23 June, 2015

An Ugly Way To Go

I am excited to tell you that my story The Missing Signs and Wonders has just been published as the guest story in an anthology of quirky tales.

An Ugly Way To Go - and other Quintessentially Quirky Tales is the second collection from author Iain Pattison, and it's prety much what it sounds like - a collection of bizarre, flippant and light-hearted stories to make you smile. I was delighted to be asked by Iain to contribute to this anthology. I don't write quirky stuff often, but I had one story that I wrote many years ago which has been waiting to find a home ever since. Too long or too weird for most competitions and magazines, I've never sent The Missing Signs and Wonders out to find its way in the world, but I've always had an affection for it. I'm glad it's found a home at last!

In The Missing Signs and Wonders, Mr. Worthing floats above himself, watching surgeons trying to save his life after an simple operation goes wrong. When somebody else appears in his out-of-body experience and tells him that all the miracles have stopped, Mr. Worthing has to travel back through his past to find a place where he might have stored his own miracles before it's too late.

You can buy the collection on Kindle for £1.99 here.

12 June, 2015

Archive Autumn - Participants Needed!

A couple of years ago I ran a series of guest blog posts, each an original piece of flash fiction, basd around a sign of the zodiac and written for this blog by an array of talented writers. I had everyone from first-time writers to traditionally-published authors taking part. It was a big success for me, and I hope for the authors too (two of the stories are still in my Top 10 most-read posts!)

This autumn I'm doing it again. But it's easier this time! I'm not asking for people to write me something original; I'm asking all you writers out there to lend me something from your archive. Do you have a post that generated plenty of comments or interest, or just a post that drew no interest whatsoever but happens to be a favourite of yours? I'd love to re-blog it on my site - hopefully drawing more readers to your blog and/or sales for your books in the process.

I'm not just doing this because I'm lazy. As some of you may have picked up from subtle hints in earlier posts, I'm going to have my hands full again this autumn, as my one-year old (who already keeps my hands pretty full!) is joined by another little one in August. I'd be so grateful to anyone who can join in with my Archive Autumn while I try and keep my head above water in the family home!

I'd need to receive the archive post, along with any links you want to share, an author photo and a couple of sentences about you before the end of July. Can you help?

Please do spread the word!

02 June, 2015


The National Trust have announced that, from this month, they are celebrating the literary links to the places they look after with writers in residence, open days, author events and trails. Have you ever visited a famous author's house? Whose house would you most like to see into?

We love the National Trust in our household and have invested in Life Membership. We enjoy seeing all the grand and/or historical houses, and especially the beautiful gardens and estates you can walk in, but we are also proud to support a charity which takes care of a huge part of Britain's coast and countryside. I can't wait until our boys are old enough to take part in all the treasure trails, craft days and outdoor activities that they put on too. Digory already has a Twitter account to record his Trust visits!

We went on holiday recently, and discovered a few of the Trust's literary gems for ourselves. Our favourite trip was to Bateman's - the home of Rudyard Kipling. Here it is...

I love a house with a literary connection - Greenway, home of Agatha Christie, being another Trust favourite - and it was fascinating to learn more about such an amazing man and Nobel Laureate. I had Kipling down as an austere kind of gentleman, but it seems he was gentle and fun and a doting father. This was rather sad as one of his daughters died from pneumonia very young, and his beloved only son (who called him 'Dear Dada' and who he was very close to) was killed in World War I.

I know Kipling primarily through The Jungle Book and his Just So Stories - full of humour and life. I haven't actually read his poems and adult fiction, although the more I read about him, the more I'd like to. The few Nobel Laureates I've read in the past have blown me away with how amazing they are. Have you read any of Rudyard Kipling's work?

If you find yourself in East Sussex, I recommend a visit to Bateman's - for the gardens, food, Kipling's 1920s  Rolls Royce Phantom 1, and some lovely circular walks, even if the house isn't your thing! You can find out more about the houses of famous writers that the National Trust look after near you, by visiting nationaltrust.org.uk/writingplaces.

Digory enjoyed Bateman's too...