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...

NEWSFLASH!

This should be a fun event. Please save the date.

27 March, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Love is where you find it…….

As I was a great admirer of the late Geoffrey Smith, it was probably only a matter of time before a television gardener took centre stage in one of my short stories. 

Originally entitled ‘Just the Ticket’, this is my latest contribution to the hallowed pages of The People’s Friend. Rejected the first time round because of an ‘information dump’ about volunteering in a hybrid local library – something I’d recently begun to do when I wrote it – the revised version met with approval and appeared on the shelves of our local W.H.Smith today. 

The novelty of seeing my work in print has never worn off and I hope it never will.

27 March, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

A New Departure

Ebooks? Paperbacks? What next? Following a strong recommendation from a writer friend, I’ve been spending a couple of hours on alternate Mondays in the  Melrose Yard Studios in York. Sam Holdstock could not have been more patient or encouraging to a novice and the recording of ‘Workhouse Orphan’ is now complete. Watch this space for the release of my first audio book!

26 March, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Flying the Flag!

The York Literature Festival offered an opportunity to writers to offer their wares for sale in the central library (York Explore) this year. Paul Smith, Neelie Wicks, Rosemary J. Kind and I shared a table to represent PYA (Promoting Yorkshire Authors). 

24 March, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Stranger in a Strange Land

When asked to take part in a PYA panel discussion on the above topic, I was unsure which of my books to talk about. After all, ‘Had We But World Enough’ is all about people on the move and ‘Shadows of the Past’ and ‘Wheels on Fire’ both feature the mixed fortunes of English schoolgirls in France. However, for my 13-year workhouse orphan from London, the West Riding of Yorkshire in the early 1900’s is an equally alien environment, so his story is the one I chose.

The discussion was chaired by Edwin H. Rydberg, the original inspiration behind Promoting Yorkshire Authors, which began with a mere handful of writers in York and is rapidly spreading county-wide. On the panel with me today were Rosemary J. Kind (‘New York Orphan’ and its prequel, ‘The Blight and the Blarney’), K.S.Marsden (the ‘Witch-Hunter’ series) and Darren Walker (‘Closed Shop’).  

Harrogate Library, which hosts regular PYA sessions, was once again the setting – a haven of warmth and comfort on one of the wettest and windiest days of the year so far.

17 March, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Bill’s Last Night

It’s been quite a while since my work last appeared in The Weekly News and this story is quite unlike anything that I’ve ever submitted before. 

As soon as I came across Lovelace’s poem, written whilst he himself was incarcerated, the character of Bill began to form in my mind and refused to disappear. As he muses on what led him to his lonely cell and, even more, what the following morning holds, I hope that readers will begin to empathise with him. Some already have and tell me that they were taken aback by the twist at the end.

If you’d like to read the whole story, please let me know and I’ll make it possible.

9 March, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

News flash!

I’ve just started work on an audio version of ‘Workhouse Orphan’, courtesy of Sam at York’s Melrose Yard Studios. This is a new departure for me and I have no idea whether it will prove to be a success – in which case I’ll record more of my books – or a very expensive failure. Only time will tell!

25 February, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Workhouse Orphan on sale in the most appropriate place possible!

The thousands of destitute people who entered the Ripon workhouse as a very last resort would have been amazed to see its transformation into a highly rated visitor attraction. Now open for the 2019 season, it has a lot to offer for individuals, families or groups. Activities for children are a particular feature, especially during the school holidays, but are offered to school parties during term time as well.

Having spent a good deal of time in the Ripon Workhouse Museum whilst researching my latest book, I’m delighted to see copies now on sale in its well stocked shop. I’m looking forward to doing a signing session later on in the year.

 

15 February, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Shadows of the Past – the prequel!

 
It’s fun to look back on my initiation into the French language. The textbook issued to me in the First form had been written in the late 1930s and did nothing to dispel the stereotypes I already had in my mind. Reprinted many times but not updated, it was still in circulation well into the 1960s.
 

Grammar and the acquisition of vocabulary were very much to the fore at my school in those days, with speaking almost an optional extra. This goes some way to explain the difficulties experienced by my characters Daisy, Kate and Ronnie when they found themselves in a nightmare scenario rather than the innocuous ‘international work camp’ that they had signed up for. Not understanding what was going on around them for much of the time, they didn’t know that they should have run for their lives while they had the chance.

The prequel to ‘Shadows of the Past’ will be available as a free download. WATCH THIS SPACE!

10 February, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Swanwick 2019

Always pleased to support the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in any way I can, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to repeat a workshop that has been very successful in the past.

Money isn’t everything, I know, but it certainly helps. ‘Easy Money for Writers & Wannabes’ has been described as the gift that keeps on giving. If you haven’t already got a copy, why not give it a try? You won’t lose by it.

10 February, 2019 Make the first comment on this story

Check Out My eBooks
A working holiday in France for so little? “It sounds too good to be true,” says Daisy’s mother, but her warning falls on deaf ears.
The 20th century has just dawned when David is apprenticed to a Yorkshire coal miner. But what of the younger brothers and sister he has been forced to leave behind in their London workhouse? Will he ever see them again?
If you can't be famous, be infamous. Wheelchair bound after a tragic accident, revenge is on Kaz's mind when she joins the school trip to Paris...

Available in print and eBook version.
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