The Cover Story

Everything is a bit secret squirrel when you’re preparing to have your novel published. The title. The story. The launch plans. How the author managed to write the bloody thing in the first place. (If someone can tell me the answer to that one I’d be much obliged.) One of the most exciting (and terrifying) […]

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Wordgasms: Show Up and They’ll Come

I’ve just had a wordgasm. TMI? Hear me out. I’ve just had the kind of half hour that writers across the world dream of: complete focus, ideas flowing, fingers tapping, two “punch the air” moments, one scream of excitement, a few tears, and 500 pretty good words on the page at the end of it. […]

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The Stories Within Us

My daughter turns 14 next week. As is always the case at this time of year, I’m reflecting on the difference she has made to my life, what joy she has brought, and what lessons she has taught me. And as I prepare for the publication of my first novel next year, my thoughts inevitably […]

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A Novel Contract

Yesterday I signed a publishing contract with New Zealand Publisher Cloud Ink Press. My debut novel will be launched in February 2022. A friend asked me how I felt (which I thought was rather lovely – most people offered their congratulations, which was fantastic and expected, but this friend, perhaps aware that signing a publishing […]

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I Have a New Name

Not me, personally. Just this site. Goodbye, thebellbirdblog. Welcome to Patricia Bell, Author. There was nothing wrong with the former…in fact, I loved it. But it’s time to ensure my online presence (including my website address) is consistent across the board and more accurately reflects who I am and what I do. I’m not going […]

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The Pantser and The Second Act Sag (Or, more things I have learnt writing a novel)

I’ve finished my first novel, and plans are underway to publish it. As I bask in the afterglow (AKA the thank-feck-that’s-over, Netflix-saturated, crap-magazine-reading malaise), I’ve been reflecting on the novel-writing process and what more it has taught me (You may also want to read my earlier post, Ten things I have learnt writing a novel). […]

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Escaping Ourselves

“But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”–Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao If you’ve pottered around my site for long enough you will know that I’ve been writing a novel. It’s finished now, and I’m in the […]

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Point of View: How to Choose?

Today I thought I’d tackle the perennially difficult topic of point of view (POV). I’m not an expert, so I’m not going to offer “expert” advice. I’m simply going to share my own experience. I don’t think I need to list and define the various narrative POVs: Google “point of view” and you’ve got it […]

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Ten things I have learnt writing a novel

I’m giving my manuscript a final proofread before submitting it to a potential publisher later this month. It’s been years in the making, this novel. It has sat, untouched, for months at a time. Life has gotten in the way, including setting up my own editing business, raising my daughter, becoming single, rebuilding a life, […]

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I’ve put this post off for weeks: A new way of looking at procrastination

I may be mediocre at many things, but one thing I am brilliant at is procrastination. I seem to make a lot of well-intentioned plans and set myself what I think are realistic writing goals, and I still find myself wandering round the house picking up and putting down ornaments when I should be working on my […]

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