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Writer’s Corner


1) After reading LETTERS FROM ALICE, do you have a better understanding of the almoners' role in society?

2) How does Alice deal with sexism in her workplace?

3) What is your impression of Doctor Peter Harland when you first meet him? Does that impression change by the end of the book?

4) There are many individual cases of hardship in LETTERS FROM ALICE, from Hetty's death to the plight of the women incarcerated in Banstead Asylum. Was it Charlotte's story, or someone else's, that touched you most?

5) The working title for this book was 'The Almoner's Secret'. Do you think Alice was right to keep the birth of Daisy secret?

6) What are your thoughts on Alexander Hargreaves? How do you think he was able to cover up his wrongdoing for so long? Can you see any parallels with high profile cases today?

7) Do you think Alice was too emotionally invested in the lives of the people she helped? Is it ever possible to work in a caring role without becoming invested?

8) What lessons could we learn almost a century on, from the almoners' approach to social work?

5 Ways to Become a Full-Time Writer

1) Put aside an hour a day to write, even if it means dragging yourself out of bed as soon as you open your eyes - when I’m fostering, my day usually starts about 6am (that's if my little human alarm clocks decide to lie-in), so to fit in at least an hour of writing, I have to get up at 5 am at the latest every morning, whether I feel like it or not (and it’s mostly not). There’s a novel inside all of us, but most never make it to the page because most people are convinced they don’t have the time.

2) Shelve those box sets until you have 80K words under your belt - if you write 500 words a day, you’ll have a novel written in less than 6 months, then you can put your feet up and watch five series of House of Cards back to back.

3) Write a short story, self-publish it on Amazon, then blog about it - commissioning editors from large publishing houses scour the internet, local and national newspapers and magazines daily, looking for new ideas/new voices – this is how I came to ghost several books, so it’s a great platform to use.

4) Try calling literary agents to find out which ones are open to taking on new clients - this is how I found an agent to represent me. Make sure you have an interesting personal story to tell before making the call.

5) Write, write and keep on writing! Some self-published writers are making a better living than those signed to the largest publishing houses while some are making a fortune!


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