Friday, November 23, 2012

Treat Writing As A Job

Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I've got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward. Those 1,000 words might well be rubbish–they often are. But then, it is always easier to return to rubbish words at a later date and make them better.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo Day 1

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as we all know it has finally begun.
Day one went very well for me, I am well above what I intended to write so every extra word was a bonus.

I did find it hard to turn off my internal editor though, and had to fight going back countless times to change what I'd written or check for mistakes. I suppose we just get used to the way we write.
What I'm hoping to achieve, is to get back into the practice of writing everyday and not looking for excuses to browse the internet, and of course be on track for that magic 50,000 word count in just 30 days.

How did Day One go for you?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

November is National Novel Writing Month or to many NaNoWriMo. During this month many take up the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel. As you can see I have my coffee suplies ready for the challenge.
I'd just like to wish all those taking part all the best. 
You can find out more about NaNoWriMo here

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fiction Writers Don't Understand What They Do

Most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do—not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad.

There Is No Rule on How to Write

There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stuff Yourself Full

If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.

Take On Anything

Be daring, take on anything. Don’t labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Windows of Words - Anthology

Recently I have had the pleasure of working alongside authors Mary Bradford and Marie O'Halloran in compiling a new anthology for our writers group. This anthology is a collection of stories and poetry from the Charleville Writers Group. Based in County Cork, the group has been formed for a number of years.
Members have enjoyed publishing success with their work so it was decided to put a collection together to bring awareness of the group to the local community.
In doing so we decided that a percentage of the sales of this book should benefit a local charity. Because of the important work they do in the Charleville area we felt it was important to support the local Suicide Awareness Project.
Formed in 2008, the aim of the Charleville Suicide Awareness Project is to develop and implement a community development approach to address the issue of suicide in the Charleville community.
The project acts as a resource to raise awareness within the community and promote the development of initiatives to support suicide prevention, intervention and postvention.
The project will work in partnership and with the support of the local community and support agencies.
The project works under its own mission statement:

To educate, inform and support the Charleville community
on the issue of suicide.

Our anthology is titled Windows of Words and will be officially launched at the Culture Night in association with Cork County Council Arts Office on the 21st September 2012 at our local library.

The Charleville Writers Group wish to thank the artist, Tara Boelens for the use of her painting on the cover of this book. We would also like to acknowledge the staff of our local library, Barbara, Josephine, Michéal and Dominic, for all their support in accommodating our meetings and the many cups of tea and coffee.

Finally thank you to the contributors and to the sponsors of our refreshments we received on the night of the launch of this anthology.

Friday, June 15, 2012

You Have to Work Every Day

It doesn't matter what time of day you work, but you have to work every day because creation, like life, is always slipping away from you. You must write every day, but there's no time limit on how long you have to write.
One day you might read over what you've done and think about it. You pick up the pencil or turn on the computer, but no new words come. That's fine. Sometimes you can't go further. Correct a misspelling, reread a perplexing paragraph, and then let it go. You have re-entered the dream of the work, and that's enough to keep the story alive for another 24 hours.
The next day you might write for hours; there's no way to tell. The goal is not a number of words or hours spent writing. All you need to do is to keep your heart and mind open to the work.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Read your work aloud

Read your work aloud! This is the best advice I can give. When you read aloud you find out how much can be cut, how much is unnecessary. You hear how the story flows. And nothing teaches you as much about writing dialogue as listening to it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Omit needless words

Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Freewriting is the easiest way to get words on paper and the best all-around practice in writing that I know. To do a freewriting exercise, simply force yourself to write without stopping for ten minutes. Sometimes you will produce good writing, but that's not the goal. Sometimes you will produce garbage, but that's not the goal either. You may stay on one topic, you may flip repeatedly from one to another: it doesn't matter. Sometimes you will produce a good record of your stream of consciousness, but often you can't keep up. Speed is not the goal, though sometimes the process revs you up. If you can't think of anything to write, write about how that feels or repeat over and over "I have nothing to write" or "Nonsense" or "No." If you get stuck in the middle of a sentence or thought, just repeat the last word or phrase till something comes along. The only point is to keep writing. Or rather, that's the first point. For there are lots of goals of freewriting, but they are best served if, while you are doing it, you accept this single, simple, mechanical goal of simply not stopping. When you produce an exciting piece of writing, it doesn't mean you did it better than the time before when you wrote one sentence over and over for ten minutes. Both times you freewrote perfectly. The goal of freewriting is in the process, not the product.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Imagine A Sentence As A Boat

I like to imagine a sentence as a boat. Each sentence, after all, has a distinct shape, and it comes with something that makes it move forward or stay still — whether a sail, a motor or a pair of oars. There are as many kinds of sentences as there are seaworthy vessels: canoes and sloops, barges and battleships, Mississippi riverboats and dinghies all-too-prone to leaks. And then there are the impostors, flotsam and jetsam — a log heading downstream, say, or a coconut bobbing in the waves without a particular destination.
 . . .
Just as there is no one perfect boat, there is no one perfect sentence structure. Mark Twain wrote sentences that were as humble, sturdy and American as a canoe; William Faulkner wrote sentences as gaudy as a Mississippi riverboat. But no matter the atmospherics, the best sentences bolt a clear subject to a dramatic predicate, making a mini-narrative.

There’d Better Be Trouble

Whether a story is told on the page or on the screen, the same elements are required. You’ve got to have characters you can identify with, and there’d better be trouble brewing somewhere. Whatever these people’s lives have been before, they’re about to change in a big way. That’s what stories are all about.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Try To Summarize Your Novel in a Sentence or Two

I sometimes suggest to inexperienced writers that they try to summarize their novels in progress in a sentence or two. It’s a useful though limited way of finding out whether a book has a coherent theme, a theme that’s likely to attract readers. “One day in the life of a humble prisoner in Stalin’s gulag,” or “one day in the life of a middle-aged mediocre Dublin Jew, explored as an odyssey,” would convince most literate people that there was, at least, a worthy and intelligible subject.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Interview with author, Lisa Terry

I would like to welcome author Lisa Terry to my blog. Lisa is the editor/owner of The Headland Voice newspaper and is the author of the YA novel White Star.

Daniel Kaye - Where were you born, and where do you call home?
Lisa Terry - I was born in Florida and still call it home, though I live in Alabama right now.

DK - What is the name of your most recent book or WIP and if you had to sum it up in 30 words or less, what would you say?
LT - White Star: A young couple puts their fears aside and fall for each other irrevocably. Friends, family and fate try to stand in their way, but in the end, it’s a ghost who tears them apart.

DK - If you gave one of your main characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say about you?
LT - If Kara spoke to me, hopefully she’d thank me for giving her such an amazing gift of dancing, but she’d have many unpleasant things to say about the emotional beating she takes throughout the book.

DK - Do you have plans for a new book, and is this book part of a series?
LT - Yes, I am currently writing the sequel to White Star. I’ve already written a companion novel: South of Light’s End.

DK - Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
LT - It depends on my mood. Sometimes I write outside with the sun beaming down on my back, but most of the time it’s at night in my bed. To get the best story ideas or to better dissect a problem chapter or plot point, I get in my car and ride around. It works best at night.

DK - Laptop, desktop or pen for writing?
LT - Laptop

DK - Who designed the cover of your book?
LT - Heather Resch

DK - Do you have a book trailer?
LT - Not yet

DK - What are your thoughts on book trailers?
LT - I love them, though I’m not sure they’re very effective.

DK - Do you have any advice for other writers?
LT - Don’t stop reading. Just because you’re writing your own novel doesn’t mean it’s okay to take yourself out of the loop. You’ve got to stay in the know of what’s being written, different styles, structures, etc.

DK - Is your book in Print, eBook or both?
LT - It’s none of the above yet, and I’m sorry to say I don’t have a date for you either. People can stay abreast of what’s going on with it by following my blog.

DK - Have you self-published and if so how would you describe the experience?
LT - No, I haven’t self-published, though I’m not adverse to the idea.

DK - What books have influenced your writing?
LT - Ann of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery; Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen;  David Copperfield, Charles Dickens; Jude, Thomas Hardy; Dark Inside, Jeyn Roberts; If I Stay, Gayle Forman. It’s really hard to pin everyone down who has influenced me because some influences are about style while others are about structure or plotlines. Take The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, for instance. I’d never nab that structure, but I love to drop Greek mythology symbolism in my stories. Then there are those writers who influence me in a different way; they’re an example of how not to write.

DK - Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
LT - Hands down L.M. Montgomery. I just have a feeling we’d be “kindred spirits.”

DK - Do you have an e-reader, and do you prefer it to traditional published novels?
LT - I have a nook, but I don’t use it very much. I’d rather have a traditional book in my hand.

DK - Where do you prefer to buy your books?
LT - Brick and mortar book store.

DK - What book would you like to read again?
LT - I pick up any of the Ann books by L.M. Montgomery often. All of my copies of Jane Austen books are pretty battered as well. And there’s Charles Dickens: Great Expectations, David Copperfield— I reread these book often.

DK - What book are you currently reading and in what format?
LT - I just finished a fantastic book by Patrick D. Smith, A Land Remembered. It has characters and a theme that sticks with you long after you’re finished. It was in traditional book form.

DK - What new authors have grabbed your attention, and why?
LT - That would be Gayle Forman. At first, her writing grabbed my attention because we have similar paranormal-type happenings in our books. But as I read her books, I really enjoyed her style.

DK - Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad.
LT - If the review is bad, the best thing we as authors can do is keep our mouth shut. But I believe book reviews are a great facilitator for readers to see if they would be interested in your book. Reviews aren’t always the best thing for our ego but they’re great for getting the name out there.

DK - If you were deserted on an island, who are three famous people you would want with you, and why?
LT - Adam Savage from Mythbusters. On a recent show he and his co-host showed how they could survive on a deserted island. He’s the more personable of the two…he could entertain as well as help us get out of there. The second person would be—why not have some man candy?—Johnathan Rhyes Meyers. I’m thinking the last person I choose needs to be someone who would keep us all from going insane: Dr. Drew.

DK - Do you have a nickname?
LT - No

DK - Did you have a favourite toy as a child?
LT - Not that I can recall.

DK - An early childhood memory –
LT - Falling in and out of sleep on my grandfather’s lap while he laughed watching wrestling on TV.

DK - Any pets that you would like to tell us about.
LT - I have a four-year-old chocolate lab named Maddie.

DK - What’s your poison?
LT - Chocolate

DK - Coffee or tea?
LT - Both

DK - Do you have a favourite food?
LT - Chocolate and Icecream

DK - Do you like to cook, and if so what?
LT - Cooking hits me in phases. When I do like to cook, I like different things—not mac and cheese and fried chicken.

DK - If you had to choose - Starter or Pudding?
LT - Pudding

DK - What do you eat for breakfast?
LT - Poptarts

DK - Name three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone).
LT - Notepad, pen and chapstick.

DK - Sleep in, or get up early?
LT - Get up early

DK - Your favourite gadget –
LT - My laptop and I have a love/hate relationship, but I’d have to say it’s still my favorite gadget.

DK - Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit?
LT - Greece

DK - One of your favourite quotes -
LT - Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain! -Vivian Greene
DK - I love this quote.

DK - List three books you just recently read and would recommend?
LT - Patrick D. Smith, A Land Remembered, I recommend it. DARK INSIDE by Jeyn Roberts, I recommend; HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling, I recommend.

DK - List three of your favourite all time movies?
LT - Moulin Rouge, Dandelion, Cruel Intentions

DK - Name a new movie you recently enjoyed or disliked?
LT - Beowulf and Grendel—I loved the actual plot, but the execution of it didn’t grab me.

DK - Where can your readers find you?

LT -
My blog:
My facebook page:

I would like to thank Lisa Terry for allowing us the chance to have a chat, and for giving us a glimpse into their writing world.

White Star by Lisa Terry

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Never Look at a Reference Book While Doing a First Draft

Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft. You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right - and breaking your train of thought and the writer's trance in the bargain - or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don't have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland? You can check it ... but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don't do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Find Your Optimum Hours for Writing

My most important discovery has been that I have optimum hours for writing. These are between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. For a lifetime I’ve told myself that I was a nighttime writer—it seemed romantic. But actually I’m tired at night, and that’s when I prefer to read and research. Whatever your optimum hours are, don’t cheat yourself of them. This is a daily battle. If you spend them answering the phone, attending to correspondence, etc., you’ll find yourself empty-handed and out of sorts during your low tide.

Monday, April 9, 2012

You Can’t Wait Until You’re in the Mood

You can’t wait to write until you’re in the mood. My God, if you waited until you were in the mood, it would take forever. You have to sit down. The name of the game is to put it in the chair.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Put Your Notes Away

Put your notes away before you begin a draft. What you remember is probably what should be remembered; what you forget is probably what should be forgotten. No matter; you’ll have a chance to go back to your notes after the draft is completed. What is important is to achieve a draft which allows the writing to flow.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Prescription for Writer's Block

My prescription for writer’s block is to face the fact that there is no such thing. It’s an invented condition, a literary version of the judicial “abuse excuse.” Writing well is difficult, but one can always write something. And then, with a lot of work, make it better. It’s a question of having enough will and ambition, not of hoping to evade this mysterious hysteria people are always talking about.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Interview with author, Mary Bradford

Update 2014
Since last chatting with Mary Bradford back in 2012 I'm delighted to announce she has been offered a contract for her fantastic novel My Husband's Sin with Tigearr Publishing.
Here is the link to Mary's bio on Tigearr's website.

I would like to welcome Mary Bradford.
Mary has had numerous short stories published in various newspapers, magazines and anthologies in both Ireland and the USA. Mary has just completed her first novel
'My Husband's Sin'.

Daniel Kaye. Where were you born, and where do you call home?

Mary Bradford. I was born in Mt. Alvernia Maternity, Mallow and home is Charleville, Co. Cork.

DK. What is the name of your most recent book or WIP and if you had to sum it up in 30 words or less, what would you say?

MB. I recently finished my first novel ‘My Husband's Sin’. It’s a family saga about the Taylors. It involves the secrets family keep and the fallout when those secrets are revealed. It is with different publishers at present. But my first collection of short stories, titled ‘A Baker’s Dozen’, has been well received and it was self-published through Createspace.

DK. Do you have plans for a new book, and is this book part of a series?

MB. Yes, I am currently working on a book with the working title, ‘Room to Hell’. It’s a stand alone book.

DK. Laptop, desktop or pen for writing?

MB. Normally pen but I am trying to convince myself to type now!!

DK. Who designed the cover of your book?

MB. I took the photo that is on the cover and putting it together, I had help from a writing buddy.

DK. Do you have any advice for other writers?

MB. Turning up to your work-desk and writing each day is vital. If it’s only 100 words you write, its 100 words more than you had yesterday.

DK. Is your book in Print, eBook or both?

MB. My collection of short stories, A Bakers Dozen, is in both formats. It is available from in paperback form and in eBook form.

DK. Have you self-published and if so how would you describe the experience?

MB. Yes, ‘A Bakers Dozen’ was self-published. I loved the experience of seeing it all come together. I used and found the site to be very easy to navigate through the whole process. A good friend helped me loads when I found the jargon a bit complicated. So I had terrific help but I can’t name my friend in case he looks for royalties

DK. Where do you prefer to buy your books?

MB. No specific bookshop

DK. What book would you like to read again?

MB. An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan

DK. What book are you currently reading and in what format?

MB. I am reading ‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer’ by Seth Grahame Smith in paperback form.

DK. Your thoughts on receiving book reviews- the good and the bad.

MB. Book reviews are to be taken a pinch of salt I believe. Good ones are to be enjoyed and bad ones are to be ignored as its only one person’s point of view at the end of a writing day.

DK. Do you have a nickname?

MB. Monty, given to be by my mother.

DK. Did you have a favourite toy as a child?

MB. Books (honestly) oh and a walking doll called Caroline who also had a real heartbeat. I still have her.

DK. An early childhood memory?

MB. Falling into a full slurry pit at 6 years of age. It was awful and I am so lucky to be alive actually. Thanks Uncle Bill! He saw me fall in and rescued me.

DK. Any pets that you would like to tell us about.

MB. I grew up surrounded by pets of all descriptions but our own family dog Jake, a cream Labrador, died ten days before Christmas gone. He was 13 years old and adorable.

DK. What’s your poison?

MB. Vodka and white lemonade

DK. Coffee or tea?

MB. Tea

DK. Do you have a favourite food?

MB. Pizza, coleslaw salad and pineapple with a glass of white wine.

DK. Do you like to cook, and if so what?

MB. As a mum, I have no choice.

DK. What do you eat for breakfast?

MB. Tea and Toast

DK. Name 3 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone).

MB. My late Dads photo, glasses and a scarf.

DK. Sleep in, or get up early?

MB. Depends on what I have on for the next day.

DK. Your favourite gadget-

MB. The washing machine!!! I’m a mother of four!!

DK. Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit?

MB. Bali.

DK. One of your favourite quotes-

MB. ‘Give a hug, one size fits all’ okay it’s not a great famous quote but it’s so true. I adore hugs.

DK. Where can your readers find you?

My blog:

Twitter: @marytbrad

 A Baker's Dozen: Thirteen Short Stories about Everyday Life available in paperback from amazon A Baker's Dozen   And in ebook format from Smashwords  Here

  I would like to thank Mary Bradford for allowing us the chance to have a chat, and for giving us a glimpse into her writing world. All the best with the new novel Mary.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One Thought Per Sentence

One maxim that my students find helpful is: One thought per sentence. Readers only process one thought at a time. So give them time to digest the first set of facts you want them to know. Then give them the next piece of information they need to know, which further explains the first fact. Be grateful for the period. Writing is so hard that all us, once launched, tend to ramble. Instead of a period we use a comma, followed by a transitional word (and, while), and soon we have strayed into a wilderness that seems to have no road back out. Let the humble period be your savior. There’s no sentence too short to be acceptable in the eyes of God.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You Can't Tell Or Show Everything

You can’t tell or show everything within the compass of a book. If you try to tell or show everything, your reader will die of boredom before the end of the first page. You must, therefore, ask yourself what is the core of the matter you wish to communicate to your reader? Having decided on the core of the matter, all that you tell him must relate to it and illustrate it more and more vividly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Interview with author, Micheál O’Flaherty a.k.a. Mike Deane.

I would like to welcome Micheál O’Flaherty a.k.a. Mike Deane, author of published westerns -
Drive to Redemption and Wagon Hunt.

DK. Where were you born, and where do you call home?

MD. I am originally from Lixnaw in North Kerry but now live in Mallow, Co. Cork.

DK. What is the name of your most recent book or WIP and if you had to sum it up in 30 words or less, what would you say?

MD. My most recent book is a western called Wagon Hunt. It is an action packed historical thriller set along the emigrant trail in the USA. The characters are down and dirty, and the good guys aren’t even that good.

DK. If you gave one of your main characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say about you?

MD. Jim Boland would probably say that I am hung up on making my
characters suffer before giving them a shot at redemption. I imagine they all die young because of all the whisky and emotional trauma.

DK. Do you have plans for a new book, and is this book part of a series?

MD. I am trying to write a contemporary espionage/thriller at the moment – set between Central America, Paris and Venice. Still at the planning stage though.

DK. Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

MD. I like writing in short, sharp bursts. Usually in the morning at the kitchen table but I normally just fit it in when I have time.

DK. Laptop, desktop or pen for writing?

MD. Pen for planning and outlining – laptop for typing.

DK. Who designed the cover of your book?

MD. Robert Hale publishers designed for Drive to Redemption
Solstice Publishing designed for Wagon Hunt.

DK. Do you have a book trailer?

MD. I don’t have a book trailer.

DK. What are your thoughts on book trailers?

MD. Anything that attracts readers to your work must be a good thing provided that it is cost effective.

DK. Do you have any advice for other writers?

MD. Persevere. Every word written is one word closer to the end. I find I write better when I have a goal in mind. I often have a scene fully planned out in my head or in my notebook before I start writing.
Marketing is very important once you have completed you book – put yourself out there either online or by meeting readers or booksellers in person.

DK. Is your book in Print, eBook or both?

MD. Both.

DK. Have you self-published and if so how would you describe the experience?

MD. No.

DK. What books have influenced your writing?

MD. With my westerns I loved Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. I couldn’t compare myself to him, though (obviously).

DK. Do you have an e-reader, and do you prefer it to traditional published novels?

MD. I have an e-reader but I prefer traditionally published novels, although I read The Girl Who Played with Fire in my kindle and thoroughly enjoyed it. If the book is good enough I don’t think the format matters.

DK. Where do you prefer to buy your books?

MD. Second hand bookshops for older fiction – I would buy non-fiction new if I felt I had to have it. Being a librarian, I borrow most of my books!!

DK. What book would you like to read again?

MD. I’ve read Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald a few times - great style, setting and writing.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon is another favourite.

DK. What book are you currently reading and in what format?

MD. I am currently reading Death in Siberia by Alex Dryden in paperback.

DK. What new authors have grabbed your attention, and why?

MD. William Ryan’s book The Holy Thief was a great read, I thought. Well imagined setting as well as an interesting plot and characterisation.

DK. An early childhood memory -

MD. Kerry winning the 1986 All Ireland.

Ray Houghton’s goal against England in Euro ’88.

DK. What’s your poison?

MD. Guinness

DK. Coffee or tea?

MD. Both.

DK. Do you have a favourite food?

MD. Bacon and Cabbage – there’s a reason it’s a classic!

DK. If you had to choose - Starter or Pudding?

MD. Pudding – preferably Christmas pudding all year round.

DK. What do you eat for breakfast?

MD. Tea and Toast

DK. Name three things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

MD. Book, notebook, biro (children)

DK. Sleep in, or get up early?

MD. Two small kids, so get up early.

DK. Your favourite gadget -

MD. Remote control.

DK. List three books you just recently read and would recommend?

MD. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith, Lenin by Robert Service, Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva.

DK. List three of your favourite all time movies?

MD. Godfather, Royal Tenenbaums, Das Boot.

DK. Name a new movie you recently enjoyed or disliked?

MD. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was excellent, in my opinion.

DK. Where can your readers find you?

My blog:

Twitter: @mikedeaneauthor

Amazon: Drive to Redemption:

Wagon Hunt:

I would like to thank Micheál O’Flaherty a.k.a. Mike Deane for allowing us the chance to have a chat, and for giving us a glimpse into his writing world.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Grammar is a piano I play by ear

Grammar is a piano I play by ear, since I seem to have been out of school the year the rules were mentioned. All I know of grammar is its infinite power. To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object being photographed. Many people know about camera angles now, but not so many know about sentences. The arrangement of words matters, and the arrangement you want can be found in the picture in you mind. The picture dictates the arrangement. The picture dictates whether this will be a sentence with or without clauses, a sentence that ends hard or a dying-fall sentence, long or short, active or passive. The picture tells you how to arrange words and the arrangement of the words tells you, or tells me, what’s going on in the picture. Nota bene.*
It tells you.
You don’t tell it.


*"Note well."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Writing Is A Dangerous Undertaking

It is not enough merely to love literature, if one wishes to spend one’s life as a writer. It is a dangerous undertaking on the most primitive level. For, it seems to me, the act of writing with serious intent involves enormous personal risk. It entails the ongoing courage for self-discovery. It means one will walk forever on the tightrope, with each new step presenting the possibility of learning a truth about oneself that is too terrible to bear.

Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Rules for Dialogue

1. Dialogue should be brief.
2. It should add to the reader’s present knowledge.
3. It should eliminate the routine exchanges of ordinary conversation.
4. It should convey a sense of spontaneity but eliminate the repetitiveness of real talk.
5. It should keep the story moving forward.
6. It should be revelatory of the speaker’s character, both directly and indirectly.
7. It should show the relationships among people.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

No Day Without A Line

It is helpful to write always at the same time of day. Scheduled obligations often raise problems, but an hour or two can almost always be found in the early morning-when the telephone never rings and no one knocks at the door. And it is important that you write something, regardless of quantity, every day. As the Romans put it, Nulla dies sine linea-No day without a line. (They were speaking of lines drawn by artists, but the rule applies as well to the writer.) As a result of all this, the setting almost automatically evokes verbal behavior. No warm-up is needed. A circadian rhythm develops that is extremely powerful. At a certain time every day, you will be highly disposed to engage in serious verbal behavior.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Most Important Part of Storytelling

I think the most important part of storytelling is tension. It's the constant tension of suspense that in a sense mirrors life, because nobody knows what's going to happen three hours from now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy First Birthday

Well my blog celebrates its first birthday today. I would like to thank all those who have visited and those that have left comments. I hope you enjoyed what you have read and here's to another year.

 Now who's for a slice of cake?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

You Do Not Need to Leave Your Room

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stories Must Have Life At The End

Life goes on, and for the sake of verisimilitude and realism, you cannot possibly give the impression of an ending: you must let something hang. A cheap interpretation of that would be to say that you must always leave a chance for a sequel. People die, love dies, but life does not die, and so long as people live, stories must have life at the end.
                                           JOHN O’HARA

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't Be Bullied By Punctuation

When speaking aloud, you punctuate constantly—with body language. Your listener hears commas, dashes, question marks, exclamation points, quotation marks as you shout, whisper, pause, wave your arms, roll your eyes, wrinkle your brow. In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear you the way you want to be heard. Careful use of those little marks emphasizes the sound of your distinctive voice and keeps the reader from becoming bored or confused. . . . [Punctuation] exists to serve you. Don’t be bullied into serving it. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

The First Draft

The only true creative aspect of writing is the first draft. That’s when it’s coming straight from your head and your heart, a direct tapping of the unconscious. The rest is donkey work. It is, however, donkey work that must be done.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Published in 2011

Serial Killers
Edited by Chris Bartholomew

Includes my short story, "Let The Party Begin". 

 Pot Luck Flash Fiction
 Edited by Chris Bartholomew

Including  "A Child's Voice" and 'Meet For Diner?'

Local Heroes
Edited by Brandon L. Rucker

Including my short story, 'The Letter'

Dark Secrets
Edited by Dorothy Davies

Including my short story "A Mistaken Identity"

The Eleveth Hour
Edited by Daniel Kaye

Contains eleven short stories by Daniel Kaye.

ebook -
Paperbook -

Here's to more in 2012