History Imagined

Several months ago, I applied to be on the History Imagined Blog with my interview of the main character in my book Search for the Light.

Well today’s the day and you can read it here.

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Audio Books

A new member of CHINDI has kindly made an audio recording of one chapter from The Digger’s Daughter. Here’s the link.

My question is how useful is it to have an audio book as well as e-books and paperbacks? How long will it take to cover the upfront cost?

Can we afford to create an audio book, is the first question. Here’s an example of costs.

What is the market for audio books?

Amazon, of course, have a solution. But they require 7 years exclusivity, so it’s a big step to go down that route. What indie authors should know

Meanwhile I have been quoted £1200 for my book though Book Narrator. What do you think?

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Chapter One, Ranter’s Wharf

Here goes – the first snippet of my new book, Ranter’s Wharf. Let me know if you want to be a beta reader and get a free copy sent to your kindle app.

William shivered, his patched smock offering little protection for a boy unused to standing motionless. His toes twitched on the bare earth, wanting to run, run away, anywhere but here. Tasting the faint tang of wood-smoke on the cool autumnal air, he gasped as the men lowered the box into the earth. He wanted to scream, shout Mama but bit his tongue to stop the sound escaping.  The painful image of his mother lying in the pine box, twisted his stomach into knots. He knew she lay in the coffin because he had seen her in it that very morning, before his father nailed down the lid; her skin pale and bloodless; her hair flowing around her shoulders like a raven’s wing. His father had told him to give her one last kiss and he leaned over to press his mouth to her cheek, flinching as his lips touched her icy, unyielding flesh.

She looked so peaceful and still, but Mama had never been still. From the time the sun woke until it set, there were things to do she said. He longed to climb in the box to lie against her and stared with jealousy at the small bundle in her arms. For eternity, that baby would lie with her but he, William, would never feel her hands yanking the wooden comb through his knotted hair; never hear her complaints about his torn and mucky clothes, nor feel her dig around in his skin with a needle to find the splinter in his hand. The worst thought of all, the one which caused his eyes to water was that he would never again have the comfort of her gentle hugs and kisses. He started as his little brother, Joe, attempted to climb up on the bench.

Continue reading

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Book Cover

I have been playing with Canva to create a book cover for the new book. This is a first attempt. The image is courtesy of the Primitive Methodist Museum at Englesea Brook in Cheshire. They have been so helpful. The question is whether to use something which I can create myself i.e. basic, or should I splash out and buy the artwork? Responses please.ranters-wharf

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Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas and lively New Year. Ours was made by our grandchildren, at 6 and 4 they are at a delightful age and provided endless fun and entertainment. We were definitely in the back seat when it came to directing games. They had it all planned. How did small children become so mature and controlling? I was also amazed to be discussing alliteration with the six year old. She understands and uses the term correctly. Thumbs up to her school.

After a month off writing, I am looking forward to finishing the second edit of my latest book. My trip to Hull yielded another book for me to read so I will be adding some bits. Why did I ever think that the book was going to be a novella? I am already at 94,000 words.

This gorgeous little church is Old Clee and definitely my family have some association with it as so many of them are buried in the churchyard. However, My 3 x great grandfather became a Primitive Methodist as did so many of his contemporaries. What led him to do that? That is the essence of my story.


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Social Media Workshop etc.

We had a fun day today – the ultimate silver surfers’ day. How can Social Media help authors to spread the word about their books. My forays into Twitter, Facebook Pages and Pinterest have certainly borne fruit over the last few months in terms of increased book sales. I was so excited last week to have reached the pinnacle of 6th in Amazon sellers of Australian Historical Fiction.

I spent last Thursday in Hull where one chapter of my new book is set. It was an exceptionally useful day thanks to the kind staff of Hull Central Library and the Maritime Museum. Also to the barman of a pub who lent me a copy of the Lost Pubs of Hull, while I drank my orange and soda. The chapter now needs to be rewritten completely in the light of new informhull-cityation, which I wouldn’t have had without going and doing the slog of walking the streets and talking to people.

Hull is the next City of Culture and the whole of the centre is being dug up. I am sure it will be wonderful when it’s finished but pity the poor shopkeepers of the city before Christmas.


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Temporal Fiction

As you engross yourself in writing historical fiction, the most difficult part is imagining yourself in their time, but in temporal fiction it works in reverse.

I have come across a book, Timestorm, where convicts arrive in Sydney, after a huge storm, in 2017 instead of 1796. I think it’s quite fun to read  time slips, although I doubt I would ever have the courage to write it. (not my genre). I’m not recommending the book because I haven’t read it yet. I’m enjoying the thought of reading it too much because  I can imagine the mayhem. Society has moved on so much from the ‘every man for himself’ kind of life of the poor in Georgian England.

Is there any period of history you would like to slip into? Now can you imagine how they would feel if slipped into our life?





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