A Rare Occurrence has happened & Other News…

… I’ve got a flash story published an an anthology!

It’s a rare occurrence because, while I cut my writing teeth  on short stories and anthologies, I have problems writing in forms any shorter than a thousand words now;  for this particular anthology the word limit was 250!

The process also created a short story that will be going into my next short story collection (which will be published when I feel I have enough words to justify a book) so it was rather useful in that respect… and it was a great deal of fun to write for – I had to really concentrate on my words and their meaning.

The links to the book the flash story is in are at the end of the post.

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I’ve  just started a creative writing course. Now you might think that would be a waste of time for a writer, but there’s always value in going back to basics and working through them methodically; you learn more about yourself and improve your process… and writing that way. I’m not sure what I’ll do with anything I might write from the course, but it’s going to be an interesting journey, which is rather the whole point of it…

I shall of course, keep you posted on my progress.

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I’m working on a new story for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.

It’s an off-shoot of “Teacups & Time Travel”, set in the world that Lady Elizabeth ran off to… and is already doing rather well on the page. If I think you may enjoy it, I shall post excerpts on here…

Here’s a few words from it…

Hi, I’m Alice. No, not THAT Alice; she was a figment of Lewis Carroll’s hallucinations. I’m a real Alice.

Wonderland? Real? Yes, but not the way he saw it. Or the way that the Cartoons and movies have imagined it or even the way that you might see it when you’re reading the books.

I know the Real Wonderland and… honestly… it’s a lot more scary, a lot less friendly and even more fun than you might think. I don’t call it Wonderland though, I call it the Curious World; to me it’s my escape place – my freedom and my relaxation.

Do you want to come with me to visit it?

There’s no following a White Rabbit or falling down a hole in the ground. My route is much, much simpler and a lot harder; you have to have the ability to step through your reality and into mine.

Do you still want to come with me?

What do you think? It feels like it has legs for me and I’m going to run with it…

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And Finally: 

Here’s those book links I was talking about!

Anthology of deliciously fun murders about those who serve us badly and those who abuse the service providers.

US Link: https://www.amazon.com/Please-Hold-Murder-Important-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07DD6XB72

UK Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Please-Hold-Murder-Important-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07DD6XB72



Continuing Personal Development…

A while back I was feeling pretty unsuccessful.  I don’t sell a lot of books and for some reason I equate the number of books that I do sell with my personal sense of achievement. That hasn’t changed… I have.

Since we moved to this town, I’ve been feeling very low and trying to write when my brain refuses to focus and co-operate with my muse is almost impossible. I started doing various art & craft courses – mostly to get myself out of the house and talking to adults more. I was also trying to keep my hand in with the techniques so that I could teach them if I ever went back to work (I’m a Design & Technology / Art & Design Teacher remember?)

One thing that the courses have done is give me more confidence in my own abilities. Writing is a very solitary pursuit and I had thought that doing the courses would stop me writing, but  practising my other creative skills and socialising with people face to face, other than just with Writers and Artists online,  I found it revved up my writing muse and I found that I was managing to write something on my WIP’s every day.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my online friends; they stop me going crazy and make me feel better about myself, but the face to face interaction makes me feel less like a hermit.

So here I am nearly at the end of may, with over 50,000 words into Teacups & Time Travel. I’ve also written a flash story and a short story for two different anthologies (although I have no idea if they’ve got in or not) and I’m working on another one. I’ve also started looking at my blogsite here and my branding etc in the hope that I can improve my chances of selling my work, using the Panoptic Foundations Website Planner.

I’m not going to be going back into teaching for a long while – and when I do, it’s almost certainly going to be Adult Education rather than Secondary Education; it’s not that I don’t like teaching kids (I do) but I need the freedom to be able to teach what I want and how I want, rather than having to stick to the Curriculum that the Dept of Ed force on us and I find the other side of Secondary education (marking, reports, politics etc) far too stressful to enjoy the Teaching side.

So I’m going to continue writing and publishing. I’m going to continue taking courses, crafting and designing… and hopefully between the two, my sense of achievement will latch onto something other than my sales figures!

The Influence of Female Authors…

I can’t remember how I got to this article; more than likely one of my author or reader friends probably shared it on FB…


…But it got me thinking about all the authors on my shelves. I mean any one who has been coming to this blog for longer than a month can probably work out that I love Sir Terry Pratchett’s works or that it was David Eddings who inspired me to start writing Fantasy.

But there are a whole slew of other writers that come up when I really think about all the books that have influenced my work and the majority of them are on my shelves at the moment.

The first author that I ever collected was Enid Blyton and I started with the world of the Faraway Tree; it was the series that inspired my first attempt at Fan-Fiction at the age of 8!
The next one to come along was Diane Wynne Jones – I fell in love with Chrestomanci and read every single book of hers that I could get my hands on; at this point I had discovered the wonder of Libraries…

When I started earning my own money at the age of 13, I started buying my own books. I was a little obsessed with ponies and riding so a lot of the books I was getting from the Library were about horses, but when I bought my own books, I discovered that Here Be Dragons… and that you could ride them!

Yup, I had discovered Anne McCaffrey and the Dragons of Pern.

Between library books and the bookshop over the last twenty years, I have read a slew of authors, male and female, always either Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Anne McCaffrey, Diana Wynne Jones, David and Leigh Eddings, Terry Pratchett, Katherine Kerr, Elizabeth Moon, Janny Wurts, Raymond E.Feist, Sara Douglass, Jack Vance, Ursula Le Guin, Anne Rice, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Tolkien, J K Rowling, Gail Carriger…  and that’s a small proportion of the books that I’ve collected and read over the years.

They’ve all influenced my own work, some of them more obviously than others. The fact that a lot of them were female never crossed my mind; they were just books that I enjoyed a lot, so I bought them.
Another thing that I have only just realised, is that Mr & Mrs Eddings may have ignited my love of epic fantasy, but Anne McCaffrey and Diana Wynne Jones are the ones that showed me that I could write too, and not have to hide behind a male pseudonym.

So here I am, following in their footsteps and hoping that I have created my own books well enough that young readers are going be inspired by them in turn… maybe if they read that I enjoyed certain authors as a kid, they will search their books out and enjoy them too.

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I’m very bad at blowing my own trumpet and marketing my own work; but that all has to change, so I am going to start doing so today. We’ll go back to my roots as a writer and feature one of my Short Story collections…


One of the fun things about being a writer is responding to a challenge. This book is full of the results of such challenges…

From the wedding celebrations of Greek Deities, to mermaids, ghosts and superheroes, a whole gamut of creatures await your eager eyes.

This little collection of short stories contains some of my favourites from the beginning of my apprenticeship as an author. With each story is a little anecdote from my writing life.

It’s available in ebook and Print formats and from a variety of places including:

If by any chance you’ve already read all of my books… could I possibly persuade you to pop into my Patreon Page and become a Patron?

The thing is, unless I sell more books or get more Patrons, I won’t be able to produce any new books!!

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