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...

Autumn ramblings

Studley Royal bench

Where have the last couple of months gone? It seems only last week that I was having tea on the lawn with my Swanwick friends and visiting York Maze before the maize was harvested. Now we’re in mid-October.There’s a lot to be said for this time of year, especially when living in a glorious part of the world like North Yorkshire. I consider myself particularly fortunate to have Fountains Abbey/Studley Royal on the doorstep. When Antonia Hodgson was researching her novel Death At Fountains Abbey, she had to rent a cottage. I live a four mile drive away – less if I choose to walk and cut through the fields – and have my favourite bench. There is nowhere better to sit, pen in hand, when wrestling with a tricky piece of writing.


Studley Royal moon pond2

The trees had just started to turn when another solitary soul and I took up temporary residence by the Moon Pond in the Water Gardens. By now the autumn foliage will be glorious and I plan to return very soon.


Different aspects of my life came together when I was asked to speak to the Rotary Club of Ripon Rowels about what makes working as a television/film extra an ideal job for a writer. The answer to that question is twofold; the inspiration I get from all the interesting people I meet and plenty of time to write during the long hours waiting to be called onto the set.


In common with many writers known to me, I find promoting my books harder work than writing them in the first place. However, last Sunday I was doing just that at the Ryedale Book Festival in Malton.

French Creative Writing Group with Maggie

Another aspect of a writer’s life can – and maybe should – be passing on expertise to others. I’ve run workshops for adults before but this creative writing session for visiting French pupils was the first time for many years that I’ve taken on a group of teenagers. I’m very happy to report that they were a great bunch of young people and everything went swimmingly! With Halloween not far away, I took as my theme the ghostly Roman soldiers in the Treasurer’s House.

Creative Writing Group with David

The workshop came about following a request to York Writers and fellow member David Dale, whose novel Night Witch was published this year, ran a parallel group. David chose to focus on Guy Fawkes, arguably York’s most famous – or notorious, depending on your point of view – former resident.

The feedback from both groups was very positive and David and I wish the youngsters every success with their own writing.






13 October, 2016 - Make the first comment on this story

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