particular.

Why? Because when you're young, and already marginalised by society for being disabled, or queer, or a different race to the main population of the place you're in, than life is tough enough. You're already trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in the world. Society is already trying to tell you you're challenging and could you just quietly disappear please? And stop asking for so many rights? And then, when you turn to fiction, you don't even exist! Or you're a minor plot device! Or worse, you're a stereotype. That's why it's so important that fiction represents the amazing, interesting, diverse would around us by having diverse characters. Because young people should be able to read books and have someone to relate to. 

This is why it was so delightful to read and review Rainbow Rowell's Carry On for youth magazine Little Wren's blog. You can read my thoughts on this wizarding novel, which features two queer leads, here.

And please note that while I am passionate about many things, my cat Sasquatch is only passionate about avoiding my camera and not having her sleep disturbed.

Sasquatch cares not for your book, or desire to have a cute picture.

Sasquatch cares not for your book, or desire to have a cute picture.


So. I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo. NaNo what now you ask? Have I fallen into an episode ofMork and Ork? No - NaNoWriMo (most commonly found with a # in front) stands for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place every November, because we writers love alliteration.

The idea is that you sign-up (or just speak up and tell your buddies offline) and commit to writing an entire novel in a single month. Some people plot the entire thing beforehand, mapping out word count goals and character arcs. Others wing it and just write whatever takes their fancy, hoping it all comes together in the end. I’ve never attempted it before, but I do love the idea of thousands of aspiring authors across the globe working in synchrony - making pots of tea, pulling out their laptops and settling in to create brand new worlds as they go on adventures from their keyboards. So I decided to take part. Also, someone on twitter suggested I do it, and I do love a challenge. We’ll be posting our word counts and generally pestering each other to keep going by publicly shaming each other when we slack off. Feel free to join us. I’ve spent this last week plotting, and I’m ready to go.

Game on, moles.