I have always been a writer. Even as a small child I created tiny comics for my dolls and friends.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Resolutions - an excerpt.

Would you like to read a little from the beginning of the book? Well here you go...

The large, dimly lit sign appeared momentarily through the driving rain.
Carly Mitchell pulled her car over to the grass verge at the side of the road. Indecision gripped her as her heart hammered against her ribs. Did she drive on into the town, back to the place where she believed she was hated, or should she drive straight through and not stop?
Darkness shrouded the long road across the bleak moors. A thick swirling mist was broken only by the beam of her car’s headlamps. The windscreen wipers were the only thing which moved, as if bored, by the effort of clearing the rain. She stared at the sign until the glare of oncoming headlights made her blink and bite her lip. This is it, her decision, her choice. Could she do this? She nodded to herself. She knew she could now. Twelve months ago she’d have been in pieces at the thought of what she intended to do, but not now. She had changed, grown-up, learned to stand on her own two feet. The old Carly Mitchell wouldn’t have dared make any decision, like this, for fear of upsetting someone. But her life had changed and for the better, and so had she.
Taking a deep breath, she slowed down her heart beat and controlled her shaking hands. A few minutes to recover her equilibrium were all she needed. Then she would drive into the town. She would do what she had come to do and leave. After that people could say and think what they wanted. She wouldn’t care.
It was past midnight when she drove into the quiet town. The wet road glistened under the street lights. Driving down the empty streets of the old Yorkshire mill town, her stomach churned. How well she knew all of these buildings.
 A large Victorian mill loomed up before her. The grey stone walls and rows of neat windows were highlighted by the street lamps. It almost resembled a barricade, another warning. Slowing down to look at the building, she smiled at her own foolishness. You’d never know inside were some charming tourist and gift shops and the little tea shop. She drove over a stone bridge where the road crossed a small river. In the dark she could hear the water as it babbled and gurgled over the boulders that lined its path.
Would she ever be able to walk through this town and into the shops again and receive a warm welcome? What sort of greeting would anyone give her now? What sort of greeting did she deserve? Yeardon had been a wonderful place to grow up. It was one of those towns where you knew everyone and they knew you.
Her mind a maelstrom of anxiety, she tightened her grip on the steering wheel. Who would have believed anyone’s hands could shake so much?
On the far side of the town she turned into a drive, which led down a short, narrow lane to an hotel, a converted mill owner’s house. After finding a space in the car park, she switched off the engine, but remained in the car for a few minutes. Taking a deep breath she closed her eyes.
The drumming of the rain on the roof was not re-assuring. The weather seemed to be giving a further warning to leave now while she could. She peered through the rain- splattered screen at the sign above the front door. In copper plate script, it read Resolution Hotel’. The building looked well-kept and fresh. Business must be going well for Jim and Abi.
“Well, here goes.”
Her words, spoken out loud, helped to break the tension as the knots tightened inside her. After all she couldn’t sit there all night, could she? Inhaling deeply, she grabbed her overnight bag and willed her legs to move. Her head down against the biting rain; she ran up the five steps and pushed open the heavy oak front door.

Monday, 3 July 2017

It's here - available for pre-order!

I'm delighted to say that the publication date of 'Resolutions' draws near, August 9th. Meanwhile my first novel is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Please go along and take a look. It's on at the special pre-order price of .99p - an absolute bargin.

Tomorrow I'll be back with a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite

Best wishes

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Where do you write?

I have recently returned from a Baltic cruise. It was a fabulous holiday, of which the high spot was St. Petersburg and Catherine The Great's fabulous blue and white palace.

While touring the palace, snapping away, my interest was piqued by some of the writing desks on show.

These desks are from the days when writing was an art and letters were written daily. I think to day we are in danger of losing that art as so few of us actually 'write' letters.

I do occasionally write long hand and recently used a gift voucher to buy myself a good pen, a Cross, rather than any old freebie pen which seemed to end up in my bag from hotels etc.

Of course, many of our greatest writers sat at their desks writing long hand, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen to name but two.

 At least with my laptop, or which ever device you favour, we have the ability to move around the house and garden at leisure and continue writing. Dicken's desk looks very elegant and yet comfortable. I can't believe Jane Austen wrote such masterpieces (in my opinion) when sat at such a small table.

The Bronte sisters all sat around the dining table when writing. I believe when they wanted to discuss things or read aloud they would all stand and walk round and round the table.

So I can hear you asking.  I think I can hear you asking. Where do I write? Sometimes I'm on the patio, in good weather, sometimes in the kitchen when it's cold. Generally, as now, I'm here.
So where do you write?

Friday, 19 May 2017

Resolution or Celebration?

I have often been asked why I called my first novel Resolution.  It seemed an obvious choice of name to me as it tells the story of Carly Mitchells' resolve to right the distress she had caused by leaving her home town suddenly, just before she is due to marry. Also the main part of the story centres around New Year.

However the name and idea came to me when I was visiting here: the town of Celebration in Florida.
CelebrationCelebration is a planned community, developed by Disney over twenty years ago. It is a beautifully laid out town around a large lake. It was the name I fell for. I hit on the idea of a town called Resolution and the germ of the story started to form.  For the first two drafts the story was set in the town of Resolution somewhere in mid-west America.

I created two problems for myself. Other writers, whose opinion
I trusted said I was simply putting British characters and a British plot in America. I wasn't successfully dealing with American language idioms or making the locations believable. I was advised to move the story to a location closer to home and one I knew well.  I was devastated. My town had to be called Resolution and who ever heard of an English town called something like that!

I knew I was being given good advice but it was hard to take it. But, take it I did. I wrote the next draft and the town became Yeardon. Central to the story is The Resolution Hotel and the main events still take place around New Year. The locations are loosely based on areas around where I live.

As I wrote the next two drafts I knew I had done the right thing. The story flowed better and was far more believable.

I've been back to Celebration recently and it's still a lovely town.-, but it's not 'my town'.
I;m glad I listened to the advice I was given.
I'm looking forward to it being published by Tirgearr Publications and this would never have happened if I had not made the necessary changes.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

About time too!

Recently I visited the NT property, Nostell Priory, which is located about forty minutes from where I live.

I'm familiar with the house and grounds, but on this visit there was a rather surprising exhibition to see.  It was based on John Harrison, the man of longitude fame. I was surprised to find out the Harrison had been born on the Nostell Priory estate at Foulby. I had no idea he was a 'local' man.

Clocks and time pieces in their hundreds had been donated and the resulting display in one of the rooms was little short of spectacular.

Every conceivable clock ancient and modern was there, wall clocks, children's clocks, chiming clocks, mantelpiece clocks, alarms, travel clocks. I'm sure you get the picture.

There were long case clocks and even clocks laid out on the stairs.
Eventually we went to see Harrison's Long Case Clock which is over three hundred years old.

This clock will soon come to the end of its life. There is a debate whether it should be allowed to stop, to replace the necessary mechanism with modern counterparts, or to make a modern copy.

You could fill in a post card with your thoughts.  There were many varied views and ideas to read.

John Harrison is particularity famous for solving the problem of longitude and helping the navy, who used only latitude and lost many ships.  He should have been awarded a prize of £20,000,00 but it was never given to him.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Home and Away

I've been away.
We've had a family holiday, together with our daughters and grandchildren. Here are a few clues to where we've been.

We had a wonderful time with fantastic weather.  Everyone enjoyed themselves but particularly 12 year old Matthew, who discovered a passion for white knuckle rides!  5 year old Lily lived the magic every single moment. She shed a few tears when it was time to come home.

A few days before we left for Florida I had some exciting news.

 My book, Resolution, was accepted by a publisher.

It will be published by www.tirgearrpublishing.com, 
hopefully in early August.

I signed the contract before we left. On our return I have been busy supplying the details they needed for the front cover, dedications and acknowledgments.

It's a great feeling after all these years. It has been on the back burner for about four years until I looked at it again. I've been doing lot of hard work editing and re-writing it over the last twelve months in particular. So cross your fingers and I'll keep you informed about the process.

We are all looking forward to a sunny and warm summer - well, we live in hope!


Friday, 24 March 2017

I đź’—Cumbria (part 2) Maryport.

We enjoyed such lovely weather while staying in Keswick we decided to have a trip out to the west coast town of Maryport. It was only half an hour's journey, driving past Bassenthwaite and some beautiful scenery.

I knew nothing about the town. We decided to go very much on a whim. However we had a lovely day there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Maryport has a long history and what appears to be an excellent Roman Museum. Maryport was a Roman port dating from the 5th century. Unfortunately the museum was shut when we were there.

I will be honest and say that the town centre, as are so many, was a little tired and care worn.
The town folk make up for this and are very friendly and chatty.

We were made to feel very welcome, where ever we stopped.
There are a dedicated group of locals who are working hard to regenerate the town and bring in visitors. https://www.facebook.com/lovemaryporttownteam

Maryport has a long promenade, wonderful for walking and cycling along. As you walk along the Solway Firth, you are gazing across to Dumfries and Galloway. We walked almost as far as the next town of Allonby before turning back.

Our tummies were rumbling as we walked back into the town, lunch called. We found a quirky cafe, Her Citi, with wonderful food and some beautiful items for sale. https://www.facebook.com/herciti

We had such an enjoyable time, that we will certainly be returning.
I want to visit the Senhouse Roman Museum and maybe even finish that walk to Allonby.

During the year it holds heritage weekends and a Blues Festival in July.
There is a literary festival in November, for which I've already made a note in my diary.