The New Book

25 07 2010

Well it is coming along nicely as they say!

The second book is much bigger than the first book. I am using the three part act structure which means the middle part of the story is double the length of the beginning and the end.

I want to apologise for the book taking so long. There is a reason for this. I manage my own company – we deliver counselling services on line, and this last 18 months has been very busy indeed. It has meant that some days I have been too exhausted to write. However I now have a new routine which sees me spending almost all of my weekends writing and this seems to be working well. It means, of course, that I have a pretty limited social life – a glass of wine with a mate on a Friday and the odd, very odd, weekend away. But hey, spending time in Mona with Lovernicus and Mortunda, and catching up with Katie and Patrick, is far more fun than the real world.

I will let you know how I get on.

Many thanks


Chorlton Library

29 11 2009

On Thursday 19th November I was lucky enough to be invited to give a talk as part of Chorlton Book Week  -Readers and Writers event.

15 people turned up in the back room of the library; many of them were young people with a few grown ups thrown in. I had a great time and hope others did too.

We talked about the process of writing, growing ideas and the confidence to believe in them. I was heartened to hear that so many young people want to write. One lovely young girl who is in year 10 at Chorlton High school, showed me two note books that she carried in her bag; she called them her ‘ideas books.’ They were pretty full and Lorraine (that was her name) explained to me that she had many others at home. I was very impressed and encouraged her to continue with her writing throughout her life. ‘Never give up’ is what I said. ‘Life may get busy and school/college work will get more demanding in terms of your time and committment, but always nurture your imagination.’ I wish someone had given me such advice when I was 14/15.

She was a lovely, talented, warm and intelligent young girl and I wish her all the best. I have every confidence that Chorlton High School, a school that nurtures the Arts, will not only encourage her to continue but will create opportunities for her to do so. The English department is great there, as are the library staff.

So 15 people in the small back room of the Library. Now that brought back memories for me. I used to be in that room every Monday for five years or so, when my eldest two children were small. There used to be a mums and toddlers group (or should I say ‘parents’….this is Chorlton after all, and there were a couple of dads who attended) held in that back room. Monday morning 9.30- 11.45am or there-abouts and we loved it. Lots of games, painting, songs and best of all, someone else to make a cup of coffee for you. I made some life-long friends through that group.

But it made me think of something else…reminded me of how far I have travelled. In my writers group (South Manchester Writers) there has been a recent and dare I say, very heated discussion regarding the inequalities in the publishing world. You see, despite the fact that more women than men write, men still receive the lions share of prizes, contracts and awards. Theatre is even worse for this than the world of the Novel. Some people in our writers group disagree with this analysis and say things are no longer like that. I argue that the facts prove differently.

Virginia Wolfe once said that all a woman needs in order to write is a room of her own and a little money.

Chorlton Library provided me with a ‘room of my own.’  When my children were small and finding the time, space and energy to write was almost impossible, Saturday mornings from about 10-12pm was allocated to me. My husband would mind the kids whilst I eloped to Chorlton Library to write. There amongst the smell of books and newspapers, I would find a quiet corner (usually in the far right hand corner), open my note book and like Lorraine today, scribble down my ideas, write snatches of dialogue, construct scenes and create characters to populate them. I did not have the dexterity then to flesh any of these thoughts and ideas into full blown stories, but that didn’t matter. It was an important time for me. I was engaging in the writing process. Natalie Goldman in her wonderful book, ‘Writing Down the Bones,’ calls this process, ‘composting.’ From compost great things can grow. It may take time but without fertilisation nothing will blososm.

So I owe two thanks to Chorlton Library. One for inviting me on Thursday but an even bigger thanks is due; for being there when I needed them all those years ago;  providing me with a room of my own when I had no other.

Hello…yes I am still alive

28 06 2009

Ok, you may be wondering about my considerable period of silence on the blogging front. I can assure you it’s got nothing to do with being too tired due to an over exertion of 5am writing habits. I wish! I have to confess getting to my computer by 6am is a novelty these days. Basically work (the ‘day job’) has taken over and I have to rewrite a new schedule for fitting the writing in. That sounds awful!

Saturdays are working well and once term has ended and my youngest is off for the summer, life should get easier. It will mean I will have at least two hours available for writing in the morning instead of one. Those ‘school runs’ eat time you know.

There is another reason too you know. As I have come to write Mona, I have realised that there is a lot more research to be done. At the moment I am reading books on astronomy and astrology; magic and religion and Karen Armstrong’s A History of God. This is my second reading of A History of God and I find myself making copious notes in the margin (I won’t be selling that in Amazon Market Place then!) If you interested in the history of religious thought, the book will take you by the hand and lead you through 4000 years of thinking about religion.

So bear with me….there will be more regular updates from now on, I promise.

Moving on….

27 04 2009

OK, Albion the first in the trilogy is now officially with the printers. That means no more last minute revisions, no more waking up in a cold sweat at 4am panicking over the use or misuse of a word or phrase; no more anxious moments about time- lines and historical accuracies. It is done, Kaput, finished.

The book will be released on May 1st, Beltane, the first day of summer. The heavy scent of apple blossom is in the air and I can smell the sun. The earth is warmer, richer and fuller. There could not be a more apt time for Albion.

So now it is right for me to turn myself towards writing Mona, the second book in the series. Much of it is already written of course. My initial idea was to write one book and not three, but the story was just too big.

Mona is ultimately Mortunda’s story and is set in the beautiful island of Mona, the spiritual home of the Seronydd. I am excited by the prospect of writing Mortunda’s story. She is a wonderful character, a spirited child who grows into a courageous young woman. There will be many challenges facing Mortunda just as there are for every girl who makes the transition from childhood to woman hood. Mortunda will face the challenge of love, of loyalty and walking the path way of the Seronydd. There will be many battles of the physical and spiritual kind facing her and those around her. The Romans are closer and hard choices have to be made; wars have to be won; leaders have to emerge. There will be blood.

I have set myself the target of writing Mona in the same way I wrote Albion; I will get up at 5am and write for two hours. I thought I would share this experience with you too. You can suffer and celebrate alongside me. Only if you choose to of course.

Launch Details!

18 03 2009

I will be launching the first book in The Jewel Keepers Trilogy during the Chorlton Arts Festival (16th-22nd May).

The date of this exciting event is Monday the 18th May at 8pm in the Lloyds, 617 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 9AN. We will be in the upstairs room. In case you don’t know Chorlton very well, here is a link to where we will be

There will be soft drinks available and wine for those who would like some, and nibbles to eat. There’ll also be the chance to meet people and ask questions. Oh and of course, I shall be giving a reading and signing books.

I will be talking to schools from May onwards and have some availability to come into class rooms to talk about the novel and answer questions. I am very used to working in class room settings; giving talks and running workshops for young people is partly what I do for a living. If you are a teacher, librarian or work in education and would like to invite me, then just ask me. You can do this via the website.

The Jewel Keepers trilogy is cross over fiction, so whether you are young, old or even in the middle, do pop along on the 18th May at 8pm. I would love to see you there!

Albion to be published soon

23 02 2009

Book One: Albion

Why does Katie have strange things happening to her? Katie McIntyre is 13 years old, hears animals talk, sees strange lights floating above people’s heads and recently an apparition of a Celtic fortress in her back garden. Then there was the coin inside the fortress, inscribed in ancient lettering, glittering red gold and bright. Katie’s Nana, old and mentally unstable, insists that Katie is a Keeper of a magical Jewel that once held the key between the world of the Gods and the world of Humanity. Katie’s destiny is to find the lost Jewel and bring it home.

In another time, centuries apart from modern Britain, another young girl is searching for her destiny. Mortunda, Princess of the Brigante Tribe is destined to be Queen. Yet she feels a different calling – that of the Doeth Seronydd, Albion’s order of Seers and wisdom bringers. But with the threat of Roman invasion growing daily, is it the right decision for Mortunda? Lastly why is it that on the return to Mona they are followed by dark sinister forces bent on retrieving the object that Lovernicus, leader of the Seronydd, guards with his very life.

The first in the trilogy, Albion is a Celtic Holy Grail story that takes the reader from modern day Britain to Celtic Albion and beyond.