February already, and loving the signs of spring burgeoning. Snowdrops are appearing in our local churchyard, crocus pushing up their pale purple heads in the park, and various bulbs in my own pots at the front of the house are coming up for their first year. Which counteracts the sad loss of two fuchsia bushes planted last summer. Who knows what went wrong? My gardening has always been random. Plants either take over or droop in tatty sulkiness until I put them out of their misery.
The sunny weather has helped the mood, although the forecast states rain as of next week. Of course, because yesterday started the process of taking down our old kitchen and utility and building the new one. Months of entertainment ahead for all as I come to grips with my new air fryer and not knowing where I've put things in the temporary arrangements!
And now The News!
NEWS - WALKING IN THE RAIN is now out
The requested sequel to Keepers (but also a standalone novella) is here.
Early reviews are consistent on one thing - everyone reads Walking in the Rain in max two sittings because they have to know ... Brilliant!
'I made the fatal mistake of thinking I would read a couple of chapters before I went to bed. I found myself unable to go to bed till I finished the whole thing.'
'Fans of Keepers will lap this up. Those who haven't read Keepers will want to.'
Check out more here on Goodreads, or go straight to the BUY button! (This takes you to the kindle version - Amazon hasn't yet linked the paperback, but it IS there - apologies.)
As well as on Amazon, Walking in the Rain paperbacks will also be available locally soon. You can order in advance from Forest Books and Crafts, Coleford.
For those who haven't read Keepers, I've put that on sale for a while at 99c/p for the eBook on most retail platforms, and also at reduced price for the paperback on Amazon. A good opportunity to get the pair, and read them in whatever order you wish!
Pleased to have a short flash fiction piece longlisted in the very last Reflex Fiction flash competition. It means the story will appear in their anthology. Nice! You can read the story here.
On short stories, I've kept up with the daily writing prompts I started at the end of 2022, and a handful of others have stayed the course with me. I've upped the game, working to write a complete story from the week's worth of prompts. Love a challenge! They're not prize-winners, but if you want to take a peek, have a look here. And join the fun, even if you don't consider yourself a 'writer'.
Also on short stories, now that Walking in the Rain is out, it's time to focus on my collection of Forest stories. I will do so, but have been a little side-tracked by beginning my next big project.
Some of you will remember my tale, Sabrina Rising, about the Great Flood of 1607 (listen to it here). I've long had the idea to turn this into a novel, and now I've been offered the help of local historian and PhD student, Rose Hewlett, who has studied the Flood in great detail. I am so grateful to Rose, and highly excited about it all. It will take some time, but it will be worth it! Stay tuned!
Two talented members of Dean Writers Circle, Jean Cooper Moran and Carol Sheppard, and also a good friend of the Circle, Marianne Gaston, are among those whose monologues will be performed on Saturday 4th March, 2.30 pm in Gloucester in celebration of International Women's Day.
If you are local, please support this event which is being produced by a new group of playwrights. I have my ticket and will see you there!
WRITERS ARE READERS TOO
The Keeper of Stories - Sally Page
I tend to avoid bestsellers these days. Too many disappointments. But this one kept popping up in a Facebook Group for readers who seem to share my tastes. So I took the risk, and am pleased I did. Read my review of this Sunday Times bestseller here.
It was an honour to be asked recently to contribute a piece to Women Writers, Women's Books, an online literary magazine established in 2011.
Here's my piece, about inspiration, published in January. It's not so much about where the ideas come from, as how to be inspired to actually get them down on paper! Hoping the writers out there find it helpful.
By the way, I was thrilled the magazine also carried an interview with Sally Page, the author of The Keeper of Stories above. Illustrious company!
March will bring more spring flowers, and at least wild garlic. And lots of great reviews for Walking in the Rain, thank you in advance! (On this, the best way to help an author is to recommend their books to your friends, but reviews are great for spreading the word even further, and authors LOVE them. One sentence is all it takes.)
Hopefully, me and the air fryer will be friends by then too. Fingers crossed.
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