Thursday, 25 September 2014

Star studded Night in Wetherby.... hopefully many more to come

You can see from these photographs why it is such a perfect location for writers and their content. Wetherby is a beautiful market town on the outskirts of Leeds. It boasts lots of thriving shops, businesses and restaurants. At the time I wrote Beyond the Past both boys played rugby at Wetherby Bulldogs and Lucas played for Wetherby Athletic. Most of the book was drafted in the car park of Wetherby Sports Association, Costa Coffee or Sant Angelos - outside of Wetherby Harewood House, Roundhay Park and even outside both boys' schools. 

If I was stuck for inspiration though, I headed to Sant Angelos, my little piece of Italy in Wetherby. There I could have a bite to eat, a coffee and write in peace but with a relaxing ambiance that always seemed to cure my writer's block. When Catherine offered to host my book launch and signing, it was a no brainer for me. There is something captivating about this place. The food, the atmosphere, the location and the people.My boys will say it's the ice cream!

What made the night even more special was it was Wetherbyhour Live too. This is a twitter networking group for local businesses. I have been to many of these now and they are really good fun. The success of the evenings can be attributed to the hard work and drive of Joanne Maltby the founder and, well superstar really and I don't use that term lightly! Jo works tirelessly to help build business and awareness of Wetherby. Her hard work has quite rightly earned her the Townperson of the Year award. She organised the very special guests 'stars' for the evening and I am very grateful for her and Catherine's help.

The evening was a huge success for me. My children (Erin I include you in that x) came to support me along with my Mum and Dad and my editor, but most of all big Sister, Lisa. I received a very warm reception and a great deal of intrigue and excitement was shown in the book. I couldn't really ask for anymore.

I had my book trailer running all evening and signed lots of books. It was incredibly hard work but I loved every minute of it.
To top it all the evening was attended by some fine guests and if I'm honest I was a little starstruck! When I told Lucas who was coming he had this horrified look on his face. He asked, "Jeff isn't going to be like Cain is he?" Oh, the power of television!

Guests included Ryan Sidebottom (Yorkshire CC), Patrick Dunlop (StrayFM), Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle, Emmerdale), Alex Cann (StrayFM) and Stephanie Moon
(Celebrity & Consultant Chef) and not forgetting the brightest star of all Wes Charles, Sheffield Eagles (sorry but proud Mum alert!!)

I lucky I am to have such incredibly talented guests but most of all lucky to be part of such a vibrant community. Wetherby - you really do rock!

Whilst I was working hard, a number of guests disappeared to the ice cream parlour, including my supportive children! I don't blame them though but there is only thing to ask - Where's mine? Now my children are totally converted and plan to go to the restaurant this weekend, without me!! The cheek of IT!

Images courtesy of : Yours Truly Photography

A special thank you to Irene Maltby for sharing your review of the book with everyone. It was much appreciated x

Thank you to everyone who came and supported my first event. It really did mean a lot to me. I do have some signed copies left so if you want to get hold of a copy email me or tweet me @beyondthepast1. They are £10.99 or available through the links below. To think this all started from a character called Annie, rugby league and a location!!

My next event is on the 14th October 2014 at Wetherby Library for an author talk.

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US




Sunday, 21 September 2014

Persistence, Patience & Pitching

Many people mistake caring, consideration for others and admitting your faults as a sign of weakness. I hate it when people won’t just hold their hands up and admit they were wrong. EVERYONE makes mistakes, it is part of being a human being. Strength of character is admitting and knowing the difference between right and wrong and acting upon the wrong and putting it right. Strength is supporting people instead of dragging them down and strength is accepting we are all different and embracing diversity.

This weekend has been pretty naff really. It started well with Lucas playing football and
playing really well with some fantastic skills on display. Eagerly anticipating two encounters in the afternoon, we got all our chores done. We need not have bothered as both the Leeds Rhinos and Liverpool lost. Oh well, the Rhinos won the Challenge Cup and its early days in the football season and we are in Europe. I can’t do with these fans that call for the managers sacking or take to twitter to slate individual players. It’s only a game for goodness sake! (Sorry Shanks but it is).

Then Sunday we needed to be in Sheffield by 9.45am and with roadworks on the M1 it meant leaving the house an hour before. That wouldn’t have been a problem if I hadn’t tried to juggle a plate multi tasking and re-decorated the whole kitchen in hot milky coffee (not latte I'm from Yorkshire)!! Typically, it smelt lovely but it resulted in us being late and I hate being late! The match was tough but Wes was rewarded with a very well earned Man of the Match. He loves the rugby in this higher division – every cloud really does have a silver lining.

This week I took a time out just to take stock of my past and chill for a little bit. Life is so hectic that sometimes I just don’t have time to think. When you are on your own you don’t have anyone to bounce thoughts off and it is so easy to get stuck in a reactive environment which can lead to you falling backwards instead of moving forwards. So now and again I take stock. I talk to myself, I zone out and I look back which then helps me to look forward. Try it sometime and see how it works for you. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

It’s funny how life changes, isn’t it? My life has taken so many twists and turns and it does resemble a F1 track only my finish line keeps moving. When I enrolled on my degree course, I had in mind that I would run my own website design business and build websites and databases – I love databases, sad I know! BUT that really wasn’t what I wanted to do. I WANTED TO WRITE!!! There were two parts of studying that I loved – research/reading and writing. The writing element gave me great satisfaction especially seeing the end results. My best work was looking at the impact of the strategic management of information systems on the Rugby Football League (YES! Rugby again – it gets everywhere!). I got my highest mark of 81% for it (yes I was naffed off I didn’t get higher!). When I graduated I never envisaged I would directly use so many of the new skills I’d learned in my new career as a writer. However, I do, things like Innovation & Enterprise, Computer Forensics, Javascript programming, database design and website design and management. I have put all these skills to good use, as well as my sales and customer service experience gained in twenty years as an Insurance Broker. All paths lead to this moment in time. I realise whilst writing this blog, that writing takes up a very small proportion of my working time. Hopefully one day I will have people to help me carry out all the non writing tasks.

I knew developing a writing career would be tough but it is much tougher than tough yet strangely rewarding! I am more than up for the challenge and believe this is the right time to put all my previous life experience to good use. There are no quick results, no multi million pound handouts – in fact there are no handouts full stop. As well as the ability to write, you need sheer hard work, persistence, patience and pitching. I’m in it to be successful, failure is definitely not an option.


DO NOT GIVE UP!!! I repeat DO NOT GIVE UP!!! Oh it’s easy to say I know but much harder to maintain BUT if I’d have given in after every no or after every nasty, vindictive attempt to put me off, I don’t know where I would be now, probably six feet under if I'm honest. I look back over the knock backs I have had in my life  and know the majority of people would have thrown in the towel long before now but I’m a fighter!! I will keep fighting until there is no breath left in me.


As a new writer, success won’t happen overnight. It’s encouraging that my first EVER novel has been published but it is only the start of it. Once your book is published, you need to get out there and sell it, build an audience and keep plugging away. In addition, as with any new career I am learning on the job. I listen to my peers and sift out the information from the internet. I already feel my writing has improved and I will continue to learn and improve.

Pitching & Plugging

No one promotes you better than yourself. You have to convince people they not only want to read your work but they need to read it. I thought I would get more support in this but only because I assumed I would. Lesson learned. There are so many paid services on offer for authors but when it is your first novel you could easily spend more than you earn tenfold. I am steering clear of these types of services. I have used one and felt it was not worth the money, they promised and did not deliver.

The story so far... my grand plan

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 

Amazon UK  
Amazon US

 This is what I have done so far to promote my work.

I have written and maintained my own website 

I am on twitter @beyondthepast1 and @charlespr2d2

My facebook account is here

I am on Linked in and have joined lots of groups and discussions – it is hard to keep up with them all at the moment

Google Plus – I have a google plus account attached to the blog and I do like google plus.

I am on Instagram but have to confess I don’t use it as much as twitter.

Local Press – so far I have been in the Yorkshire Evening Post & Wetherby News

Local interest – I have been into Wetherby , where the story is set and leafleted and spoke at the local high school. Getting out there is a great way of raising your profile. In October I have an author talk at Wetherby library

Joined networking groups – we are very lucky because we have Wetherbyhour. I was a member of the group prior to publication but it is a great group organised brilliantly by Jo Maltby. It is Wetherbyhour and Sant Angelos that are hosting the book launch this Tuesday.

Joined other websites – I am on the Authors Database, Goodreads, The Bookshelf Cafe, Amazon UK and .com in Author Central and many other book websites. In addition I have contributed posts to an Authors Way.

Blogging – I wasn’t even planning on writing a blog and I certainly didn’t know what to include in it. It is really fun to do and I am not short of topics, as you can probably tell.

Goodreads Giveaway – I currently have two copies of my book listed for a giveaway and within 24 hours of listing it, over eighty people added the book to their reading list and over 180 people have entered the competition. You can enter here.

Book Trailer – This was produced by Pegasus Publishers and has been a bit of a hit. It is excellent, even if I do say so myself. - this is pinned to the right hand side of this blog or my website x

I am sure I have missed something and will find some other ways of promotion. That is the beauty of a new career. I am learning on the job. Apart from the book trailer, I have organised everything else myself so I'm giving myself a huge pat on the back! Especially when I know how hard it is to cope with Menieres and bringing the boys up alone. Life is tough but I'm tough too.

The effects won’t be felt overnight but being seen and heard are the only keys to successful marketing. You do have to work hard in anything you do and this is no different. I am confident the rewards will follow.



I must admit the Scottish referendum last week was absolutely fascinating for me. I love politics particularly when it comes to people’s behaviour. I am relieved the ‘no’ vote won but for totally selfish purposes. All us Northerners have to stick together, although a Yes vote would have sent Westminster into a spin which would have been interesting to watch and would have possibly led to a few resignations! The problem with Westminster now is it is full of ‘career MPs’ not ‘caring MPs’. The latter are few and far between now and that is sad.  All we can hope for is the Scottish referendum teaches us all to speak out and challenge the powers that be. Personally, I think we didn’t give Gordon Brown a chance but that is my personal opinion and his speech last week was inspiring.

BBC Short Story Awards


This week the BBC short story awards shortlist was announced. Out of 550 entries, 5 were shortlisted. Congratulations to my fellow authors. This was my first year I was eligible to enter and I will be entering next year too, My entry, Bank Holiday will be available on my website Tues/Weds of next week for you to read FREE – my gift to you x

My next blog will be all about the Book Launch and signing – I am nervous but excited too. I just hope people turn up and I’m not left twiddling my thumbs.

Well I’m off to do the ironing.  I know I lead such a glamorous life but that’s what us Mums so and boy we do it well.

My final two targets for this year are to get onto a health fitness regime and to find a partner in crime, someone to have fun with. This time though, it will be for the right reasons.

Have a great week and thank you for your continued support.

Monday, 15 September 2014




Sant Angelo's, Wetherby, LEEDS

Tues 23rd September 2014 7pm  - 9pm

     It will be great to see you all there

     Full details on my website

You can also purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US




Sunday, 14 September 2014

Don't look back in anger... fresh starts are the most satisfying

My past is laid to rest and from now on MY LIFE, MY FAMILY, MY RULES – I am the master of my fate!


Book Launch


YOU ARE ALL INVITED! Regular readers will know, I rave about my little piece of Italy in Wetherby, Sant Angelos. The restaurant features in my sequel Beyond the Lies and is the perfect location for my first EVER book signing. If you can make it, we would love to see you.

Book Marketing

You know I told you the easiest part of a book is the writing and the hardest is getting it published. I was wrong. The hardest part is the MARKETING. It’s a time consuming minefield and for novice writers it can make or break your book. At times over the last few months, I have been close to throwing in the towel just out of sheer frustration. I find cleaning a great reliever of frustration, or swimming.

After reading hours of literature and surfing the net, I find myself going round in circles reading contradiction after contradiction. My advice: MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN. Your greatest asset is YOU and people don’t know of YOU unless you tell them about YOU. It’s not bragging!!! YOU! YOU! YOU! Raise your profile. No one will do it for you. So no matter how hard it is to put on a smile, you need to do it for YOU. And do you know what?  YOU CAN DO IT!

Whatever your background, wherever you have been – dust yourself down, pick yourself up and GO FOR IT!

This week is usual madness – two trips to Sheffield, active marketing for Beyond the Past (could be renamed making a nuisance of myself), writing the sequel, Mummy duties and all the other mundane yet wonderful things that are thrown my way. Persistence and hard work are everything.

Goodreads Giveaway


Don’t forget my book giveaway on Goodreads – its open until the 2nd October. Two signed copies just waiting here for lovely new homes.

Have an amazing week everyone. MAKE IT COUNT

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US