Monday, 11 November 2013

eKlectic Writing - Official Live Launch of The Book of Shadows!

Following the grand tradition set by my friend and
award-winning poet Terry Quinn, I'm
launching the final Witherstone book, The Book of Shadows,
with friends!

It'll be a fabulously eKlectic night mixing prose and poetry - and it will be great to catch up with my fabulously-talented friends!
It's FREE too, and is forming part of the NEW monthly live literature nights LexiKal at the fabulous Korova Arts Café Bar just off Fishergate in Preston.
See you there!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Books, Tea, and Shortbread Biscuits

Had a really fab afternoon in Waterstones, Preston officially launching  The Book of Shadows into the world with a book signing.

Not only did the books meet with some enthusiastic readers - from brand new first-timers (some of whom bought all three!) through to those avidly waiting for the final part in the trilogy, I met lots of lovely people, caught up with a few friends, AND was supplied with tea and DELICIOUS home-made shortbread BISCUITS (*thank you Chelsie :oP *).

*AND Waterstones are adding Book 3 to their recommended Christmas Reads list too!* 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

more giddy kippering

Getting as giddy as a kipper this week - not only do I have a book signing in Waterstones, Preston, to look forward to on Saturday, but a friend of mine has just received a pretty exciting Amazon recommended read...


Nuff said. 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Book Signing in Waterstones...!

Really looking forward to the official launch of The Book of Shadows out into the world at a book signing in Waterstones, Preston 
this coming Saturday, 26th October... ! 

I'll be lurking amongst the bookshelves from about midday until late afternoon so it will be lovely to see people and have a chat, and, who knows, maybe sign a few books too! 


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I am a Laydee, and I do Ladies Things.

Thrilled to have been invited to join the line-up at Korova Arts Cafe for this Friday's LadiesKlectic night in support of LadyFest Preston 
- supporting Preston Domestic Violence Services with loads of fab events 11th - 13th October - 
and I'll be joining Kiri Pritchard Mclean, Grace Ashworth, winner of the LimeLight Film Competition at Korova, Katie Ryan, Beth Norwood and Kerry Carrol, three fantastic emerging talents from the world of music, theatre and film, and the fantastic Avital Raz
"To call her magical is to miss the point. This is real and very potent self-expression."- Nick Burbridge.
- AND latest news just in: Guild competition winner Lorna Smithers.


So all in all, a good night out then! See you there, where I will be a Laydee, and do Ladies Things. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Giddy as a Kipper

Celebrating the publication of all three books in the Witherstone trilogy by making the Witherstone Kindle edition FREE for the last 5 days of September! 

- and I'm as giddy as a kipper at finding Witherstone launching itself into the top 500 in the Amazon Bestsellers free Kindle list, and in the top 20 Amazon Bestsellers Historical Fiction list within the first 24 hours!


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Woo hoo! Kindle edition of The Book of Shadows is published!

The Book of Shadows is now available on Kindle!

And to celebrate, the Kindle edition of Witherstone  

will be FREE for the last 5 days of September

- starting from tomorrow morning 26th September!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

It's here!

The Book of Shadows has arrived, woo hoo!!!

It's on Amazon here - and will be in Waterstones, Preston in a couple of weeks - watch this space for more news there ;o) - and the Kindle edition will be hot-footing it onto Amazon in the next couple of days too...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

...and it's getting closer...


Ta-da! The Book of Shadows front cover.
Master Nalgah flew past at just the right moment, his wing beats slow and languorous, as if he was flying underwater ...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Final throes...

After a couple of days in the editing suite...

... the manuscript was passed on to the Editor-in-Chief for final approval ...

... and she signed it off with a few typos and a couple of sentences needing a tweak.

Her verdict? "Brilliant." But then she did want something extra nice for tea...

Now the odd "i"s are dotted and "t"s crossed, so on to fiddling with gutters and margins and bleeds and all that layout stuff, then the final bits and bobs such as cover design etc ... so not long now.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013




Just the editing to do.

Which is a bit like saying the king is dead.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Book Launch reading

Really chuffed to have been invited to read at Terry Quinn's latest book launch this week! I took Terry's first collection Away - literally! - when I sailed across to Denmark and Norway, and it was the perfect poetic companion for that journey so I'm really looking forward to his latest collection.

Terry has been on the road launching his new collection The Amen of Knowledge, and his Preston launch is going to be a fantastic feast of live literature with the talents of Rebecca Charnley, Martin Domleo, Sue Hicks, Ron Scowcroft, Lorna Smithers, and Dean Taylor, and of course, Terry Quinn will be reading selected poems from his latest book! Oh, and I'll be performing my ha'penny's worth too as Terry has asked me to read! Really looking forward to a great night amongst so many fab writers :o) - come sup with me at this feast of delights!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

And the winners are...

The deadline for submissions to the Lytham Lives Anthology has been and gone, and we’ve had the difficult task of selecting the successful submissions for inclusion in the book.

We’ve had a fascinatingly eclectic pile of submissions to read through and consider, both in form and subject matter.  Life writing and poetry made up the vast majority of the entries, with some short stories also in the mix, and we’ve had great fun reading through them all.  It was particularly pleasing to see several entries which began during the writing and conversations in the community workshops we delivered in Lytham. 
Subject matter has ranged through stories of Lytham childhoods, school days and festival days, to tales of ordinary folk and their lives in Lytham, past and present, eulogies to mothers, eulogies to knickers (!!!), days spent wandering through Lytham – whether on foot or on bicycle, in rain, wind or glorious sunshine, and whether loved or hated! – and the endlessly fascinating ecological landscape of Lytham, which has been a recurring theme, along with dreams and memories of things past, and future possibilities, and a scattering of ghosts, geese, and of course, windmills.

Making the final decisions were difficult, and to some extent informed by the desire to create a book which has diverse themes and voices but which hang together to create a coherent whole, and with a fantastic selection of photographs old and new – some specially commissioned from a local photographer – the Lytham Lives Anthology will be a great memento of Lytham’s unique character, in both landscape and people.  A real festival of stories. 
Letters and emails are winging their way to the successful entrants, but we would like to heartily thank everyone who submitted their poems, life writing, and short stories to us as it has been a privilege to read all of your work – so thank you.

The successful entrants are H. A. Pearson, Doreen Riley, John Hobson, Robert Michael Boddy, Jean Cunliffe, Sarah Simpson-Bostock, Fay M. Ford, David Forshaw, David Williams, Joyce Warwick, Janet Lees, J. E. Cartmell, and ‘The Lytham Ghost’, Sir Cuthbert Clifton.

The Lytham Lives Anthology is part of the forthcoming Lytham Festival of Stories, due to take place over a 4 day festival weekend next May. It's going to be brilliant. You can keep track of what's happening on the Festival of Stories blog. I'll keep you posted on when the Lytham Lives Anthology is published.

Friday, 19 April 2013

rather thrilled

Indeed I am rather thrilled to have been asked to run a Shared Reading "Get into Reading" style group in a Lancashire Library I'm rather familiar with. Can't wait, and am ordering myself a copy of A Little, Aloud to share stories and poems with the group.

Love reading, me, and shared reading is a subtle but surprisingly profound way for people to find inspiration, support, and a little bit of themselves along the way, just through listening to someone telling them a story and then talking about it as a group. Amazing.

Friday, 8 February 2013

In Conversation With ...

'Conversations with the Community'
for The Festival of Stories.

Check out The Festival of Stories blog with an update of the most recent community event in the lead up to The Festival of Stories, a brand new four day festival planned to take place in Lytham later in 2013.

I'm dead excited to be involved in this project, and the ‘Conversations With The Community’ at St. Bede's High School in January was a fabulously enjoyable event for the Festival build-up with members of the community sharing their stories.

Organised by local Lytham writer and resident, Alex O’Toole, in collaboration with community organisation, ParkView4U and with the aim of using storytelling and story sharing to connect generations within the community, twelve members of the Lytham community shared their memories of growing up in Lytham with a class of Year 9 pupils from St. Bede’s.

Organisers of The Festival of Stories are currently working with Lancashire County Council to bid for funding from The Arts Council in order to bring the event to the public.

And in the meantime, the deadline for submissions for The Lytham Lives Anthology: A Community In Writing is 5pm on 28th February.
Some of those at the ‘Conversations With The Community’ event have been inspired to submit some of their creative writing, life stories, and poetry to The Lytham Lives Anthology so if you have any writing on the theme you can submit, get cracking because there's only 21 days to go...!

For more details about how to submit your poems, short stories or pieces of life writing go to:

Monday, 21 January 2013

There's No End to Christmas!

Well blimey! What an AMAZING month!!
Not only did Waterstones, Preston SELL OUT of Witherstone
TWICE in less than a month,
I also heard that it's one of the RECOMMENDED READS
for Waterstones post-Christmas voucher shoppers!
And, the icing on the cake
- I've received some cracking feedback on The Hunt Begins
- including a brand new 5* review on Amazon!

And as for me...?   

Nuf said.