Welcome to By the Letter for February 2021, and thank you to all those who told me how much they enjoyed January's inaugural newsletter.
Guardians of the Forestis receiving some great feedback from readers, especially grownup ones. I’ve always had quiet confidence in these books, loved writing them, and it’s brilliant to see them being recognised. Here’s a great comment posted on FaceBook -
I got the first book as a Christmas present. The target audience is 9 plus - that's me. It's wonderful and does not talk down to 9 year olds or 70 year olds. It is a real page-turner and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens to the main characters. I am a sucker for stories where animals and human beings combine to fight evil.
If you want to know what this happy reader is talking about, go here.
Keepers - is on schedule for an April release, and it's exciting to show you all the cover, which I absolutely love. Hope you do too! For more about Keepers, a link to a newly uploaded extract,and links to pre-orders for the ebook, take a look here.
A chance to win a paperback or ebook copy of Keepers
The book is set in a real place, but never named, and is set around 1950. If you can tell me where the story takes place, you are in with a chance to receive a copy of the book. I will pick three correct answers for paperbacks (to go anywhere in the world), and another three for ebook versions.
Here's a picture clue - and good luck! Winners announced in March By the Letter.
(PS There's a big fat hint on my website home page here.)
With all the fuss about Keepers, mine and co-author Emma Beach's historical novel,The Shanty Keeper's Wife, is waiting for some more queries to agents to go out. Because I've also been busy on my current work in progress, about a young farm girl who talks to the river and longs to embrace the beckoning call of the river nymphs.
This bit of magical realism, set here in the Forest of Dean and along the River Severn, is nearing completion of draft one. Then it's revision and revision, until it seems right!
I met Lily via Twitter's wonderful, supportive #writingcommunity and we have become firm, if virtual, friends. In 2020 Lily published two slim poetry volumes. In this interview for newsletter subscribers, Lily talks openly and from the heart about life and poetry, and her very exciting plans for the future. Read Lily's interview here.
WRITERS ARE READERS TOO (or should be)
Hamnet, Maggie O'Farrell
This was one of several asked-for books I was given for Christmas and very glad that I did. Read what I thought about it on my What I'm Reading page, as well as other books I've been reading recently.
A PIECE OF WRITING FOR YOU TO ENJOY
I like to share some of my stories, and parts of my novels, on my website. Here's a new piece of flash fiction just for you. It's titled Love by the Book - both in celebration of Valentine's Day and to add to the romance of Keepers -
A sleeting February morning isn’t optimal to find love. Especially here on this grey, wind-blown high street. ... read onhere
Do enjoy it, and if you haven't done so already, check out other pieces on my Bits of Writing page.
In March, I plan on sharing a little of the research I did for Keepers, and there will be another short sneak preview into the story itself.
Meanwhile, keep safe, keep reading and writing, and it would be good to hear your thoughts on what you enjoyed here and what else you’d maybe like to see in By the Letter.
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