Happy new year, writers and book lovers!

Sorry for the radio silence here – we had some technical hiccups just before Christmas which delayed things.  We’ve got some fab episodes coming up for you, I’m just waiting for the Audio Specialist to weave his magic over them (hint hint Tom!)

I don’t know about you but I have started this year with renewed zeal and enthusiasm and have been far more productive as a result.  I think 2013 should be an interesting year.

Thank you for your patience, the next few episodes WILL be available very soon!  In the meantime, here’s some fab links and favourite things to share with you to make the wait a little more interesting.

* Novelist Miranda Dickinson is running a Future Stars Mentoring programme where five talented writers will be taken under Dickinson’s Sunday-Times best-selling wing for a whole year to hone their craft, grow their confidence and get themselves in the best possible place to give their writing dream a red hot go.  I’m thinking of applying myself 😉

Pride and Prejudice is 200 years old this year.  The Guardian invited several writers to give new insights into the various characters of this much-loved book.

* The featured guest of Book Ends Episode 4, Nicola Doherty, has been shortlisted in the Romantic Comedy category for the 2013 Romantic Novel Awards.  Congratulations Nicola! Hear all about Nicola’s experience of writing her novel, The Out of Office Girl, and her advice for aspiring writers here.

* Another Book Ends guest, Lisa Jewell, writes about the agony and ecstasy of reading Amazon reviews of your own books…and why you probably shouldn’t respond to them.  Funny and brutally honest.

* If you haven’t read Marian Keyes’ Under the Duvet, then you must.  The first chapter, “Paperback Writher”, felt it like it was written just for me.

* The snow has been melted by the (torrential) rain, but I’m still in need of winter warming, so this chickpea and carrot tagine is going to be on the menu this week.  Pippa Kendrick is featured in an upcoming episode of Book Ends so stay tuned for all her tips on writing your first cookbook!

* One of my favourite writers, Gemma Burgess, wrote a rather brilliant new author survival guide and it’s too good not to share.

* Do you listen to music while you write?  Canadian songbird Colleen Brown‘s second album Foot in Heart was on repeat while I was writing the last few chapters of my novel.  I absolutely adore her music.

She’s got a crowd-funding campaign going for her latest album, Major Love, and I cannot WAIT to hear it.  I love crowd-funded projects, it’s such a great opportunity to support artists we love and to get personally invested in the creation of the work. Go and check Colleen’s music out, you’ll be so glad you did!

Stay tuned for the first episode of Book Ends for 2013, available VERY soon.  Stay well, friends.