York Literature Festival

Last week was wonderfully busy, taking the long drive from Exeter to York for this year’s York Literature Festival. It was a fabulous opportunity to take part in a Sci-fi/Fantasy event hosted by the lovely folks of Stairwell Books, joining up with fellow authors for a panel of questions and readings from our array of worlds.

And after we’d told of our earth-bound universes, the floor was open to an open mic, where participants stepped forward to share their works in progress. A fabulously creative collaboration, and a great chance to chat with writers and readers who enjoy stepping out of the realms of the ordinary and into the fantastical.

We drove up to York a day early, with all good intentions for dropping by other events. It was not to be. I had only a vague childhood memory of York, and Kate had never been, so sightseeing beckoned. Watched over by the looming York Minster, we wandered the cobbled streets, munching on old fashioned sweets as we joined the tourist trail. In the museum gardens we came across a lucky find, a display of birds of prey. The owls sat with their regal poise, but my sights rested on the Harris hawk, a bird I’ve never been up close to before. I thought about the sequel to Return of the Mantra, my current work in progress as I await the edits. In the story, a bird’s eye view is seen through the featured hawk. Research, I told myself, as I slipped on the glove and looked into the beady eyes of the hawk perched on my hand.

In other news, I caught a glimpse of the latest poster, where I can reveal the name of my beloved fantasy series – Blood Gift Chronicles.

And now back to work. Waiting for the edits on book 2 gives time to work on book 3 as more lands are revealed.

Happy Reading!

Representation in Fiction

Writing a book is one thing. Marketing a book is quite another. In talking about Return of the Mantra I often reflect on the process of its creation: what inspired me, what the essence of the story is… It’s harder than it sounds. How to sum up the pages into a brief description? Anyone who writes will understand the pains of reducing a story into a one page synopsis, and then a paragraph long blurb. Even now, when people ask what my book is about, I struggle to find those one or two lines to do justice to the story I spent years nurturing into creation.

Cause and Effect

A girl was walking the streets of Exeter dressed as a bee, carrying a placard with the simple message, ‘Tick Tock, Tick Tock’. She was one of hundreds of children and young people, striking from school, marching to the County Hall to deliver their impassioned message: it’s time to declare a climate emergency NOW!

Ask the Author

I remember the days of tape recorders and cassettes, the horrifying sound of the tape being chewed, and the delicate task of winding it back with a pen. And the excitement of opening a gifted multipack of blank tapes, deciding and sorting an order to record. Gran still called the radio a wireless, and TVs sported three whole channels that could time out, leaving you with trade test transmissions.

Happy New Year – 2019!

As evening approaches, I imagine people discussing their resolutions for the New Year. I’m not one for resolutions. Instead I try to stick to the simple motto: keep trying to do better. In life as in writing, with practice, hopefully we improve.