Kate Backhouse

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Long time daydreamer, new to serious writing. Fitting it in in fits and starts around the day job and 2 children. Various long term ideas still in very early stages of actual writing. Range from picture books, through middle grade to YA. (I've always been indecisive!)

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Wow Lynn. That’s fantastic news. I’m looking forward to buying your book!

Don’t beat yourself up David. It’s called being human. I’m sure even seasoned pros turn out the odd bit of drivel and most of us mere mortals have a very high drivel to good writing ratio. I reckon if you can tell the difference you are onto a winner. 😀

Good point Libby. Anything published by a “journalist” (especially in the daily mail) should be taken with a pinch of salt. He was probably actually talking about the weather and didn’t say any of those words, except maybe “is, the, it”😂

It’s all about context isn’t it? We are all meant to be offended by wolf whistles and the like but I was quite chuffed when I overheard someone saying “who’s that with the sexy bum?” and realised he was talking about me. I suspect he was drunk😂

These kind of discussions always drive me mad because people have such polarised views.   In reality there isn’t a right and a wrong. It depends on circumstances. However much we think we shouldn’t, people do on the whole live in a visual world (apart from those born blind before someone corrects me) so we do say things like “who was that short blonde lady you were talking to.” Or “that guy at the gym with the nice bum.” This isn’t politically correct, it is just how people speak. So if you are describing someone through the eyes of your protagonist that description can tell as much about your protagonist as it does about the subject. However, if it doesn’t add to the story then no need to put in physical descriptions. Let your readers build up a picture in their own mind from the person’s actions and character. That is why renaissance painters thought Jesus was a white western european looking chap and Africans thought he was black. It doesn’t matter what he looked like, it matters what he did. I heard a lovely story about a kid in South Africa who went to school soon after apartheid ended. He came home telling his parents about his lovely new friend who was kind and funny and had a nice t-shirt. His parents asked if he was black or white and the kid said “I’m not sure, I’ll have a look tomorrow.” If only we could all just be 5 years old!

Wow! Congratulations Mr Published Author! This is really good (as I expected). And the celebratory drink should kill a few germs for you and get you feeling better soon! 


I like this. It doesn’t feel cliched because it is nicely done. I disagree with Glyn about the shrill voice and flash of her blonde curls. They are part of the voice and feel right for the flavour of the piece in my opinion. I’d love to read more and find out if she eats him for breakfast! 

I think this is fab Julie. As others have said it strikes a good balance showing the world and the character whilst moving the story along. I wouldn’t get too stressed about the finer details of how she breathes in and out of the water. It is a fantasy for children and she is an alien so normal earth bound physiology need not apply. Children are good at suspending disbelief for the sake of a good story. Nobody has any problem with mermaids being amphibious. Keep going. It’s lovely.

I like it. The contrasting voices are great and I am certainly intrigued to read on and find out what links them.

The pennebaker stuff is fascinating. I’m surprised it isn’t more widely known and used. In my job I meet a lot of people who are doing “talking therapy” of various kinds and a few who are doing “art therapy” but I’ve never met anyone doing “writing therapy”. I’m glad it confirms  my gut feel because I’ve quite often told people that if they don’t feel ready to talk about something they should try writing it down. Then they can shred it or burn it or whatever they like but at least they’ve got it out. Seems there may be some science in this.

I also love that your kids are having a proper childhood. All kids should crash into nettles from wayward pallets rather than sitting inside looking at gadgets. I reckon the world would have much more resilience and happiness if they did. 

I hope you find your owl. That is a far more interesting to do list than mine! must make first thing on my to do list “scrap to do list”😀

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