Wednesday, 9 October 2019

In praise of good neighbours!

Unfortunately my phone was indoors - I didn't manage to capture the moment, so I have just added a general image of our garden in France, and not even a particularly recent one. But at least our dog Rosie is in it!
To backtrack: this summer we have had a lot of trouble with our internet and landline in France, with at one time a 10-day blackout, involving a lot of phone calls and numerous visits from telecoms engineers. Finally we were told that the problem was our trees rubbing on the cable, especially in high winds. We were sceptical, but some of the trees needed cutting back anyway, so we set to. Normally we would keep tree-trimming for the winter when the leaves wouldn't result in an enormous amount of stuff to be disposed of, but we felt we had little choice. It involved a platform about 5 feet from the ground (not very level at that) and a heavy extending chainsaw, then endless chopping up and visits to the town dump.
Still the internet remained dead.
Very reluctantly we started cutting back some small oaks which a few years ago I rescued from rampant brambles. A pile of branches, twigs and leaves began to mount up, and we were only a few days away from returning to the UK; it was going to be a long haul and very tedious getting it all cut up and taken away. Then our neighbour (French) came by on her electric bike. She saw the vast heap and us wearily wielding secateurs and took pity on us. She phoned her husband and some while later he turned up with his tractor, on the front of which was a huge toothed grab. We manhandled the branches into its maw and he trundled away to a pit on his farm where they burn their own twiggery and unwanted garden debris. Saved!
This is by no means the first time that these lovely people have helped us out of a hole.
Incidentally, at one point a sizeable oak log got stuck on the phone cable and swung around for a while, making the cable itself sag and bow. That evening, as if by magic, the internet returned. So I think our trees were definitely not the culprits. In fact, as I chatted with our neighbour while waiting for the tractor, it transpired that the whole area had been cut off for about 24 hours owing to someone inadvertently chopping through an underground cable.
Our oaks have been reprieved from the menacing attentions of the chainsaw!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019


Work on novel no. 7,  The Healing Knife, published by Lion Fiction, is well under way. The final edit is being done now and the cover design has been agreed. You won't be able to get a copy until March 2020, but here's a taster:

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Saturday, 23 March 2019

A new departure


Images of my six published books to date: The Leviathan Trilogy (2009, 2010,2011); A Shed in a Cucumber Field (2014); An Iron Yoke (2016); A Vision of Locusts (2017, published by Instant Apostle.)

Now there's a new novel called The Healing Knife, to be published by Lion Hudson in March 2020, which it's hoped might be the beginning of a series. A new experience for me! Cover design is under way, and editing to begin soon. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, 17 September 2018

A new and engaging website

The innovative publisher of my last book A Vision of Locusts has rolled out a new website with features on its authors as well as up-to-date news and a statement of their mission. It's well worth a visit!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

A Vision of Locusts is launched

A week after being officially released, a week of garnering reviews, we had a party to celebrate and send A Vision of Locusts out into the world in style.
Few ventures are the work of one person, and a new book is no exception. From conception to publication others are involved and make a contribution; and after publication this is even more true. I am grateful to all those who have supported me faithfully and with considerable effort, especially on the night of the launch when I was kept busy welcoming guests, speaking and signing.
That was just the beginning: the work of publicity and marketing goes on, in parallel with the beginning of a new novel (but that's another story!)

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

And it's here!

It's always a special moment when you take delivery of the first physical copies of a new book. By the time this moment arrives it seems a long time since you wrote it, and there have been many, many edits and proof-reads in between.
It's due for release on 20 October both
as a paperback and to download to Kindle, and you can pre-order now.
If you get to read it, I'd hugely appreciate a review on Amazon, goodreads, or wherever you like. Reviews are often an author's only feedback and are immensely helpful. Thank you!