The Writer

YA author, and as it happens my daughter, Lili Wilkinson has tagged me for this writers’ blog tour. She can write novels while simultaneously doing a PhD and, as she likes to say, “gestating a tiny human”. I wish I could do that. (Work on more than one thing at once, I mean.  I don’t … Continued

How Do I Make My Story Longer?

I get quite a lot of emails/letters from young people who are writing their own stories. One of the most common things they say is “I’m writing a book. I’ve nearly got to the end of the story and it’s only 20 pages long. How do you make your books long?” Well the answer is, … Continued

It Ain’t Heavy. It’s My Novel.

I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I’ve finished the zero draft* of my book. There’s still a lot of work to do, but the worst is over. I think of this early complete draft as being like a pencil sketch for a painting. Now, I know what the story is … Continued

My Messy Desk

I have written a guest blog for fellow writer Gabrielle Wang, who has asked a number of writers to write about where they write and how they write. So if you want to see a photo of my very messy desk, go to Gabrielle’s blog. While you are their you can see how other writers … Continued

What I’m Writing Now

So I’ve started writing a new novel. It’s a Dragonkeeper novel. But it doesn’t follow on from Dragon Moon. It’s set about 400 years later. This is my fifth Dragonkeeper book. I suppose I thought it might be a bit easier, fifth time round. It isn’t. I spent about two months last year working out … Continued


I’m back in front of the computer this week after a few weeks break. My book about the Battle of Fromelles went off to the printers two weeks ago. Now I am starting to think about what I will write next. I get quite a few letters and emails from people wanting to know where … Continued

Writing Process: Postscript

I know I said I’d written the last blog on my writing process, but today I went into black dog books to have a look at the dyelines of my book Sugar Sugar. This is really the last stage before printing. The printer sends a copy of  the book on sheets of paper as it … Continued

Writing Process #6: The Final Stages

This is the sixth and last blog in a series about the way I write a book. After the 3rd draft, there might be a 4th draft. By this stage I’m getting impatient to get it over and done with. The internal design has been submitted by the designers, changed, because we weren’t quite happy … Continued

Writing Process #5: Third Draft

This is the fifth in a series of blogs about the way I write a book. So the day after I sent in my second draft, I got sick. That gives you some idea of the intensity of working on that draft. Fortunately, the third draft is a lot easier. I got back comments on … Continued

Writing Process #4: Second Draft

This is the fourth in a series of blogs about the way I write books. It’s been a while since I wrote the last one…that’s because I’ve been writing a second draft! So after I send off my first draft to my publisher, he reads it, my editor reads it. And they write their comments … Continued