Saturday, 24 May 2014

Take the opportunity to make your life YOURS…


Its three years since I wrote Beyond the Past and this week I have been reading it again to make sure the sequel includes all the twists and turns and evidence. Writing the sequel has been much tougher than writing the first one for a number of reasons. Firstly, with your debut novel, while you want it to be perfect and loved by all, there is no expectation or pressure on completing it. I made the decision to write it at my own pace. Secondly, because it is a sequel the pressure is on to ensure that it is more gripping and interesting than its predecessor. So many sequels have failed to live up to the first piece. I am determined mine won’t, well I hope it won’t!!

The sequel is Beyond the Lies. This one is not written off the cuff but is planned. I wanted to make sure there were a few more plot twists in the storyline and to do that, it had to be planned. Having said that I only started writing the plan after I had written the first thirteen chapters!  I very much write on instinct and churn out the story. Once it is completed, I then go back and edit the pages and storyline. At this point I could cut chapters out and change things around but for now I just want to write and develop, not just the storyline but the characters too. I am a novice in my new chosen career and I am learning every day. In order to learn I read a lot of books, blogs and any relevant literature. I have to admit though, some of the things I read I take with a pinch of salt – probably what most of you do with my blog. I try to avoid writing anything in here that would sound like I am preaching but very often I read things that are doing just that. I have a real issue with fellow writers who say you mustn’t do this or you mustn’t do that. How do you know? How do any of us know what is for the best? If I’d have listened to people telling me don’t or you’ll never make, I would not be in the position I am in today. I read recently that you should NEVER let anyone read your work until it is fully completed. Fair enough but why? I have readers that read my drafts as I am doing them. I don’t see anything wrong with it. I like the extra pair of eyes and I like being able to discuss the outcomes of certain scenarios with someone. Indeed this has helped me to come up with a few surprises in the second book.

I really believe as human beings none of us are experts. Some have more knowledge than others and some apply their knowledge better but we can all continue to learn throughout our lives. I especially believe us oldies can learn from the younger ones. Just because we have lived it doesn’t mean we have a better understanding of life. I have learned so much from my children and being a Mum has definitely made me a more compassionate and understanding person. In our house, we deal with major issues together. My children, right from being very young, have been involved in major decisions such as new homes, cars, job opportunities and changes in my career. All these things didn’t just impact on my life but on theirs too. I really believe this openness has given them a better understanding of life’s choices and I am so grateful they backed me 100% firstly in my degree and then in my pursuit of a new career in writing. Thank goodness they did!!

It was really lovely to receive messages and emails about the blog last week not just about its content but about its existence. To be totally honest I wasn’t even going to write a blog because I didn’t think I would have anything to say or that no one would want to read it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I am less than 50 views short of 5,000 viewings which is totally amazing. However, what is more amazing is the number of people that have reached out to me to discuss the cyber bullying and sports’ scholarships particularly other parents’ reactions towards them. It would appear we are not alone in what we have encountered. I have emailed everyone who took the time to write to me but I want to publicly thank each and every one of you for your support. You have no idea how much your words of encouragement mean to us. My son has shown unbelievable resilience.In fact, we laugh about it now as so many positives have come out of such wicked behaviour and both boys will enjoy playing in higher divisions and I can sit back, relax and watch them flourish, stress and drama free.

The boys will be back playing amateur rugby league shortly and I am so grateful for the help, advice and support I have received from the RFL and Sheffield Eagles. The true spirit of the sport and our love for it has not diminished at all.


I am really excited to confirm I have accepted an invitation to speak at the inaugural Education Trust of Wetherby’s Literary Festival at the end of June. I am also a little nervous. 

I am working hard promoting the book and will have some book signing events in the not too distant future. However, I would like to support local bookshops if at all possible. So, if you know of any small independent bookshops that would like to host a signing for me please do get in touch. I am slowly working through a list but personal recommendations are gratefully received. 

My website includes news and events as well as the first three chapters of Beyond the Past, FREE. Feel free to pop over to have a look. 

You can purchase the book from Pegasus Publishers ; Amazon UK ; Amazon US OR ORDER FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSHOP.

Exam Update

WE are at the half way mark of the exams and still standing, JUST. It’s not that bad but then again I am not sitting them! I am so impressed with my son’s approach to them but I’m not surprised. He has always given everything he does 100% (can’t think where he gets it from!) and has a plan that he follows. Planning has been the key and I have thoroughly enjoyed being here listening to him reeling off facts and details. I think it is important for young adults to know that you are there for them and that exams are only a small part of their whole life. Yes it is great to pass them first time but not the end of the world if you don’t. I wouldn’t recommend it but I graduated with a first class honours degree at the age of 43. I still maintain I would not have got the grades and won the McGraw Hill Award for best results at the age of 19. Life experience taught me so much and I hope I have passed that on to my very wise young boys.

I would like you all to have a really happy and successful week. Make the most of what you have and work hard to get what you would like. Sending lots of love to you all.

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