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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The Memory of Place

For the last 21 years I have holidayed at the same beach on the Coromandel (a peninsula in New Zealand’s upper North Island, beloved by Kiwis for its beaches and holiday homes and summer activities). Eighteen of those summers were spent with my ex-partner and his family, with my daughter added to the mix when […]

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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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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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Left Brain, Right Brain – can you be an editor and a writer?

I’ve just launched a new Facebook page – one dedicated to my creative writing. It’s called Patricia A Bell, Author (@thebellbirdwrites). I’ve decided I need to separate my creative writing and publishing from my proofreading and editing business, and build my author platform. I used to write a blog post here and then post it […]

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Endings

Today I’d like to say a brief word about endings. We hear a lot about beginnings, and how difficult/important they are. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” (Lao Tzu) “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” (Plato) “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” (T.S. Eliot) “For fucksake […]

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