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Guest Blogs

A blog by Tara Sparling

Tara Sparling writes fiction and satire. Her blog www.tarasparlingwrites.com looks at book humour, bestselling book trends, the realities of traditional and self-publishing, writing follies, book marketing, author success stories and spectacular failures. She also pokes a lot of fun at character and genre stereotypes. She can be found lurking @TaraSparling on Twitter.

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

So, You Want To Be A Full-Time Writer… Or Do You?

Posted by Tara Sparling on 11 October 2018.

As the wise Irish depressive said, the grass is always greener on the other fella's grave. Many in non-creative day jobs would love to write all day. Many writing all day would love the pay cheque from a non-creative day job. A balance between the two might be what's required - but can we ever be happy with our lot?

5 Good Reasons Why Writers Rarely Achieve Success In Their 20s

Posted by Tara Sparling on 26 August 2018.

We might wonder why so few writers become successful while still in their 20s. But the question might well be - is this perhaps for the best? Or what would we be reading otherwise?

5 Old Dead Rules of Publishing Your Book

Posted by Tara Sparling on 12 July 2018.

Just 10 years ago, publishing was a whole different ballgame. And that's not the only metaphor I butcher in this thinly disguised listicle. So what's changed? And should we be sad, or glad about it?

Is EVERYONE Writing A Damn Book These Days?!

Posted by Tara Sparling on 17 May 2018.

Writers have never been so connected. With the internet, we can now talk to fellow authors, all over the world. But what does that mean for our self-confidence, when it feels like everyone in the whole world is also writing a book - possibly even the SAME book?

HELP! Your Book is Drowning – And It’s Your 1st Chapter’s Fault

Posted by Tara Sparling on 17 April 2018.

Let’s make one thing clear: first chapters SUCK. Even the first chapters of the best novels in the world suck – at some point in the process. Most first chapters cause their writers to collapse in a puddle of headachey sweat, eyes rolled back, tongues lolling, unable to form any sentences at all. They are that difficult. And in publishing, they are what set out the titans amongst the tiddlers. The Real First Chapter First chapters...

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You Think 5-Star Reviews Are So Great? Think Again

Posted by Tara Sparling on 17 February 2018.

I hate 5-star book reviews, and I'm about to tell you why. While I'm at it, I'm also going to try and persuade you to hate them too. Wish me luck.

Writing Freedom: Is There Something To Be Said For NOT Being Published?

Posted by Tara Sparling on 5 December 2017.

Writing in a different genre can be a difficult sell, even for a successful author Literary success seems to prescribe that you find a writing style, and stick to it. But not everyone wants to do that. And not everyone is able to do it either. J.K. Rowling made headlines when she began to publish crime fiction under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, having previously confounded the market with adult contemporary fiction in The Casual Vacancy. Both are far...

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What If The Movie Is Better Than The Book?

Posted by Tara Sparling on 20 September 2017.

We tend only to talk about the great books we know which were murdered by being made into terrible films, but we forget that there is another angle to this story. Producers of film and TV are always looking for new ideas, and screenwriting veterans will tell you that it’s a hell of a lot easier for an unknown writer to sell a script if it’s based on a published book – presuming  you have...

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Gender Is A Funny Thing. Does Comedy Depend On It?

Posted by Tara Sparling on 10 August 2017.

I said something disgusting last week. I was describing a book I’d read to a friend. “I think it’s for men,” I said to her. “I mean, it was good. But it wasn’t great, and I kind of waded through some of it. I think it was probably written for men.” To my credit, I slapped myself in the face with a large fresh monkfish after I said this, because it’s a really stupid thing...

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Theakston Old Peculier Crime Festival: A Microcosm Of Machiavellian Merriment

Posted by Tara Sparling on 10 July 2017.

In less than two weeks, the writing.ie team and I will be Ryanairing off in no style whatsoever to the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, Yorkshire. I was there last year, and I still even remember some of it, despite the disgraceful amount of fun I had. Writing.ie will be live tweeting as much as possible, so that readers sadly unable to attend can get some of the flavour, wisdom and entertainment which characterises this festival of books....

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