Do you need help to find your novel’s sparkle, with starting to write or keeping going? Let an experienced UK fiction mentor give you a boost.

Does your novel need a bit of extra help to find its sparkle? Or do you want to write a novel but need help to get you started or keep you going?

My ‘book whispering’ service will help you understand the story you’re telling and develop it to the point where you’re ready to submit or indie publish.  Lots of people call this a book doctor service but your book’s not sick, it just needs a bit of help to really shine.

Seeing the wood for the trees

leaves-3521090_960_720Let’s be honest, writing a novel is hard work. It’s also lonely work as we beaver away in our garrets with only our characters to keep us company (I may be exaggerating a little here…).

It’s not surprising that we get to the point where we can’t see the wood for the trees. As a book whisperer my job is to help you understand the structure of the story, your characters’ arcs and how to build conflict. We’ll also iron out any other issues which detract from the story you’re telling.

My writing and teaching experience

  • Author of three novels which have been well-received by readers and book bloggers,
  • MA (Distinction) in Creative Writing from York St. John University,
  • Creative writing tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of York where the courses I’ve taught include Novel Writing Masterclass, Writing the Folk: Inspiration from Folklore, Folktales and Folk Song, Writing Dialogue and Preparing to Submit your Manuscript.

I have worked one-to-one with writers at all stages of their careers, from beginners to Amazon best-selling authors. Through my teaching experience, I’ve developed my skills in giving positive, honest and constructive feedback and building confidence. I’m very good at listening to both you and your writing. I don’t want to impose my ideas on your book. My role is to take the work you’ve already got and help you to make it the best it can be.

What I offer

writing-828911_960_720Writers need different levels of support at different stages of their careers. These are my most popular packages, but I’m also happy to create something which suits you better.

Manuscript Assessment (Basic) – I will read your manuscript, annotate it with comments and points for development and write a short bullet point report covering key areas including story structure, character development, pace, tension and craft issues (e.g. showing not telling).

Manuscript Assessment (Full) – I will read your manuscript, annotate it with comments and points for development and write a full written report covering key areas including story structure, character development, pace, tension and craft issues (e.g. showing not telling) and make suggestions as to how you can resolve any key issues.

Face to face – Zoom session(s) to discuss your manuscript. Available as an addition to a Manuscript Assessment.

Mentoring –  if you want someone to help you along the way with your novel or to get you started then mentoring may be for you.  Before we start, we discuss your needs and tailor a programme to fit.

Mentoring typically involves commenting on your work-in-progress as you go along but I can also help with other areas, for example, resolving creative dilemmas, brainstorming ideas, setting targets, boosting confidence and developing a writing practice which works for you.

What my happy clients say:

Very useful in helping me move things forward

“I have been very impressed by Alys’s mentoring of my novel. Her written assessment and our subsequent one to one conversation have been very useful in helping me move things forward. Her analysis was thoughtful, detailed and encouragingly critical and has energised me to carry on.” Colin Philpott. 

Working with Alys has led to some real revelations

“Alys gave my historical novel so much constructive feedback and encouragement. She pinpointed its Unique Selling Point, highlighted areas that needed some tidying up and made some suggestions on larger themes to work on. I’d been struggling with my lead character’s story arc but I felt a lot clearer about this having talked with Alys.

Writers are a sensitive bunch, but being one herself means Alys is highly respectful of what currently exists. Having an informed fresh pair of eyes look at my work has led to some real revelations. I highly recommend Alys’s ‘book whispering’. Thanks for being such a cheerleader, Alys!”  H.J. Reynolds, historical fiction author,

Alys has an uncanny ability to cut to the heart of the story

“Alys can recognise what a story is really about, what needs to be said to support the themes and what can safely be cut away. She has worked with me on all my longer books, and I’ve always been impressed by the way she seems to see things that I’ve missed, despite living with the story for months.

I would definitely recommend Alys if you’re struggling with story structure in any way. She doesn’t just say something is wrong; she explains why she feels it’s not quite working and collaborates with you to reach a solution. She always gives me the impression that my book matters to her and that she wants it to be the best it can be. I’m so grateful to her for all her help and look forward to working with her on future books.” Sharon Booth, romantic comedy and contemporary romance author  

Get in touch

If you’d like to know more (including about costs) then please email me at or use the contact form.