Times are changing. Self-publishing is no longer 'vanity publishing' - a vaguely embarrassing exercise in assuaging one's writerly ambitions by paying large sums of money for a small run of leather-bound copies of a book - but a very real and increasingly credible alternative to mainstream publishing.
Nothing will get better, for men or for women, unless we can talk about rape more calmly; unless we can accept and marry into our language the fact that rape is both grotesque and horrific, banal and workaday; unless we can understand that rape isn't always the worst thing you can do, isn't always the worst thing that can happen to you - but that sometimes, it is. Rape, like life, is complicated, and we need ways to talk about that.
Everything's a marketing opportunity. Our existence is only a chance to prove how brilliant we are, and to congratulate our mates for their brilliance too... The fact is, the more we PR our lives online, the more isolated we become. With every 'Ibiza. Done' status update we move further and further away from meaningful relationships with our families, friends and lovers.
Personal experiences of hipsters are a far cry from Williamsburg, New York but instead it was like watching pockets of East London being swallowed up by a swarm of skinny jean wearing, flat white drinking locusts. As preened men were dubbed "Metrosexuals" and "scallies" evolved into "Chavs"; in my circle "Indie" became "Hipster".
I earned my teaching certification over a year ago, and at first, I was so excited to teach; now, after seeing all of the political and bureaucratic bullshit involved, the idea repulses me. Teaching summer school the past couple of years has been kind of alright because there aren't any standardized tests or government dictates involved.
The main secret I learned was there's no escaping the fact that the key to getting a book written is hard slog. But if you're going to do it, you may as well do it with copious amounts of cake and good company. I'm already planning my next escape, even if it does mean working on another novel to justify it.
Immensely quotable, universally appealing, read all over the world - that's Paulo Coelho, the indisputable king of popular Brazilian literature. The man behind The Alchemist, one of the best-selling novels ever written, may be a spiritual guru to many, but his past is marked by episodes of black magic, drugs and orgies.
This week I'm not housesitting. Here at home in South Devon I'm writing, creating, running creative writing workshops and musing on one of my favourite topics: creativity. In particular I'm thinking about inspiration for writers. Looking for some suggestions to free up your writing/creativity? Read on.
My writing straddles too many genres to be categorised. So I turned Indie. However, when my self-published, first novel made it to the Amazon bestseller list, I realised I had a niche: a group of readers around the world who liked what I wrote. They wanted to know what it meant to come of age in a complex environment like India.