Tag Archives: thankfulness

A Great Big Thank You

In the last couple of weeks I had the pleasure of meeting up with the students from North Herts College who designed the covers for ‘Murder, now and then’, in a cover competition and it was heart warming to spend some time with them. (once a teacher always a teacher!)DSCN1208

First I met up with William Smith who designed the image for kindle. I asked him what he thought of the experience.

Available on Kindle

Available on Kindle

It’s one thing learning at college but it is another thing designing to specifications and deadlines and working with an author to make amendments. The  other good thing was when I had an interview for university, I felt that I had something real and interesting to talk about and it helped. It gave me confidence.’

I wish Will good luck in his next few years at University and I’m so pleased it was such a positive experience. Sorry about closing my eyes in the photo though! I’m always doing that.



DSCN1230Then last week I had a chat with Emma Black, who painstakingly designed the paperback cover in 3D before having help from a tutor 😉 to do the formatting. She needed to be so patient when it came to amendments and it was not until half way through the process that I realised she was modelling each image before taking photographs of it. Amazing. I asked her what she thought of the experience.

Murder, now and then available on Amazon

Murder, now and then available on Amazon

‘I looked at your specification and I chose the elements I thought were the most important and spent some time thinking about the design. I know you were worried asking me to change parts of it but I just wanted to get it right. I did find the time keeping part difficult, since I had my other course work to do at the same time, and know I have to work on meeting deadlines, but my family are so proud of me now. I enjoyed the experience!’

I am not only thankful to these students, but their tutor Ben Hogan and another tutor and friend Peter Arnold for making it happen.



Filed under Book reading, Events, Murder Now and Then, Publishing your novel

Reflection, Contemplation and Anticipation for 2014

A Happy New Year to everyone, although I’m aware that in parts of the UK and USA we are struggling with unprecedented bad weather, making life difficult for many. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy Christmas and New Year with family and friends and, although we were not totally unscathed by the relentless storms, our grief was light compared to some.

It is my habit each year around this time to have a complete break from blogging, Twitter and Facebook and although some of you may have noticed me appear for a sneaky ‘retweet’ or ‘like’ here and there, I have not actively participated and thus feel refreshed for what 2014 may bring. Yesterday and today I have been clearing away the debris of the festive season and making my environment fresh and sparkling, perfect for looking forward.

All in all 2013 was a year for change for me, great leaps of change, meaning I am now writing virtually full time. It was a period of letting go, but I also learnt many  new skills in the business of writing and publishing. With ‘The Life and Demise of Norman Campbell’ published last spring and many face to face promotions for my second novel ‘Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home’ I have been busy busy busy. Somehow I have also found time to complete my first murder mystery, an enjoyable challenge and it’s been a pleasure to return to writing creatively.

In fact, the changes to my work life have coincided in a shift in perspectives, like two sides of a coin. Firstly I have returned to writing for the sheer joy of it. The business of publishing, although exciting had become a burden while I was still teaching, but since I’ve been set free this is no longer the case. On the other side I now don’t benefit from a regular income and so my writing needs to be more than a hobby and decisions must be made in a more business-like fashion, which I will explain more fully in another post.

Now to 2014.

Firstly as we continue through the centenary of the beginning of WW1, and commemorate its impact on world history, I will continue to promote Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home which is set through that period.  One person in an audience through the summer who had read my book asked,

‘Why did so many have to die?’

My response was,

‘I tried to reflect the stark truth of the effects of World War 1 and not glamorise it, although alongside this I also dwelt on the human aspects of love, acts of kindness and healing.

‘Life goes on for the Newton family’ as one reader wrote. It had to.

Secondly feedback for my current project, a murder mystery, has been excellent so far from my beta readers and so I aim to set a launch date soon, towards the end of March.

Thirdly whilst continuing with all of the above I am dabbling in a

Personal ~ Memoir ~ Fantasy with lots of historical elements too!

Who says cross genre isn’t live and kicking. My current circumstances inspired me in this direction and then

Finally I will be continuing with extensive research for the third of mt Riduna Series in the spring.

All of this should keep me busy. Anyway, I would like to thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. Your comments and responses are greatly appreciated whatever way they come…here, on facebook, twitter or by email.



Filed under Writing, WW1