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


October 2017

Strange Tales for #Halloween…

Spooky tales that will send shivers down your spine! 🙂

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Fancy some strange flash fiction for Halloween?

Click the links to read these short pieces from the archive:

Evergreen  Ribbons   Automatic    The Listener    The Accountant    Familiar

Or, if you are a writer, perhaps you should read Barb Taub’s cautionary tale…

If you prefer truly spooky folklore:

The Hand of Glory


… or would you rather read the true accounts of those who have encountered

Elusive Realties…

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Is it possible to complete a novel in one month?

Nanowrimo is nearly upon us! Great tips here

Jean's Writing

If you’ve managed this amazing feat, I’m impressed.

But not me, I break out in a sweat just thinking about writing a novel from beginning to end in thirty days. 

Emails are pouring in for NaNoWriMo. Have you signed up?

Well, it’s that time of year, and the deadline is fast approaching. Almost time to start your engines, I mean computers.

If you decide to go for it, here are a few great tips from Bridget at Now Novel. The big takeaway from Bridget’s post is to plan, prepare and plan some more before you start writing.

Guess this is where I mess up. I’m a bit of a crossover between pantser and plotter, using a little of both to write a story, and planning is not one of my strengths. So for you super organized writer, good luck, and Godspeed.

Writing a novel in a month: 10…

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Birthday greetings

This is a picture of my son Liam, whose 21st birthday is today. This image is one we took in Seaworld, Florida, and he’s just two years old.

Today, he’s a musician, living it up in the eclectic and bohemian city of Melbourne. He loved the the dolphins and sealife on offer in Florida, but has replaced catching fish with chasing his musical dreams ( plus chasing women, but that’s another story! ).

He’s grown into an independent, larger than life but polite young man. I hope the world is ready for him and his music, because I certainly wasn’t!

Happy birthday Liam ! Xx ❤

#birthday #birthdayfun #party 🎉

Creative Writing Competitions

Nicholas C. Rossis

Creative Writing Competitions | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: Almond Press

Almond Press has come up with a great list of writing competitions currently running. Here is a selection:

Writing Competitions: Upcoming Deadlines

Inkitt Writing Competition 2017

  • Top Prize: Inkitt will give the grand winner a minimum $6,000 in book marketing with a proven Amazon Top 100 strategy including a dedicated marketing team with professional editing and cover with 25% royalties.
  • Deadline: October 31st

Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction

  • Top Prize: £500
  • Deadline: October 31st

Artificium ‘Dark Matters’ Flash Fiction Competitions

  • Top Prize: £250
  • Deadline: October 31st

Young Walter Scott Prize

  • Top Prize: £500
  • Deadline: October 31st

The Family Narrative Project Essay Contest

  • Top Prize: $500
  • Deadline: October 31st

Woven Tale Press Prose Competition

  • Top Prize: Writer’s retreat
  • Deadline: October 31st

The Caledonia Novel Award

  • Top Prize: £1,000
  • Deadline: November 1st

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize

  • Top Prize: $5,000
  • Deadline: November 1st

Stringybark Malicious Mysteries Short Story…

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What you should know about self-publishing

By Anna Parsons So you finished writing your book and want to publish it—great! Completing a manuscript is an accomplishment you should be proud of. The next step is deciding how to pursue publication. One mistake authors can make is to self-publish a book with the intention of “really” publishing it later on with a […]

via What You Should Know About Self-Publishing — Holloway Literary

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple, orderly life. She works as an office clerk, from Mon to Fri, wears the same clothes, eats the same lunch everyday, then spends her weekends drinking copious amounts of vodka. She drinks alone, in her flat for one, and does not speak to another soul until Monday comes around again. Her work colleagues think she is quirky but slightly odd. But Eleanor Oliphant is content with her life. Nothing is missing from her orderly, uncluttered existence.

Until one random act of kindness changes all that.

She meets Raymond, an IT guy in her office, and gradually, she has to ingratiate herself  with other people – has to learn the ‘social niceties’ that we all take for granted. Through her encounter with Raymond, her social circle expands in ways that she’d not thought possible. Suddenly, she is visiting a sick man in hospital, entertaining people in her lonely flat, and learning how to care for others.

We are taken into her world, and how wonderful it is to have access to that journey! To her quirkiness, her sense of humor and the innate way she looks at the world.

It had me laughing out loud, sympathizing, crying, and feeling totally in love with her character!

A very heartwarming, compassionate and moving story – 5/5 (and I would give it a lot MORE stars if I could!)

Highly recommend this book.

Have a lovely week, fellow bloggers!

#reading #eleanoroliphantiscompletelyfine #fiction #quirkycharacter #books #bookreview

How Often Should I Publish Posts on my Blog?


This question has plagued me continually since I began blogging. How often should I publish posts on my blog? I don’t know the answer, do you? I don’t think there is a strict rule about this.

I think it all depends on the individual and how much he/she has to say. I find that I feel more verbose when I am rested and energized. If I have had a busy day or too much to do physically around the house I don’t always feel up to a long post. It also helps that my husband starts dinner if he sees that I am typing away. Reason why I am typing furiously right now! LOL! Don’t tell him!


I write my posts as I write my books – off the cuff. I don’t always know what I am going to say until I type it on my laptop. It’s always a…

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The blacklist


The bear goes through the forest with a file in his hand. In a glade he meets the fox. The fox greets him coquettishly:

“Hello, bear !”

“Hi !”

“But what have you got under your arm, bear ?”

“I have a blacklist of those I have to eat.”

‘Oh, bear, am I on the list ?”

The bear looks at the list and announces him:

“Bad luck, you’re on the list.”

“Woe ! Bear, let me see my kids again and promise you I’m back.”

The bear allows him.

The fox goes quickly to his burrow, kisses the children with tears in his eyes and comes back. The bear kills him with a blow of the paw and then eats him.

The bear walks for a while in the woods and at some point he meets the wolf. The wolf greets him coolly:

“Hello, bear !”


“But what…

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Research mania

The esteemed historical fiction writer Ken Follett (of Pillars of the Earth fame), has said that he read over 200 text books to research his last novel in the Kingsbridge series, entitled A Column of Fire.

So with this in mind, I have been busily reading as much as I can for my new book! Researching as much as you can is an essential part of the writing process, especially historical fiction. In order to write just one chapter, you have to understand the whole situation that your character lives in ; the clothes they wore, the food they ate, where they worked etc, are just SOME of the details….what was happening socially, politically, culturally, at that time ?

Here’s just a few of the books that are now in my house….in my writing room, beside my bed, on my coffee table….everywhere!

They are taking up bags of space, and I’m thrilled about it!

Does anyone have any research tips?

Please share, fellow bloggers!

Enjoy the rest of your creative week! 📚 ✏ #books #reading #writing #writerslife

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