Posted in Books

Writing Novels as a Double Agent

This is a guest post by author Portia Macintosh; I reviewed her funny book Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place last month which was the prequel to her full length novel ‘How not to be starstruck’, which is released on March 31st!

Portia began writing her stories whilst working on tour with various rock bands. As you can imagine she found she quickly had a LOT of tales to tell, but professional discretion meant she had to keep quiet.

Until now…

When some people start writing they give up their day jobs to do it full-time, others carry on working and juggle both.

I’m sort of a double agent. I have been touring with bands since I was just fifteen and I bagged myself a job in the music industry as soon as I hit my twenties, so that’s my world. The thing is, I wanted a way to tell my tour stories anonymously and a novel seemed like a great way to do that, so I wrote ‘How Not to be Starstruck’ and ‘Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place’ as a way to get it out of my system. I had no idea that I would fall in love with writing so much – it’s possible that I love it even more than I love touring – but my day job is my main source of material…
So I still work my day job and tour with my band friends, making time to write my books around that, but it can be tricky.

First of all, there’s the secret element. I don’t want anyone to know what I’m doing, so I can’t just whip out my laptop and work on chapters while my band friends are around – and that’s when I even have my laptop with me. Sometimes it’s a case of writing in the notes app on my phone or scribbling stuff into a notebook. Sometimes I’ll have a good few hours to crack on but others I’ll be squashing in the odd paragraph here and there. It can be hard to make time, so you have to pinch those spare minutes that occur throughout the day.

If you want to write around your ‘real life’ that’s what it is all about, making do with what time and resources you have. If you’re determined, you don’t need a fancy laptop or to be a lady of leisure with nothing else to do.

Anyway, I think someone is coming. Time to go back to my real life…


‘How Not to be Starstruck’ is out 31st March, and is Portia’s full-length follow-up to ‘Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place’



Digital Copywriter. Background in visual communications, brand management, visual merchandising and retail management.

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