Launch Day

Publication day has finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier. Two years after deciding to write the novel, it’s on the shelves and that’s incredible exciting.

I hadn’t realised how emotional the whole process would be. It is tough submitting your manuscript and facing rejection but there have been real highs too. When I’d actually written 83,000 words and then was accepted for publication by Red Door I felt completely euphoric. I’d achieved my goal. It was a late spring day and I had a little glass of bubbly in the garden.

The publishing process takes longer than I’d imagined but I’m delighted with the book and can’t stop stroking the lovely shiny cover! Tonight is my first launch event with friends in Chorlton – where the novel is set. I hope I manage to hold it together for the evening and I hope everyone has a good time.

So for now, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. If I can offer you help with your writing goals, drop me a line. We’re all in this together.

Finally – thanks to my dog Angus. He’s been with me through all the angst and as long as he gets a good walk, quite frankly he can’t see what all the fuss is about!20170221_121550[1]

Thank You!

The Mercury Travel Club launches in five weeks and to say I’m starting to feel nervous would be an understatement! I really hope it gives everyone a good laugh. It’s a bit like planning a party; you just want everyone to have a great time and you know you won’t relax until you see your guests smiling and chatting. That’s why, right now, I need to say thank you to all those who have reviewed the book so far and given some fabulous feedback. Helen Lederer is a comedienne and actress I love to watch; she invented the genre “mid-lit” and really supports women who write comedy. Having read Mercury, I was delighted when she gave us a cover quote “A joyfully warm and witty read with real sparkle and knowing “. The day we heard back from her, I did a little dance!

I’ve also had some fabulous feedback and support from authors Carol E Wyer, Mandy Baggott, Alex Brown and Laura Lockington. In fact the whole writing community has been tremendous, offering advice and answers to my probably naive questions.

Mercury is now being read by the blogging community and I thank everyone who is taking part for your time and consideration. It does mean a great deal to me.

Finally, I have to thank all those who have pre-ordered Mercury. When I hear that you’ve had the faith in me to buy my book, it’s like a lovely big hug! I hope you enjoy it and once again – thank you, thank you, thank you !

You’re all absolute stars xxxxx

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My big year!

Happy New Year to everyone! I know I’m a little late but I’ve spent the first week hiking up in the Lake District. Gorgeously frosty days and toasty nights by the fire; it was wonderful as were the real ales and bottles of wine that accompanied the week! Well – we all need a bit of comfort in January don’t we and as you can see from the photo – Angus enjoyed the week too.

I know that 2016 was a bizarre and difficult year for many but for me it was pretty special. I found a publisher for my debut novel, I wrote my second (busy editing now), I walked 1000 miles and I swam 1416 lengths of the pool in the Channel Challenge (both of which were personal challenges) – so I felt rather chuffed by the end of the year. This year looks like being big, scary and exciting all at the same time. The debut novel launches on March 16th (also my friend Trish’s birthday!!), we have a blog tour set up ready to go and I hope to finish writing the trilogy too.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has launched a debut and has lessons I can learn from. I’d also love to know your new year goals – drop me a line

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A lifetime in books – the twenties

Commuting, reading paperbacks, watching what everyone else was reading. Quite a few of us were absorbed in life at Barbary Lane, San Francisco. Oh to have a landlady like Mrs Madrigal with her love of herbal remedies. How could Mary-Ann do that to Brian and of course – Michael Mouse. Who didn’t love Michael? When I heard many years later that Armistead Maupin was writing another episode in the series, my heart, like may others I imagine, skipped a beat. Surely Michael would still be okay? Many characters died along the way but we needed Michael to survive and I’m guessing that’s why Maupin titled the book ‘Michael Tolliver Lives’ – to reassure us from the outset. Great characters endure, they do live. I’m sure that if I’m ever in San Fran, I’ll bump into Michael and we’ll chat like old friends. That’s my fantasy anyway

A lifetime in book Part Deux

Although I kept a diary throughout my teenage years (and therefore know that TH loved JD – even though I have noooo idea who they are now), I didn’t write about my favourite books very often. I do remember my late teens; they were mainly taken up with reading books from the school curriculum. Like many, I studied Jane Austen and Keats. I loved Keats but wasn’t really a fan of Mr Darcy et al. The literature that really captured my imagination and my heart was french literature. I read L’assomoir at the age of 17 and was blown away. It has the honour of being the first book ever to make me cry. I still remember the pit pony being brought to the surface after a lifetime of being underground. He smelt fresh grass and briefly recalled it before dying. Ah! Tears are forming even now! I read more and more Zola sometimes yelling out to the characters as they were about to make life-changing mistakes. It was never a happy read with Zola but boy was it powerful.

A lifetime in books

I was talking books with my young niece the other day – she’s a prolific reader and it was an absolute joy to discover we loved the same characters. My niece is currently reading Enid Blyton – Mallory Towers and St. Clare’s. They’re inspiring her as much as they inspired me and as she spoke of the mischievous Gwendoline, the tomboyish Alice, the midnight feasts and the tricks they played on the French Mistress – boy those memories came flooding back. It turns out we both wanted to be Darryl – the Head Girl. I remember devouring the entire series, keen to find out what happened next and then re-reading them, not wanting to leave that fantasy world. These books defined my early reading – around the age of eight I think – and I can still remember the characters and the adventures they had. My niece has inspired me to think through the different stages of my life and pick the stories that influenced me most. The next post – teenage school days.

Ride a white swan

I sat behind a couple arguing today; again eavesdropping as I do. Their conversation wasn’t very interesting but the young lad behind me came up with a great line. Well I loved it anyway.
Clutching a T-Rex CD (yep – an actual CD) he turned to his Dad and said:

‘Dad – did you know that Marc Bolan died in 1977?’

Grunt from father.

‘That means he never EVEN got to see Star Wars.’

Got me wondering whether Marc Bolan would have liked Star Wars.