The Key by Kathryn Hughes | Blog Tour Guest Post | Top Tips for Aspiring Writers @KHughesAuthor @headlinepg #TheKey


Published by Headline

ebook 1st March 2018  |  paperback 6 September 2018

432 pages

It’s a pleasure to be starting off the publisher blog tour for The Key.  For my turn today I have a guest post from Kathryn on her top writing tips.



by Kathryn Hughes


1. Just write. It may sound obvious but if you don’t write anything down, then you’ve nothing to edit, nothing to improve upon.

2. If you’re working to a deadline, then set yourself a word target each day. If you surpass this target, then consider yourself an over-achiever and reward yourself with a day off.

3. Don’t try to write like anyone else. I often see articles entitled. ‘How to write like…(insert name of famous author). Find your own voice and who knows, one day you might stumble across an article entitled ‘How to write like…(insert your own name!)

4. This is not a tip of mine but one from Elmore Leonard that always makes me smile. ‘Try not to write the parts people tend to skip’! I love that.

5. A large part of the writing day is spent staring out of the window, (or perhaps that’s just me). Move your laptop/notebook to another room in the house and treat yourself to a different view. If you’re stuck, sometimes just a small change can get you going again.

6. Don’t be afraid of showing what you’ve written to friends and family. Any kind of feedback, brutal or otherwise, is welcome.

7. Ask someone to read aloud a chapter you have written. The emphasis they choose to use or the accent they speak in can make you see your work in a different light altogether.

8. If you’re serious about making a living out of your writing, then be firm with your friends. Try to make them understand that you’re not able to drop everything and meet them for a cappuccino. You are working!

9. Always, always keep a notebook and pen with you, even beside your bed. I have my best ideas at three in the morning and if I don’t write them down they’ve disappeared by the morning. That said, I’ve written some pretty weird stuff down in the middle of the night.

10. ‘Write what you know’ is the advice routinely given to new writers. This may have been true in the past. Think Thomas Hardy, who grew up in rural Dorset and wrote about the world he knew, or the Bronte sisters who channelled their somewhat cloistered existence in the parsonage on the edge of the bleak Pennine moors. But times have changed, and with our fabulous well-stocked libraries and unlimited access to the internet don’t just ‘write what you know’ but ‘write what you can find out’ too.

11. Develop a rhino-skin because you’ll need it to cope with all the rejections, which you can either laugh at or learn from. Whatever keeps you sane.

12. Finally, what works for me, may not work for you, so feel free to ignore all of the above.


|   About the Book   |


It’s Ellen Crosby’s first day as a student nurse at Ambergate County Lunatic Asylum. When she meets a young woman committed by her father, and a pioneering physician keen to try out the various ‘cures’ for mental illness, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change all their lives for ever…

Sarah is drawn to the abandoned Ambergate Asylum. Whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase belonging to a female patient who was admitted fifty years earlier. The shocking contents lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy, lost love and an old wrong that only she may have the power to put right . . .

It’s time to discover what a million readers already know. No one grips your heart like Kathryn Hughes . . .



|   Author Bio   |


Photo Credit: Craig Jackson Photography

Kathryn Hughes was born in Altrincham, near Manchester. After completing a secretarial course, Kathryn met her husband and they married in Canada. For twenty-nine years they ran a business together, raised two children and travelled when they could to places such as India, Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand. Kathryn and her family now make their home in a village near Manchester. The Letter, Kathryn’s first novel, was a digital #1 and international bestseller, and her second novel The Secret has been highly acclaimed. The Key is Kathryn Hughes’ third novel.




Author Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads



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