Up-to-date news from the author
Monday 5th August 2019
Wow! Saturday's book signing at W H Smith's Bookshop Preston Deepdale was astounding (3rd August). It is important from the outset that I offer my grateful thanks to the staff for their incredibly warm welcome and for the help they offered throughout my stay.
I met some very astute and knowledgeable folk, both young and not-so young, who wanted to talk about books.
Among these people were youngsters both in person and by proxy, including Niamh, Isla, Bella, and Patrick. I am convinced they will enjoy the stories bought for them.
This branch of W H Smith is up there with the best, and I wouldn't hesitate to ask for a return gig.
This event was a bit of a tester in that a good friend, who is, like me, a popular author, but of adult and teenage books for girls. She wasn't too enamoured of doing a signing on her own, so we decided to join forces ... with great success.
Thank you for your company, Katharine Angel. I thoroughly enjoyed the day we spent together.
Monday 29th July 2019
Yesterday's event at Holly Blue in Saltburn was fantastic in the extreme. As usual Mike Hampson - the boss - provided me with a wonderful space from which to peddle my wares. I met a lot of lovely people, including two gorgeous young ladies who were out with mum and dad. Eight years old Ruby wore a fabulous pair of ruby red spectacles, and was accompanied by her six years old sister, Ayva. The wonderful thing about them? They both love reading, and Ruby thinks there might be something in becoming one of my apprentice writers.
I'll let you all know if this happens. This was the highlight of my day.
Enjoy your books, ladies. I'm sure you will.
All-in-all, we had a great time - and, thanks Mike for inviting me. I'll be back in December, ready for the Christmas market.
Saturday 27th July 2019
I finally got to meet Niamh, Libby and Maria - prospective apprentice writers from St John the Baptist RC Primary School in Normanton - on Friday 19th July. They have so far done several interviews with me via email, and they wanted to see me face-to-face to finalise their articles for their school newspaper. I can assure you that it was an extraordinarily magical experience, and I can't wait to see the finished newspaper next term.
As ever, Altofts Gala (Sunday 14th July) - organised and run beautifully by Timothy Paul Johnson - provided an opportunity to meet like-minded people, which I did in abundance. Can't wait to see them again at the launch of the 5th book in my Jack Saga that is "All Right Jack?"
Ormskirk's branch of W H Smith is a wonderful place which is beautifully run by Scott. On Saturday 6th July, his organisation gave me a fantastic platform from which to sell my books. My visitors numbered many who bought a significant amount of my books. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience which I will replicate on Saturday 30th November. Can't wait.
Sunday 23rd June 2019
Yesterday's book signing at W H Smith Trafford Centre was fantastic, where I met some wonderfully interesting and amusing people, like 5 lovely young ladies who had decided to buy a copy of "Juniper's Story" - between them, so that each had an equal share in ownership. How fabulous was that!
They were Ellie (x2), Freya, Honey and Lily.
You know who you are girls. How about clubbing together (and I don't mean going out dancing and stuff!) and buying the other 3 in the series - "Honey", "The Story of Lemuel Pecker" and "Josephine's Journey". They're on here in the Menu section named 'UK Readers - How to Buy'. Postage and packing free.
Then, I met two delightful young ladies called Esmée and Jessica, both of whom adore writing stories and would dearly love to become my next 'apprentice writers'. I could see it in their eyes!
Remember what I said you had to do E & J? The 5 books in question that you need to buy are in the section 'UK Readers - how to Buy', and they are
"18 Mulberry Road", "25 Primrose Walk", "Autumn Adventures", "Winter Tales" and "Towards Spring". Postage and packing free!
Once you have done that, email me with your mum, and we'll take it from there.
Fellow Yorkshiremen, Andrew and his son, from Skipton, were a delight to talk to as well, bearing the same characteristics that all Yorkshire folk carry - say it as you see it. Great fun.
My grateful thanks must go also to Boss-lady Laura and her intrepid gang for making me so welcome and for giving me such a huge display space to play within.
Monday 17th June 2019
How about some photographs from the launch?
This is half of the apprentice writers signing every book before the doors opened for customers.
This was the first book to be signed and dedicated during the launch, by Courtney Oldcorn, for .... her mum! How cool is that!
The youngsters in the background are - right to left - Evelyn Leong-Smith, Jessica Turner and
Monday 17th June 2019
Visited St Luke's again today to find that Amy Garnett, class teacher, is looking to choose the next cohort of apprentice writers from Year 5 for next year. We have decided perhaps to meet several times before the end of this term to run through what we expect from the 'chosen ones' during and after the summer holidays so we are able to hit the ground running at the start of the autumn term.
Exciting times, eh?
Friday 7th June 2019
This is the day we launched the children's fantasy adventure book called "Josephine's Journey" to critical acclaim from the children and parents of Skerton St Luke's CE VA Primary School, Lancaster. The organisation by Amy Garnett, my 12 apprentice writers' teacher, was out of this world, and the crowds of people wanting to buy copies of the book were awesome.
My thanks have to go to the school first and foremost for allowing me to work with such smart and intuitive children from Amy Garnett's Year 6 class, and for supporting us in our endeavours to inculcate good practice into the children with respect to creative writing. What a stunningly fabulous day!
Both hard and soft back editions are now available to purchase from this website.
UK Readers - How To Buy
and follow the leads.
Sunday 26th May 2019
Can't believe it's only 12 days to the launch of "Josephine's Story", written with the youngsters of Skerton St Luke's CE Primary School, Lancaster.
The launch will be on Friday 7th May in school with a 'cakes and tea' event to mark a very important milestone in the creative writing development of 12 Year 6 apprentice writers.
Evelyn Leong-Smith, Bethany Coates, Ellie-Jo Carradice, Jessica Turner, Poppy Metcalfe, Evie Lamb, Ellie-Brooke Shaw, Cortney Oldcorn, Elise Robson, Lauren Satterley, Charlie Michie and Ted Stoney
are excited beyond belief at what has been achieved, and at what is to come on that day.
We are looking forward to an enormous turn-out from parents, extended family members, friends and associated close neighbours. It should fulfil all our wildest dreams.
More to come.
Saturday 4th May 2019
What a day we had at the launch of "The Story of Lemuel Pecker"! Not only did we sign and dedicate a ridiculously large number of copies, but Normanton's library was filled to capacity with well-wishers and book-buyers. The two hours spent whizzed by like a dream, and Amy had a ball dedicating and signing like she had done it all her life.
Sunday 14th April 2019
Advance copies of "The Story of Lemuel Pecker", written with Amy Elliott, a Normanton 11 year old, will be arriving from the printer on Thursday 18th April 2019 - hopefully early in the day. The following Wednesday I will be visiting Normanton to take books for Amy and her mum, Kelly, to view and for Amy to sign. I will be calling off at the primary schools in the area to take posters and flyers to advertise the launch - Saturday 4th May at Normanton Library from 10 am to 12 noon.
Wednesday 30th January 2019
The children's book, called "Honey", written with 12 year old Honey Gott from Brookhouse, Lancaster,
will be launched
Saturday 16th February 2019
The Cottam Room, Vistoria Institute, Caton near Lancaster
from 12 noon to 2pm
This event was a very successful affair, with many family, friends and droppers-in there for at least two hours. We sold lots of books both during and shortly after the event.
The second children's book I have written with one of my
apprentice writers will be released on
Saturday 2nd February 2019.
It is called
and has been written with 12-year-old Honey Gott, a pupil at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School.
Saturday 15th December 2018
The day spent in the company of Steve and Hugh at Fred Holdsworth's Bookshop in Ambleside is always good fun and a joy to experience. This day was no exception. Looking forward to the next time Steve and Hugh.
Monday 10th December 2018
The youngsters at Skerton St Joseph's RC Primary School were excited and very receptive. It was a wonderful day with a lot of interaction and enjoyment.
Monday 3rd December 2018
Visited St Joseph's RC Primary School, Skerton, Lancaster to arrange a visit to the school for Monday 10th December.
Saturday 1st December 2018
Had a book signing today at Guisborough Booksghop. Met again my old friends from there. Great day.
Friday 30th November 2018
Today my illustrator, Pauline Henderson, delivered the illustrations for "Honey". They are fantastic - the best to date. Once I have shown them to Honey and her mum, Jane, they will go to my publisher, 2QT Publishing Ltd. The manuscript is already with the publisher.
Tuesday 27th November 2018
The group from Skerton St Luke's Primary School plus headteacher, class teacher and me, were invited on to John Gillmore's BBC Radio Lancashire afternoon show to be interviewed about our unique project, previously mentioned. The half-hour we spent on air was amazing, and the youngsters were fantastic. It's incredible how quickly their self-esteem and self-confidence have grown.
Tuesday 13th November 2018
Spent a wonderful day in the company of the smart children and helpful teachers of Altofts Junior School in the West Riding of Yorkshire. We talked a lot about how my life experiences have informed and supported my writing development.
Thursday 8th November 2018
Today started working with a group of Year 6 children from St Luke's CE VA Primary School, Lancaster, on the fourth book in the series of telling the story of a minor character in my Mulberry Road series of books. This will take one 1 hour session per week until Christmas break. I will then write the story over Christmas, hopefully to be published by mid-May 2019.
Sunday 4 November 2018
New children's book "Honey" (Book 2 in the new series), written with apprentice
12-year-old writer Honey Gott of Lancaster, went to the illustrator three weeks ago. Pauline - my illustrator - told me that she is waiting for inspiration for the cover only now.
Once it's done, it will be winging its way to 2QT publisher.
Book 3 (The Story of Lemuel Pecker), written with 11-year-old apprentice writer Amy Elliott from Normanton, Yorkshire, has been finished and will be ready soon for its illustrations.
That makes THREE written so far since April 2018.
Thursday 20th September 2018
It was an absolute delight to be allowed to spend the day in the company of the smart youngsters of Thursby Primary School in ... Thursby, Cumbria. We had a wonderful time together exploring lots of ways of writing creative stories, and examining the stories I have written with them in mind.
I can't wait to visit again to work with them on in-depth projects to help them to improve their creative writing skills.
Thank you Thursbyites! You were awesome.
Wednesday 19th September 2018
Today's relaxed and positive outcome was not unexpected, but was very enjoyable with the staff and yougsters of High Head Castle Farm at Ivegill in Cumbria, and the young people at Moorhouse Courtyard, Warwick -on-Eden. We explored many issues and enjoyed each other's company.
Saturday 8th September 2018
I had a wonderful day at the launch of the children's book I wrote with one of my 'apprentice writers', ten-year-old Natalie Fothergill. The event took place at 'Hidden Gems' in Guisborough, North Yorkshire, from noon. We signed and sold a significant number of "Juniper's Tale" books, having met a lot of lovely people.
Natalie signing some books.
Cake baked for the occasion by one of the friends of Natalie's mum, Jayne.
Tuesday 17th July 2018
The launch of my writing project story - Juniper's Tale -with my apprentice writer, Natalie Fothergill, will take place at Hidden Gems shop on Westgate, Guisborough at 12 noon, Saturday 8th September 2018.
Monday 2 July 2018
To all my friends and followers who have not been able to follow my events, I offer sincere apologies. The website has been undergoing repairs from a serious problem that has not allowed me to edit. Hopefully now it has been resolved. I will update over the next day or two.
Saturday 28 April 2018
I had a lovely day, meeting lots of wonderful people, including Natalie Fothergill and her clan - mum (Jayne), sister, grandpa and grandma. They were a great deal of fun and very exciting to meet. Looking forward to the next time.
I met also Clare Booth from the Darlington and Stockton Times to talk about, not only my books in general, but also about my new ground-breaking venture of writing a series of off-shoots from my Mulberry Road series, each of five collaborating with a different ten-year-old youngster, to write stories about minor characters in the original series. These children have one thing in common - they all love reading and writing stories, and each desperately wants to be an author.
This is very exciting, for both the youngsters and for me, and will encourage, inspire, and give them experience in crafting a story from start to finish, along with all the hard work along the way.
This is a world first.
Wednesday 25th April 2018
I am very much looking forward to my book signing at Holly Blue Card and Gift Shop in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, on Saturday 28th April from 10.30. Feel like coming along to a wonderful treasure trove of a shop to get yourself one of my books (or more if you feel like a good read)? Have a look, on this website, at all the books I have written - both children's and my Jack saga for adults, set in the West Riding town of Normanton. You won't be disappointed if you pop in for a chat (and the odd book as well, of course). See you then? Splendid!
Wednesday 25th April 2018
"Juniper's Tale" - the story of Juniper the Cat, a minor character in "18 Mulberry Road" which has been written collaboratively with ten-year old Natalie Fothergill from Guisborough - is now ready for my publisher. Pauline Henderson has woven her magic with the illustrations, with only the cover to finish. The book will be released in the very near future.
Monday 23rd April 2018
The drive from Morecambe to Pickering (116 miles) was very pleasant and sunny (even at 6 o'clock in the morning), where I spent the day with the fabulous children and staff of Pickering Junior School. Tuned in, smart, polite and very intelligent, the youngsters enjoyed all that I had to offer, and in return I really enjoyed their company. Thank you all you Pickeringers! Can't wait for the next visit.
Tuesday 13th March 2018
I have just spent an exceedingly fruitful and exciting and wonderfully uplifting eight days visiting ten primary school throughout the North of England. What did we do? Well, I talked with groups of youngsters about creative writing in general, and my children's stories in particular. My Word, how smart they all were! They talked sensibly, coherently, and with great understanding and an enormous sense of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my self.
The schools taking part were as follows:
Belmont Primary, Guisborough
Galley Hill Primary School, Guisborough
St Paulinus RC Primary School, Guisborough
St Peter's CE Primary School, Brotton
Badger Hill Primary School, Brotton
Handale Primary School, Loftus
Hummersea Primary School, Loftus
John Emmerson Batty Primary School, Redcar
Yarm Junior Academy, Yarm
St Paul's CE Primary School, Lancaster
Chaloner Primary School, Guisborough
visited on Monday 26th March
What a wonderful time I had! Thank you all. You were awesome!
Tuesday 20th February 2018
Yesterday I spent a full day in the company of the youngsters and teachers of Yarm Primary Academy in ... Yarm, not far from Middlesbrough. It's quite a long time since I came across a bunch of smart and switched-on youngsters, who were quick on the up-take and willing to learn. I had a wonderful day. My thanks go to Mrs Wood, the headteacher, for allowing me to visit the school, and to Mr Hunter for organising my day so beautifully.
Tuesday 20th February 2018
Make that four! All four youngsters have now agreed (with their parents) to take part in writing the next four stories in my Mulberry Road series of stories. Writing will start soon of the second book.
Saturday 3rd February 2018
Three further young writers have agreed, with parents' permission, to become involved with writing the next generation of stories based around characters from the Mulberry Road series of books.
They are in process of researching and making decisions about story lines and characters, both for their personal characters and the range of characterisation, and also for actions, language and other stuff that will affect and effect the process.
I'll let you know when the writing begins.
Monday 22 January 2018
I have started a very important and unique writing programme to encourage youngsters to want to develop their writing skills.
As a follow-on to the 5 books in my Mulberry Road series, I have chosen to write 5 shorter books, each one focusing on one of the characters encountered in the original series of 5.
The special and unique thing about this is that one youngster in each case will co-write one of the books with me, using their ideas on characters and actions, all of which will be done through parents and with their permission.
The first one is finished and ready for publication, and is called 'Juniper's Tale'. The youngster involved is Natalie Fothergill, who lives in Guisborough. Very exciting.