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the dutch house

My Favourite Books of 2020

I have to say that books and reading have been a big bright spot in an otherwise extremely difficult year. There were times where I did struggle to focus – the pandemic was so distracting and, at times, frightening – but it was such a comfort to come back, time and again, to the joyous escape that reading provides. This…

Cassie Hamer

Writing 101: Three Ways to Plot a Novel

The convention goes that there are two types of writers – plotters and pantsers. I seem to fall somewhere in between. But I don’t expect the term ‘plontser’ to take off any time soon. The reality is, writers exist on a spectrum of plotting – everyone does it to varying degrees before they write. but it’s probably safe to say…

pre writing a scene

Writing 101: How to Pre-Write a Scene

Let’s start at the beginning. What is a scene? A scene is a section of your novel in which there is either dialogue or action, that is, your characters are doing something and that something is playing out in real time. Think of a play or movie – they’re built on scenes – and so are novels, the difference being…

where to start writing

Writing 101: Where to Begin Your Story

So, you’ve made your four key decisions – you have a character, a setting, and you know which tense and point of view you plan to use. You may or may not have outlined your plot, but you want to start writing. Great! Where does your story actually begin? Or, in other words, what should be the first scene in…

before you start

Writing 101: The Four Things You Need to Know Before You Start Writing Your Book

In theory, there are two types of writers – the plotters and the pantsers, or in other words – the planners versus the non-planners. In reality, writers exist across a spectrum. Some, like Jane Harper, write extensive and detailed plot plans before they write a single word of the book. Others, like Liane Moriarty plan very little at all. When…

Writing 101: The Five Commandments of Story Ideas

Where do you get your ideas? This is the first question that you, as an author, will be asked when your work goes out into the world. It’s also the question that you, as the aspiring author, probably ask of yourself. To write a book, you need ideas – good ones, ideally – but how do you find them? And…

Three Practical Tips to Improve Your Manuscript

Three Practical Tips for Improving Your Manuscript Having just returned from the three-day Romance Writers of Australia conference in Melbourne, my head is buzzing with the million things I heard and learned about writing. I wrote pages and pages of notes – far too much to share here. But I wanted to share three practical ways for improving your manuscript…

After the Party - Cassie Hamer

I Have a Book Cover

Here it is! I could not be happier with this beautiful cover by the terrific design team at Harlequin. I think it perfectly sums up the mood and tone of the book. The other exciting bit of news is that After the Party is now available for pre-order ahead of the Feb 2019 publication. Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QC0jAL iBooks: https://apple.co/2D2cIuX Booktopia: https://bit.ly/2NPgV9s Kobo: https://bit.ly/2xg9Hlk Google Play: http://bit.ly/2MDIoGD

Meet Laurie Steed, author of ‘You Belong Here’

I wish everyone had the chance to meet Laurie Steed, or at least to get an email from him. I’ve been lucky enough to know him for several years and been the beneficiary of his gentle, insightful and uplifting guidance in my own writing practice. Laurie is a true writing soul – a person who believes, utterly, in the importance…

One Week at Bundanon: My account of a writing residency

I drove out of Sydney on Monday noon. The day overcast, a light drizzle settling in as I passed the airport. Further down the highway, where the speed hits 110km/hr, the drizzle became  heavy fog. I slowed to 40km/hr. Couldn’t see more than 50ft in front of me.  Switched on the hazard lights and willed the mist to lift. Should…