Ardella Jones Wins The Virginia Prize for Fiction

Posted by on Mar 30, 2018 in blog | No Comments

‘Pleased and excited’: Ardella Jones with Joan Lecky receiving the good news at the Virginia Prize Award When Chalk co-founder Ardella Jones headed for Jamaica back in 1984 as an aspiring young music journalist she had no idea the trip would still have an impact on her life decades later.  As a result of her adventures in the dancehalls […]

Your first novel is published – but that’s just the beginning…

Posted by on Jan 17, 2018 in blog | No Comments

Last week former Chalk the Sun student Fliss Chester launched her firstnovel Snowballs! Winter Fun On The Slopes in a Surrey barn suitably disguised as an alpine ski-lodge with twinkly lights and bobble-hatted waitresses serving boozy hot choc. I felt very proud of Fliss as she signed hundreds of crisp new paperbacks and gave a […]

Words of 2017

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in blog | No Comments

With 171,476 words in the Oxford English Dictionary (not counting 47,156 obsolete ones), English is probably the busiest language in the world, constantly evolving and growing, augmenting its vocabulary by borrowing from other languages, adding new words from science, slang and popular culture. Some new additions are really useful; some set our teeth on edge. Personally […]

5 Questions to Ask Yourself about Viewpoint

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in blog | No Comments

Finding the right voice and viewpoint can be tricky. Sometimes you have an instinctive sense of what point of view is right for the story; sometimes you have to try several out for size. Asking these questions might help: Can you hear a character’s voice when you think about your story? If you can, ask […]

Rolling Calf: Writing What I Know

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in blog | One Comment

It was exciting to find my thriller Rolling Calf long-listed this week for the Mslexia Novel Competition 2017. The novel, set in Brixton and Jamaica, is a tough tale populated by gun-toting yardies, puff-juggling Jack the Lads, and the super-cool ex-Eradication Squad officer, Miss Widow. There are eighteen homicides, two acid attacks and loads of […]