Research – adding weight to my writing

March 12, 2016 in On Writing by Irulan Horner

I love research. I may be in a minority, but I like to get hands-on and really understand what I’m writing about. That’s why I spend so much time wandering around the English countryside taking photos, befriending butterflies, identifying flowers, insects and birds, laying in the grass and listening to the sound of nature and occasionally even climbing trees – all in the name of research. Read the rest of this entry →

A Rubia by any other name…

September 20, 2015 in On Writing by Irulan Horner

Character names are so important to me, unlike in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, where they believed names didn’t matter, I believe a name defines who you are.

You can love or hate your own name, you can even change it or sometimes learn to grow into it, as I have done.

My characters’ names are often one of the first things I decide about them. Sometimes a character pops into my head fully formed and already named, other times it takes a bit of deliberating. Read the rest of this entry →

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

May 27, 2015 in On Writing by Irulan Horner

When I get really stuck on what happens next in my story and the answers feel just out of reach, I head for the hills (and valleys) of the beautiful English countryside for inspiration.

Walk1Spring is finally hurtling towards summer in a riot of smells, sights and sounds and so on this blustery Sunday morning we pack the essentials – camera, note book, pencil, flower guide, map, water and snacks – in a rucksack that feels far too heavy for just basic provisions, and head off into the wilds.

I’ve placed my story in the countryside around where I live, not faithfully in one exact place, but more a range of places joined together, as if I’ve folded the map to create a new landscape that suits my needs. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Create an Online Author Presence

May 19, 2014 in On Writing by Irulan Horner

As a new or unpublished author your on-line profile is a subject of much debate. Some publishers and agents say it’s essential, whereas others aren’t that bothered. Either way, if you’re going to do it, do it right.

Here are my suggestions for the most useful social and digital media available to you as the “next-big-thing” in the publishing world and my tips on how to use them to your advantage.

Author Website

The aim is that your site is the first thing that comes up in any search engine when your name is typed in. Make it shine! Make it tell the world who you are, what you do and how wonderfully talented you are. Technically you don’t have to be yourself, you can create an on-line persona, but think about the downfalls of this when, after years of slogging away at getting noticed, your fans finally get to meet you and instead of a 6-foot Amazonian woman you are in fact a shy and retiring engineer from Hemel Hempstead. Use your website to emphasise aspects of your personality by celebrating all that is different and quirky about you. This will make you stand out from the virtual crowd. Read the rest of this entry →