My Weekly Pocket Novel

I’m really excited to be able to report that my first Pocket Novel has been accepted by My Weekly. It’s working title is ‘Girl With Amber Eyes’ but I am fully expecting that they will change the title.

This isn’t my first attempt at a Pocket Novel. My first attempt was the story that is now published novel number three (‘Fortune’s Promise’ – published by Endeavour Press in March 2017.) The first version of that story was 30,000 words long and I submitted it to the Romantic Novelists Association for a critique. By the time the critique was returned to me with ideas for improvement, the required word length had increased to 50,000 words. I put the story on one side and eventually added another couple of plot strands, making it more suitable for a full length novel.

The idea of writing a Pocket Novel hadn’t disappeared from my wish list. I wrote down ‘the bones’ of the story in November 2015 during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and submitted the synopsis and first chapter last July. I received a lot of positive encouragement from Maggie Swinburne at My Weekly – and she also told me the elements of the story that she didn’t like. I sent regular instalments of the story – acting on any suggestions I was given in between times. I submitted the full story at the beginning of November 2016 and was thrilled when I got the news last week that My Weekly wanted to buy the story.

Pocket Novels are published once a fortnight and are available in newsagents and supermarkets or by subscription.

More news soon!



Writing Inspiration – June

Inspiration is all around you. Take time to slow down for a few minutes every day and just observe what is going on around you. I find characters for my stories and poems on trains and buses, in cafes and in museums and libraries.

Carry a notebook wherever you go. Jot down any brief details that engage the senses – colours, sounds, smells and textures. These all help to bring a story or poem to life.

Collect things – or the memory of them. Buy a postcard with an inspirational message. What sort of person would keep this on their desk? Notice things like a lost pendant or a bicycle with two flat tyres. What if those things aren’t what they appear to be?

Play the ‘what if’ game. For instance – what if you changed your name for a day?

Get creative and remember there are no mistakes – only creative accidents that can lead you in a new direction.



Evesham Festival of Words – Meet Up for Local Writers, Readers, Artists, Song Writers…

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 5th July at Jellypicklejam in Vine Mews.  The meeting is for anyone who is interested in anything creative – and we also welcome readers. (Every writer needs readers!) We start at 10.30 and stay until about midday. The aim is to give people a chance to network, discuss ideas and promote anything they may be doing. Please bring any leaflets, business cards, books – and come and enjoy great company, good coffee and lovely cake. For more information, please contact me on 01386 446477.


Fortune’s Promise – now available in paperback

I am really excited to announce that ‘Fortune’s Promise’ is now available as a paperback.

I am so grateful to everyone who downloaded a copy of the ebook and has made this possible. (I had to sell at least 250 copies before Endeavour Press would consider a paperback version). Many thanks also to everyone who has taken the trouble to leave me a nice review. This is so helpful and uplifting to any writer.

Second Friday Stories – Evesham Festival of Words

The next session will be on Friday 8th September. Further details will be available soon.

The idea of these sessions is that people have a chance to meet some of the writers involved, buy their books and ask questions. We are especially keen to help and encourage new writers and nurture local talent. The sessions are free and coffee, tea and biscuits are provided. For further information, please contact the Library or Sue Johnson 0n 01386 446477.

Writing Inspiration – May

Wherever you are – switch your phone off, make sure you are fully paying attention to what is around you and go for a short walk. Take note of any people you walk past, together with houses or shops. Notice colours, sounds, smells and textures.

Find a café you haven’t been to before. Order a coffee or tea and get your notebook out. While it is fresh in your mind, make a note of the following:

– Describe a person

– Describe a house or shop front

– Make a note of the colours, sounds, smells and textures you remember

– Jot down any overheard conversation

Take a few minutes to create a flash fiction story (approx. 250 words) incorporating all the above elements. Remember that you can always create a longer version or carve out a poem from the raw material you have discovered.




‘Curious Women’ & ‘Journey: from pathways to poems’

My long-awaited second poetry collection ‘Curious Women’ is now available.  The book is dedicated to my two grandmothers and the only great-grandmother I remember. It also commemorates all the women I’ve observed in cafes and other settings and those who have come to me in dreams.  I also include myself under the category of ‘curious.’ (You can take that comment any way you like!) ‘Curious Women’ is published by The Greenwood Press and is available from Amazon, from me or from The Greenwood Press (www.greenwoodpress.co.uk).

My partner, Bob Woodroofe, and I have celebrated our nineteenth anniversary by publishing our second joint collection. This is called ‘Journey: from pathways to poems.’ They are paired poems and have been written in the various places we have visited. We are looking forward to reading from this at various festivals this year. ‘Journey’ is also published by The Greenwood Press and is also available from Amazon.





Happy May Day

Happy May Day!

It’s a great time of year to review your writing tools and make new affirmations.

If you feel like a book to celebrate with – my latest novel ‘Fortune’s Promise’ is free on Kindle until this Friday (5th).




Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone!

Make this a time for renewing your writing wishes. Plan the next steps on your creative journey.

If you have a few spare minutes – make a list. Pick something you can do this week towards a project you have always wanted to do but have, up till now, been too afraid to try.

From now on, give your writing a proper place in your life. Depending on your lifestyle and commitments, you may never have ‘time.’ Resolve to do the best with what you can claim for yourself. It may not be an ideal situation but if five minutes is all you have, then write for five minutes.

Visualise your ultimate goal. Find a picture, piece of music, item of jewellery or scent that brings this to mind. Connect with this as often as you can.

Keep going and don’t give up.





Writing Inspiration – April

The more you create – the more ideas you will find! Every idea can be recycled and used in different ways, so there is no reason to ever suffer from the dreaded ‘writer’s block.’

If this does happen, it can often be due to exhaustion – you’ve been working too hard and haven’t made time to refill the creative well. Or, you’ve got stuck with a project and a kind of fear has kicked in, particularly if you have a deadline.

Whatever the reason, a change of scene can sometimes work, even if it’s only for a couple of hours. Julia Cameron (author of ‘The Artist’s Way’) calls this taking an artist’s date. The rules are very simple. Do something fun – but do it alone.

Ideas to refresh your creative spark could be:

  • Go for a long walk, preferably in the countryside or near water.
  • Plant some seeds or pull up some weeds.
  • Paint or draw a picture.
  • Lie on the grass and watch the clouds.
  • Listen to some gentle music.
  • Create something from fabric or wood.
  • Cook a new recipe.
  • Go for a swim or have a long leisurely bath with aromatherapy oil.

You can probably add lots more to the list. Try to make time to nurture yourself once a week even if you can only fit in half an hour.