Gazette column: If towns looked to the past, they could learn something for the future

11 Sep

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about the past and how, if towns and retailers looked to it, if they learned lessons from it on how things should be done, it could be the key to future, successful development.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: It’s time drivers gave cyclists some room

4 Sep

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about cyclists and how, with Cycle Safety week imminent, drivers need to give cyclists some room on the road so we are all safe. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

NEW Diary of a hopeful author: How I got to my three-book publishing deal

3 Sep

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…

Photo of a Diary

Previously, I had never believed that the phrase ‘a dream come true’ was real. I mean, look at it. It uses the word ’dream’, and dream implies unreal, made-up, in your head. Bottom line: it may never happen.

And so, my friends, to the present day. Mad busy has this year been that I have had to, with hanging head, take a time out from my Wednesday Waffling blog. But the reason – oh the reason – has been a mighty good one, a reason so fantastic, so unbelievable that even now I don’t believe it myself. I’d kick me, but that would hurt.

The reason is this: I have a 3-book publishing deal. And not just one deal, but multiple deals, around the world – digital, paperback, hard back, audio, the lot, from different publishing houses spanning from Random House in Germany to Harlequin Mira in the UK. I have met with editors and sales teams and TV execs and it has been a ball. Yet all the time, all the while as I meet and talk and compute, the same thing goes round and round my head like ticker tape: it’s like a dream.

See, thing is, I’ve been working hard at writing for a heck of a long time now. Years. And I’ve tried everything. Radio sketches, TV sitcoms, plays, short stories, novels. I’ve got my head down and tried it all because you never know. You never know what might just work if you give it a shot, and if it doesn’t go your way? Then at least you got a whole heap of writing practice in.

Recent years have thrown me a few hoop shots: a festival story award, short listed for The Guardian newspaper travel writing competition, long listed for a BBC talent scheme. But each time, I didn’t quite make it, didn’t quite get to the top of the mountain, so to speak. And boy were there times when I just wanted to give up, to chuck it all in, to shout at it and shut the door, walk away, never come back. But I didn’t. I didn’t because I love writing and I knew, I knew somewhere in the deep sticky recess of my head that it would all work out, that if I just kept going one more time, it would all work out.

I stuck with it, did my research, taught myself what makes a good novel, how it’s constructed, how the market works, what sells, what agents want, what readers want to read. And I combined that with my stubborn, heels in the dirt attitude of not giving up. There is a saying that went through my head the whole time: when others give up, we give more. It’s actually an SAS phrase, not that I am in the SAS, although, to be fair, I’d love to give it a go. Just without the guns.

So, the book, the first in a trilogy is coming out in Spring/Summer 2015. It’s called The Spider in the Corner of the Room. It’s a psychological conspiracy thriller, or psycon (I just made that phrase up…). It will be out all over UK & commonwealth, Europe, Taiwan/China, audio in the USA so far, and hopefully, as things are looking, in a whole heap more territories. And the great new is, NBC Universal have optioned the trilogy for a major international TV series (there’s a couple of links below about it all).

I guess, when I look back, when I think of when I started this blog and why – i.e. to document my messy, pot-hole ridden journey at trying to make it as an author – I never really let myself imagine that it would actually happen. I love literature festivals, for example, but never let myself go to Hay-on-Wye festival, telling myself that I only wanted to go there as a published author. And where am I now going in May 2015? Hay Literature Festival. As a published author. Hoozah. I’ll be talking at other festivals too – Harrogate Crime Fest, Cheltenham Lit Fest, ones I have attended myself as a reader. And now I’ll be there – as an author. Surreal.

So, thanks for following this blog, for reading my dirt-ridden ups and downs over the past two years. It’s been really hard, I’ve put in so many hours, made so many sacrifices, but it’s worth it. Worth every single second. Because being a published author has always been my dream. And now it’s come true.

Click on the links to The Bookseller (here) and my agents, PFD (here) to read what they’ve said about The Spider in the Corner of the Room…

Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**

Gazette column: Car and pedestrian areas do not mix

14 Aug

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

Back after a (much needed) holiday, this week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about cars and pedestrianised areas, and how, if people continually ignore the rules and drive down them, they risk the worst of all outcomes .

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**STOP PRESS! WEDNESDAY WAFFLINGS POST UPDATE: Look out for the BIG NEWS  coming on my Wednesday Wafflings post in September, when I finally get to tell you where I’ve ended up on this huge writing journey. Clue: it’s VERY exciting. **

Gazette column: Inside all of us is something truly amazing: The story of the school boy musical genius

24 Jul

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about a 13-year old boy at Rednock School, Gloucestershire who, on having no lessons, and without being able to read music, and who is no where near the top academic groups, suddenly walked up to a piano last year in school and began to play. Like a concert pianist.

See, inside of us, each of us, regardless  of our backgrounds, our troubles, is something truly amazing. We just have to look for it.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Time to think positive about were we live

17 Jul

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about where we live and how, if we just think a little more positively about our towns and villages, they might just begin to thrive.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: This summer do something for others #shavemyhead

10 Jul

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about doing something for others this summer and how,with 13 year-old Amy Carr about to shun our selfie-obsessed culture shave her long hair off for charity, we should all take a leaf out of her book and get brave for not only ourselves, but for others, too. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

**Amy is raising money for Cancer Research UK after she lost her aunty to the disease. You can support Amy in her brave head shave by tweeting about her using #shavemyhead. You can also donate right now at http://www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/amycarr1**

 

Gazette column: VAT on NHS car park fees? Immoral

3 Jul

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about NHS car park charges and how the slapping on of additional VAT at a full whack 20% rate is utterley immoral.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Time to sort this public transport mess right out

26 Jun

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about the state of public transport in the UK and how, in the wake of the Cam & Dursley train station parking debacle, if only we had a more integrated transport system, our economy would benefit so much. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Faith schools are discriminatory

19 Jun

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about faith schools in the UK and how it’s now time to question their role in the state education system, and whether, in reality, they are discriminatory.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

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