Friday, 16 December 2011

Carpets and Christmas...

So here I am, guys, with only three days to go before I head back to the UK for Christmas.  A time of year that like many of you I, too, have always loved; after all, when else do we get to spend so much time with family and friends, enjoy lots of partying and pressies and probably over indulge a bit too much as well?  And with the Christmas CD constantly on the go, me and mine certainly make the most of it...  Not that I get the chance to join in with any of the sing alongs, I should point out; for some reason people don't tend to like it when their ears start to bleed.

Oh yes, the holiday season is a time of excitment and for me such anticipation is usually growing to almost fever pitch by now.  However, this year instead of feeling the thrill, I'm reluctant to say that, rather, I'm feeling a sense of trepidation... 

You see, not only is this is my first Christmas as a bone fide, wedding ring on the finger, Mother-in-law, it's the first Christmas where I'm not the one responsible for the whole of the organising.  Not that that's really a problem, of course, it will be nice to be able to relax a little and let someone else stuff the turkey; no, as we''re off to our son's, the issue lies more in the fact that my daughter-in-law has a dislike of soft furnishings; or to be more specific, she doesn't like woven wool floor coverings.

Not that that's particularly a reason to be nervous in itself, I realise - she is, after all, a lovely girl in every other sense of the word.  I just can't forget the time when she and my son were setting up home and I suggested a lovely rug would look nice in the lounge.  My sentiment that such things are what turn a house into a home obviously being something she didn't agree with.  Then again, I suppose this was quite understandable considering at that point they didn't even have their own bed to sleep in, but still, it's made me wonder if she'll think I'm talking rubbish on lots of other matters, too - a real concern when they've got to put up with me for eleven days.  And although I'm probably over analyising, the last thing I want is for her to get sick of me and my funny ideas (of which I'm told I have many) with my son caught up somewhere in the middle... but I don't want everyone to be on their polite guard all of the time either... 

Although to be fair, I do appreciate she's probably feeling as nervous as I am about the whole thing.  After all, as titles go 'Mother-in-law' doesn't always conjure up the best of images, now, does it?  I just have to hope that come the New Year we can all say we've had the absolute best of times together - even if the living room still doesn't, indeed, have a rug.

Merry Christmas, everyone x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

From Script to Novel Writing...

Thanks to Rosalie Lario, I did my very first guest blog post this week.  And one of the discussions generated as a result centred around my transition from Scriptwriter to Novelist - two very different animals in many ways, but at the same time quite complimentary. 

Of course, as writers in whichever field we choose, we all have our own voices, styles and experiences of the writing industry and its expectations.  But I thought it might be interesting to expand upon the discussion started earlier this week and what follows is an outline of what I, as an individual, have found the key issues between scriptwriting and novel writing that I had to address.

For a start, a script works to a strict time line and there's usually a lot to pack into those 60 or 120 minutes.  So as a scriptwriter it's important to keep the writing punchy - action taking priority over description and dialogue saying a lot without saying much at all.  Saying that, there are exceptions - an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot just wouldn't be the same without the long exposition at the end of each episode.  But on the whole I suppose the rule for me was 'less is more' - although I did have the added luxury of having the rest of the TV screen to play with.

After all, in a script, an actor can be doing one thing, whilst something else takes place behind his back; an action that we as an audience can see, but the protagonist can't.  Unlike in novel writing, where everything has to be seen from the protagonist's point of view - so if he or she can't see it, then neither can we. 

Following on from this, when it comes to scriptwriting there's never any mention of the word 'feel'.  After all, what is taking place in someone's head cannot physically be conveyed on our screens.  What can be conveyed, however, is how a character reacts to these feelings, so instead of writing something along the lines of 'Johnny feels sad', in a script it would read 'a tear springs into Johnny's eye'.  Although, once again, there are exceptions to the rule - the use of a narrating voice, for example.  However, in my experience, it's always better to find a cleverer way of imparting any necessary information - having had the question drummed into me: 'If it can't be shown on screen, should it really be there at all?

Then there are other considerations to take on board in a script, such as allowing both the director and actors their interpretation of what you write.  As well as the cost implications should you choose to include something along the lines of a helicopter crash or two...

I appreciate all this might imply that scriptwriting can be quite limiting.  Indeed, this is something I often found it to be.  But as I said earlier, this field is also complimentary when it comes to the penning of a novel.

Thanks to all of the above, it teaches you to write visually without being excessive on the word count, or  too obvious in what it is you want to say; it gives you a grounding in putting together real characters with believable dialogue; and when these are added to creative freedom offered through novel writing, an author can, thus, create a depth not just to his or her characters, but to the story as a whole.

Naturally, I hope I've managed to achieve this aim in my own book.  And as a debut novelist in the process of building up a readership (at the same time getting on with book number two), I suppose this is something only you as readers can judge...

I await your views as to whether I've been successful x

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My Very First Guest Blog Post...

I just wanted to let everyone know I'm doing my very first guest blog post today, courtesy of the lovely Rosalie Lario and I'm soooo excited to see what response it gets.

Not only do I talk about some of the inspiration behind Going Underground, but there's also an exerpt for you to enjoy... 

And if you decide to leave a comment, you'll also be entered into the draw to win your very own Paperback copy!

So come on, head on over.

And I look forward to seeing you all there.

Suzie x

Friday, 25 November 2011

Talk about lost in translation...

The first time I heard the word 'kounoupi' in Greek, I might not have known what it was, but it sure did sound cute... all cuddly and fluffy and inviting... 

So imagine my disappointment when I learned that there's nothing delighful or charming at all when it comes the these creatures; when I learned that their sole remit in life is to do nothing but cause down and out misery. 

Oh yes, much to my chagrin, a Kounoupi is, in fact, a buzzing, bloodsucking monster.  A monster so small that you can actually hear it well before you see it and by then, of course, it's too late, as the damage has already been done.  The skin has reddened and the itching has started to the point that it's driving you mad.  Or in my case, the skin has gone a lovely, deep shade of purple, the affected area has swollen to the size of a beach ball and rather than having the luxury of a simple itch, there's that nagging, dull ache to contend with.  Moreover, let's not forget the accompanying blisters that suddenly spring forth as a result, obviously serving as an escape route for whatever is causing the swelling in the first place...

Nice, I know!  

Of course, I'm talking about the dreaded mosquito - a pointless, little creature, in my view sent to earth by the Devil... 

But whereas I'd hoped at this time of year they'd have all but disappeared by now, I have to admit such optimism was seriously misplaced...  A reality made clear only this morning when I found myself awoken by some rather loud buzzing in my ear. 

Now usually such a sound would signal the start of all out chemical warfare, involving the use of every spray, lotion and potion in a bid to defeat the attacking enemy.  However, still being half asleep on this occasion I did think a simple wave of my arm would win the battle, which, naturally, didn't suffice... and the blighter decided to teach me a lesson, by way of making a meal of my face. 

Not just any part of face, however, the edge of my bottom lip to be exact.  And although it might be an exaggeration to tell you I've since spent the day looking like elephant woman, at least I now know what I'd look like if I ever decided to go for collegen...

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Hills Are Alive...

Well everyone, it's that time of year again.  The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and the weather has turned cooler... 

It's fair to say that usually I'm heading back to the UK around now.  But this year (apart from a couple of weeks over Christmas) I've decided to stay on here in Kalymnos.  Not least because I have work to do and there are too many uneccessary interruptions back home - what with the various shift patterns to fit around, constantly missing car keys to help search for and let's not forget the numerous meals expected to be made. 

But even these aside, I suppose it's only right that I should stay put; Kalymnos is, after all, the setting for my next novel.

Obviously during the winter months it's going to be a very different place than the one I'm used to.  There'll be no trips to the beach or lazing under the sun with the excuse that I'm planning the next chapter, for example.  And I can tell by how quiet it's getting already that there won't be many people around - which isn't necessarily a bad thing for a woman who needs to get on and do...  Or for a woman forced to walk around whilst staring at her feet!

Oh yes, I'm pleased to say that's yet another bonus to my stopping here...  my eyes will finally be able to roam at will, without being subjected to any un-pleasantries.

Of course, when I say un-pleasantries, I'm not talking about the scenery as such.  Thanks to its rocky, rugged landscape, Kalymnos isn't just dramatically magnificent, it really does look like an island straight out of Jason and the Argonauts.  But then again it's also because of this very landscape that I'm forced to keep my head down at all times - Kalymnos being a haven amongst the world's climbing fraternity, as it is. 

Naturally, you're now all wondering what could possibly be wrong with a host of handsome, muscular athletic types adorning the place.  A question I too, indeed would be asking.

However, when it comes to climbers whilst, yes, their bodies might be their temples, it seems many of them still don't know how to run a comb through their hair.  And whilst wide legged sweat pants are horrific at the best of times, it appears many of them don't realise just how scandalous it can be to wear them a couple of inches too short. 

And, moreover, what's with the dread locks and Jesus sandals?

Saying that, any disenchantment I might feel at these is nothing compared to the nausea I often experience during the Summer months - courtesy of an array of tighter than necessary leggings.  And let's face it, these garments aren't just offensive, per se, when it comes to a man's particularly body parts, it's probably better to maintain an air of mystery... 

Honestly it's enough to make a girl shudder!

Still, at least now it's quietening down around here I'll be able to dismiss all images of lycra covered crotches from my mind completely.  Instead, able to spend time taking in the more beautiful aspects of the environment.

That's unless I decide to include a group of climbers in my scribblings, of course!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Why me and exercise don't mix...

This morning a couple of my neighbours asked me if I wanted to go hiking with them.  Apparently it's what one of them does every year on her birthday!  Personally, I can think of more appropriate activities by way of celebrating - activities that involve a few glasses of wine, a cake and maybe a few pressies...

So obviously I said a polite no to their invitation - although even if I didn't have work to do, it's fair to say I still wouldn't have been chomping at the bit to join them.

You see me and exercise don't really mix. 

But it was only when I received an email from another friend of mine that I realised I'm probably not the only one with an aversion to all things strenuous - an email that described my stint at gym membership to a tee!:


Dear Diary,
For my birthday this year, I purchased a week of personal training at the local health club. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

Friends seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
Started my day at 6:00 am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god-- with blond hair, dancing eyes, and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!

Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!

Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around.

This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.
Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other shit too.
Asshole was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late-- it took me that long to tie my shoes.

He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny bitch to find me.

Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine-- which I sank.
I hate that bastard Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic, little aerobics instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it.

Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel..
I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun-- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!"

Sunday, 16 October 2011

People are strange...

I think you'll all agree that we all have our foibles, things that we do that make us the individuals we are.  Take me, for example.  It's a little known fact that I have to rock myself to sleep at night.  An activity my mother had always hoped I'd grow out of - a hope my other half is still clinging to to this day.  Of course, I'm pleased to say that my particular foible is confined to the privacy of my own bedroom and compared to many of the goings on in many another sleeping quarter, it is actually pretty boring.  But it's the little quirks like these that make us all the more interesting.  And for a fiction writer like myself who loves to play with character, such peculiarities can actually be quite fascinating.

Even more so, when people are more than happy to broadcast their idiosyncrasies - people like my next door neighbour.

Now she's a lovely lady; a woman who happily goes about her business, chatting to anyone and everyone she meets, her little dog constantly in tow.  Completely unassuming in every way...  So imagine my surprise when after a couple of glasses of wine she began telling me about her day down at the beach - the beach directly overlooked by a well used viewing point, I have to say.  Of course, this is a viewing point that I can only assume she forgot was there;  I mean, why else would she have proceeded to strip naked, frolick on the surrounding rocks, then dive into the surrounding ocean, all the while telling herself she was a mermaid?

Not that she really compared herself to a humanoid fish, I should admit - I just added that bit for effect. 

But then again, that's my point.  As writers it's important to make all our characters interesting.  And by telling you my otherwise completely sane neighbour spent her afternoon not just nude, but imitating a naked mermaid, she became far more interesting to read about.   

Sunday, 9 October 2011

When Chocolate's Not Enough

With three women sharing this year's Nobel Peace Prize for their part in fighting for women's rights, I thought I'd share my very first piece of published writing with you - and very apt it seems, too.

It's a poem I wrote for the anthology 'When Chocolate's not Enough' (2001) edited by Heather Killingray and although it now feels a little naive, not only does its message still resonate with many women today, it's the very piece of writing that gave me the confidence to finally follow my dream of becoming a full time, professional writer.

So here goes...

A poem by Suzie Tullett 

Where does it say that little girls have to wear dresses
And produce sickly smiles?
Why can’t girls play in the mud and climb trees?
I don’t understand, because I know I could if you’d let me
I can’t believe you’re telling me off for telling you what I think
I am able to think, you know 

Where does it say that young girls have to be slim and follow the latest fashion?
Be in love with the latest heart throb?
I don’t understand why I can’t play football instead of netball
Because I know I could if you’d let me
I can’t believe you’re telling me off for wearing boots instead of shoes
And why shouldn’t girls have their hair cut short?
I am an individual you know 

Where does it say that wives have to be quiet?
And look after their husband, want children and then stay at home?
I don’t understand why I can’t have money, friends or have any life at all
Because I know I could if you’d let me
I can’t believe you’re telling me off for wanting a job
It is only part time
I am ambitious, you know 

Where does it say that mothers have to breast feed
Enjoy the responsibility and deny their sexuality?
I don’t understand why I can’t have time to myself to do the simplest of things
Because I know I could if you’d let me.
I can’t believe your telling me off for not washing your sports kit and making dinner on time
I am human you know 

Where does it say that Grandmothers have to bake cakes
Knit jumpers and blue rinse their hair?
I don’t understand why being old means you can’t join in,
Have fun, have sex
Because I know I could if you’d let me
I can’t believe you’re telling me off for wanting to live
I am alive you know

Thursday, 22 September 2011

TV or not TV? That is the question?

As you all know by now, Going Underground is my very first novel and I'm pleased (as well as somewhat relieved, I can tell you) that the response to my literary creation has, thus far, been rather positive.  Not, I assure you, that I'm showing off or anything - I'm just glad to know readers are laughing in all the right places, getting infuriated in all the right places and feeling saddened in all the right places...  And as if that isn't enough, I'm further pleased to report such feedback has even included quite a few comments on what a great adaptation Going Underground would make - for both the big and small screens.

Of course, I was suprised when one chap even went as far as suggesting which Hollywood 'A' lister should play the role of 'Tracey'.  Although quite how well Natalie Portman would fair in getting to grips with a Lancashire accent... well, who knows?  Anyways, in trusting such a concensus of opinion, I decided to send Going Underground off to a Producer to see what she would make of it. And guess what?  Not only does she actually agree with what you've all been saying, but having enjoyed the read herself, she's since passed it on to a script reader for further discussion! 

Of course, there's no guarantee the script reader will also like it, or, indeed, that in the end they'll move forward with it.  But still...

So I'd now like to ask everyone to keep their fingers crossed with me, just for the next couple of weeks or so?  And send out a request for suitable tips on how to quell nervous anticipation?

Mmmm, Natalie Portman... she did look rather good when heavily pregnant, didn't she...?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Bad Hair Days...

When it comes to bad hair days, we've all had them.  Moreover, when it comes to the words 'follically' and 'challenged' I think I'm right in saying that images of baldness are usually what spring to mind. 

Well not in my experience...

After all, despite the fact that I do, indeed, possess a wonderfully, full head of hair, I have evidence that my own follicles have been somewhat challenging of late - albeit in an abundant kind of way. 

In fact, I'd even go as far as accusing them of playing some kind of practical joke.  Especially when one minute I'm primping, preening and styling away to my heart's content, the reflection in the mirror singing my praises over what a good job I've done. And in the next, they're suddenly repositioning themselves into a less than complimentary arrangement, shall we say - but only after I've turned my back.  Not exactly a good predicamet to be in, I might add; particularly when in the midst of book marketing.

Of course, it took me a while to realise the little game they've been playing.  Innocently smiling away as the photographers click, click, clicked away on their cameras - all the while completely unaware that my locks have been laughing at me rather than with me.  But what they didn't bank on was the certain fact that the camera never lies - although then again, that's also something of an unfortunate reality for me too!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Bank Holiday Madness...

Well, what an August Bank Holiday I had.  Up early on Saturday morning, gearing up for my book signing at Lancaster King Street Waterstones (where I met some lovely people, I might add), before jumping straight into the car and racing down to Brighton...  Oh yes, me and a friend excitedly headed south for a taste of the Brighton Mod Weekender, where we mingled with Mods, Modettes, journalists and photographers... and even encountered the odd celebrity or two! 

Of course, this was all to the envy of my other half who had to work over the weekend; somewhat unfortunate, considering he's the Mod of the family and not I.  Then again, it was work of sorts for me, too; I was, after all, meeting up with the lovely Mark Sargeant from Scootering Magazine. 

Still, I have to say we did make sure to have a good time in the process - basking in the glorious sunshine and soaking up the festival-like atmosphere, as we were... all the while admiring the vintage clothing on view, listening to great music and let's not forget, counting up the feather cuts.

However, for me, the main attraction of the event had to be the number of scooters on display - the amount of love and attention lavished on all these two wheeled vehicles plain to see.  And when it finally came to the ride out, the noise of revving engines, the smell of two stroke oil and the awesome sight as they set out, en mass, towards Beachy Head was just fantastic...  and all in all, the highlight of my visit.

Although to be fair and just in case you happen to be reading this, I should add that you did come in a very close second, Sarge...  

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Which Comes First...

...the dress or the hat?

It's been a busy last couple of weeks, hence the delay in blog posts.  Although I have to say the pressure hasn't at all been writing related; in fact, if anything, it's been familial!

Mainly because I've had my youngest son's wedding to get ready for.  And with time running out, as the Mother of the Groom I've had the all important 'Mother of the Groom' outfit to sort out - a task that should've been so easy, especially for a seasoned clothes shopper like myself. 

Naturally, my initial assumption was to start with the dress.  And being a young mother (very much at heart and reasonably chronologically) it stood to reason I wasn't about to go for anything too stuffy.  So off to the shops I went and I'm pleased to say it wasn't long before it was mission accomplished - oh yes, I soon found myself uttering those six little words 'I just have to have it!' 

Of course, in my excitement it didn't even cross my mind that not only is now the back end of the wedding season, but a shortage of Milliners in the area might make finding a suitably, matching hat a tad difficult.  Or, more to the point, that without the aforementioned, suitably, matching hat, a simple, cream, floaty, little number just might look like I was competing with the Bride... 

Still, it wasn't as if I was going to give up at the first hurdle, was it?  But wouldn't you know it, thanks to sod's law I came across glorious hats in red, blue, green, purple, pink and every other colour of the spectrum, just not cream.  To the point that I did begin to wonder if I should just put my beloved dress to one side and start again from scratch? 

Of course, my other half wasn't having any of it, which I supposed was fair enough considering the dress had, after all, cost him a small fortune.  And having never been one to shy away from a challenge to begin with anyway, I decided the best way forward was to, instead, pick up the phone. 

Not that my son seemed to mind the lack of foresight on my part, thank goodness.  And as I garbled on about NOT feeling jealous of his Fiance and NOT feeling envious of their relationship, much to my relief, it's fair to say if anything, he seemed somewhat amused.  Of course, I didn't tell him about the envy I DO have with regards to her rather petite figure and generous height - what with me being a bit vertically challenged and well, not as slim, shall we say...  Rather, I appreciated his understanding on the matter and then headed back out to the shops to seek out that all important headgear... 

And after a lot of hard work and pavement pounding, I can now report that I did eventually succeed.  Although for anyone else due to attend a wedding, I suggest you really do begin with the hat.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A first time for everything...

This week has been a week of firsts...

Starting with my first magazine review.  And I can't tell you how nervous I felt when I saw Mike Cobley's name in my inbox, at last, letting me know that Going Underground was being featured. In fact, it took me a moment or two to even dare open his message, such was my apprehension - all the while wondering if he liked it... if he didn't like it... OMG what if he didn't...?

Yes, I have to admit this was one of those occasions where I was leaning towards the negative - writers anxiety and all that jazz.

Thankfully, however, I'm pleased to report that once I did finally click 'open'  my fears turned out to be unfounded.  And the relief I felt when I saw the words: "loved the novel", "great read" and "one of those 'can't put down jobs'" in the same paragraph, well it was somewhat immeasureable. 

Phew!  I could relax...

...even if it was only for a day or two.

After all, next came the Book Signing to contend with - something else in the world of writing I'd never had the pleasure of experiencing before. 

Of course, there was the question of what to wear to such an event and deciding it might be an idea to present myself as being as colourful as my book (and by that, I'm not just referring to its cover), I opted for an orange  and pink number.!/photo.php?fbid=230329637004384&set=pu.221204154583599&type=1&theater!/photo.php?fbid=230329640337717&set=pu.221204154583599&type=1&theater

And ignoring the fact that I might actually look like I'd just been tango-ed, I instead began to focus on the panic rising in my belly... 

"What if no-one turns up?  What if come the end of it, I'm left with just as many books as when I started?" I asked.  Again, all thanks to writers' anxiety, of course. 

Although as I stood there donning my brightest of smiles to match my brightest of outfits, thankfully my fears were, once again, proved wrong...

Oh yes, much to my amazement I was quickly dedicating and signing away as the books seemed to fly off the pile.  And a couple of hours later, I was suddenly left with all but one. 

In fact, the last copy of Going Underground looked quite pitiful sat there all on its own, as it was... 

Unlike me, I have to say, who didn't just feel a tad elated by the event's apparent success. By this time I was also in desperate need of a cup of coffee and a quick dash to the loo - although not necessarily in that order.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Book signing change

This isn't so much a blog entry, but more an update of info...

Just wanted to let everyone know I've had to change the date of the Lancaster King Street Waterstones book signing.

It will now go ahead on Saturday 27th August, from 11am onwards instead.

Apologies but needs must.

Still hope to see you there.

Suzie x

Monday, 18 July 2011

In the City...

And not just one city, but four to be precise...

The beginning of the week took me down to London.  Yes, little old me headed down to the big smoke on a fact finding mission; or more to the point, to meet up with the fabulous Susie Tullett (same name purely coincidental) of Susie Tullett PR. Not that it was a formal business meeting I have to say, but more a chat over a coffee in the heart of London's theatre land, affording me the opportunity to pick the brains of a rather good public relations expert.  Not that I needed to pull out my scalpal and expose anyone's grey matter in the end either, which was just a good job considering some customers were still enjoying their lunch.  Oh no, thankfully Susie showed herself to be incredibly helpful on all things marketing et al, without my even having to ask.

Then came the trips to Lancaster and Preston - hosts to my nearest Waterstones booksellers.  And with policies of supporting their local authors, staff at both branches weren't just more than happy to ensure Going Underground had a place on their shelves, both were keen to organise book signing events as well.  Of course, as a debut novelist these are things of which I have absolutely no experience.  But fear not, I've since done my research and it seems an element of coercion is the key to success.  And as a result, on the days in question I won't just be armed with a few extra biros should my pen run out of ink, (thanks to the advice of a fellow author - yes, Margaret, you know who you are!) I plan to have a mountain of chocolate in the offering as back up.

So should you wish to come along and satisfy a sweet tooth or two, I'll be at Waterstones, King Street, Lancaster on the 30th July, from 11am onwards.  Then at Waterstones, Preston on the 6th August, at 11 am too.

And finally, with regards to the past seven days or so, I may not have landed in Lille, France quite in person, but it seems Going Underground most certainly has. And thanks to Yann Viseur and members of Splinters, my book is presently taking pride of place on Yann's fantastic blog... Oh yes, it seems the fruit of my literary labour is currently nestling comfortably between Paul Weller and Booker T Jones... And quite frankly, I can't think of a more satisfying position...


Sunday, 10 July 2011

Now I know what Dorothy felt like...

What can I do at home, that I can't do in a tent...? 

That's what I asked myself when the subject of a couple of weeks camping came up.

So off to the camping shop both my other half and myself went, hell bent on picking up everything a pair of happy campers could possibly need for our great outdoor adventure.  And armed with a dongle for my laptop, in addition to all the other 'must have' essentials, off we subsequently went - pitching ourselves in the middle of a field, where we were to enjoy the peace and quiet, the view and the glorious weather... 

Or should I say that was the plan before the weather turned. 

Oh yes, one minute we were enjoying nature at what felt like its absolute, very best; in the next, however, we were chasing the tent porch across the greenery, as it blew off into the distance.  Not that we really needed a porch anyway, I told myself, but even once we were ensconced safely under canvass, it wasn't as if things got any better from there. 

Oh no, thanks to the force ten gales blowing around us, that's when the tent really did feel like it was going to lift us straight up off the ground.  And suddenly finding myself at one with Dorothy from the Wizzard of Oz, I was convinced we were going to be carried off into some far off land never to be seen again...

Still, if that were to happen (and despite the fading winds I'm still not satisfied it won't), I do have the legacy of my book for everyone to remember me by.  Which is why I'd like to thank everyone for their support now, whilst I still can - after all, dongles might not pick up a signal in a place as far away as Oz...

Thursday, 30 June 2011

What a week...

I landed back in the UK on Sunday evening, fully expecting at  least a few days to enjoy the sunshine and settle back down into some sort of routine.  This, however, wasn't to be. 

Firstly, I was surpised by the somewhat speedy, yet exciting, delivery of a personal copy of my debut novel. And naturally, upon seeing it in print for the first time, my subsequent screams of joy in response, were, no doubt, heard across the whole of Lancashire. 

However, little did I know, this would be accompanied with the news that 'Going Underground' has hit the market a little earlier than anticipated.  So after yet more jumping up and down, I'm pleased to announce that the literary fruit of my labour is now available to the book buying public.

Happy reading x


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

For once, a welcome distraction...

You know what it's like, you're trying to get on with something that needs your full attention, but the phone keeps ringing. The kids keep coming in and out and your other half can't find the car keys. And even if you're home alone, there's the washing up screaming out to be done or the garden needs a good weeding... displacement activities that for some reason just can't wait.

So with book number two to get on with, out I came to Greece away from any such diversions; determined to stay put, come what may, unwavering in my goal to get it finished.    

Yet here I am, only a third of the way through and already preparing for my return to the UK.

But far from complaining, for once this is a welcome distraction. Welcome in that the time has come to put on my promotional hat, in readiness for the launch of book number one.  So as well as Going Underground coming to a book store near you, pen at the ready, it may well be that I'll be making an appearance too.

Hope to see you there x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Calm Before the Storm

First of all, I should probably tell you where I'm at when it comes to my literary journey...

Having written, re-written and, once again, re-written my magnum opus, sent it out to agents and publishers alike and gotten used to a life of rejection along the way, I'm pleased to announce I have recently secured my first publishing contract.  Yes, Going Underground by your's truly will be hitting the book market soon - a laugh out loud (so I'm told), feel good novel with Brit Flick flair (no less). And always being a 'my glass is half full' kind of gal, I'm now trying to enjoy the calm before what I hope will be the storm of success...

Watch this space...