Miranda Writes 45: #getinvolved with Book 8!

All this year I’m vlogging about the writing, editing and publishing of my latest novel, A Parcel for Anna Browne. This week, I’m writing Book 8 – and I need YOUR help!

If you’ve watched my vlogs for a while, you’ll know that every year I give my lovely readers the chance to suggest something for my next book. Over four hundred people have joined in with my #getinvolved challenges during the last few year – amazing authors Joanne Harris and Jill Mansell have even joined in! If I use your suggestion, I’ll thank you in the acknowledgements in my eighth novel…

So, to find out your first #getinvolved challenge, watch this vlog! You can leave a comment in the box below this post, email me mirandawurdy@gmail.com, tweet me @wurdsmyth or leave me a comment on my facebook author page MirandaDickinsonAuthor.

What would you like to know? Contact me using the methods above and ask me a question for the next vlog.

Enjoy! xx

Lessons from Anna Browne: Write the book YOU want to write

I hesitated about whether to post this or not. But having spoken to so many writers during this year, both through WriteFoxy and via Twitter, I think this is something that could help fellow writers to follow their hearts…

I had the initial idea for A Parcel for Anna Browne about four years ago. Like many ideas it sat sparkling away on the sidelines of the books I was writing, trying to distract me when I had deadlines and waking me up in the middle of the night to whisper in my ear. I loved the idea. I even wrote the first chapter to see what it might look like. But I didn’t propose it to my agent or publisher for one simple reason: I didn’t think I could write it yet.

A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

A Parcel for Anna Browne

Writing is about taking risks when you’re facing The Fear.

You would think, after writing six Sunday Times Bestselling novels that have sold almost 1 million copies worldwide (eek!) I would be completely confident in my writing. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Every year I ask myself if I’m up to the challenge of writing another book and telling the story I’m dreaming of in the way I want to tell it.

What I found really comforting is that when I spoke to my writer friends it turns out that all of them regularly do battle with what has become commonly known as The Fear. Writers I admire, whose words flow onto the page beautifully, who tell stories that amaze, thrill and inspire me, have all at some time during the writing process of their incredible books doubted their ability to do their idea justice. What made the difference between those ideas remaining in the wings and being brought onto the page wasn’t confidence, but courage.

So, after four years of hesitation, I decided to go for it.

Writing A Parcel for Anna Browne has been one of the scariest and most exciting experiences of my writing career – and I am so proud of the result. Writing the book has taught me to follow my gut instinct and tell the stories I’m dreaming of telling. Where I’ve felt my vocabulary is lacking, or encountered obstacles I’m not sure how to overcome, I’ve held on to the inescapable feeling that Anna’s story is one I want to write.

So, this is what I’ve learned: if the idea has come to you, then you have everything you need to tell it. All you need is the courage to begin.

Investing in your dream…

If you write, regardless of whether you’re published or waiting-to-be published, pursuing passion in what you do is vital to maintain your focus, confidence and tenacity. Lose sight of why you started writing in the first place and it very quickly becomes a heavy chore. That’s why I started WriteFoxy, to reconnect writers of all genres and at all stages of experience with their first love of writing.

My WriteFoxy Writers’ Inspiration Days are designed to make the writers who attend feel like the amazing creative people they truly are. I want people to leave one of my events feeling fired up again, ready to believe that anything is possible with their stories. But I know that by putting a price tag on a writing day it becomes prohibitive for many people. Before I was published, I never attended any writing conferences or retreats, simply because I couldn’t afford them.

So, here’s what I want to do: at both my upcoming WriteFoxy events (1st November and 7th February), I will be offering one free place for a writer to come to the day as my guest. I want to invest in someone’s writing by giving them a day of inspiration and the chance to meet and chat with bestselling authors and fellow writers, to really boost and encourage their own work.

If you would like to be considered for a Guest Invitation, email me at mirandawurdy@gmail.com and tell me why you would like to come. Please ensure you are available on the dates above and able to travel to Dudley, West Midlands – there will be a donation towards your travel but you must be able to travel in the first place. Please email me by midnight on 25th October at the latest.

And by the way, tickets are still available for the two events if you can afford one: WriteFoxy November and WriteFoxy February. I look forward to seeing you there!

A Parcel for Anna Browne – HERE’S MY BIG NEWS!

For the last couple of days, intriguing images have been appearing on my Twitter and Facebook…




Daisy chain


Hope heart


Well, I can finally reveal the full pictures… They are part of an amazing TREASURE HUNT that will be taking place in BIRMINGHAMMANCHESTER and LONDON from Thursday 24th September – the day A Parcel for Anna Browne is published!

Here’s how it works: the posters (see below) will be put up across the three cities (each one represents some of the gifts Anna Browne receives). When you find them, take a photo and tweet @panmacmillan using the hashtag #AParcelforAnnaBrowne. You can also post on Facebook – just make sure you use the hashtag so we can find you!

There are NINE gifts to find. Up for grabs are signed copies of A Parcel for Anna Browne and – this is the best bit – I will be inviting people who find and share the most of Anna’s gifts to a sumptuous afternoon tea with me!

The competition runs until 1st October, so there’s plenty of time to hunt for Anna Browne’s gifts…

I’ll be posting clues to the poster locations from Thursday – and if you’re in Birmingham that day you might meet me and my agent Hannah as we’re planning to hunt the parcel gift posters ourselves!

Here are all the gift posters in their absolute glory:

PfABGiftBoards4 PfABGiftBoards3 PfABGiftBoards2 PfABGiftBoards PfABGiftBoards9 PfABGiftBoards8 PfABGiftBoards7 PfABGiftBoards6 PfABGiftBoards5

It’s going to be so much fun. Happy hunting – and best of luck! xx

Miranda Writes 44 – Seeing my book printed!

All this year, I’m vlogging about the writing, editing and publishing of A Parcel for Anna BrowneThis week I go to the printers to see my book being printed – and it was AWESOME!

When you want to write books, the thought of one day seeing thousands and thousands of your novels whizzing around a printing factory seems like the stuff of your wildest dreams. And it completely is a dream come true to actually see that happen!

I was very lucky to be invited down to Pan Macmillan’s printers to see A Parcel for Anna Browne being printed. The very lovely Amanda from onemorepage came along, too, which made a wonderful day even more special. I’ll warn you, I squeak a lot in this vlog!


M xx

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to YOU…

Apologies for the blatant Sinatra reference, but I was thinking of the opening lyric to this famous song today. 

What made the song play on repeat in my head today was a wonderful tweet I received. As you know, my seventh book, A Parcel for Anna Browne, launches on 24th September. The lovely lady who tweeted me said she had ordered the book and couldn’t wait to read it.

Fairy Tale of New YorkIt isn’t the first time I’ve received a tweet like this, but today it struck a chord. This year, it’s sixteen years since I first started to write what eventually became my first novel, Fairytale of New York. At the time I had no idea I was even writing a novel, let alone dare to dream that one day it might be published. It was just a story I started to write for fun – just for me – and I didn’t really expect anyone else to read it.

If someone had told me, in 1999, that people I haven’t even met would be ordering my books before they were published, I would never have believed them. 

Over the years, it’s gradually sunk in that I am a published author (although it still feels weird to see it written down like that!) and, since 2013, that I am a full-time published author. But with each new book I’m blessed to be able to release, I’m increasingly amazed when lovely readers tell me how excited they are to read my latest work.

I don’t ever want to take this for granted. Ever. Because I remember the years and years of dreaming about walking into a bookshop and seeing my books there. It’s a thrill I will never get used to.

In November last year, I was invited my my local Waterstones store in Merry Hill, Dudley, to sign copies of I’ll Take New York. When I went into the store, the display they had put together blew me away:


All my books, together, in one beautiful display.

I was a mess. I think I blubbed over everyone (apologies if you were there and faced the deluge!) What was so amazing was that my dream had come true, not just once, but six times over.

Here’s what I’m saying: this isn’t about me bragging about how many books I have in Waterstones – it’s about something I’d dreamed about, hoped for – but, if I’m honest never really thought would ever be possible – coming true. And, like Ol’ Blue Eyes himself sings, it can happen to you.

I know there will be writers reading this blog right now who feel they have been dreaming about being published for ever. Maybe you feel it’s never going to happen. I just want to encourage you to keep believing, keep dreaming – keep writing the stories that are burning in your heart. Don’t think it can’t happen. Because it happened to me – and there is nothing special about me. I just wrote the book I wanted to and I didn’t stop.

This year, I have seen three lovely friends who dreamed of being published finally being signed by publishers. There will be more, too, because as long as there are readers there will be stories that need to be told. Stories like yours.

It can happen to you. 

I think the only way to end this blog post is to let a certain silken-voiced crooner play us out. Take it away, Frankie…

Oh wow – welcome to the world, Anna Browne!

So, I finally have a cover for my seventh book, A Parcel for Anna Browne. And I’m thrilled with it! Ahem… drumroll, please…


A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

My seventh novel – woo-hoo!

What I’m so happy about is that my book getting its cover is one step closer to it being shared with the world. And that makes me happy because this is a story I have wanted to tell for several years. Moving to my new publisher, Pan Macmillan felt like the right time to write Anna Browne’s story – and I’m really proud of the book. I firmly believe it’s my best yet and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

Exciting times, lovelies! xx