Monday, 2 June 2014

We're moving on last!!

Rugby League & Scholarship

Lots of you have been asking whether my son is playing amateur rugby league again and the answer is YES thanks to the RFL, Yorkshire Juniors and his new club. He had his first game yesterday which was cut short by the opposition coach losing his head. Again highlighting junior rugby is nothing to do with kids really!! Self-control, that’s all it takes and I really don’t understand why adults can’t just behave themselves but then again I have learnt a lot in the last six months about people behaving badly. All I can hope is that they all take a long, hard look at themselves and grow up. This kind of behaviour will only stop if sanctions are harsh and if adults teach their children NOT to behave like this. Lead by example people!!!!

On Thursday we travelled over to Widnes with the Scholarship and it was a great day out. It is very bizarre being a parent of a scholarship player. Ever since he could kick a ball, my son has been involved in junior football and rugby and has relied on me to take him to the venues, get him ready and be there to bring him home after a successful day of sport. I realised on Thursday he is not a boy any more but a young man. I dropped him off at the coach collection point and set off across the Pennines with his younger brother. That was it. The next time I saw him he was coming out of the tunnel in his Sheffield Eagles kit looking very much the part and looking for us in the crowd. I could have burst with pride but there was a small tinge of selfish sadness too that he didn’t need me anymore. It’s totally untrue of course because without us Mums they would forget their gum shields, boots or even undies!! You laugh but it is true! And us Mums wouldn’t want it any other way!

It was really ironic that he stepped out at Widnes twenty nine years after I saw my very first live rugby league match at the very same site, albeit the old stadium. Kurt Sorenson and Joe Grima were the reason I fell in love with rugby league. Us parents are very much spectators now and I could not be any prouder but I do admit I wouldn’t dare shout anything that would embarrass him so I sit there mumbling to myself which is very strange when little legs isn't with me.I have also changed Keith Senior’s song to ‘ We love you Wesley, ‘cos of your Afro hair’…. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this!! I did get his permission to use the photograph first though.

Whilst they didn’t win the game, they gave a very good account of themselves but I think I can safely say the bus journey home sounded the best part of the trip!!! I am so thankful he has had this opportunity to grow and experience the camaraderie and professionalism of the club.

My younger son and I had a great journey home too especially watching the little deer run over the road in front of us when we were parked outside the drop off point. Our next away games are Cumbria and Gloucestershire – I do love a road trip!!

Writing, Publishing & Marketing

I think I’ve mentioned before how solitude is a writer’s curse which extends beyond publication. When publication date arrives, it is super exciting but then you go into months of silence and not knowing what the wide world thinks of your writing. You grab onto any little sign that you are doing well but really don’t, truly know and it is much, much harder when it is your first novel. You have absolutely nothing to gauge whether you should stop writing now and get a proper job. However, my heart is in writing and whilst I am very close to broke ( I mean very, very close) I am not giving up on the dream I had when I was fifteen and was ridiculed into not following it. 

Just when the habitual month end panic started again and I was thinking of ways to make some extra cash without selling my soul to the devil, I checked on Amazon UK to see how Beyond the Past was fairing. WOW!! Is all I can say! WOW! WOW! WOW! At the end of May the rating was the best it has been over last five months (ONLY 5 months since publication – yes, it feels like years!) This is just Amazon UK and not sales anywhere else. I have grabbed and squeezed every glimmer of hope out of this and pray that someday, very soon, hopefully it will convert into cash.

I do have to remind myself of the reasons why I wrote Beyond the Past in the first place

  1. It was a childhood dream to be a writer
  2. My children are growing up fast and I needed a career I could combine with motherhood and the dreaded Menieres Syndrome
  3. I wanted to leave a legacy that my children could proudly tell their children of (assuming they go onto to be parents of course!)

If I keep these in mind, the insecurities subside and the writing flows.

I have been promoting the book through social media and you really have to throw caution to the wind. Being reserved and humble, whilst very noble, will not sell books. I have learnt you need to put yourself and the book out there and tell the world and that is so much easier now with the social media platforms we have. Twitter following on both the book (@BeyondthePast1) and my account (@CharlespR2D2) have grown steadily over the past five months and I love the interaction with everyone. The biggest surprise has been google plus with over 28,000 views in less than three months – in fact last month we had 1,000 viewings alone. We all may knock the trolls but getting the word to the world has become much easier and if I’m honest, much more fun.

You can read the first three chapters of the book FREE (still hard to say as a Yorkshire lass!) online at

Now I have second wind, I have surpassed 100,000 words of the sequel. I have also finished reading Beyond the Past again to check the plots and twist and turns. You’ll have to forgive the fact I forgot some of the things included but three years have passed since I wrote it (that’s my excuse or it could be old age setting in!!). I am often asked how I write. I sit with a notepad and pen and scribble away and I am in good company as I learnt this week Jackie Collins uses the same method. Let’s hope I have a fraction of her success.

For most people school holidays mean childcare headaches and taking annual leave. For me the school holidays are the best. I can get up (or not even go to bed) and write whilst the boys sleep. Then, when they want lazy days in the house, I write. It really does fit in well and makes for a much happier me and much happier boys. I also get the opportunity to be at home to teach them the important life skills especially how to treat people. We have such great discussions about controversial subjects such as racism, sexism, bullying and politics. Don’t worry they both (yes even the seven year old) can give as good as they get and understand more than most adults. I remember when he was five he was playing outside at the rugby club and came in and asked me what ‘rape’ meant. I nearly choked. Apparently one of the girls shouted it when her brother was beating her up! Charming! It’s that ignorance that this world has to fight against and I am more than happy to discuss any subject, however uncomfortable, with them. Unfortunately you can't protect their innocence from the evil of today's world. 

The way I see it, if I can make a difference with my two and all us Mums do the same, the world will be a much better, well-informed place. Ever the optimist!!

World Cup Fever

After the excitement of the English premiership and my beloved Liverpool coming so close to picking up the premiership title, World Cup fever is starting to build in our house. We have yet to get the bunting and flags but we have the Panini sticker book and we have the wall planner. My seven year old reckons England v Belgium in the final! There you go, you heard it here first. It would be great if England can win especially with Stevie G as Captain. I have goose bumps just thinking about it!! We shall see…

Saturday night the three of us watched the Froch v Groves fight. We were in the Froch camp. The main reason I was in that camp was the comments made by Groves about sports psychology. He ridiculed it as if it was a weakness and it is that ignorance I can’t abide. For me, the best man won on the night.

It was my birthday yesterday and that is why this is late… I have to say a huge thank you to my sister, Lisa who got me a book about Nelson Mandela – I will be reading with a great deal of interest.

Stephen’s Story

We said goodbye to an extraordinary human being this week. He wasn’t famous, a celebrity or anyone the majority of us have met. For me Stephen’s legacy is not the £4million he has raised for the teenage cancer trust( which is truly inspirational and phenomenal) but the fact that he has taught all of us how important it is to make the most of every minute we have. All of us, including me, take life for granted. STOP NOW! GO GET whatever it is you want to do. Don’t wait for the right time as it may never happen.

I am off now to write Beyond the Lies. I have given myself a deadline that the first draft will be completed by the 30th June – boy I don’t know why I do it to myself but there is no greater challenge than a tight deadline! 

I want to wish every single one of you a very safe and productive week. Go do something amazing and have fun doing it. We can all make a difference…

You can purchase the book from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US



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