Writer of historical fiction, blogger, mum, pet lover :)

5 Mistakes Authors Make on Social Media

Great tips here about the minefield that is marketing a book 🙂

A Writer's Path


by Michael Cristiano

I thought writing a novel was the hard part. I thought endless drafting and editing and proofreading involved the most work when it came to being a writer.

I was wrong. My debut novel has been on sale for a little less than a month, and I came to the conclusion very early on in its release that writing it was the easy (and far more enjoyable) part. Why? you ask.

Marketing. Marketing is a hard and seemingly endless process. Why is it so hard?

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Haiku: Beach life

Cruising the surf, follow

the wind. Where does it take me?

Blue water beckons.

Three figs cafe Currumbin

Temperatures have reached epic proportions on the Gold Coast. People are rushing down to the beaches along the coast, trying to find some relief from the heat.

We decided to head more inland, to the Currumbin Rock Pools. A big mistake. Every man and his dog (literally!) had decided to use the pools. People jostled in the shallow waters, drinking beer and jumping off the ledges above. Dogs played ‘fetch’ with their owners, splashing and running across the rocky ledges, while a gang of youths blasted hip hop music and lolled around in brightly coloured towels.

We drove on…..and found a sweet eco friendly cafe which served delicious coffees and sticky date puddings with ice cream.

Lovely. ☺☕🍮

Byron bay

Byron bay is the most easterly point of mainland Australia. It is a mecca for backpackers and tourists from all over the world. It is very hard to spot an Aussie accent amongst the South American,French, Eastern Europe and British voices relaxing at street side cafes and bars nestled along the seaside streets. Street art adorns most side streets, giving it an eclectic feel, a hippie vibe that is less noticeable in the southern beaches of Sydney.

It is also one of my favourite spots to visit in New South Wales. Take all your troubles and pack them away as you enter a different vibe in Byron. You get the impression that life is to be enjoyed and should be bohemian and chilled. Take an hour to browse the tiedyed colourful t shirts in the many boutiques, jostling for space with crystal shops and upmarket galleries. The smell of incense is everywhere, filling the mind and creating a wacky ambience, where long flowing dresses rule and bare feet are a part of the mood. Peace for all.

#Byron bay #beach #surf #hippylifestyle

Haiku:Byron Lighthouse

A beacon of light,

Leading vessels to safety

Standing tall and proud.

Suzanne Bowditch, 2017

#byronbay #lighthouse #australia

Just keep writing, Just keep writing. #amwriting. Be the #voice that is only you. — Kat’s Writing Runway

Such a great post 🙂

It’s daggoned hard to write scenes. Crafting a novel is hard work. There is no easy short-cut or fast lane to the finish line. My respect for those that are brave enough to attempt a novel knows no bounds. Anyone with the fortitude to complete their novel, can do it; but steer clear of anyone […]

via Just keep writing, Just keep writing. #amwriting. Be the #voice that is only you. — Kat’s Writing Runway

A Time

A Time

A time to reflect

To contemplate

To gather

Our thoughts.

A time to consider

To ponder

A New Year

Our future.

Suzanne Bowditch, 2017

#poetry #New Year #reflection #2017

Hester: England 1842



This is a cover that I just purchased from Canva. It’s a one off purchase, to be used just for this blog post, but I really wanted to get an image of a new character that I’m thinking about. Her name’s Hester and she lives in early Victorian England. Her mother dies in the first scene of the story, killed by her drunken father, and she is left alone to raise her sisters in poor conditions in a village on the outskirts of London.

She discovers that she has a ‘talent’ for helping the sick and needy, and quickly builds a reputation as a witch…..

That’s all I have for the moment BUT I’m thinking of linking Hester with a modern woman, to see how that would evolve.

Read the first ‘bones’ of the story and feel free to add any suggestions…all thoughts/ideas gratefully accepted!



England, 1842

They were at it again. Hester pulled the rough woollen blanket over her ears, snuggling up to Elsie’s warm back. Her nose tickled against her sister’s curls as she drew her near; small and bony against her own hips. Then it sounded again; the incessant banging of the bed against the chalk wall, just feet away from where she lay with her sisters. Elsie moaned in her sleep, restless but not waking, her breathing heavy. Her younger sister had always slept through any storm. The thin sheet that separated them from her parents moved as her father stood up, and Hester sighed with relief, their rutting over.

She heard him pull on his boots, then the heavy thud as he walked to the doorway. The sound of the door opening, and then silence. She could picture him leaning against the doorframe. The smell of tobacco filled her nostrils and she squeezed her eyes shut, hoping for sleep. Then, the squeak of the bed, and the whispering of her mother, calling him back to bed. Winifred stirred and called out in her sleep. Hester prayed that her father had not heard her, but the blanket opened and her mother stood, silhouetted by the dark grey of the skyline through the open doorway. She stood for a moment, listening. Hester held her breath, hoping that she would go back to bed. When there was no further sound from Winifred, her mother disappeared beyond, and she could hear her father return to bed.

Then, the only sound was the wind outside, rattling on the window above their trestle bed. An owl hooted, eerily near. The bed on the other side of the blanket yielded to the weight of its occupants, then the familiar thudding of the frame against the wall started again.


Hester opened her eyes in panic. What had woken her? She sat up and looked across at the dark mounds lying next to her that were her younger sisters; they hadn’t moved. She sat for a moment, listening. Then, the wailing noise sounded again and her heart gave a thump in her chest. It sounded like a cat, perched outside, but she knew the noise anywhere; it was her mother.

‘Quiet, will you?’ A gruff voice pierced the silence, and Elsie stirred and sat up. Hester placed a hand on her sister’s mouth, Shush!

The wailing started again, followed by a thud as her father hit her mother. She could hear her fall onto the wooden floor, and pictured her, sprawled out under the window.

‘Please, Ed; not again. I beg you. I may be with child; I cannot stand it!’ she wailed again.

He ignored her wails as he continued to hit her. Again, and again, the steady thump of fist on face, breasts, hips, legs. Hester felt the knots fill her inside, as she held onto Elsie, stilling her sobs.

The wails seemed to go on forever, then stopped. Hester heard the door open for the second time that night, then slam shut as her father left the house.

‘You stay here, do you hear? Not a sound mind!’ she whispered to Elsie, who nodded, shaking and pale in the dim light. Winifred hadn’t stirred. Hester could hear her heavy breath through the silent night, her chest sounding raspy from a recent bout of cold.

She crawled out of bed, gingerly pulling back the thin blanket that divided the shabby room. The bed loomed in front of her, filling this corner. A thin light pierced the room from the smeared window set high above the bed, allowing some light from the pale grey sky. A chair sat in the far corner, roughly hewn by her father some years back. It held a candle and usually her father’s jacket and breeches, but they had gone. Hester adjusted her eyes to the breaking dawn and peered over the ruffled sheets. Her mother lay on the floor, unmoving. Hester could see her bare feet in the light, a blanket across her face. She moved around the bed, glancing outside where the door had opened slightly; there just the distant chink of bottles from the public house and the bleak call of a rooster from the farm opposite.

Hester pulled at the blanket covering her mother’s face, then gasped. Her head was at an angle, seemingly removed from the rest of her body. Even in this light she could make out the bruises across her eyes, already puffy and dark. A slick of blood could be seen around her nose and mouth, spilling onto her soiled dress. Hester moved closer, stepping on a sticky mass at her feet, trailing under the bed. The smell of shit was overwhelming as she realised her mother had soiled herself.

She turned and pulled at the door, then retched into the open air. The sun had appeared from behind the rooftops allowing her a clearer view of her feet, dark and smeared in dirt and vomit. She had seen enough pigs slaughtered on Haskin’s Farm to recognise the blood on the edges of her dress.

Working quickly, she washed her feet under the pump in the narrow alleyway, walking back inside. Her mind felt numb, her senses dulled by the sight before her.

He had gone too far this time.




Wildlife in the city

Down in Surfers Paradise the humans rule. Singles, couples, families, seniors and toddlers….you name it….they gather at the bright lights, cafes, shops and nightclubs to be thrilled and entertained.

Amongst the human revelry however, and if you look up to the sky for while, another species is thrilled by the bright lights and the promise of some nibbles.

This lorikeet is just one of a small gaggle of birds perched on the sills and rooftops of the buildings. I took this snap as one flew down looking for leftover pizza. He was not a bit perturbed by my curiosity, so I was able to take a close up…..he even seemed to pose for me!

#lorikeet #Australian wildlife #Surfers Paradise 🐦

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