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This category contains 23 posts

What the French taught me about sex (and writing it)

It’s nearly a week since my debut novel Paris Mon Amour came out and I’ll be writing about that incredible experience very soon… But in the meantime – and because I was way too busy to post this week – here are some of the pieces I’ve written elsewhere to coincide with the release.  Given the longevity and popularity … Continue reading

Author Events – with a guest appearance from Francis Plug

Apologies to anyone wanting to read a serious article about author events.  This isn’t one. But it is a historic event, or if you want to get all literary, an historic event.  It was supposed to be a guest author post but that went wrong from the start when South London New Zealander Paul Ewen, … Continue reading

The Literary Guilt and Inferiority Quiz

Many of you book-lovers will have seen this very interesting, possibly funnier than intended article by the supremely erudite Will Self in The Guardian, lamenting the death of the serious literary novel (again). Now, serious and literary are two of my favourite words but this piece contained one or two (dozen) others which challenged my … Continue reading

The Story behind Stories for Homes – an anthology in aid of Shelter

You could say this post is a promoblog, or a literad. Whatever it is, featuring a title with the express aim of encouraging people to buy it is not something I’ve done before on the Literary Sofa, but I hope you’ll soon see why I’m making an exception. This week saw the publication of the … Continue reading

The Joy and (mostly) Horror of Houseguests

Last week we had a family of French friends staying with us, which led me to reflect on the subject of houseguests.  This time we were exchanging bisous by the hundred with my oldest friend, her husband and their three children, the youngest of whom is my gorgeous eight-year-old goddaughter.  Although we usually meet in … Continue reading

How To Run a Successful Book Blog – Guest Post on For Books’ Sake

This week I am delighted to be appearing as a guest on the fabulous and dynamic webzine For Books’ Sake.  The editors invited me to contribute some thoughts and tips on running a book blog, and for the benefit of my own blog followers who aren’t on Twitter, here’s a link to the post.  If … Continue reading

What’s Your Kind of Book?

Once again thanks to Ben Blackman and Sanjida O’Connell for contributing such stimulating guest posts and for keeping the Literary Sofa in business whilst I was, I hope, career-advancingly occupied.  Ben and Sanjida proved to be extremely popular guests sending the stats soaring and I’m hoping they’ll both make return visits to coincide with their new … Continue reading

Sex Scenes in Fiction

This is the 100th post on the Literary Sofa and the subject of sex hasn’t come up much beyond the occasional mention in a review. Last week’s piece on gender issues in the book world attracted a lot of interest and leads neatly onto a brief look at sex in (mainstream literary and commercial) fiction. By sheer … Continue reading

XX or XY? Do readers care about gender of author?

This piece started out as a review of A M (Amy) Homes’ novel May We Be Forgiven, winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013.  I’m a fan of her writing and rushed to read the book back in the autumn when it was released in the UK.  It’s tremendously enjoyable and memorable, but I soon realised … Continue reading

Book Launches & Black Vodka

‘You go to a lot of book launches,’ people say to me. It’s true. It’s one of the many wonderful things, all the more so for being totally unexpected, which have come about since I started the Literary Sofa blog. The timing was just right too because my sons were old enough to be left … Continue reading