Inheritance Books: Mark Anderson

It’s world Intellectual Property (IP) day! As you may have guessed from reading Girl On The Run, IP plays a large part in my day job, so I thought we’d have a special Inheritance Books guest post from Mark Anderson from the fabulous IPdraughts blog – which discusses the nitty gritty of IP licensing in an accessible (often whimsical) way.

Welcome to Inheritance Books, Mark.While I get the tea and biscuits, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Scotland to English parents. My sister has a Scottish accent, but mine is English. According to family legend, this is because Susan was a conformist, while I imitated my father.

ANDsept-71 (2)When I was 11, my parents moved from a terraced house in a Scottish New Town – East Kilbride – to an oversized Victorian mansion in the Scottish countryside. It was so large that no-one else wanted to buy it. A Glasgow solicitor built the house in 1855, at a time when the local railway station was still open, and a train could take you into the city in half an hour. In the 1980s, my parents sold the house to a Mr Singh, an interesting character who registered the first Sikh tartan with the Scottish authorities. Mr Singh kindly let me visit the house a few years ago, and I discovered that my bedroom, which had not been changed since I chose the decoration in the early 1970s, was now his prayer room. What this says about me, or him, I am not sure.

I was the first person in my family to go to university, to Durham where I studied law. Then I moved South again to London, to qualify as a barrister and later as a solicitor. Now I run a firm of solicitors, Anderson Law LLP, which I started over 21 years ago. Originally it was just me in my front room in Richmond, Surrey. Now we are based in Oxfordshire and employ 12 lawyers. We specialise in intellectual property transactions, and advise mostly universities and high-tech companies.

As well as providing legal services to clients, I have written half a dozen legal textbooks, most of which are now in their third editions, and run training courses for practitioners. I designed and lead a 5-day course on IP transactions, held annually at University College London. This course has won two awards: a Law Society Excellence Award (Highly Commended) and a UCL Provost’s Teaching Award.


Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?

My father was born in Stockwell, London, and left school at the age of 15. In 1944, he was apprenticed to a firm of theatrical set designers in South London, in which his father had been a partner. Unfortunately the firm closed a couple of years later; there was no longer a demand for the type of lavish West End shows that had been popular in the 1930s.

My father was a great fan of the novels of Graham Greene.  In the 1970s it was easy to find him a Christmas present, as Graham Greene was then writing a novel each year. I think what appealed to my father was their discussion of big themes like conscience and loyalty, and their dissection of character, all expressed in simple, direct language.

I have inherited his collection of Greene novels. From the books in the collection, I have chosen The Human Factor. It was published in 1978, so it could well have been one that the family bought him for Christmas. The novel was adapted to become a film in 1979, with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard. Like much of Greene’s work, it reminds me a little of John le Carre. But only a little. Each is good in their way, but Greene has more to say about the human condition than le Carre. Le Carre’s simpler style is easier to adapt into great films and TV series.

The attached photo show my collection of Greene novels, most of which I

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

With your permission, I would like to leave a set of books –Patrick O’Brien’s series of 20 novels set during the Napoleonic wars. I have read them in sequence, as though they were a single novel, several times. If forced to choose one of them, I would choose HMS Surprise. It is like the other novels, but supercharged with incident and emotion.

The novels tell a great story, as well as exploring a relationship between two men who are presented as very different: the bluff sea-captain, Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy, and the cerebral Stephen Maturin, physician and spy. In fact, they share many characteristics, though these are disguised by the obvious differences in their temperaments and vocations: they are both slightly apart from the establishment, but comfortable in it; they are both highly intelligent and compassionate; their resilience and determination brings them both, eventually, to the top of their respective professions.

In my view, these novels have far more to engage the reader than other books in the genre, such as CS Forester’s Hornblower series. Yet, as with the Greene/le Carre comparison, Forester’s simpler style makes for better adaptations into films. The film of O’Brian’s novel, Master and Commander, failed, in my view, to capture the heart of the novel.

Thanks for sharing your favourite books with us, Mark. Hope you have a really fun IP day. Another biscuit?

You can follow Mark’s posts on IP licensing on the IPdraughts blog and trade IP related puns with him on Twitter (@IPdraughts).

Previous IP day Inheritance books posts include those from patent attorney cum novelists Ivan Cotter and Kalyan Kankanala. There are a number of novels featuring patent attorneys – click here to see a list.

Six things I was wrong about six years ago (and Happy Birthday Choc Lit!)

Six things I was wrong about six years ago.

My lovely publisher, Choc Lit is six years old today. Yay! As part of the celebrations, we Choc Lit authors are blogging around the theme of six. I was going to write ‘six reasons I like having Choc Lit as a publisher’, or ‘Six books published by Choc Lit that I love’ *, but decided to write this one instead. Don’t ask me why. It was late at night.

ChocLit-logo transparent background

So here are six things I believed in six years ago, that I’ve subsequently realised are not true:

  • Published writers are more special than normal people

Six years ago self-publishing wasn’t what it was today. Few people did it and people still sniggered at them. And anyway, ebooks were something that happened to Americans. The only way to get published was to get an agent and have a traditional publisher pick up your book. So people who had publishing deals had this aura of WOW about them. Then I joined the RNA with their New Writer’s scheme and actually met these people. They were still pretty wow, but they were also very, very nice. I don’t think I’ve met a community that pays it forward quite as much as romance novelists do (and I’ve lived with nuns!). Published writers are just like all other writers. The only difference is that they’re published.

  • Ebooks aren’t a real thing

I didn’t have an eReader until 2 years ago, which is weird since my first book came out as an ebook four years ago. I didn’t think an ebook could ever replace a ‘real’ book. You couldn’t feel the paper under your fingertips or smell the pages. Now you’d have to prise my Kindle out of my cold dead hands. I prefer it to paper books. I still buy paper books, but those are my keepers.

  • Having an idea is the hardest bit/ I’ll never have another idea for a book

I used to really struggle with the whole ‘ideas for next book’ thing. I used to slowly burn up with envy when people said stuff like ‘I have tons of ideas, the main problem is finding the time to write it all down’. Inspiration strikes so rarely. Now I know that you don’t sit around waiting for inspiration. You grab a piece of  paper (I need paper to think) and write out ideas until you’ve got a story. With practise, you can actually pull a plausible storyline out from a thinnest of ideas. I’m not saying it’s easy or that those books are solid enough to be written. I’m just saying it can be done.

  • Writing books becomes easier

Um … you’d think it would, but it doesn’t. Each book is hard. Each time you get about 20 -30K in you hate the book, you hate the plot, you hate your whole damned life. Each book makes you sweat and cry. But you have to complete it, because a half finished book is just a waste of time. And each time, it works out okay. Some books will be better than others. But none of them are easy to write.

  • If I get a publication contract, I’ll be happy. I won’t want anything else.

Seriously? I can’t believe I thought that! Yeah, I’ve got my contract. Now I want it paperback, thanks. And audiobook, please. And in German. I want my books to be at the top of the charts. All the time. I’ll never be satisfied. I blame the human condition. I bet even JK Rowling wants something more from her writing career.

Of course, I had assumed that published book = loadsa money. I’m not sure why I believed this. Speaking of totally odd thing to believe, see 6 below.

  • Stress makes you thin

I have had extensive experience in this. I can tell you that the high stress, no sleep diet did not make me thin. Where, I ask you, is the justice in that?

So there you have it, my six things that I was wrong about six years ago. How about you? What’s changed for you in the last six years? Come tell us at the #ChocLitParty.

*After much dithering I’d have gone for: Vampire State of Mind, Sweet Nothing, The Flight to Coorah Creek,  Truth or Dare, The Elephant Girl and Untied Kingdom, in case you were interested.

Girl On The Run Launch Party and Giveaway

Girl On The Run has been out for a few weeks now and it’s time I got around to having a launch party. So here it is! It’s on Wednesday the 2nd of July from 4 – 9pm on Facebook.

Girl on the run party +pic


There will be (virtual) cake, ice cream, jelly (can’t have a party without jelly), wine, that non-alchoholic stuff, gin and whatever else you fancy. And the best bit… THE BEST bit… is that it’s on Facebook, so you don’t have to leave your house. Or get dressed up. Of course, I shall wear my silly shoes, but you don’t have to.

Ah,  you remembered the mention of the giveaway. You can win a copy of Girl On The Run and everything in the bundle below (plus a bit more).

So that’s an ecopy of GOTR, one Amazon gift voucher for £5, a set of heart shaped pushpins (for all your heartshaped pushpin needs) and a cute little Kindle propper-upper (nicknamed Horatio). 2014-06-26 20All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter or follow my Facebook page or tweet about the giveaway – just go through to the rafflecopter link and it’ll collate it all for you.

Giveaway button


So, what are you waiting for? Come and join the fun. It’s an open invitation, so bring friends.

See you on Wednesday.



Girl On The Run is out! Woo hoo!

My romantic comedy Patently in Love has been rejuvenated, revamped and rereleased under the Choc Lit Lite imprint as Girl On the Run. This is awesome news on so many levels, not least because I’m a ‘real’ Choc Lit author now! I’m so happy I’m dancing around (with Band on The Run playing in my head) – which is probably just as well because I need to burn off all the celebratory chocolate I’ve had…

Anyway, if you want to check it out or just give it a friendly wave,  it looks like this:

GOTR_Kindle2 highres
Girl On the Run – romance with a healthy dose of cynicism.


In case you haven’t heard me wittering on about it before – it’s about a girl who is hiding from fame, working in a patent attorney firm. There’s pop-stars, gossip magazines, a lot of ice cream and a tiny bit about patents. I had the best fun writing this book. Marshall is still one of the nicest guys I’ve ever made up.

In other news, I read an article in the Telegraph about how French women are turning to colouring in as a stress buster. Since I’ve been doing my daily colouring in every work day this year, I feel rather smug because I’m on trend for once. Here’s this month’s calendar:

2014-06-04 16.51.09
Like an advent calendar, but without the Christmas…


The wedding theme was because my friend at work got engaged around the time I was drawing it, so I had weddings on the mind. I leave my calendar on the wall behind my chair at work, which means I have to physically turn my back on my computer during colouring in time. Also, it gives me something to look forward to on the Monday when I have to find and colour in THREE days instead of one. Plus, I like sharpening the pencils (I may need to get a life…).

If  you sign up for my newsletter this month, I’ll send you a pdf of it so that you too and bust your stress with some colouring in each day. I’m nice like that.




The lovely shiny new cover for Girl on The Run

Okay, here it is… ready?


GOTR_Kindle2 highres



My first novel has been re-edited, re-packaged, re-named  and re-released under the Choc Lit Lite imprint at the end of May.

Girl On The Run (which used to be called Patently in Love) is the story of a girl who ran away from fame to become a lawyer.  There’s gossip magazines, lawyers, pop stars, annoying little sisters, lots of emails and sharp dialogue. And ice cream. Lots of ice cream.

It’s also the only romantic comedy which has a patent attorney as the main character. Most patent attorneys I know are clever and charming. I don’t know why they don’t turn up in rom coms more often.

It’s too early for reviews of Girl on the Run yet, but here are a few nice things people said the first time around.

I think I’ll go have an ice cream to celebrate.

Having a Ball on Tour – stop 2: Total Book Geek

Here we are are the second stop of the Having a Ball book tour. Today I’m talking to Athena at Total Book Geek about my top ten tips on organising a ball (and sampling some rather nice wine). She gave the book 4 out of 5 stars (phew!) and if you leave your own top tip, you have a chance to win one of two copies of Patently in Love.

The rafflecopter thingy again, in case you wanted to enter using that instead:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a good Thursday.


Having a Ball is going on Tour!

How rock and roll does that sound?

To kick off the tour, I’m chatting to Shaz at Jera’s Jamboree. You can read the interview here.

Jera’s Jamboree : Feature Post Rhoda Baxter.

Completely coincidentally, I’m also chatting to Emma at Writer in a Wheelchair today. I hope I didn’t repeat myself…

Sri Lankan party food – #4 Sweet coconut pancakes

Carrying on with the recipes of the Transatlantic Pot Luck party, here’s my recipe for coconut treacle pancakes. I love, love, love  these pancakes.I dream of them sometimes. Once, when I was living in the House in Norham Gardens, my mum brought me some. My Ghanian housemate offered to cook me dinner for a whole week in exchange for one. That, my friends, is how delicious these pancakes are.

Oh, and if you’re curious to see what my writing (or Trish’s writing) is like, you can download the prequels to both our books for 99c (that’s about 79p in UK money) all this week (8th – 15th of March 2013). Or there’s Tea for Three, the FREE short story.

Pancakes with coconut treacle (or pancake with pol pani)

2013-03-08 17.54.12


Pancakes (I’m assuming you know how to make/buy these already)

Dessicated coconut (the fine variety)


Kitul  treacle – this is a fairly specific type of treacle. The closest thing I’ve found in taste is very dark muscovado sugar with a touch of molasses. This recipe works quite well with honey too – tastes different to the real thing ,but still delicious.

To make the pol pani, heat the kitul treacle and cinnamon gently, add the coconut, stir until the treacle is all absorbed by the coconut. Leave to cool. Put a dollop of the coconut (which should now be oozing treacle) in the middle of a pancake and roll it up. You’ll need a saucer under it as you eat it to catch the drips of treacle.

And, here’s a quote from Having a Ball (featuring coconut pancakes):

Stevie practically ran out of the cellar and up the few steps. As Tom bent over to retrieve the plate with the pancake, she saw him smile, a tiny, knowing smile. He knew she fancied him! And he’d expected it. The arrogant, supercilious…She turned round and stalked back to the kitchen, ignoring him as he followed her.

As they reached the kitchen the others looked up.

“Uncle Tom, your floozie came round,” said Alice, who was leaning against a kitchen counter.

“She’s not a floozie,” said Tom, pleasantly. “She’s a solicitor.”

“Oh yeah? Where does she solicit then? King’s Cross.”

Stevie grabbed her own tea and stormed off before she could hear his reply. She needed a moment to herself.

Having a Ball will be released on the 15th of March. Come join the launch party!