Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Reverse Reform? home. The lovely place I retreat to at the end of a hard day, where I can curl up in front of the telly watching some lame box set or other, with a cup of herbal tea, snuggled up under a blanket, and hibernate. It's something that pretty much everybody takes for granted. That that warm, safe haven will be there at the end of the day. 

As somebody who has, at different times in my life, known the shame of eviction, the fear of potential homelessness, the pain of hunger, and also the dread of going home every day to a place that is far from warm, comfortable, or welcoming, I was shocked and disturbed to read the recent news about an American company, Westbrook Partners, buying up Hoxton's New Era estate (all right, I'm a little slow to catch up, but there you go.)

The people living on that estate are just that; people. They have a basic human right to air, food, water, and a warm home where they feel safe. I was under the impression that we live in a country where human life is valued and those things are an accepted norm? Seems not. 

Of course those services shouldn't be entirely free, so the people who work in those sectors can stay fed and clothed themselves. But to allow a foreign investor to come in a take over such a historically rooted area of London and turn the basic human right having a warm, safe home into chargeable commodity that prices that vast majority of the population out of the market, is just morally wrong. 

Where are these people going to go? Outside of London? Leaving them to commute to their jobs and schools every day. thereby tipping the already delicate balance of the financial situation in the average household, stressing the already overworked TfL systems, and adding carbon footprint to the environment? 

Let's face it; we live in a society still reeling from recession. Unlike previous generations, very few of us who didn't manage to get on the property ladder before the recession hit in 2007, are now finding it next to impossible. That leaves renting as the only option, and companies like Westbrook are capitalising on the basic human right to a home. It's sick. Especially when you look at the size of the £4m mansion owned by Mark Donner, the company's London manager......

Not that people shouldn't have big houses, if they have been lucky enough to get to a state in life where they can afford one. Why not? But to my mind, there is no need to take away from people who have less, just because Westbrook are greedy for more than they already have, far more than they can possibly need. 

In a Tory government, are we even surprised? After all, can you imagine Westbrook buying up some fashionable patch in Chelsea and turning out all the residents to run around the street with their Jimmy Choos in their hands? I think not. And David Cameron has been suspiciously silent on the whole thing.....

I am a renter myself, and the scion of a line of East Enders. The East End has been the beating heart of London for centuries. If things carry on the way they are, there won't be any flavour, any grit left in the capital at all. Just affluent suburbia from West to East. And how boring would that be?

Whatever your feeling or opinions may be on the state of the government, rising house prices, benefit claimants, immigration, or a swathe of other topics besides, you still get to come home to your cave, your nest, your castle, every day. Imagine how you would feel if that were about to be taken away from you, and just before Christmas to boot? It's happening. Right here. What makes you think it can't happen to you?

Please show your support by signing the petition to keep the New Era Estate rents down to an affordable level HERE.. They may have delivered the petition to Downing Street already, but the more signatures they get, the more clout they'll have down the line.

No one should ever have to know the terrifying, limbo-like state of not knowing where your children will end up your Mum's? On a friend's sofa? Or on the street? Things like this should have gone out the window back when Dickens was writing A Christmas Carol, and banging on about charity beginning at home and keeping Christmas all year round. Because if nothing has changed, then what have nearly 200 years of social reform all been for, when the very bricks that shelter you can be snatched away through no fault of your own? Is this a return to the Dickensian London of old?

I hope not. I'm not sure corsets and cholera would agree with me...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Finally!!! Spiral; The Finding is up on Createspace!

Hey everyone,

As the title of this post suggests....finally, finally, FINALLY!!!

Ahem. For those of you who don't know (and there's probably a few, as I haven't written since September), I have been undergoing the process of formatting Spiral; The Finding for publication on Amazon's Createspace. Which is why I haven't written; I've been waiting to actually have something to write. 

So...after much fiddling and faffing, and with a lot of greatly appreciated assistance (ok, autonomy) from my long suffering husband.....

It. Is. UP!!!!!

Spiral; The Finding is now in print! I received the first copy through the post last night, and I cannot tell you how good it felt to be holding it in my hands! Three and a half years of work have gone into this moment, and I'm telling you, that first copy is going to be enshrined somewhere marauding cats and four-year-olds can't get their hands on it.

So, for those of you who don't have a Kindle, Spiral;The Finding is now up and available to order here. 

Happy reading, everyone....whether it's my book or not ;)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hot off the press! Trailer for Spiral; The Finding!

Now live on Youtube...give it a look :)

It's been three months in the making (!), but I am really proud of it...and I did have help from a certain obliging husband of mine....(read, a LOT!)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

There is always one.....

Hi all :)

Well, the book talk went well, in the sense that I didn't trip over my own shoes or stumble my words, and and even my APPALLING Scottish accent didn't draw any laughs! However, there were a few, shall we say, random questions asked. For example;

"Does your blog have any readers, or is it just you talking to yourself?" (??????)

"Did you get any complaints about the swearing in your book? Couldn't you replace it with something else?" (I then started to defend the ONE use of a swear word as being integral to the plot, and the questioner then completely changed tack: "If there was no swearing in young adult novels, there would be no grit!" (So why ask?!)

"Did none of the agents you approached ever question you writing a book set in a place you had never been to?" (A derisive look followed.) "I think you need to go there."

All the above. among other such questions, were asked by the same individual. Their crossed arms and staring fixedly at the floor throughout the talk made it very clear they didn't want to be there, and they seemed to have it in for me at question time, despite not even having read the book! It begs the question, why come at all? But there's none so queer as folk, I suppose....

Anyhow, the last question in particular has raised a debate in my mind. Plenty of writers set books in places they have heavily researched, but not been to; I know for a fact I'm not the only one. So is it an appropriate thing to do? 

In my opinion it depends on the circumstances of the book; whether you are writing about an urban or rural landscape, whether the book is rooted in a particular town that really exists, or a fictional town within a general region. I think that, in the latter two examples, you can get away with it, but I'd be interested to hear other's takes on this. 

Please do comment on this post with any ideas/opinions etc, or jot something on Facebook.

Ta :)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The unmitigated joys of writing a book talk...

Hi everyone,

Long time no write...well, not on The Ink Splat at least, which is good in a way, because it means I've been getting lots of writing done elsewhere, which after all is my raison d'etre.

I have now completed six and a bit chapters of the sequel to Spiral;The Finding. It's going like the clappers, after a hiatus of almost two years between this book and the first, while I worked on another unaffiliated book (watch this space!), but it feels really good to get involved with the MacBain sisters again. To hear them speaking to me as they once did. It seems a strange thing to say, but it feels as if I know them. Whenever I sit down to write, I silently tap into them, and say "Take me where ever you want." And they do. They speak to me so clearly, that in fact, me being of a spiritual bent, sometimes on a dark night, I wonder if their voices didn't come from me....

Slight creepiness aside, however, I am giving a book talk at my local library about the first Spiral novel on 5th September. I have prepared what I want to say about the book, decided on an extract to read, prepared for a few potential questions that might be asked, and rehearsed it a few times of times....but I'm still absolutely terrified. For three reasons;

1.) It's public speaking. 'Nuff said. 
2.) It's the first time I've ever given a talk about a book of mine. To anyone. I know it's only a book group at a local library, but it's still laying yourself bare to comment and criticism, which is always scary.
3.)What if I get some self-important nutter ("I've read all the Richard and Judy book club books, therefore I am ever so erudite", you know the type...) who asks me some waffly question I can't answer?! It never looks good, not being able to answer a question about your own book....

Oh well, I suppose I've done everything I can do...I can't prepare for every possible question on the planet when I don't know what's going to be asked. I have found, however, through the writing of the talk, that it is actually harder to describe the book's message in speech, than it is to show it in your creative prose. That old adage "show, don't tell", which every writer worth their salt tries to follow, has never actually been a problem for me. I can paint a picture with written words really well. (Toot, toot.) However, ask me to talk about said picture, and I'll go and hide under my duvet.

It's a hurdle that has to be jumped though. As a self-published author, we all know we're supposed to be able to talk about our own books, etc etc.....I only hope it's something that gets easier with practice!

In other news: I am gearing up for autumn and the sending of me lovely wee man to school (trying not to dance a jig here, it's only afternoons...) and looking forward to the leaves turning. I love autumn, it's my absolute favourite season! My birthday, little man's birthday, Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night, and all the anticipation of Christmas to come. No other time of year makes me want to huddle up at my computer, start-of-the-new-school-year style, with all my new stationary and a pumpkin spice latte, in a preppy jumper, and get cracking. 

I know, I am regressing to my university days. It's quite sad. 

By the way, I actually wore thigh-socks, like the ones in Clueless.....

That's all for now, folks...stay tuned :)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A blow by blow account of yon bonnie research trip to "Embra...."

Friday Night:

   After a very sweaty and stressful rush to Bristol Airport during rush hour, getting beeped at the body scanner (this always happens...I swear I don't have adamantium bones, not the last time I checked, anyway), lots of hanging around waiting, and a sickness-inducing flight north, I find myself sweeping down over the Solway Firth. I have never been in this situation before. About to arrive in a strange city, everything I have to my name in a backpack, nobody meeting me at the airport, and not really any certainty as to where I'm going. I didn't get to do the whole Gap Year thing, for various reasons, despite wanting to, and I suddenly feel very alone. 
   Before long, I find myself in the back of a taxi whizzing through the streets of Edinburgh, and I'm starting to wonder if all Scottish taxi drivers are a wee bit nuts...certainly every time I've been to Scotland and ridden in a taxi they've scared the wits out of me...driving in the middle of the road and way too fast, claiming they're watching out for "deer." Really? Deer, in Edinburgh? Come on, what is this, Haze The English Tourist Week or something? Not unless "deer" is a euphemism for a rabid Edinburgh University student on a pub crawl.....anyway, I make it to my little single room in the guest house in one piece...then can't get to sleep until 2AM because there's a party in the garden, it's too hot to shut the window (!!!) and I've forgotten my earplugs. Great.


   After breakfast (including copious amounts of coffee) I make my way into the city with my backpack, stopping to buy earplugs on the way. I catch my first glimpse of the castle when I'm still just round the corner from the guest house...between two modern office blocks. Quite a juxtaposition, but I can't take a picture because there's too many buses going past.
    Before long, I'm crossing George IV Bridge and find myself on the Royal Mile, surrounded by Japanese tourists and grinning like an idiot. I have done it. I have got myself here, alone. It may not be Cambodia or Sydney, but it feels good nonetheless. 
   First stop, St Giles Cathedral, dating from the 13th century. I take loads of pictures (despite the fact that you're apparently not supposed to without purchasing a £2 photography permit) which I find out a little too late when I accidentally set off the fill flash on my camera (I'm not a techno-bod by any stretch of the imagination), fill the cathedral with bright blue light, earn myself some very dirty looks, and decide it's probably time to leave. 
   Round the back of the cathedral, at the Mercat Cross, I sit and soak up the atmosphere while I wait for my first tour. Across the street a guy dressed as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean is standing on a box looking the part doing his little camp hand-waving thing in return for coins. (?!) Before long, I am off down the Blair Street Vaults with Mercat Tours. The vaults date from the 18th century, so they wouldn't have actually been there at the time I'm writing (15th century) but it gave me a chance to get some very atmospheric footage which will be useful for this film I'm making to promote Spiral; The Finding. I tell you what though, there was one room in the vaults I didn't want to go in. The Double-Height room gave me the absolute willies, and after hearing some of the ghost stories from Jason the guide, now I know why....apparently a nasty man the guides have nick-named Mr Boots hangs out in there. Nobody's really sure what he did when he was alive, but he's not a nice character by all accounts. 
   Back up in daylight, and I'm off the the National Museum of Scotland. After a quick whizz round the Scottish History bit, making notes on anything 15th century and prior I can find, I'm for my lunch. The Villager, a cocktail lounge on George IV Bridge, does stonking food. It's old fashioned favourites that have been spiced up with flavours of the world. I had the sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry with chickpea fritters. I highly recommend :)
   In the afternoon, there was still time before my next tour, so I popped down the Royal Mile to see a chunk of the original Mercat Cross in the Museum of Edinburgh. It was a lot smaller than I expected, but it gave me an idea of what it would have looked like in medieval times. Afterwards, I joined a free tour, with Sandemans Free Tours. Lots of interesting history to be had, with guide Sabela. It gave me a real chance to walk around Edinburgh and get a feel for the place, what can be got to from where, and get a feel for the different levels of streets. Edinburgh is one of the those places where the city seems to exist on multiple different levels because it's built up the two sides of what is essentially a massive drumlin. So there are bridges over streets and funny little closes and wynds that come out where you least expect. It's easy to get lost if you don't know the place. And I was able to pick up loads of interesting stuff about how people lived in medieval Edinburgh, which is what I was looking for. 
    After the tour, it was off to the Princes Street Gardens, to see where the Nor' Loch would have once been...a man-made body of water created for defence of the city, and used as a source of drinking well as a sewage dumping ground and a place to duck witches. Apparently, when it was drained in the 18th and 19th centuries, they found the bones of all the innocent "witches" who had been drowned in it. Ick. 
    Dinner was fish and chips in the Gardens, listening to someone playing the bagpipes up by the Scottish National Gallery and watching locals playing football on the sunken lawns below, enjoying the thoroughly un-Scottish weather. A lovely end to the first day.


   Today I set off up to the Royal Mile again, then all the way down to Holyrood Palace at the bottom. The Abbey was a point of interest for me, but it costs £20 to get into the Palace, which you have to pay for to access the Abbey. As the Palace holds no interest for me, I decided to research the Abbey online, and headed up Arthur's Seat instead. It's the wrong side of the city for what I'm writing about. But I wanted to get an idea of what you could see from a high vantage point, looking down into the city below. 
    Now, it's only 251 metres high. And I'm very fit, but no mountain-climber. Anyone out there who has climbed Kilimajaro or something is probably going to laugh their ars* off at me when I say this, but it's a pretty punishing climb for the untrained. Very steep and rocky in places, and I had to keep stopping for a breather. I was thankful for my dirty old hiking boots by this point. The last bit of the climb, certainly, is nothing short of a scramble, looking for hand and foot holds. But I made it. And here is a city shot and a selfie to prove it....

   The way back down was almost worse. I was practically running, tripping over rocks, sliding on scree, and landing on my knees and bum more often than staying upright. By the time I got back to the ground and the Royal Mile, I was done in. I hit a coffee shop for lunch, even though it was only 11:30, because I had no energy left at all. 
   After a sandwich and a coffee, I was ready to head back to the museum to take some pictures of the surrounding city from the roof terrace (looking across at Arthur's Seat, rising up in the distance, and thinking "I can't believe I just climbed that!), and do some bumbling about. Because that was all I was good for at this point...bumbling about! I took some pictures of the view in different directions from the site of the old Mercat Cross, and the Heart of Midlothian, where the old Tolbooth used to stand, and did a wee bit of souvenir shopping. Then I headed back to the Mercat Cross to wait for the next tour. 
   While I was sat there catching breather, a big, shaggy haired man with a piece of tartan wrapped round his waist stomped up the mile dragging a bag behind him. He stops about twenty feet from where I'm sitting, drops his bag, and starts taking swords and knives out of it! I very quickly realised this guy is supposed to be William Wallace, or some such bod, and take a few sneaky pics as he proceeds to get his bits and pieces arranged, pick up his claymore, and strike a pose with it, much to the annoyance of Jack Sparrow across the street. After a while I get bored of watching him, and it is only when a gaggle of teenagers wander past him that things start to get interesting.

   Well, this guy lunges into the group with a roar, scattering teenage girls across the road. Even the boys abandon their swaggering facade and look like they're about to wet themselves. I crack up, and when Wallace turns round and catches me laughing, he makes a very suggestive gesture at me with his tongue and several fingers. Yeah right. In your dreams, mate. 
    The afternoon tour contained some repeated bits of the history tour from the previous day, but a lot of it was more in depth and a bit more medieval-oriented. It also included the castle, the perfect end to my trip. I made a point of focusing on the older parts of the castle (St Margaret's Chapel, Mon's Meg, what's left of David's Tower, the banqueting hall, and the Stone of Destiny.) I got more excellent shots of the city, and was very surprised to walk past Mon's Meg, the huge cannon, only to see some guy pull his mate out of it! The mate (about 5.10" and 11st) was bodily and completely obscured inside the thing, which gives you an idea of how big it is...and even gave me a few writing ideas as well :)
    Dinner at a wee pub on the mile. The enormous plate of lamb shank, neeps and tatties that was put in front of me didn't last five minutes. I think I disturbed the next table slightly by picking up the bone, cracking the joint with my bare hands, and sucking the meat off. As if the Scots needed any more reason to think the English are barbarians. The barkeep who took my plate was gob-smacked "Well, you really are finished, aren't you?!" I don't even like to think of the amount of calories I burned on this trip. And then I still had to walk all the way back to the guest house! Sore feet like you wouldn't believe.....

Monday Morning:

Up at 5AM to vacate the room and get another scary taxi ride to the airport. After a misunderstanding at the duty free over a bottle of whiskey and a quick doze on the plane, I negotiated Bristol traffic again, only to get home and collapse, stiff-legged and sun-burned, into the shower and the most comfy cotton dress I own. I mean honestly...sun-burn in Scotland? Doesn't seem right somehow. I won't be wearing closed-in shoes for a while either, my feet are an absolute state from all the trekking. But I learned so much, got some great pictures, and some fantastic ideas, which is what I went for. Now...back to the drawing this space for Spiral 2 !

Thanks for reading everyone :)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Bonnie Scotland !!!

Hello everyone,

The writing thing has been on hold for a while now. I have spent the last few days crawling about in the eaves storage of my house, clearing out a load of junk, so I've got space to store a load of stuff for my business. I am quite sure I've got dust, spiders and paper cuts in places I didn't even know I had.....

But despite that, I am really excited, because next weekend (Friday 20th) I am off to Edinburgh! It's somewhere I've never been before, and I'm really excited, but it's not a pleasure trip, oh no. There's no rest for us wicked sorts. I'm going on a research trip :)

Which all sounds incredibly glamorous and wonderful, but it has a practical element. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up the sequel to Spiral; The Finding again, and started cracking on with it. However, I very soon realised (small spoiler here) that when, ahem, certain characters, arrive in Edinburgh (shh, don't tell anyone!) that I didn't have the foggiest clue what the place was like.

Now, it's all very well rummaging around on the internet and trying to find out what was there in the 15th century (of which not a lot of info exists, take it from one who knows!) but without actually going to a place, getting a feel for the atmosphere, and what landmarks you can see from other landmarks, it's a bit difficult to actually write anything convincing. So, I am going straight to the source. Edinburgh itself...for a bit of 15th century history and landmark spotting, some photography, and a bit of filming for the viral film I am currently making to get the word about Spiral; The Finding out there to a bigger slice of the world. 

One thing that does make me a bit nervous, however...I am going to be descending into the depths of the Blair Street Vaults while I'm there. If my recent experience in the eaves storage is anything to go by...crawling around whimpering with a torch in my mouth, whilst trying to avoid the spider webs and drag heavy boxes into the daylight....I'm not that keen on small, dark, musty spaces. A trip to the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam when I was fifteen ended on a bit of an anti-climax, because I absolutely refused to go down them. My (at the time) twelve year old sister, who was made of braver stuff, did it...and then gleefully reported that she had crawled across a board covering a hole full of sharpened stakes.....said board then falling away just as she removed her feet. Not my cup of tea. 

So I think I'll have to get dosed up on Kalms before I go entering the vaults. But I should get some fantastic footage down there :)

I'm also going to see the castle (obviously) and do a couple of history tours and pick the brains of the guides, take loads of pictures of St Giles and the Mercat cross, try and get to the Edinburgh Museum to see a chunk of the original cross to get an idea for what it would have been like in the 15th century, and just generally walk around with my camera round my neck and notebook in hand like a complete nerd and make a general touristic nuisance of myself. It'll be great :)

Scotland, here I come !

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Film Locations

Hi all,

I am back from my hols (Nerja, Spain...warm sun, cold sea) with what (for me) passes for a tan. I am straight back into the whole book-marketing thing, and I am seeking local knowledge from anyone who lives in Oxfordshire or surrounding counties...

I am starting the process of creating a short film, maybe 15-45 seconds long, as a trailer for "Spiral; The Finding." I am looking for two particular locations, and wonder if anyone knows any places that are like this?

Location 1: a bleak, windswept, hilly landscape with a body of water in or near it.

Location: 2 an underground corridor/tunnel with stone walls...the older the better.

Obviously these would need to be places where they are happy to have people film royalty-free.

If anyone knows, do drop me a line, I really appreciate it :)

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Hello again peeps,

Another day, another dollar...pound, that is, on this side of the Atlantic. My debut novel Spiral;The Finding is selling on Amazon Kindle !!!! Ok, I'm not a millionaire yet, but the fact remains that I put three years of my (and my son's) life into this book, and to see it actually being purchased, something I never thought would happen, is a real boost. Thanks to Ankit Parekh for another five star review.

I'm starting to get my game head on with the sequel to Spiral now. I started it a while back, and then just left it, in the face of everything else going on (another novel, various poetry, plays and other joys). Now, I'm picking it up again, with the MacBain sisters, getting back inside their skins again the way I had to do for the first time back in 2011. It's easier this time; I feel I know the characters so well. But it's also more difficult in the sense that I'm having to revisit characters who have grown and changed, not just in my own mind with the passage of time, but with the events that befell them in the first book; anyone who has read it will know you cannot witness what these girls have and come out the other side of it unscathed. The cracks in their relationship that started to appear in the first book are widening in the second, as survival becomes even harder for them, and life even more fraught with difficulty. But they still manage to pull together; even while pulling apart; as they leave the island of their childhood and forge their way forward into a strange world they have never seen, in search of a new life....haunted by old foes. 

I'm pretty passionate about this, as you can tell, so I'm hoping this next book will all fall out of my head in the space of a few months like the first one did...and not take two years, like my unaffiliated novel, ahem....

Watch this space for regular update, not to mention rants ! Cheers for reading :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

I'd like to open today's entry by saying a huge thank you to Brittany Campbell for giving Spiral; The Finding such a rave review on My first review ! I think I might cry a little...(sniff)...but seriously, it's stuff like that that keeps us writers going, knowing we haven't put our blood and tears into something for no reason. So, thank you Brittany :)

Ok, dudes…today is Blog Tour day here at The Ink Splat! This is a little something that’s been passed on from writer to writer lately (kind of like a virus but significantly less gross) where every writer answers questions about their writing process. Last week was Liah Thorley’s turn. You can see her post here.

So here we go…this is Audrina Paisley!

What am I working on?

At the moment? The sequel to Spiral; The Finding, and it’s been slow going, to be honest. I’m doing so much for marketing with Finding that the (as yet un-named) sequel is going at kind of a stop-start pace. I am also in “post-production”, as it were, on another novel, The Buried and The Lost, set in Victorian London during the early days of Scotland Yard. Watch this space….

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Multiple perspectives. They’re kind of like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. I personally love them. A lot of my work has a psychological thriller aspect to it, and I love getting under the skin of different characters, exploring how they relate to each other, what drives them through the external forces at work around them. I love looking at crossed wires in relationships, and how characters can be driven to do things based on what they THINK  the other person is thinking…or not, as the case may be. I’m also interested in gutsy female characters and protagonists with a vulnerable streak. I love to turn traditional gender roles on their head and have a woman who “saves” the man.

Why do I write what I do?

I write historical fiction because really I’m just a geek for a bit of visual drama…really I should be making films, not writing. But I love the challenge to create something that evokes the look, sound, smell of a place and time in all its clear, crisp, golden glory. It’s all about sensual transcendence for me.

How does your writing process work?

I’m infamous for not planning! At least not at first. I get a character, image, feeling, event or something in my head (often from dreams or stuff I’ve seen and heard around me) and then I just run with it and see where it takes me. There always comes a point where I have to grind to a stop and water (read; coffee) the lathered horses of my brain and do a bit of planning to make the arc of the story work in a practical sense. But until I get to that point, it’s rollercoaster all the way, baby!

Ok, so here’s the embarrassing bit….I’m supposed to introduce the next person in the tour now, and give a bit of a bio about them and a link to their website. However, because I am technologically backward (and frankly a bit sad) I didn’t even have a blog until about two weeks ago, and I missed out on the potential pool of candidates for my “next” out of all my writer mates…so there isn’t a next one. Unless any up-and-coming writers from the world at large would like to offer yourselves up as my “next” and I can link to you in a new blog post? (Shameless plug for contacts, obviously.)

Thanks all from me today. The sun is shining in old Blighty, so all who live here, keep on smiling :)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Ok,'s the first day of the Easter holidays....'s positively wee-ing rain...

...I have an exuberant three-year-old to keep entertained...

...I am on a strict budget with which to do so...

...I still have book-launch stuff to get done...

...lines to learn for my next play...

...don't even get me STARTED on writing....

...and I haven't had any coffee yet this morning.

Oh, this is gonna be GOOD !

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Hi all :)

Hooray, my new blog is up and running at last ! A massive thanks goes out to fellow author Marissa de Luna for giving me loads of technical help and marketing pointers, particularly Twitter (me: "Marissa, what's Twitter? What does it do?")....because let's face it, I'm not the most technically minded of bods! Still, despite all her very kind help,  I hit a few snags, which resulted in much frustrated clicking and cussing at 9:30 last night. Anyway, it's all up and running....for now!

I'm also REALLY excited because my debut novel, Spiral;The Finding, went live on Amazon Kindle on the 15th of March. Immediately following this I was felled with a chest infection, and haven't been able to do much marketing to date, but I'm getting back on the proverbial horse now and starting to build an internet presence for myself, bit by laborious bit.

The Finding is the first in a series of YA historical fiction novels, set on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides in 1446. Teenaged midwife Rosie MacBain is skilled at what she does; whether that be delivering a baby, setting a bone, or keeping her four orphaned sisters from the brink of destitution. But on the day her youngest sister discovers an ancient piece of silver buried on their land, an old face from Rosie’s childhood returns to the village. From that moment on, Rosie must decide which is more important to her; her craft, her sisters, her love...or her life.

You can order it here;

The next installment in the Spiral series is is the works, and I'm also working on another, unaffiliated, historical fiction novel.

So give Spiral a read, and watch this space for all things book-related, and more besides.....