Category Archives: Work in Progress

What I’m writing now… plus a Halloween Sale!

Now that we’re properly into the spooky season, read on for an update on my latest ghost story as well as for details of my Halloween sale.

The Girl in the Ivory Dress Halloween sale

What I’m writing now

I’ve started writing the third Ghosts of Alice story, with a working title of Alice and the Devil. What’s interesting about this story is that I normally start with an outline plot but this time I’m writing as a pantser, as it’s informally known in the trade. Most writers are plotters, but there are a few (including some pretty significant ones) who just start off with a premise and see where it takes them. Stephen King is possibly the most famous of these.

Normally, I work out a clear path from start to finish involving some major ‘set’ scenes. My plot it usually fairly skeletal and I do regularly change things as I progress – but I always have that overarching sense of direction. But this time I’ve got the premise and the scenes but couldn’t fully grasp the ending, so I’ve started writing and am seeing where it leads me. The worry is that I end up in a dead end that takes a huge amount of rewriting. But I have to say it’s going well so far and I’m almost halfway through (I think!). Let’s see what happens…

Ghost of Alice Halloween sale

Both The Boy in the Burgundy Hood and The Girl in the Ivory Dress are reduced from £3.99 / $4.99 to 99p / 99c on Kindle from now until Halloween – over a 75% reduction! Scroll to the end of this post for the link straight to the Amazon page.

The Boy in the Burgundy Hood Halloween sale

Plus… advance warning of The Secret of the Tirthas promo campaign

And another heads up – I’m running a major Kindle promotion of The Secret of the Tirthas around November 11th. The first book in the series, The City of Light, will be free and there will be discounts on one or two of the next books!

I wish you a suitably creepy Halloween – and as ever, thank you for reading!

The Girl in the Ivory Dress – cover reveal!

The Girl in the Ivory Dress

I’m very excited to share for the first time the cover of my forthcoming ghost story, The Girl in the Ivory Dress!

It’s the second story featuring Alice Deaton, in a series of standalone novels called The Ghosts of Alice. The book will be released in the next 2-3 weeks.

What do you think?

Charlie Comes to the Mountain – a new poem for Easter

It’s been a while since I’ve done a poetry video for my blog so, with Easter and spring and a smidgen of hope in the air, here’s a new one – Charlie Comes to the Mountain. I wrote it last year when we went to the Brecon Beacons in South Wales and took a family hike up Hay Bluff. It was a gorgeous day, baking hot, and there was a boy racing up the mountain, leaving his anxious siblings behind. I’d had the last line of the poem in my head for a long time, but it found its home in Charlie. Have a good Easter.

This is a new poem, so not in any collection yet – but click below if you want to find out more about my previous poetry books:

I got a Bookbub Deal! The Boy in the Burgundy Hood sale

The Boy in the Burgundy Hood ghost story Bookbub sale 21-24 Feb 2021

Read on for a chance to grab The Boy in the Burgundy Hood for 99p/99c in my Bookbub sale…

Well, here we (or at least those of us in the UK) are again in our third national lockdown. To be honest, there are aspects of lockdown that suit me as a writer. It means I lose a long commute to my part-time work in London. Instead of getting on a train in the early morning, I get to take a walk in the local woods, which is good. And of course, being a writer, I enjoy spending time indoors writing books.

But that’s as far as it goes. The homeschooling of two young boys is pushing everyone in my house to the brink. Love ’em as I do, it’s been two months since we all had a break from each other. School may have put everything on Teams – meaning I no longer have to try and explain fronted adverbials – but the technical challenges and juggling of digital resources has added a whole new layer of conflict and frustration.

Anyway *deep breath* that’s enough whingeing from me. I know my challenges are nothing compared to what most people are going through. So over to some lighter stuff…

The Boy in the Burgundy Hood – Bookbub sale!

Need a ‘compelling mystery with a dark twist’ (Amazon, 5⭐) to distract you in lockdown? I landed a ‘Bookbub Deal’ (promotional gold 😀) for The Boy in the Burgundy Hood! That means from 21-24 February you can get a copy for 99p / 99c, reduced from £2.99.  Described by US author Sherry Ross as an ‘eerie but beautiful ghost story’, it now has 43 reviews on Amazon UK, averaging 4.4 stars. Click here to grab your copy now:

More Writing News – including my Dad’s memoirs

In other writing news, I’m deep into editing my follow-on ghost story, The Girl in the Ivory Dress, which I plan to have out later in the spring. At the same time I’m writing a prequel novella for The Secret of the Tirthas about Hattie Swift, Lizzie’s witchy ancestor who first discovers the magical garden of portals in Herefordshire.

And finally, in other writing news, my Dad has joined the very small ranks of writers in our family by publishing his fascinating memoirs about the hotel industry. Do check it out by clicking the link below!

Another World: The Things We Thought Were Beautiful

Another World: The Things We Thought Were Beautiful poetry book

I’m currently working on the final draft of my second poetry book, “The Things We Thought Were Beautiful”. Like “Up in the Air”, I’ve divided this one up into sections, the first of which is called “Another World”. The poems  in this section focus on the natural world and our desire to see more deeply into it.

One of my favourite poems is Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”, in which he talks of what the eye and ear ‘half create, and what perceive.’ I’ve always loved that line. It’s as if there really is a transcendent value in nature that we can grasp, or “perceive”.

But when Wordsworth talks about us “creating” it, is that in the sense of making it real – or just us making it up? And how do we know which bits are our own creation, and which bits are real? The true reality behind reality – if there is such a thing – can only ever be understood, or felt, in glimpses. Poetry is one of the best ways of having those glimpses.

To read more about why I love Wordsworth, check out this post.