Author Q & A

This interview was originally broadcast on BBC Radio (14 October 2020). Asking the questions is journalist Rhiannon FitzGerald. We discuss writing, botany and international development. International development being my day-job, I would have loved the opportunity to discuss this subject further with her, as I know it is a particular interest of hers, also. Tell […]

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5 Tips for Writing Gripping Suspense

You don’t have to write in the suspense genre to use the techniques to create suspense within your novel. These techniques capture your reader’s attention and holds it to the thrilling conclusion. Suspense comes from the reader fearing what will happen next to a character they care about. The character must risk losing what matters […]

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Feedback, Reviews & the ARC

This blog is all about feedback. I recommend seeking feedback at every stage of your manuscript through to – and beyond – publication. Initially it will improve your manuscript. Then, once published, reviews boost sales, and the more reviews the better. I also offer tips on how to source feedback and reviews. Feedback on Drafts […]

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Biography

Amanda Read is a novelist, short story writer, and a lapsed botanist. Her removal from school before final exams sowed the seed for a later thirst for learning. Awarded a fellowship from the Royal Horticultural Society, she trained as a plant taxonomist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Natural History Museum, London, and the […]

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Marketing for Authors: making the most of Goodreads

Goodreads is a social media platform to talk about books, and nothing but books. As it has around 90 million members, it is a good place for new readers to discover your book. Unlike other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, you don’t have to spend much time on Goodreads to draw attention […]

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A Literary Lockdown

As we watched COVID-19 spread across the globe, few anticipated the impact the pandemic would have on the book world. This blog casts its eye over the good and the bad of the literary lockdown, and at how we have learnt to do things differently. Literary Festivals While many literary events cancelled completely, some notable […]

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Marketing for Authors: making the most of Amazon

Whether an author is published traditionally or independently, marketing is essential for book sales. I will be writing about different aspects of marketing in future blogs, but here I want to focus on Amazon and the author. Amazon Author Page As Amazon holds around two-thirds of the global online book market, it is not a […]

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Plant Hunters

Plant hunters have been responsible for expanding our scientific knowledge, as well as introducing novel species to Europe. Many of the garden plants with which we are familiar today, came to us as a result of the intrepid explorers who ventured to the farthest and most inhospitable reaches of the Earth. The exploits of these […]

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The World Tree

The World Tree (also known as Cosmic Tree or Axis Mundi) is a recurring mytheme across many different cultures. It is a colossal tree whose branches extend to the heavens, the trunk exists in the realm of all living things, and whose roots delve deep into the underworld. So widespread is the myth, that it […]

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Author’s Website: Branding & Marketing Essentials

If you want an author’s website and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. I promise this blog will give you plenty to think about. I’ll be covering the pros and cons of having a website, as well as site design and visibility. Is a website right for you? A website […]

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Lost & Waiting: the Wardian Case

The plants and ecoregions of the world are under threat from urbanization, deforestation, mining, landfill, fire, climate change, plus air, water, and soil pollution. Much fine non-fiction nature writing addresses these issues, but is it preaching to the converted? What of the people for whom these concerns are too factual, too serious, too much to […]

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How to write a review

If you’re not famous for something else, if you don’t have some high profile names to spread the word, then you’re largely reliant on reviews, awards, and word-of-mouth. Tim Clare, author and poet, Three Weeks in the Life of a New Book (2019) Before you even get going, read Tim Clare’s blog on the importance […]

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