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Guest Blogs

A blog by Hazel Gaynor

Hazel Gaynor is the acclaimed New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of five novels. Her 2014 debut, THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award and THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. She was also selected as a WHSmith Fresh Talent title in 2015. In 2018, Hazel will release her sixth historical novel, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER, inspired by the true story of Victorian heroine, Grace Darling. Hazel's books have been translated into eight languages and are published in 15 countries to date. She lives in Ireland with her husband and two children and is represented by Michelle Brower of Aevitas Creative, New York. For more information, visit www.hazelgaynor.com

You can follow Hazel online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Dear First Draft …

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 30 September 2014.

Dear First Draft, So, here we are again. Just you, me and a hundred thousand unwritten words stretching out towards the horizon. I’d forgotten how terrifying you really are. So many words. So little time. You are so frightening that I’m considering scripting an episode of Doctor Who with you as the monstrous villain and submitting it to the Head of Terror at the BBC. Truly, you are the stuff of unimaginable nightmares. And it’s...

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Strictly Conferencing

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 10 September 2014.

In 2012, I bravely attended my first writers’ conference. It was the Historical Novel Society (HNS) conference in London. I knew nobody, and I was mildly terrified (not least because I had booked a 10 minute pitch session with an editor from Random House). I need not have worried. The conference was fantastic. The people were so friendly (I am still in touch with many American friends I made and haven’t seen since). I met...

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It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 28 August 2014.

I have a confession to make. I am an impatient writer. I have a head full of ideas and countless lovely notebooks full of scribbled outlines and I cannot wait to turn them all into wonderful novels. And I want to write them all now – today, tomorrow, next week. I don’t want to have to wait a year for my next novel to be published. I am in a hurry. I am passionate. I am...

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We need to talk about money

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 19 August 2014.

Or do we? There was a very interesting article in last week’s Sunday Independent LIFE magazine, and it has got a lot of people talking – about money. Author money, no less. *sharp intake of breath* The piece, by Emily Hourican, made for very interesting reading indeed and includes some fascinating comments and insights from authors about the thorny subject of earnings. I was also mentioned in the piece (ahem) and had my photo splashed...

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Piracy: Do you know who is selling your book?

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 17 July 2014.

It’s an old problem. One we skip past on DVDs, warning us of illegal copies of films. One we may not even be aware of when we download an album from a website our friend told us about. Piracy is, unfortunately, everywhere – and now it has a grip on books. My books, very famous books, and most probably your books too. In a recent blog post, author Heidi Cullinan shares her own thoughts on this...

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My third child: why books are like children

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 20 June 2014.

There have been several times in the last three months when I have felt like a proud or an anxious mum – and this has nothing to do with school reports or scraped knees. I am referring to my debut novel THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME. Three hundred and sixty pages of words. My third child. The only thing in my life that I react to with similar emotions to those evoked by my kids (except perhaps...

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Interesting literary things …

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 22 May 2014.

Which is, quite possibly, the worst title I’ve ever come up with, but it really says what this post is about better than anything else my feeble brain can conjure up right now (I need a holiday so it’s a good job I’m going on one next week.) So, in a general ’round up’ here are some interesting literary things that have caught my eye recently: 1) #TheBook – this is a really interesting social...

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Don’t forget to BACK UP!

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 15 May 2014.

I don’t think there can be many people who didn’t hear about the awful nightmare that happened to author, Kate Kerrigan, earlier this week. Kate left her laptop in a Dublin taxi. The laptop had her entire new novel on it – and she didn’t have it backed up. GULP! After a huge social media drive to track down the ‘quite handsome’ cabbie Kate remembered chatting to from Heuston station, and after the involvement of...

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Join me for #LitChat, Weds 14 May

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 13 May 2014.

On Wednesday, 14th May, I will be the guest host on the Twitter feed @LitChat. LitChat is a community of readers and writers who participate in a one-hour, moderated chat on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m thrilled to have been invited to guest host this week to talk about THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, writing a debut novel, Titanic and anything else that comes up! To participate, follow me on Twitter @HazelGaynor and follow @LitChat or the #LitChat...

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The treasures on my shelf

Posted by Hazel Gaynor on 1 May 2014.

In recent interviews, I’ve been asked about the writers who have inspired me. This is a difficult question for me to answer with a snappy, erudite soundbite. I tend to waffle on about my love of the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, before harping on about how much I admire Philippa Gregory and Rose Tremain. But it’s an important question because – whether I am always conscious of it or not – there are many, many...

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