Famous writers

The bestselling novel that almost didn’t get written

I love this story: I’ve just finished reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd whose first novel was the mega bestseller The Secret Life of Bees. She almost didn’t write her debut novel. The fact that the book was written is down to one tiny bee (a real life one). Sue Monk Kidd was… Continue reading The bestselling novel that almost didn’t get written

Famous writers

Famous authors in Fowey

Did you know that Fowey is Cornwall’s centre of literature? Nope, me neither. I discovered this when I stayed there a few weeks ago. Fowey’s most famous residents were Daphne du Maurier and Kenneth Grahame (author of The Wind in the Willows). Daphne du Maurier wrote her first novel in Fowey… and as a result, she… Continue reading Famous authors in Fowey

Famous writers · Writing

The top 20 bestselling fiction authors of all time

You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned my children’s books much recently. This is a cunning ploy to distract you from the fact that I am not writing them at the moment. I seem to have fallen into a mysterious trap; ‘Thou shalt not write any more picture books until you have heard back… Continue reading The top 20 bestselling fiction authors of all time

Famous writers

The story behind the Mr Men

I was clearing out some cupboards yesterday and came across an article which I had ripped out of The Sunday Telegraph way back in 2004. It was all about how Mr Men creator Roger Hargreaves had created the characters with one aim in mind: to make some serious money!  In 2004 the Mr Men empire… Continue reading The story behind the Mr Men

Famous writers

Writers who nearly didn’t get published: Stephen King

In 1973 Stephen King was a teacher and an aspiring author. Alongside teaching high school English classes at HampdenAcademy, he wrote short stories which he sold to men’s magazines. In the evenings and weekends he worked on novels. And on Friday afternoons he “liked to get drunk.” Times were hard: he was driving a knackered… Continue reading Writers who nearly didn’t get published: Stephen King

Famous writers

Writers who nearly didn’t get published: Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss (a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel) was 32 when he wrote his first book And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street. It didn’t come easily. He questioned every word and rewrote draft after draft, obsessed with finding the perfect combination of text and illustrations. He wrote in pencil on yellow sheets of paper and asked his… Continue reading Writers who nearly didn’t get published: Dr Seuss

Famous writers · Writing

The bestselling series books of all time

A while back I wrote a post about the bestselling books of all time. As this was a list of non-series books, authors like J. K. Rowling didn’t make an appearance. I promised I would reveal the bestselling series books of all time in a future post. Here it is (there are A LOT of… Continue reading The bestselling series books of all time

Famous writers · Writing

The bestselling books of all time

It is now 6 weeks since I sent my children’s book manuscripts to a publisher and I am thinking that their rather lackadaisical response is not a good sign (I had to look that word up – anyone else want to spell it like this: ‘lacksidaisical’?). In the meantime, here is a list of the top bestselling… Continue reading The bestselling books of all time

Famous writers

10 famous writers who were rejected before making it big

In preparation for what I fear is going to be an imminent rejection, I thought I’d console myself with a list of famous rejected authors who have since gone on to achieve superstardom in the publishing world. Happily, there are quite a few of them. Here are some biggies: Beatrix Potter had so much trouble… Continue reading 10 famous writers who were rejected before making it big

Famous writers

Rocky and hypnosis

Once upon a time there was a struggling writer. His $40 car had just “blown up”. He had $106 in the bank. And he had to sell his dog (my “best friend on earth”) because he couldn’t afford to feed him. He went to see Gil Boyne, a famous hypnotherapist in Los Angeles. Gil explained… Continue reading Rocky and hypnosis