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Under the Rose

by on Dec 2, 2018

Almost at the end of 2018 which just makes my jaw drop. I’m working on book two as fast as I can, but being very mindful that I want it to be an absolutely cracking great read with as much honesty and originality as I can muster. I’m not going to put a book out unless it’s the best I can make it. Something I’m currently doing research into for book two are medieval secret societies. I first became interested in intelligence when I joined the Army Reserves and was posted to an Intelligence Corp for a couple of years.…

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And the next book is….

by on Aug 8, 2018

The second book in The River and the Ravages series is well underway, and has progressed from being a nameless, amorphous thing to a book with 1) a title, 2) a description, and best of all, 3) a pre-order arrangement. Yes, pre-order is here. But let’s get to that in a moment. The title of book two is…drum roll, please…. The Tempest and the Turning. I’m incredibly excited by this one. It’s been going great. But hey, I’m bias. You be the judge! The book blurb goes like this… You can’t run from who you are… Aaliya, a woman with…

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The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned as a Writer

by on Jul 19, 2018

In July 2017 I achieved something I never thought I would do. I published a book. I’m 46. For me, it wasn’t a lifelong goal. I haven’t harboured aspirations to be an author since I was 12 years old. It literally happened because I believed I had some good ideas for a story, could write pretty well, and probably most importantly, live my life with a pretty solid armour of perseverance. Writing a book, like all journeys, involves the stuff you know is going to happen, and the stuff you either know about but are not prepared for, or don’t…

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Handmade Renaissance

by on Jun 11, 2018

Most people have an interest in being creative in some way. Our jobs are often just not big enough for us. Not many define themselves by their Monday to Friday jobs, but ask them what their interests are and you start getting to the essence of the person. In the very early days of writing The River and the Ravages, I knew I wanted the protagonist, Aaliya, to be a saddle maker. This wasn’t just a random selection of a trade relevant during medieval times. I wanted saddle making for its association with practicality and for its incredible range for…

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Forthcoming attractions (and me!)

by on Feb 10, 2018

Ah, that long, lovely lull at the start of the year. Everyone (certainly me, anyway) dragging themselves out of holiday mode. I’ve made it to mid-February and looking down the barrel of the remaining months in 2018…it looks set to be a biggie. Book 2 in The River and the Ravages trilogy is now in full swing. I’ve done my all important plans, I’ve pondered, I’ve ruminated…and now I’m writing like a demon. Every which way you look at it, there’s going to be edginess and grandiose struggles, characters are going to find themselves up to their eyeballs in problems,…

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New cover for The River and the Ravages

by on Jan 22, 2018

New year, new book cover. The cover is the most important tool an author has to sell a book. We’ve all heard the dangers of judging a book by its cover, but it’s amazing how many people do. And why not, anyway? A cover is a split second glimpse into what a story is about. It either captures the nuance of the story (and announces the genre and sets the tone), or it doesn’t. It’s that important. When I first released The River and the Ravages, I thought I’d have a crack at the cover…for a range of reasons (money,…

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The Happy Writer

by on Dec 13, 2017

Six months since the launch of The River and the Ravages and I’m starting to get some of those blessed things called reviews. Yes, we authors love ‘em, crave ‘em, scan the internet like crazed narcissists seeking them out and positively feel like bathing a kind and cheery reviewer in hand crushed rose petals when we come across one. Possibly something most of you readers don’t know is that we writers are strange people. Yes, this might come as quite a shock but we’re a bunch of people whose crippling self doubt is often just slightly outweighed by our monumental…

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Progress report December 2017

by on Dec 3, 2017

I’m approaching six months since the launch of The River and the Ravages and it’s been an unbelievably wonderful journey. The Goodreads community is a mighty impressive one. It’s a space I always look forward to visiting each day. People who love books have always known it – we’ve got something special in our lives. That ability to be transported to another time and place, experience emotions – pain, hope, love, joy, grief, ecstasy, the whole shebang – through different people in the comfort of our chair is something deeply wonderful. The next six months look set to go to…

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In Praise of Reassurance

by on Oct 25, 2017

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t crave reassurance. They may not be out there admitting it to the world, but the need is very real and bone-deep. We tend to think of reassurance as a quality required only by children. That the need for someone to come along and quieten those fears and insecurities when faced with challenges or uncertainty is the job of mothers and fathers. Surely as grown adults we just get on with things? Even after years together in a relationship, surely verbal or other acts of reassurance are no longer required? Isn’t simply being together in…

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Why I write what I write and other glorious anecdotes

by on Oct 18, 2017

I read some advice by author Joanna Walsh, “define carefully what makes you uncomfortable, and dwell in that difficulty. Find ways to enjoy it.” It’s hard for me to contemplate the notion of discomfort while I sit outside with the sun on my back on this beautiful spring day, but I know it all the same. Something I secretly fear (but act like it’s no big deal) is that my book The River and the Ravages simply doesn’t fit easily in a genre. I didn’t follow the rules of outlining my plot and forming my characters based on what is…

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  • Not tiring at all of black buildings in this city. #whatilove
  • Inari is an absolute delight. I thought it was going to be a quick visit but 4kms later we were still climbing Mt Inari which (I believe) is the head shrine of the God of rice, these beautiful Torii gates to walk through all the way to the top. 🇯🇵
  • Just feeling lucky. And grateful. I’m doing something incredibly special with two amazing human beings and feel utterly blessed.
  • Music hour. 🎧 So lovely to arrive in Kyoto, settle in to our accommodation and enjoy some music and a cuppa. Cracked a rib skiing so quiet days here are just the ticket. #instantcalm
  • The do road works with style in Tokyo. Hello kitty is used to control traffic. Now that’s an advanced country. #kawaii
  • Shimokitazawa our destination today. Tokyo’s rather fab vintage clothing hub. Did I find a bargain? Nope. But it was ace  looking at all the cool kids and fine threads. 😎
  • Tokyo is a mad crazy town. Shibuya at 10pm on a Sunday night and it’s teeming with people. @kellielawler We managed to do the crossing without loosing an eyeball. Now for some 😴 💤
  • Ah Tokyo, you’re too damn good. A mighty chill day. Even snowed for a bit. Experienced the Harajuku crush all for some squishies and a gigantic fairy floss. Awesome day out. 😎 This wonderful park is right near our accommodation (in Kichioji)
  • The first day it didn’t snow. Sun peaked out from behind clouds and the whole place just glittered. Japan...now you’re just showing off. Bye Niseko...Off to Tokyo tomorrow. ✈️

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