Claire Amy Handscombe
Host of the Brit Lit Podcast.
UNSCRIPTED, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan
CONQUERING BABEL: A Practical Guide to Learning a Language
WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives.
5 Stealthy Ways To Help Promote Your Friend's Book
There are so many new releases every week, and publisher dollars are concentrated on a small proportion of those. The rest have to fight for attention, and that can be hard work and also emotionally draining for an author after they’ve already put years of their life into making a book they’re proud of.
3 Great Novels (and more) about Political Campaigns
In the summer of 2009, I fell in love with the English language and American politics at the same time. I have Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing to thank for that. As a child and pre-teen, I read voraciously and wrote prolifically, but when we moved to England and my mother tongue, French, began to rust, so did my love of language. Sorkin convinced me that English could be elegant. He also showed me how exciting — how glamorous, how romantic — politics could be. Or could, at least, appear.
How to Crowfund a Book
In 2018, UK-based publisher Unbound picked up my novel Unscripted, which is what I like to think of a smart beach read about a young woman who takes her celebrity crush a little far. Unbound are innovative and different, and well-regarded in the UK. They crowdfund their books, and kick in as a more-or-less traditional publisher once the target £££ have been raised. My book’s did well — it raised a third of its funds in the first couple of weeks — but the whole process is an emotional rollercoaster.
5 Questions to Ask a Language Tutor To Determine If They're The Right One For You
If you are going to be investing time and money in regular one-to-one tuition, it’s important that you choose your teacher wisely. After all, you may soon be spending more time with them than you do with some of your closest friends.
Where to Make and Share Book Lists Online
Five years ago, I fell in love with an app. I knew giving it my heart was probably dangerous, that it was likely to change in ways that I didn’t love since I already thought it was perfect. Nevertheless, I jumped into The List App and helped to make it a bookish place, sharing lists of my favourite reading-related podcasts and facilitating group lists where we could share what we were reading each week.
How to Start Learning a Language
If you’re one of the people who’s decided to use this time for language learning: firstly, I applaud you and your iron willpower and indestructible motivation. Secondly, you might be wondering how to start and what your language study should actually look like. From my experience as a French and Spanish tutor, here are some pointers.
What I Read When I Was Growing Up in Belgium
Sometimes, when people are talking about classic books from their childhoods — Anne of Green Gables, say, or Charlotte’s Web — I stay very quiet. I haven’t read a lot of those, and I wish I had. I shouldn’t feel ashamed, though, because there’s a good reason I haven’t. I grew up in French-speaking Brussels in the ’80s and we had a whole different set of children’s classics.
8 Uplifting Books to Make You Feel Better About Life
These days, a lot of us are looking for happy, lighthearted books to lose ourselves in. The world is scary and not that much fun, but luckily we have books to escape into. If you’re looking for a feel-good read in 2020, look no further than this list.
Making Art of Your Obsession
It’s not unusual for fans of The West Wing to credit Aaron Sorkin for their political careers. Though it’s true that the show reawakened my dormant leftie zeal, his primary impact on me has been of a different order: his words made me fall in love with English in a new way. I can trace almost everything that is good in my own writing back to his influence.