Wednesday, 24 February 2027

Hello and welcome to my blog, where you can find out about my books (all the links are on the right-hand side) and keep up to date with all my news and latest releases.

My latest book, The Single Mums' Picnic Club is out now.
Below, you can find my latest blog posts, and you can also find my social media links on the right-hand side, or read my short stories using the tab above.

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Thank you for visiting,


Tuesday, 22 January 2019

A Whole Lotta Library Love

On Friday, I received my first PLR (Public Lending Rights) statement, which tells you how many times your books were taken out of the library during the qualifying period, and I was (very) pleasantly surprised to find out The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea was taken out just over 4,000 times! As well as the super-fuzzy and warm feeling you get knowing people are picking your book off the shelf and choosing to take it home with them, the author gets around 6p each time their book is checked out, which doesn't sound like much but it'll be a nice little bonus when it arrives.

As a bookworm from a young age, I've always loved libraries. When I was little, I'd borrow Topsy and Tim books, and as a teenager I devoured the library's collection of Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club books. The library was only a short walk away, so I could pop over in the school summer holidays, pick out three books and return a couple of days later to swap them for more. One of my nerdiest anecdotes is being stung by a wasp while waiting outside the library for it to open!

My writing journey started in our local library, when I was around ten. There was a children's author giving a talk at our local library, so one of the teachers at my school took his class and mine to listen to it. I'd always scribbled down bits of stories for as long as I could remember, but as I sat there, fascinated by the author who I can't even remember the name of as he spoke about his writing and how he got his ideas and noted them down in a notebook, I realised for the first time that I too could write actual books when I was older. From then on, it became my dream to be a published author. So thank you to the author who gave that talk (and I'm sorry I don't remember your name - I really wish I did) and to Mr Perrin (who not only took us to that author talk but also introduced us to The Animals of Farthing Wood, my favourite childhood book, and really brought the many stories he read to us to life. Best. Teacher. Ever) and a humongous thank you to all the libraries out there, who provide thousands of worlds for people to discover.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Five - Help To Name The Chickens!

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

I'm definitely back into the swing of things after the Christmas break and am managing to meet my 5k/week goal. This week I reached a pivotal point in the book, the part where Rebecca really commits to meeting the challenge she's been set after a big setback and I'm looking forward to seeing how she copes after her wobble!

The End still seems so far away at this point, but I'm still at the stage where writing is fun. Usually, by the 20-30k point I'm starting to grow less fond of the book and getting the words down becomes more and more of a struggle (over the years I've learned this is completely normal so it doesn't send me into a panic anymore!) but I think setting myself a smaller goal to reach each week is helping.

Last week on my Facebook page, I asked for help naming one of the donkeys in the book. I received over 50 suggestions, which all went into a bowl (no hat available) and one was picked at random. So, our little donkey is called Daisy. Now she has a name, I can replace the '*Donkey2*' markers I've left in the manuscript!

I'm going to be asking for help naming the animal characters over the next few weeks, so head over to my Facebook page if you'd like to take part. If the name you suggested is picked, your name will be put into the acknowledgements when the book is published.

This time, I'm asking for help naming some chickens!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Writing Book Ten: Part Four - Florida, Christmas & Donkeys

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

It's been a few weeks since my last entry, and that's because I've had some time off writing for Christmas. We spent Christmas in Florida, so I had to get everything organised before we went, plus I needed a bit of time to get over the jet lag once we got back, so I had around three weeks off altogether!

Once the kids were back in school and I could pretty much function again (jet lag and I are not on good terms), I jumped back into Book 10 again. I've set myself a target of writing 5,000 words a week, which will give me enough time to reach my mid-April deadline without leaving me frazzled (unless I go way over my word count goal, but let's not worry about that now).

So far I've managed to stick to my 5,000 words per week goal, and I'm pleased to report that I'm still on track! I was worried having a three-week break would make it more difficult to get back into the story, but it's been absolutely fine and I've enjoyed seeing what Rebecca is getting up to. The only problem I've had this week is forgetting an idea I had last night but didn't write down - rookie mistake!

There are quite a few animals in Book 10, and I thought it would be fun to ask for help in naming them. The first animal who needs a name is a playful donkey. I'm taking suggestions over on my Facebook page, and one of the names will be chosen at random. Whoever made the suggestion will have their name put in the acknowledgements when the book is published.

If you'd like to take part, head over to my Facebook page and see the pinned post :)

Friday, 21 December 2018

My Favourite Reads 2018

It's that time of year where I look back on all the brilliant books I've read during the year and pick a few favourites to share.

I adored each of these books for different reasons and they are in no particular order as picking just five favourites was difficult enough! Some of these books aren't 2018 releases but I read them this year. So, here goes...

I'd heard so many great things about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype - BUT IT DID. I adored Eleanor and I loved getting to know her, She's quirky and funny but there's also a heartbreaking tale buried beneath her routines.

I can't wait for the film release!

I read The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters during the summer and I loved every single page of it. The chemistry and humour between Wendy and Julian was brilliant and I so wanted them to get together! Jaimie Admans' writing style is light and full of fun, so you can relax into it and enjoy the story as it unfolds.

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society has been out for a while but I only got round to reading this year just before the film was released. I have to admit that it took me a little while to get into the book, but once I did I was completely hooked and was so bereft when it ended as I just wanted to continue reading the letters between Juliet, her publisher and her new set of friends. I haven't got round to watching the film yet but I really need to watch it!

This is the first Kate Morton book I've read, but it definitely won't be the last! The House at Riverton isn't the paciest of reads but I thought it was such an enjoyable read. The descriptions were vivid and the story was intriguing. I'm looking forward to reading more from Kate Morton in 2019!

I've read a few Rowan Coleman books and enjoyed them, so I was confident I was going to find a great read in We Are All Made of Stars - and I was right to be. We Are All Made of Stars is heartbreaking at times as letters are passed onto the loved ones of patients who have passed away, but it was also uplifting too. You may need a tissue or two!

So, those are my 2018 favourites - but what have you been reading this year that you'd like to shout about? Let us know in the comments below :)

Friday, 14 December 2018

Writing Book Ten: Part Three - First Goal Reached

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

I had a couple of days off from writing this week as I went to London for the HQ Christmas party. I had a brilliant time, meeting up with Lucy Knott in Manchester so we could travel down together before heading to the News Building for the party. Writing can be a quite isolating as you're in your own head for large chunks of time, so it was great to meet up with other authors and the publishing team. I had the chance to catch up with some of the other HQ authors, as well as meeting old Twitter friends in real life for the first time!

Before heading home the next morning, Lucy and I treated ourselves to hot chocolates and cake from Peggy Porschen Cakes, which was lovely and so Christmassy.

Back home again, it was time to get back to writing. My goal was to reach 20,000 words by the time the kids finished school for Christmas, so we could have a nice break together. And I'm pleased to report that I reached that goal today - yay! So I''m going to have some time away from the book now and make sure everything is ready for Christmas (mainly tackling the dreaded wrapping of presents) and spend some quality time with the family. 

In the new year, I'll be asking for help naming some characters, so keep an eye on my Facebook page for more details!

Friday, 7 December 2018

Writing Book Ten: Part Two - I Would Write 10,000 Words, and I Would Write 10,000 More

I'm keeping a diary of the writing process of Book 10, from the first words to publication.

This week, I reached my first word count milestone for Book 10: 10,000 words! There are still many, many more words to come, and they won't all come as easily as this first chunk, when the story characters are new and exciting, but I'm so happy to have reached this stage. My aim is to reach 20,000 words before the kids break up for Christmas, so I can have a nice break with the family, so I'm half way to that goal.

The book is going well so far and I've managed to stick to my 1,000 words per writing day goal. In the past, I've aimed for 10,000 words per week, but I've found this becomes more and more of a struggle the further into the book I get, sucking all the joy from writing it. This time, I want to get back to loving what I write, and I think having a more manageable goal in mind will help with this. It's certainly working at the moment as I'm loving writing Rebecca's story and I look forward to opening my laptop to continue her adventures each morning. It helps that my deadline is mid-April, so there isn't a mad rush to get the words down!