Easter happened and I lost my hold on the world and I have been trying to find a rail to grasp ever since. But here's what I do remember. We had another great guest, Ellie Marney, author of Every Breath and the soon to be released Every Word. Ellie spoke about how she came to spend five years writing three books and would like a rest now please. She was most candid, very funny and my favourite thing she said was that writing a novel was like 'those birds that use spit to build their nests and every so often have to spit up some more and smooth it down and then spit again ..." and I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist. Ellie also talked about the importance of research - and how people, generally, are happy to help, and research can lead to new plot branches (nodes and stems!) - even when you may not even think you need them. She's written a post about leading up to writing the end of her YA crime trilogy here. Every Breath is one of my favourite recent reads - it's fast, realistic, has a great Melbourne setting, a diverse cast and a whole lot of URST.