A Problem Shared

In July 2016, Jane launched the first of several ‘A Problem Shared’ volumes. Volume 1 is only £0.99 on Amazon and Smashwords.

Jane has been Writing Magazine’s agony aunt since 2005. This is how she describes her role…

“My monthly column in Writing Magazine, ‘Talk It Over’, is a discussion of some sort of writing dilemma – what to if your work keeps getting rejected, for example, (have a stiff drink and send it out again) to whether it’s a good idea to give up the day job to do it full-time (probably not!), and why you can never get past the 10,000-word mark when you try to write a novel (you’re being a wimp – don’t give up so easily). Doing it is particularly special to me as I can remember reading Writing Magazine and then sister publication, Writers News (they are now combined into one volume) when I first started out, and gazing enviously at all those tales of book deals etc. Writing Magazine is a very useful source of information if you’re any sort of writer or would like to be – there’s lots of info on markets, competitions, who’s looking for what and so on as well as interviews, how-to articles – and Me! J”

Each volume features a hand-picked selection of ten of those ‘Talk it Over’ columns intended to help or inspire you, whether you are a new writer seeking guidance or you are further along the path to publication and needing reassurance that you are doing the right thing.

Read the questions posed by Writing Magazine readers and Jane’s replies, with additional updates to reflect the changes to the writing industry and book world that have taken place since these columns first appeared. Where other authors’ books have been mentioned, it is likely they have published other work since, so rather than list all of them, we have provided you with their – or their publishers’ – websites so you can check them out yourself if you wish. Enjoy!

Volume 1 is available via eBook at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Below are the questions asked…

  • 1. I can’t get it down on paper
  • 2. I’m retirement age – can I still get started?
  • 3. I soon dislike my own ideas!
  • 4. How do I choose a name for my heroine?
  • 5. Do I always have to show not tell?
  • 6. How do I make my writing longer?
  • 7. Do I need to be an “expert” to write a non-fiction book?
  • 8. Should I ask for feedback?
  • 9. My family don’t support me.
  • 10. How do I handle rejection?

Then in June / July 2017 along came volumes two, three and four, all available at just 99c, 99p…

Volume 2

  • 11: A Room of One’s Own
  • 12: Two Books a Year
  • 13: Finding Time
  • 14: Research
  • 15: Someone Else has Written the Same Book
  • 16: What is X-Factor?
  • 17: Calling Myself a Writer
  • 18: Ethics and Morality
  • 19: Others’ Reactions
  • 20: Writers’ Holidays

Volume 3

  • 21. Concentration
  • 22. Writing Clutter
  • 23. Writing When Stressed
  • 24. Jealousy
  • 25. Two-dimensional Characters
  • 26. Writing Partnership Gone Wrong
  • 27. Series for Publishers
  • 28. Confidence to Approach an Agent
  • 29. Book Sales
  • 30. Building a Brand

Volume 4

  • 31. Too Many Ideas
  • 32. Writing a Memoir
  • 33. Older Heroines
  • 34. Series Characters
  • 35. Profanities
  • 36. Back in Love with Book
  • 37. Reinvent Yourself
  • 38. Next Big Thing
  • 39. Agent or Publisher
  • 40. Literary Festivals