The Story behind ‘Blackwood’

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‘The Blackwood Crusade’ was born after a long discussion with a fascinating man on a train. The man was Dr. Melchior Williams, now a much-loved friend, and he had discovered an exciting collection of old 13th Century manuscripts which spoke of an all-out war against pesky supernatural elements bothering a tiny village in the middle of England.

Most of the records were petitions by the villagers to the Lord of the Manor speaking of events ‘wyked and evyll’, ranging from the bizarre to the seriously scary. There was also a lengthy report from someone called Christiana who was summoned by the lord to ‘soulve the mystry’ (crikey – they were such bad spellers in those days :-))

I thought about that train conversation many times over the passing weeks and, each time I thought of the small village, new characters and embellishments appeared in my mind, and the beginnings of a story began to appear. Finally, I emailed Melchior – luckily we’d exchanged business cards – and presented my idea: to work the manuscripts into a fictional story. He was absolutely thrilled and the rest is history!

  • The village of Blackwood can be found on very old maps of Warwickshire, but the place itself has long since been lost. Nobody is sure of its exact locality. Melchior places it somewhere on the edge of the Forest of Feckenham. In the book, all place and county names are fictional.

Find out more about The Blackwood Crusade here. OUT SOON on Amazon.

The Blackwood Crusade : OUT SOON-ISH!

What if the medieval folklore of old was based in truth? And what if just one girl was charged with the task of destroying it?

Adventure, swordfights, love, loss, faeries, battles… and magic. All in one book.

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Coming out in September in paperback and for Kindle. Suitable for ages 10 to 100.

To read more about Blackwood, head this way!

The Fearless Toaster Mouse Gang

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One day, we were making toast for breakfast and noticed the kitchen smelt really bad. Of dead things. I looked in the cupboards, under the cupboards, behind the cupboards several hundred times. Nothing. We ate the toast… Continue reading

#1 ‘I didn’t write today because…’

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… for some reason there was a little chicken in my house.

I don’t have chickens :-/


When you have limited spare time, the slightest thing can put you off your writing!

Odd Books #2: Are you Hungry Tonight?

areyouhungrytonightAt the risk of being disrespectful to ‘The King’…

If there was a guy who, according to his doctor, suffered from arthritis, gout, a fatty liver, an enlarged heart, migraines, constipation and a colon swollen to twice its normal size, would you seriously consider buying his recipe book? It might make me think twice.

Flicking through Elvis’s favourite recipes you can see why he might have had a health problem or two. There are a few questionable entries, like the Fried Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich, and Biscuits with something called Red Eye Gravy – essentially bacon dripping mixed with a cup of coffee.

But at least the Elvis fans are happy with the recipe book, judging by the reviews:
  • If Elvis thought it was good that’s all I need to know.”
  • “I love having it and used it on the altar honoring Elvis last year for my Day of the Dead party.”
  • “Ive tried several recipes and they are great, just like the King!

Are you hungry tonight? Errmmm… salad anyone?

Sniff that Paper!

I love my Kindle. It’s so versatile, easy to use and light to carry around, packed full of books I can dip into anytime I want to. But, really, there is nothing quite like a paperback, is there?

I got the first paperback version of ‘The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook’ through last week, and it was such a beautiful thing. Immediately it had substance and weight. The cover was all velvety and smooth, and the shushing noise made when flicking the pages was music to the ears. And the sweet industrial smell of paper and ink… mmmm.

Kindles are good, but the paperback is Queen of books! Long may the paperback reign!

OUT NOW IN IRREPLACEABLE PAPERBACK:

OUT NOW PAPERBACK

Odd Books #1: Everything I Want to Do is Illegal

everything illegal bookI’m breaking the chain of ‘Odd Writers’ to bring you the first ‘Odd Book’. In this series, I’ll be looking at bizarre book covers and attempting to find out if the inside is just as bizarre, or if there’s a healthy explanation for the madness on the outside!

The cover of ‘Everything I Want to Do is Illegal’ (picture found on Bored Panda) features a cartoon farmer who appears to be ranting at an array of surprised farm animals on a sunny day. It immediately made me worry about what he had planned for them, and I set out to track the book down on Goodreads and find out the real story. Continue reading

Odd Writers #6: Writing a Book with One Eyelid

With what has to be one of the most inspired titles ever, ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ is truly a book with a difference.

The author did not use his hands or feet to write it.

He didn’t use his mouth and tongue to dictate the words.

He used the only thing he could move in his entire body – his left eyelid! (Okay, I know I gave that away in the title, but it’s been a long day 😀 )

Jean-Dominique Bauby was editor-in-chief for French fashion mag ‘Elle’. He had everything a man could want. And he lost it all after suffering a severe stroke, including the use of his whole body. After waking from a 20-day coma, Jean-Dominique found that he couldn’t move but he could hear and understand everything going on around him. As you can imagine, it took a long time to communicate that he was still very much awake and functioning. And then it took a very long time for someone to realise he had an awful lot to say.

So, how on earth did he do it? Continue reading

Confession Time

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27 Cartoon Characters who gave us the Hots as Kids

This article in Huffington Post made me laugh. I remember only too well destroying my bumper Disney book so I could have a badly cut-out picture of Peter Pan stuck on my wall. My first pin-up!

But there’s a serious side too – apparently the type of cartoon character you fell in love with as a child can set up a precedent for the type of person you’re attracted to later in life. So if it was Gaston, you’re in trouble!

FROM THE HUFFPOST ARTICLE

“Do you remember, as a kid, watching your favorite cartoon and realizing that you were focusing a little too much on one of the characters? Lots of the characters were great, but there was one in particular who was so smart, so cool, so good at vanquishing bad guys. 

Continue reading

Odd Writers #5: Schiller’s Rotten Writing

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German poet (later called ‘the pop-star of his time’), Schiller believed in the magical power of apples. AND, after he died, his mate kept his skull on his desk. Beat that!

Goethe popped round to Schiller’s one day while he was out and decided to wait in his office for him to return. A strange smell pervaded the room, and Goethe prowled, his nose in the air, looking for the source. It was stronger as he approached Schiller’s desk. He neared, sniffing, but could see nothing to cause the smell. He frowned and sniffed again, tentatively pulling open the desk drawer. Continue reading