Archive of posts filed under the Blog category.

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 38 – Chatting With Andrew Cowan

In this episode I chat with author and creative writing teacher Andrew Cowan about writing fiction, finding details, perfectionism and helping bring others’ stories to life. Andrew talks switching from pottery to fiction, finding his own voice, ways round perfectionism and self-doubt, and his career in teaching creative writing on residential courses and at the […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 37 – Chatting With Tim Pychyl

In this episode I chat to Dr Tim Pychyl, psychologist and head of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University, Canada. Tim has devoted over 20 years to the ‘breakdown in volitional action’ we call procrastination. Since I get more letters about struggling with procrastination than all other creative writing topics combined so I thought […]

NEW POEM: JACOB REES-MOGG

I wrote a poem hailing old-fashioned Englishman & Brexit eminence gris Jacob Rees-Mogg. Thought I’d put it up for you on National Poetry Day. What an unusual fellow! JACOB REES-MOGG His knightly politeness is known round the counties Through dewy green pastures of infinite bounties More courteousness than a passel of mounties Who is he? […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 36 – Chatting With Ross Sutherland

This episode features me chatting to writer, performer, poet, podcast presenter, film-maker, playwright and educator Ross Sutherland about his work experimenting on words to make them do cool stuff. His podcast Imaginary Advice recently won Best Fiction Podcast at the British Podcasting Awards, he’s produced work for radio and TV, he’s a legend of the […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 35 – Chatting With Melissa Harrison

In this episode I chat to writer Melissa Harrison about becoming a writer, the pressures of writing, and the process of bringing the past and the natural world to life. We chat about her new novel ALL AMONG THE BARLEY, how she struggled to admit to herself that she wanted to write, research, farming, fascism, […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 34 – Chatting With Micah Yongo

This episode I chat to debut Fantasy novelist Micah Yongo about his novel of warring assassins and clashing ideologies, LOST GODS. We get into everything, from working with an editor to researching crossbow physics, to how you go from big ideas and sprawling, complex imaginary worlds down to a story, and the character who’s going […]

Call For Awesome Unpublished Books!

Hey dear friends. Are you an author? Do you have an unpublished novel you’d like agents or editors to read? I want to do a bonus episode in a few weeks’ time where I do a pitch rush for a bunch of listeners’ books. So basically, you lot send me in the title, a paragraph […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 33 – Chatting With Temi Oh

This episode I chat to debut author Temi Oh about her upcoming novel DO YOU DREAM OF TERRA-TWO? We talk research, handling big casts, giving characters motivation, & novels of ideas. This is a great episode to listen to if you want to know: – how can I research my story if some aspects (like […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 32 – Difficult 2nd Novel (Writing Ramble)

In this episode I talk about some things I’ve learned from the 4 year process of writing my 2nd novel, THE ICE HOUSE (out May 2019). This is an unscripted episode where I talk through some of my first thoughts about the process, which at times was not easy, to put it mildly. Like anything […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 31 – Chatting With Lauren Groff

In this episode I chat with Lauren Groff, bestselling author of FATES & FURIES, about her latest short story collection, FLORIDA. We chat about her writing career spanning 6 books thus far, how she moves from short stories to novels, her ways of working, and how she gets her language and characters to sing. (spoiler: […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 30 – Chatting With Mark Stay

This episode is a chat with author Mark Stay. He’s an indie author, he’s worked in traditional publishing, he’s co-authored a novel and a screenplay, and he’s crowd-funded a novel. Not only that, but he’s a presenter of the podcast for writers, THE BESTSELLER EXPERIMENT. This is a great episode to listen to if you […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 29 – The Dentist (by Morgan)

In today’s episode I look at the first page of a listener’s story and suggest ways of making it better. This is a great episode to listen to if you want to know: – how can I get some tips for editing my novel? – how can I write a great first line? – how […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 28 – Chatting With Helen MacDonald

This episode I chat to multi-award-winning writer Helen MacDonald, author of H IS FOR HAWK, about finding the right words, finding your voice, and pushing through in the face of self-doubt. We discuss her poetic influences, Top Gun, madness, painting and masculine crisis in interbellum England. We really dig down into how you might go […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 27 – Chatting With James W Pennebaker

In this episode I chat with social psychologist James W Pennebaker about his research into expressive writing, and the tiny words we use each day but don’t notice. We talk about a specific way of writing that can improve your mood, sleep, immune system function and even help your body heal faster. We discuss computer […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 26 – Chatting With Guy Gunaratne

In this episode I chat to novelist and film-maker Guy Gunaratne. We chat about how he got into telling stories, the movie that changed his life, and the challenge of listening to the voices of the five very different characters in his debut novel, IN OUR MAD AND FURIOUS CITY. We also chat about saunas, […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 24 – Chatting With Gareth L Powell

In this episode I chat to SF author Gareth L Powell about his pistol-toting flying ace monkey, ACK-ACK MACAQUE, writing sentient spaceships, winning awards and being nice on the internet. We get into his new novel, EMBERS OF WAR, and he shares his best writing tips for novice authors. This is a great episode to […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 22 – Chatting With Claire North

In this episode I chat to novelist Claire North (aka Catherine Webb) about her amazing career spanning 20 (!) novels so far, starting when she was just 14. We chat about genre, growing up geeky, dystopias, craft, and changing the world – and her latest novel, 84K, set in a frighteningly familiar corporate near-future where […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 21 – Chatting With Peter Newman

This episode I chat to Peter Newman, author of Fantasy trilogy THE VAGRANT, THE MALICE and THE SEVEN, and – released in the UK *this week* (!) – his latest, THE DEATHLESS. I grill him for precious, precious info on how he builds worlds, his philosophy on creating characters, and what makes Fantasy so compelling. […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – 100th Episode Special – Aing Your Qs

To mark the 100th episode of Death Of 1000 Cuts, my writing advice podcast, I thought I’d record a Q&A, answering listeners’ questions. Here are the questions I answer, in the order I answer them. Thanks very much to everyone who submitted questions! – How do you know when you’re being original? – When can […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 20 – Untitled by M (1st Page Critique)

In this episode I take a look at a listener’s first page and suggest ways to make it better. That’s right, it’s an old school In The Barber’s Chair critique! This is a great episode to listen to if you want to know: – how can I be a better self-editor? – how can I […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 19 – Chatting With Grant Howitt

In this episode I chat to tabletop game designer Grant Howitt about creating stories out of thin air. We talk about the magic of gathering together to make stories with friends, how characters flow out of the simplest backstories, and ways in which you can use the techniques of roleplaying and improv to get over […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 17 – Chatting With Jeannette Ng

In this episode I chat to author Jeannette Ng about her Gothic Fantasy novel UNDER THE PENDULUM SUN. We discuss how she came upon her tale of a gothic heroine travelling to the mysterious and threatening continent of Arcadia, in search of her missionary brother who has been trying to convert the Fair Folk. We […]

Mailing List

Hey dear ones, just a quick post to say that I’ve got rid of my mailing list. I was only sending mailouts sporadically, and it was an awkward mishmash of my poetry audiences and podcast listeners. Added to that, the open rate had dropped from around 60% to about 10% – so it was the […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts – Season 2 Episode 18 – Getting Unstuck & Defining Success (Writing Ramble)

In this episode I talk about creative ways of getting unstuck when you’re working on a project, and showcase John August’s Writer Emergency Pack – a deck of cards designed to help storymakers out of jams. I also review what I’ve learned from speaking to the various authors I’ve had as guests on the show […]

Death Of 1000 Cuts LISTENER SURVEY

Create your own user feedback survey Hey friend. I really want to get to know you. If you listen to Death Of 1000 Cuts, you would be making a big and valuable contribution by filling in this 5 minute (literally 5 minutes – it’s 10 questions) survey about what things you’d like me to do […]