Hello, and thank you for visiting my site. I hope that you'll return often and always find something of interest about my world and what inspires me to pick up a pen. (This is a figure of speech, unfortunately. My handwriting is terrible!) Here's what I've been up to recently...

Reviewing 9 to 5 The Musical

9to5

9 to 5 review improved

It’s always a pleasure to review a show for a local group and last Tuesday evening saw me at Harrogate Theatre for Ripon Amateur Operatic Group’s dress rehearsal of 9 to 5 The Musical. Sitting in the centre of the front row of the Circle and armed with a clipboard, torch and copy of the programme was an interesting, although far from relaxing experience. It’s always an odd feeling to see the cast acting, dancing and singing their hearts out to rows of mostly empty seats and so receiving minimal feedback for their efforts. Wishing to do justice to the performance, I was also acutely conscious that turning my attention away from the stage in order to write notes might cause me to miss some of the action. However, I did my best, sat up until 2.30 a.m. to finish the review in time for the press deadline and kept my fingers crossed that I hadn’t made any major mistakes or omissions.

Delighted to receive some complimentary tickets, I was in the theatre again for the last night of the show and enjoyed it a great deal more. Relaxing in the Stalls, with no decisions to make other than which flavour of ice cream to buy in the interval, was an undiluted pleasure. There were indeed little cameos that I’d missed first time round and the enthusiastic applause from the audience at the end of each big number was very well deserved.

1 May, 2017 Make the first comment on this story

A strange kind of recognition!

WM Star Letter May 2017

 

Like all writers, I expect, I’m keen to expand my readership. However, the revelation that sparked this winning letter in the May 2017 of Writing Magazine came as a bolt from the blue.

4 April, 2017 Make the first comment on this story

York Writers’ Showcase

Maggie reading at YLF2017

I very much enjoyed being part of the line up of York Writers for the last HUB event of this year’s York Literature Festival. Each of us was allowed ten minutes and I chose to read a couple of very short stories from my Anyone For Murder? collection. They seemed to go down well with the audience. Well, at least everyone laughed in the right places.

YLFYWShowcasePaulMulryne

Paul Mulryne, seen in the photo above taking a breather, did a great job as compere.

YWHUB poster A4revised

It was a shame that some of the people originally down to take part were unable to make it, but the rest of us agreed that it had been a very worthwhile experience. Roll on HUB 2018!

30 March, 2017 Make the first comment on this story

York Writers Anthology

 

YWAnthology

Yes, I know. I’d have given the title an apostrophe too, but it was an editorial decision.

That said, the anthology is hot off the presses and a great read. Twenty-five stories and poems have been contributed by members of York Writers. Between us, I hope that we’ve catered for all tastes. Well, not quite all, but a fair few.

My own story, No Time For Contemplation, is about a puppy farmer getting her comeuppance – and not before time either! Anyone who exploits helpless animals is a villain in my book – books, actually. (One of the characters in my novel Shadows of the Past comes to a very unpleasant end, although his callous attitude to creatures that he considers to be vermin is only one of his crimes.)

Anyway, we of York Writers hope to raise our profile through this collection, which is available through Amazon and will also be on sale at our Showcase Event at York Theatre Royal next week. Please come along and support us.

 

20 March, 2017 Make the first comment on this story

Promoting Yorkshire Authors next event

 

PYAYLFflyer

Tomorrow evening will see us in the De Grey Rooms, next to York Theatre Royal.

Writing a book is only the first step on what can be a long and rocky road.

We don’t pretend to have all the answers and hope to pick up a few pointers ourselves from the other writers we welcome to this session.

 

19 March, 2017 Make the first comment on this story

A Double Whammy!

DalesmanandDownYourWay

The March 2017 issues of these popular Yorkshire magazines feature two very different contributions from the Cobbett household.

The Dalesman has a ‘filler’ in its ‘Signs and Wonders’ column, a rather unsavoury gem captured by my husband last autumn when he dropped me off in Malton for the Ryedale Book Festival. Has he been reading my Easy Money For Writers And Wannabes, I wonder?

Down Your Way, which specialises in nostalgia, has my article about family mementos. We probably have far more than our fair share of those!

 

26 February, 2017 Make the first comment on this story

Check Out My eBooks
Not far from Paris lies the village of Saint-André-la Forêt, where three English schoolgirls disappear without trace during the summer of 1965.

Twenty years later, a stranded traveller stumbles across a skeleton in the nearby forest and ignores local people's warnings to leave well alone. The secrets she uncovers, some dating back to the darkest days of World War 2, are more than enough to put her own life in danger.

Available in print and eBook version.
Your handy guide to writing 'fillers' for magazines and newspapers. Discover why keeping your camera and notebook on hand can be more profitable than you might think, how to make readers' letter pages work for you and the art of putting a new slant on old wisdom.
In fiction as in life, things rarely turn out as we expect. Plenty of surprises await characters and readers alike in this collection of short stories.
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