Saturday, 18 April 2015

My Favourite Vintage Thing with Deborah Install

I'm pleased to welcome Deborah Install who is guest posting about her favourite vintage thing.

 My favourite vintage thing is this aquamarine ring that belonged to my grandmother, given to me by my aunt when she died. It was part of a collection of jewellery passed on from my aunt, and is very much intertwined with my writing career.

Without this jewellery I’m not sure I’d be where I am today.   The fact that I was made redundant during pregnancy is no secret, and crops up a lot when I talk about my writing as it was my chief motivator to pursue the ambition. My husband pointed out, as I was looking for a new job (by the way, no one wants to hire a new mother part-time, for some reason we can’t be trusted to do a proper job…don’t get me started!) that I had a golden opportunity to finish my book and get it out there, and he was right. I also knew deep in my gut that I had to go to the Festival of Writing in York, because I’d been before and knew it offered so many opportunities to get in front of agents. And it was indeed where I met my agent so it turned out I was right on the money. But therein was the problem: money. With a baby, a mortgage and only one income, I just knew we couldn’t afford for me to go to a conference for a weekend, so I approached an antique dealer with the jewellery. I kept this ring, though, to remind me to make it count. I wear it whenever I know I need to push myself, to take every opportunity that comes my way.

A Robot in The Garden by Deborah Install  is out now. I absolutely loved this book. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Ben Chambers wakes up to find something rusty and lost underneath the willow tree in his garden. Refusing to throw it on the skip as his wife Amy advises, he takes it home.
And as you may have guessed, because the clue’s in the title, the rusty and lost thing is a robot! He’s called Tang and I want one of my own because I LOVED him. Ben finds out and his awful wife doesn’t want him to keep it, because basically she’s vile. But Ben, decides he needs to help fix Tang and they go off an adventure to sort him out.
Tang is just the best.  Deborah's  clever writing which makes him  come alive and it is impossible not to fall in love with him. I’m desperately hoping Deborah has another book out soon.
Thank you for guest posting, Deborah!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Fourth Blogaversary Giveaway!

Hello all!

It's my fourth blogaversary and I have the loveliest thing to give away.
It's this wonderful Matilda tea towel perfect for book lovers!

"I'm wondering what to read next" Matilda said. 

Would you like it? All you need to do is sign up to my newsletter below and I'll select the winners name at random at the end of April. Good luck!

Enter your details below! Good luck!

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

My Favourite Vintage thing WIth Sharon Adetoro

I'd like to welcome Sharon Adetoro ( and her amazing hat!) to the blog.                                                                                  I love this hat. It's just so fluffy (insert best Agnes voice here). The moment I laid eyes on it I moved like a ninja throught the vintage fair, past the boho chic girls, and the bus of Chinese tourists who had come to Machester for the Chinese new year celebrations ( we had a breif chat in the que while paying our £2 entrance fee) and dodged a rather scary looking beardy bloke following his lady love like a lost puppy in the sea of estrogen. Then I had it in my grubby little mits and my heart sang. I hailed over my daughter aka minion 1 and squeeled with delight as she did the crowning of the hat while I watched on at my refelction in the mirror. "Oh my god I want it!!" Yes that sentence actually left my mouth on a squeal. A bloody squeal! Once I calmed down. I couldn't stop smiling. Why? I hear you ask. Well it reminded me of all the times i dressed up in my mothers furs, heels and hats when I was a child. Of an era before leggings and t-shirts, when you could dress up glam and no one would bat an eye lash. Now I just need somewhere to wear it and not just sat on my sofa with Ben and Jerry on a saturday night.

At the moment I am working on the first book in my Quiescence series of books. Book one is in the revision stage and book 2 and 3 are in the first draft stage. Think Vampires, shifters, witches, lots of romance. Alpha males that are not all "me Tarzan you Jane" and strong females leads.  Yep I'm one of those - a Parnormal Romance writer. 
You can find me on Twitter 

Thank you Sharon! Love this hat!

Friday, 27 February 2015

How to write like Roald Dahl

Sorry. It's a little bit of a misleading title, this. I don't mean that I can teach you how to write like Roald Dahl. I don't have  the  knowledge to impart on how to write the perfect story or anything! It's just that  I went to the Roald Dahl museum in Buckinghamshire  and I wanted to tell you how you can kind of write like he did. I found out loads about his writing methods. And it's kind of fascinating! This is how he wrote.

First of all, you need to sit in a crazy ass chair, with some rolled up corrugated cardboard on it and then some wood covered in green baze on top of it. 

Apparently Roald Dahl liked  sitting like this as it reminded him of sitting in the cockpit when he was a pilot in WWII. On his desk he kept all sorts of things- his own hip bone, shavings of his spine lump  in a jar, you know, that sort of thing. 
His seat had a whole cut out in the back of the chair, so the lump on his spine would fit in. 
He didn't let anyone in his writing shed at all, with the exception of Quentin Blake who visited once.

He worked from 10am to noon, then stopped for a four  hour lunch when he ate Norwegian prawns on lettuce. He also ate four chocolate bars a day. His favourites were Dairy Milk and  Kit Kats and apparently he gave his dog a few Smarties, which you totally shouldn't do. 
Then he wrote again from 4pm until 6pm. 

He changed his books all the time. James and The Giant Peach was first called James and the Giant Apple, then James and Giant Pear. He had one  last go with James and the Giant Cherry before he settled on James and the Giant Peach. 

So that's basically it! Four KitKats, spine lump shavings in a jar, weird chair and you're off! 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

On Safari

Well,  I wasn't exactly "On Safari" but I was at the West Midlands Safari Park which really is an astonishing place. Sadly, a few of the animals we saw don't even exist in the wild anymore so it's  a very odd experience seeing these animals in captivity.

Zebra crossing. ( see what I did there?) 

I touched a goat. Never done that before! 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Sign up to my newsletter

Hi everyone,
Just a quick post to say you can now sign up to my newsletter if you want to stay in touch!
I'll only send quarterly at the very most ( because I am quite lazy apart from anything else)  and promise to only put interesting things in it and not spam you. I'll also put "exclusive content" in it, so that will probably be a photo of a dog on it's  holiday or maybe a short story now and again.

Just click on the image below- or use the sign up box over on the right.

Thank you!

Here's a photo of a dog on holiday.

Friday, 6 February 2015

County Dublin- Part 2

We went to Skerries the following day. We'd heard there had been porpoises spotted swimming near to the shore so thought we would take a look. We spotted a seal or two bobbing along near the shoreline. But no porpoises.

Then we spotted this chap.

His friends had already been in for a swim. We asked them for directions to St.Patrick's foot print ( you're meant to put your finger in it and make a wish :)  ) They said it was under the water as the tide was in, but invited us to take a photograph of their star swimmer instead!

They were the laughiest people I have ever met in my life. I couldn't work out if the sea swimming had released feel good endorphins or of they were just crazy. You have to be at least bordering on the eccentric to get in the Irish sea in January.

Tea shop in Skerries
We made our way back towards Dublin and headed out to take a look at Bull Island, only when we got there, someone had turned it into a film set.

Here's the  famous film director Jim Sheridan with actress Rooney Mara- ( she played the lead in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)  Thanks for ruining our walk, famous people! 

This guy wasn't impressed either. 

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