Oh gosh, yes, as well, the first in The Singhing Detective Series is possibly being made into a film. James Crow, a really talented scriptwriter has written the script for it and Simon Phillips and Paul Tanter are the Director and Producer of an independent film company. Just waiting to her what is going to happen. I am really excited although I always thought The Singhing Detective Series would be great as a TV series too.
Gosh, its been a long time since I last wrote on here. Lots have happened some not good and some very good. Well, I never made it to France. My partner and skipper left. Actually left with an engine not finished and jobs not finished. Over the last year I have got all the work done and I have been living onboard the barge. Now she is up for sale and I hope I will get a buyer soon. The good news is I published my latest book, second in The Singhing Detective Series called THE GODFATHERS OF LONDON. It is my best so far, I know it. I have three fabulously creative murders in it. Jazz, in his usual irreverent style, goes to work to solve the murders. I have a new great baddie called The Birdman of Barking. I love him. I hope to restart my blog now. I am on twitter but I can only write a couple of words and thats all, not much good for a crime writer who likes to write lots lol.
The weather has been terrible. The past 2 months have been awful for taking a barge across he channel. If we could have been ready as we wanted in April we would have been in France by now. Still off soon.
My latest book is finished and in draft form. I am so pleased with it. My initial reader Gary thinks it is my best so far. I appreciate his views very much. Fiona is sending it to publishers as we speak so fingers crossed.
I m so pleased Tesco are still selling my book The Singhing Detective I have a good feeling about this series. I am about to start the 5th book. I so love writing and can't wait o get started.
The weather has been awful. We are not far off leaving Paglesham and making our way to South of France. The crews quarters is nearly finished. Nick and Baz have fitted out the room in light oak and it is a stunning job well done and we have a pull down bed that is really lovely and beautifully hidden behind light oak panelling in the aft cabin. We have installed a wet room with toilet and shower and sink this has been worked on by Keith and Peter. Peter has done a magnificent job - he paints, tiles, plumbs, and is great. Keith is doing the electrics in the room as we speak. I cant wait to see it finished and then I can fill the cupboards and drawers with all our things. Then I can make the other 2 cabins with en suites ready for guests. I hope the weather doesnt hold us up too much. Keith cant take Irma across the North Sea in bad weather because she is a river and canal barge, not a sea worthy barge. Luckily Keith is a Master Mariner and expert at taking barges across the sea.
I have been really busy writing the next book in the series of The Singhing Detective - Called The Godfathers of London. It is getting really exciting and I just love to sit down and write some more. It is taking on a life of its own and I love it. I want to see what is going to happen next.
Its my Birthday today. It is an exciting week. I had an article written in The Barking and Dagenham Post about The Singhing Detective. I was really pleased. It took into account my experience of working in a Police Station and working for the Crown prosecution Ser vice. It makes my books real.
Today the aft decck seating came. OMG its beautiful. The seat at the back of Irma is enormous, seating at least 6 people to 8 people and it is covered in cream leatherette with royal blue edging. The bimini is so meditteranean and the spray dodger around the back of Irma makes the area look so comfortable and cosy. Each side of the spray dodger has IRMA written on it with our email address. We have taken it down for now but once we have a nice day for pictures we will keep it down until we get to France. It is so exciting to see everything coming together. The mechanism for the bed in the crews quarters is in. It will be a pull down bed so we have space to move during the day. It is fabulous. Nick and Baz are doing a wonderful job. Every piece of wood installed is bespoke. A Dutch Barge doesnt have aregular shape at the aft end but it is looking gorgeous. Every piece of wood looks crafted. I cant wait until it is finished.
I have edited my article Irma - The other woman in my life. I have sent it to Fiona. I hope she likes it. Life is very busy at the moment. Irma is coming along nicely. The aft cabin will be the crews quarters and I have to say it is going to look stunning. Nick and Baz are building it for us. Nick is a bespoke carpenter and he is so skilful. I like coming home to see what has been done. Tomorrow the Bimini, leatherette cushions and spray dodger for the Aft deck is being delivered. I cant wait!
Spoken with Fiona from Smith Publicity today. Had a lovely conversation and I am full of enthusiasm and hope that Fiona is going to promote my book "The Singhing Detective". Watch this space!! :)
I have had what I think was flu and it has been such a waste of time. I have so much to do I am sorry to have wasted this important time. I feel better and shall be going back to work tomorrow. I have ideas for my latest book and I want to get them written down. It is great fun to just formulate ideas when resting and then to put them down on paper and see how they grow and change as I write.
I have just taken on Smith Publicity in England. I am hoping they will be able to promote my book "The Singhing Detective". I really feel it has something that is worth promoting. Everyone who has read it seems to love it which must be a good sign. Smith Publicity sound great and I am hopeful.
Gosh its been a long time since I last wrote on here. Lots going on. I have been writing the next in the series of The Singhing Detective. I have got to tell you it is really exciting. I cant wait to come home and write some more. It starts strongly and I hope that will keep you fixed to the pages, it does me. I love writing and cant wait to see where its going.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE. I know I am a tad late but it is never too late to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012. Thank you for looking at my website and taking the trouble to read my blog.
I have spoken today to a most charming man from Eastern Eye, a newspaper for Asian community. He has already reviewed "The Singhing Detective" but will review it again. He said he enjoyed the book. I take that as a great compliment. I am sending him another book.
I have had a wonderful day today. Most of my children and grandchildren have come for a post christmas dinner and presents. We ate together and played a board game together and had fun. I always have a day, usually before Christmas when we all get together. Today was my Christmas where I cooked and looked after my family. I spent Christmas day with my daughter and her partner and my two granddaughters which was wonderful. Keith came with me. This is the first Christmas Keith and I have spent together and it was wonderful. My youngest son couldnt come down from Manchester for Christmas. His company went into administration just before Christmas and money is tight. His car takes a lot of petrol. He has had 2 wonderful interviews and I know how good he is so I am sure he will get one of the jobs on offer if not both but money will take a while to come through. Keith and I will go up to Manchester just overnight. I just have to see Andrew and Nansel and Max and Bradley and take their presents to them. Nansel is expecting my 8th grandchild and the poor soul is very poorly indeed and feeling sick and giddy. How awful to feel like that, and especially at christmas when there is so much going on. It will be an adventure to travel up to Manchester. I am at work on Friday but we will go after work and get to Manchester in the evening. I will spend Saturday with my Son and family and come home that afternoon. At least I will have seen them. Keith is brilliant and very supportive and we will take it in turns to drive up there and back.
I have been checking the sale of my latest book "The Singhing Detective". It seems to be doing much better on Kindle. I have sold lots of "The Singhing Detective" but not through Amazon which is rather sad. I think perhaps it is important to see good sales on Amazon if you want to get the attention of Agents. If you read this, I would be grateful if you would give my book a chance and buy from Amazon. Thank you.
I have had a lazy day today and spent it writing which has been marvellous. My next book "The Singhing Detective - The Godfathers of London" is coming along nicely. I just love to spend time writing. To be quite honest I just wonder if I have been lucky and its a fluke I can write anything. When I sit down and start writing and it just flows it gives me so much confidence to know I can still do it!! lol.. I wonder if other writers wonder if they can write another book or whether they think they were just lucky last time. I am loving writing this book. I adore finding and developing new characters, the more eccentric the better. I know in listening to other writers that their characters tend to do what they want and not what you want them to do. I love that. In my first book I was amazed that my lead character did something I had not planned or predicted but when I read it back I realised he was doing what he should do. It was a fascinating moment and I was glad to hear other writers have the same experience.
I just cant believe it has been so long since I last wrote to you all. Life has been very busy indeed. My book has gone down really well locally and I am thrilled but nothing on Amazon recently. It is so hard to get known country wide. I have a wonderful fan base locally but I am trying to spread out a bit. I have been busy writing a couple of articles to see if I can engineer interest in my writing and also in the fact I live on a barge. I suspect my articles are not gritty enough. I cant help it if life seems great at the moment lol.. I shall have to look for something negative to write about, it might help lol.
On Irma and full of flu and Keith is suffering too. Having said that, it is so peaceful here and just hearing the water lapping is so restful. I have to say the jetty always makes me think of Jaws and the chap fishing off the jetty makes me look out for the big fin in the water. Perhaps I have too much imagination lol. I was used to seeing cars and houses out of my window, now I see the estuary and the yachts bobbing up and down out in the middle of the estuary. The birds swoop and there are still butterflies around. No sirens, no motors just the odd outboard motor as a small craft goes by. Bliss!!! I hope to get back to more writing soon now I have settled in.
I am totally thrilled. I have heard from Jane at Troubador that Metropolitan Life are writing an article about my latest book The Singhing Detective. I cant wait to see it. I hope this book takes off. Everyone who has read it so far is very enthusiastic and complimentary. Uppy has been wonderful if bringing The Singhing Detective to everyone's notice. Uppy is the inspiration for the character of Jazz Singh.
Paul Thompson of Blue Yonder Agency has let me know that today the BBC decided not to use my script for The Singhing Detective. They are fully booked for the next 2/3 years with crime stories and programmes. I thought their reject letter was pretty optimistic, they said they liked the setting of the book and I thought the flavour of their letter was pretty good. I am really pleased and happy for Paul Thompson to be interested and he is still looking at areas where he might get interest. I am not on Paul Thompson's books as a client but he has taken interest in my writing and that is very heartening. Perhaps I am getting it right?
Its Richard Charles birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD. Richard designed the cover of my latest book The Singhing Detective. It is an utterly brilliant cover and I am thrilled with it. There has been lots of comments about it.
Sorry I havent been around for a while. I have just moved out of my house and on to a Dutch Barge. She is really beautiful and I have brought my potted flowers full of begonias and they have bedecked Irma (the Dutch Barge). I have had lots of comments on how pretty she is looking. She just needed the feminine touch. lol..
The extra books have arrived just in time. Helen has taken quite a few to work and they are going like hot cakes. I notice I am getting more hits on my website and that is wonderful. I am quite overawed by the response to my book. The reviews have been fantastic. I hope some will put them on Amazon. The more reviews you get the better. It is just lovely to hear from readers that they enjoyed The Singhing Detective, and quite a few have gone on to read my first two novels Devil's Tears and Silent Night. I have a book evening soon and I am looking forward to that.
I have a few more book signings and I cant wait. I have ordered more books to be delivered because I have run out. I hope I get time soon to write some more on my fourth book. Life has been so busy there isnt enough hours in the day. Uppy's enthusiasm has been marvellous.
I have been breathless with the way my books have been bought by everyone at work. The kindness of Amanda in Media and her interest, the enthusiasm of Uppy and now my book has been read at work the lovely comments and discussions going on. I couldnt be happier. well, ok perhaps I could if I got the interest of an Agent or TV or films. Perhaps someone will want to make it into a film, or a TV series that would be wonderful. I know, I know, but you have to have dreams. At the moment I feel as good as I possibly could with the reaction to my book. It isnt even in the shops yet, not until 1st October. Must write more soon. Time seems to be a precious commodity and I havent got enough of it!
I have spoken to two people who are reading my latest book "The Singhing Detective" - they have only had a copy for a day and they love it. It makes me feel good to know I can write something that enthralls. I am having a good day!!! Must write more soon.
Uppy, at Met Barking Police Station has been selling my books. I am taking signed copies in for 20 people. He got the orders within 5 minutes of going on duty. How brilliant is that!¬! He has been very supportive. I based Jazz in the Singhing Detective on someone like Uppy because I think he is a wonderful officer and with a personality and kindness and dedication to his work you rarely see. He is a very good Detective and I love listening to him talk.
I had a stand at Paglesham Country Fair today. It rained, it was windy but it was the best day ever. Everyone was so lovely and they talked to me and were interested in my books. I hope I made some friends there. The mayor and his lovely wife spent quite some time talking to me and I gave them some books for the school they teach in. Again, Richard and Amanda came with a Gazebo which I was grateful for. The weather was pretty awful. Keith, as usual, was wonderful and looked after me.
My book arrived. "The Singhing Detective". Gosh it looks good. I love the shiny cover. Helen and the girls and Richard Amanda and Thomas brought me flowers, cakes and a bottle of champagne. I dont drink much these days but what a lovely thought. They loved the book too. Richard designed the cover; he designs all my covers and I think he has done a fab job. I am glad they are proud of their mum. Keith has been so very supportive and I am so lucky to have him. I thank the powers to be every day for him.
Gosh I have been so busy with all sorts of projects but today I have heard that my third book "The Singhing Detective" is going to be delivered on Thursday to my home. I cant wait I am so excited. I hope everyone loves it as much as they have loved my previous 2 books. I hope they love it more because it is the start of a series of book with Jaswinder Singh, The Jazz Singher as my hero in the books. We will see what happens. Its really exciting. Thank you all for your support.
All the alterations to my book has been done, all the commas and fullstops are in the right place (fingers crossed) and it has gone to the printers. I cant wait to see it in book form with cover.
I was at Fairlop Lions Club meeting last night. I showed a few people my AI (Authors Information) with picture of my new book coming out "The Singhing Detective." Two of the Lions were Sikhs and they thought the cover looked really good. I am glad, I wanted them to know I have shown the Khanda in a respectful way.
I have just come back from Manchester. It was Max, my grandson's 2nd birthday and it was great. I stayed in a lovely hotel near Rochdale and met Angel. Well, he was so like my character of Angel in "The Devil's Tears" I just sat and looked at him. I had to explain because my stares could have looked a bit rude. He was quite chuffed to think he was like my hero in the book. The strange thing was his name was Michael too.
I have had a fabulous weekend with Fairlop Lions handover night which went well. It is where the President hands over to the next year president. Was a good evening and a new member was inducted. On Sunday I went to Letchworth Lions Charter day at Paradise Park in Herts. It was great and fun and we got to look around the zoo afterwards. I stroked an owl and held a skunk.
All the Lions I met this weekend were wonderful and hard working for charity. Its not often you get the chance to be in the company of such ultruistic, good and charitable people.
I have got the proof readers copy back. I am having to go through the manuscript page by page. She not only sorted out the commas and full stops she also decided to change the dialogue for my characters. I cant have that. So spending hours upon hours looking at what she has done and putting it back to how it should be. This experience with my publishers has not been the best. Still the book will be fabulous when in print I am sure.
I am writing the 2nd book in the Singhing Detective series called The London Godfathers. Best to keep ahead. I am enjoying this one as well. there are more new characters to perplex, upset and try and dupe Jazz. It has quite a gruesome and intriguing number of cases that all seem to fit together. Jazz jumps in the deep end but does he come up with the answer or does he get pulled deep into the mire and left to drown. We will see.
Gosh it has been a long time since I last blogged if thats the right word. There has been quite a tussle over the cover. Richard Charles again came up trumps for me. What an absolutely fabulous cover he designed for me- I love it!! Hope you do too. I think my publishers preferred something else but I didnt and I truly and utterly believe you DO judge a book by its cover, well in the first instance anyway. So they now have taken on board the cover. Uppy, who is my friend and the inspiration for the idea of Jazz, is really enthusiastic and has put up my AI, Author Information about the new book, everywhere. He is just such a great character.
My publishers have decided that a totally new type of cover is needed and they are working on this at the moment. It is getting very exciting and I cant wait to see the new cover. I dont think it will be long before the manuscript has been typed up into book format. I think the publishing date may be put back to October because of the cover. It will be worth it if I get the sort of cover I want which is something that catches your eye and gives you a snapshot feel for the type of book it is.
I had a wonderful email from a fellow Lion who I respect a lot. A young lady who has become President of her club and also ran the Young Ambassador District Competition this year and is involved in many charitable events. She went on holiday and took my two books and has written me a lovely, enthusiastic email saying how much she enjoyed them. She particularly enjoyed Silent Night. I am so grateful for feedback on my books and good feedback always gives me a wonderful feeling of maybe getting it right.
I think my press release is going into the Weekly Messenger which is a work magazine. I know some people are waiting to hear more about my latest book "The Singhing Detective. My publishers seem quite excited about the topic. I love it!! but I might be a tad biased... lol..
Richard Charles is working on my cover for me. I have a very specific idea for The Singhing Detective and although I will have a great illustrator to do the actual work for the cover, Richard Charles is my creative person who puts my ideas down on paper and makes them look good! lol I am very lucky to have his input. I love all of this. Uppy is very busy and hasnt as yet provided what I need but there is always another way to get the information you need and the internet is a magnificent tool. I would love to have the cover ready so that details of my book in the Gardners Catalogue which is the wholesale catalogue used by shops etc for ordering new publications has the cover there as well. Very exciting times.
It is all beginning with my publishers. The Media department have sent me draft press release and AI. I am so excited, it looks really good. I am trying to get Uppy to bring me a saffron scarf so I can see the colour. I have a clear vision of the cover of my book and it involves a saffron scarf which is a Sikh scarf. I am going to be busy organising this. Its great fun and Uppy, who is my inspiration for The Singhing Detective is very enthusiastic.
Its all set now for Birmingham Conservatoire on 16th April. This is a Lions Young Musician competition which has its final in Belgium. My young musician Aisling who plays the Oboe is going to Birmingham for the National Final after winning the District Final in Oxford. We will have to set out early. I must leave home at 6 a.m. to pick up everyone in Ilford. We have to be there for 10 a.m. Its going to be a long day but Aisling is fantastic and I think she so deserves to win and be recognised. Her playing is beautiful, artful, and sensitive. There will be four of us going with me driving. Fingers crossed we come back smiling.
I gave a talk at the "Spare Rib Club" (I love their name), in Craham, Essex on Thursday night. I had to speak for about an hour. I so enjoyed it. My talk was entitled "An Essex Lady wot writes". There were about 24 ladies present and they made me most welcome and listened intently. I talk about why I write, and a bit about being published. I read them one of my short stories. I had success on radio stations in America and I talked about my experience of young people who belong to gangs. The ladies were very interested on my take on why young people join gangs. I finish with an article I wrote called "There are no calories in writing." I would love to have more speaking engagements. I sold some books too! That cant be a bad thing. One lady came up to me to tell me her daughter had read "Silent Night" (my second book) and she wanted me to know how much her daughter had enjoyed it. That was lovely to hear.
It was the District Convention. I am a member of Fairlop Lions and for a District of 90 clubs we did very well. We won 4 awards, two of which were mine. Tahlia gave her speech to the 300 delegates there and she was outstanding. Tahlia's mother came along and she was so proud of Tahlia. We all were very proud of her. Aisling couldnt come due to prior commitments but I collected her cup and also a shield for Tahlia. I feel so lucky to have been part of supporting the two talented girls. The Convention was good fun and a fantastic opportunity of meeting new people.
Again, I have to tell you about Tahlia. I was asked to find a young person under 19 years of age who had done something for her community. The Lions had a Young Ambassador competition that went international. Tahlia is a voluntary member of Thamesmead Trust. Tahlia is just 16 years old and has worked tirelessly with a group of young people to raise money to improve the environment for young people in the area. Thamesmead is a challenging area that has a high crime rate with gangs, drugs, knives. It would be so easy for a young person like Tahlia to be "normal" and join a gang and become involved in crime in the area but she made the decision to buck the "norm" and do something constructive for her area. Tahlia won our District competition and we went to Birmingham for the National Competition. They were all winners, all 12 of the competitors but only one could take the honour and it was a deserved honour by a young man there. I am very proud to have been involved with Tahlia and Thamesmead Trust and to have helped her sponsorship through Fairlop Lions Club. The bursary money won in the District competition will help young people in Thamesmead.
I know its not about my books but as you know I am a Lion. I am proud to be a Lion (it is a charitable organisation and worldwide). Well, I have been asked to work with young people and find a young classical oboist to compete in our international music competition. Well, the young person selected by my club to represent us is Aisling. She won the district competition and will be entering the National Competition in April. She is utterly fantastic and a wonderful oboist. I am very proud indeed to be part of this competition. It is so good to recognise and nuture the talent of young people in this country. Fingers crossed she does well in the National, she deserves to. I could listen to her playing for hours and she is a lovely person to boot!
I am publishing my third book "The Singhing Detective". It should be published by September 2011. This is the first book in a series of books with my lead character the fabulous Jaswinder Singh - known as The Jazz Singher to his friends and enemies. He is a brave, foolhardy, funny, endearing, enthusiastic Detective in the Metropolitan Police Service. I love him.
I forgot to mention I am engaged to a Delivery Skipper who takes ships across the channel, commissioned by Insurance Companies, to deliver Barges and ships to their owners. We will live on Irma, she is a Dutch Barge, all 24 meters of her and the saloon is 16 feet wide. I know I am mixing my metric with my feet and inches but you know what I mean. Irma is beautiful with a great sheer line. We will be, in the future, going to the South of France to cruise the canals and waterways. The wheelhouse is unusual and custom built with a "I have always been here look" although Keith has built it and put it there. The Dutch bargees say that if they had the technology 100 years ago when she was built, that is exactly where the wheelhouse would be. Irma is warm and friendly and I love being on here. The tide comes in and goes out and Irma is so solid and firm in her moorings she doesnt move. You can tell, I have fallen in love with her. She just needs a little TLC to get her back to her full magnificence (that could just be a woman talking here but we girls have got to stick together).
Gosh its been a long time since I have written here. A lot has happened in just over a month. Apart from getting engaged to be married, I know, you had no idea. Well, neither did I but I am very happy and pleased and looking forward to a new life. It will include lots of writing and sailing and fun. Will tell you more later. I am a Lion as you all know. I have been charged with 2 projects and the first one is the Young Ambassador Competion. Tahlia is the young girl we are sponsoring and she won the District Competition. She is utterly marvellous and the voluntary work she is doing with others of her age (Tahlia is 16 years old), is awesome. She has helped raise £5.5M towards building a complex for a community that has very little. This will be somewhere to meet, to grow, to learn and to extend. We are off to Dudley at the end of the month for the National Competition. After that it goes international. I am keeping my fingers cross for Tahlia because she deserves to succeed. She is a winneralready-
So sorry this is late but MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all. I have been in Manchester spending Christmas with my son and grandchildren and all the wonderful family and friends up there. Manchester is freezing but the warmth of the people and the kindness they showed me kept me baking hot! I am back in Essex and looking forward to seeing my daughter, son and grandchildren today. Fabulous Christmas and wonderful to enjoy it with family and close friends.
I received my copies of "Mulled Words: A Winter Anthology". In the preface it states I won the short story competition with my short story called "Winter Folly". Gosh. I am so proud of that. I really loved the story and thought it brought a different view on winter.
Artillery of Words are bringing out a book with all the winners of their competition on winter. As I said before it will be called "Mulled Words: A Winter Anthology". My story is called Winter Folly and I actually loved writing it. I thought it was a little bit different with a slant on winter. The website for Artillery of Words is: http://theartilleryofwords.weebly.com/
I had the most fabulous feedback from Hayley who bought "The Devil's Tears". She said she read it in one sitting because she couldnt put it down and finished it at 3 a.m. in the morning. lol.. I thought that was wonderful and she wrote to tell me. I felt good that day. It is just great to know something I have written has been enjoyed. Hayley said she would put a comment on Amazon about it which I hope will help. Thank you Hayley, you made my day!!
I sent Artillery of Words another short story for November issue. I noticed they hadnt used it. I didnt want to assume they would always use my stories, but I did want to know why they hadnt used it when they had used my other short stories and what was wrong with it. Constructive feedback is good. Sarah kindly answered me to say she was saving it for December and the Christmas issue because it had a relevence and a deeper meaning. She said it was well written. I am so very pleased she likes it and relieved. You never know if you are going off the boil and your writing is suffering. Luckily I am still ok. phew!!
I entered the competition for Artillery of Words. They wanted a short story of no more than 2000 words about winter. I am one of the winners. My short story is called Winter Folly. I hope it is a bit different from standard winter story. Artillery of Words are compiling a book for Christmas called "Mulled Words: A Winter Anthology" I am looking forward to seeing that. Its short stories and poems. I very much enjoy writing short stories.
Life is good. My friend Amrit took my two books away to read on holiday and is so kind and full of praise. She is telling her friends and I have a few more sales which helps. Gosh this self publishing malarky is so costly and so difficult to get known. But at the same time, its just so exciting when someone gets excited about your writing and sees all the nuiances in the plot. I love it. You have to be out there to get noticed and I am sure one day someone will take my books on. I am full of hope for the third one too. My readers who check it out for me enjoyed it very much and want another book in the series to read so I had better get on and do some more writing. I have only had good feedback so far, fingers crossed it stays that way but I do value constructive criticism as well.
Artillery of Words Magazine arrived. The October edition is fabulous and one of my friends is also published in it. Daniel Rosenfeld has also written a short story in the edition. Daniel is a prolific writer and has written 16 books that have been published. We are talking about a joint project and we will see where that will go. Daniel lives in America. He has wonderful plots for his novels.
I am waiting for Artillery of Words A4 magazine latest. I have another short story that they have kindly published. As I said before, I entered their Winter short story competition. I think its a nice little story and I hope it does well.
I received Artillery of Words glossy A4 magazine which has been beautifully presented. It contains short stories, poetry and articles which I found very interesting. I will get their next edition as well. I have sent another short story which is on their website for October and I will do the same for November. I have a series of short stories which I hope eventually to make into a book.
I entered my first short story competition for Artillery of Words. The subject is "Winter". I so enjoyed writing it. I got quite a buzz from developing the story line. I love short stories because everything is condensed and I always like either a twist in the storyline or to take a different angle. I have chosen a different angle and I hope the judges like it. I am really pleased with it and it made me a little emotional when I read it back.
I have discovered Artillery of Words which is for new writers. They have accepted my article "There are no Calories in Writing" and my short story "Its Good to Talk." I hope to keep an association with them because it is exciting to work with people who are interested in new writers and who want to showcase their work. I sent them another story for the October edition and they have accepted it. It has made me want to sit and write some more short stories. they put my articles on their internet site and also in their monthly hard copy magazine. I cant wait to see my copy which I have ordered.
Had the audition today at the Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford. Peter Dilimore was the accompanist, David Chivers who has organised so much for me was there and we were so honoured to have Jeffery Wilson, one of the country's foremost Composers and educator. He was wonderful and adjudicated the two oboe soloists. Both were to the standard of the competition and it was wonderful listening to them play. So young yet so talented. I am now waiting hear when the next part of the competition starts. I am in awe of the three of them giving their time freely to help young people. You always here the negative things in life but there are such good people out there willing to help and give their expertise freely to help others. How lucky am I to have found them? Very!!
I noticed my son Andrew has written a comment at the bottom of the Defining Moment on the internet mag part of Viv and it made me quite emotional. I shall keep a copy of it.
Viv Magazine sent me a link to their hardcopy magazine where they have put my article "Defining Moment". Its really great to know they not only put me in their internet magazine but in their hardcopy magazine as well. I really hope it helps sell some books. I really enjoyed writing the article and it was all true. I found it very emotional to write but also I feel quite proud to have put in words how I felt. I showed my children and they were very proud of me and I think saw a different side to mum.
Gosh I have been so busy of late. The Lions have asked me to take on another project called Youth Ambassador for 2010 - 2011. Fabulous project where I am looking for a young person between the ages of 15 years - 19 years who is doing something fantastic for their community. We always hear of the young people who cause problems and get into trouble. The Lions want to showcase the young people who quietly and dilligently do great work for their community. We are sponsoring them through the competition with the final in Europe. The prizes will be for their own personal development or towards their project. I am confident I shall find an exemplary young person who we can all feel proud of.
The Same Agent has now asked for the manuscript of The Singhing Detective. I am hoping I may have captured his interest. He did say he wasnt taking any new authors onto his books but I have my fingers crossed, you just never know.
An Agency who are not taking on any new clients have shown an interest in my third book and have asked me to put the synopsis into scenes. They are going to try and sell it to Radio Drama. I have never written in scenes and I hope I did it as he wanted. I got a message to say still working through the pile he has on his desk and I am getting nearer the top. So fingers crossed.
It has been a few months since I left Smith Publicity but one of the publications "Not Born Yesterday" they had contacted have selected my book "Silent Night" and put it in their magazine. I am really happy to know there is still a slow burn happening in America. If I had more money I would have stayed longer with Smith Publicity because I think they did a wonderful job in the short time I was with them. Who knows what might have happened if I had stayed longer.
I have had another good review on the Devil's Tears. Its posted on Amazon. I am really grateful for the time taken by any of my readers to put a review on for me. I am sure it helps when someone is looking to buy a book.
An Agent who says they are not taking on any more clients has seen something in my third book and asked me to write a synopisis in scenes. He feels he could sell it to the BBC Drama Department. I have never done anything like this before but I gave it my best shot and now I am waiting to hear if I did it correctly. Hope the Agent doesnt give up on me if I got it wrong. It sounds a wonderful opportunity.
I have been sending off a submission for my third book. I am receiving lots of replies back from Publishers and Agents, sadly all rejections. What I have learned from it is they all seem to like the idea of the book but they conflict on some like the character and not so much the story line and others like the story line but not the character. I wonder if this means I have got it right but just not found the right Publisher or Agent who will fully commit. I shall carry on and hope I will find that Publisher or Agent. I have to say I have received some lovely replies and I am grateful to them for personalising their replies. I know they get hundreds of submissions a week.
Atlantean Publishing have just published my article "There are no calories in Writing" in their supplement. They are based in Southend and it is great to have an Essex publication publish my article. They published the whole article which I am really pleased about. So kind of them to send me a copy which I shall file.
As you know, I am a Lion which makes me part of a very prestigious Charitable worldwide organisation. I have been given my first project. I have to find a youth Oboeist 24 years old or under who we can sponsor into an international competition. There will be a district winner in England with a worthy money prize plus the chance to be put in the final in Europe with a very more worthy money prize. I am looking for a classical Oboeist. I can give further information if you contact me on [email protected]. I am very excited by this project but it has a time scale that is pretty tight. The final in Europe is in March of next year or thereabouts. I am collating all the information as quickly as possible. Hope to hear from you.
I received a copy of my article that is in a senior citizen newspaper in America. They posted my article "There are no calories in Writing". What was strange was they deleted the funny bit in the article about a friend of mine taking a toy boy. I thought it would make everyone laugh. Never mind. It makes me smile when I read it.
Dina Barsky from Dan Publicity emailed me. She is now back at work after being on maternity leave after having the gorgeous Ethan. She very kindly informed me about "Selling Books" and how they have put my interview on their website and VIV magazine taking my "Defining Moments" article. It is very kind of her because my working with Dan Publicity finished 2 months ago, much to my sadness but I only budgeted for a 2 month contract with them. It shows what a good organisation they are that they still contact me if anything arises from work started with them. I am very grateful to them.
"Selling Books" has put my interview with them on their website. I really enjoyed talking with them. It made me realise just how much I love writing and how it enthuses me and makes me want to do better and write more and come up with new ideas. Its as much fun as reading a good pacey book. It makes me want to write more. The link is on the Home Page if you would like to take a look. I have written to Troubador Publishing to tell them about it because I mentioned them in the article. I mention them whenever I am asked because I think they are a most professional organisation and I have loved working with them.
Today was the handover day in the LIONS for the President. We have a new President Paul Chakravarti. I was inaugurated into the LIONS today. I had such a fuss made of me. There were two of us women. I was the first woman to be accepted in the Fairlop Branch of LIONS and I am very honoured. I have been involved with LIONS for the past 8 months but today is when they hold inaugurations. I am looking forward to being of service. I am involved at present with Feeding the Homeless which was organised by Amerjit Soora. Amerjit introduced me to the LIONS. I also helped Mr Manku in the Diabetes Day earlier this month which was a resounding success. 300 people were tested for diabetes and about 17% received referrals to their doctors. The LIONS are such a wonderful organisation. They help their local community as well help internationally.
How wonderful, Viv Magazine have published on their website magazine my article called "Defining Moments". It may go into their hard copy magazine later in the year. It was an emotional rollacoaster ride when writing and rewriting it but its true and I am proud of it. This is the link if you would like to look at it. Thank you Josefina Rubio who was my contact at Viv Magazine, she was absolutely delightful and so professional to work with. http://vivmag.com/vivmoments/maureen-dutton/
There is a Literary Agent looking in more depth at my third book. I really hope he enjoys "The Singhing Detective" and wants to read more. This is a very exciting time. Until I know different he is going to love the book! (fingers crossed)
I have received some very interesting feedback from readers who have enjoyed reading my second novel "Silent Night". It is always helpful to know if I am on the right track. It seemed like everyone loved the build up towards the end. It is fast pace and you dont know what is going to happen. I loved writing it and couldnt wait to come home to write more so really glad what made my heart race also made my readers heart race.
I am waiting to hear if the Magazine Viv is going to take my article called "Defining Moments" I hope so,it was quite an emotional ride in writing it.
Dina had a most beautiful baby boy! I know, I saw his picture. Congratulations Dina and well done.
Have been working hard to find an Agent for all my books and a Publisher for my third book. I have a submission prepared and have sent by email to many. I hope someone has the time and inclination to look at mine. I realise that it is an impossible task because they receive so many submissions but you just never know so onward and upwards. My small but beautiful group of readers like my books so hope an Agent or Publisher will feel the same.
I am so sad I have now finished my contract with Smith Publicity. It has been the most wonderful roller coaster ride. Dina who was my contact was absolutely excellent and showcased me and my book to radio stations across America and publications. I have written articles that have been published. It was fast moving, friendly and fun. I shall miss my contact with Smith Publicity. I miss them all as friends and when my next book is ready for release I will most certainly contact Smith Publicity. Their professionalism was awesome, their patience endless and their kindness priceless.Dina's baby is due within the next 2 weeks and she has promised to let me know. What is in the water in America? Dina had so much energy and verve and ideas I just couldnt believe she was so pregnant.
I had the most fabulous live interview with Josefa Salinas on Crystal Dragon Entertainment. I talked about why I started to write and how much I love writing and being part of plots that are scary, loving and breathtakingly exciting whilst sitting in the safety of my own home.
My live radio interview today has been cancelled because the presenter read my book, and liked it but said it was too "racy" for her listeners. Gosh! I am surprised at that.
I have another 2 radio shows to do within the next week or so. I believe they want to discuss why I started writing and why it is so important to me and my children. I am looking forward to them. I have found all the presenters on American Radio I have talked with to be so very nice and kind and they have made me feel very comfortable.
I talked on "Chat with women" in America. I talked to Pam Gray who asked me about how I got into writing and why it was important to me. They were so very nice and I talked for about 15 minutes. I told them why my life had changed and how I had to take stock and discover who I was and what I wanted out of life. After being married for 35 years and being comfortable as a wife and mother and knowing who I was, suddenly the children had left home as they should and my marriage went out of the window. It was an excellent time to think about who I was and what I wanted. I wanted to write and that discovery led me into the exciting world of novel writing and I mixed with characters, situations and places I would never venture into. I made my children proud of me and that was so important.
My latest article has just been printed in the Hawaii Reporter. I attach the link for your interest.
I was on live radio with Murray from Denver Colorado. It was a book programme and although it was supposed to be for 3 - 5 minutes it went on for 10 - 15 minutes. Again, he was very interested in Gangs in England. I hope I gave him an insight into why young people join gangs. He talked about my book and said it would be on the radio show website. He was very sweet and said to his listeners that they should listen to my accent because I was English. I had fun talking to him.
I recorded an interview for the Martha Lucia Show, North Carolina. Martha was lovely and so worried about the young people in North Carolina. We talked about gangs and mentoring. She is giving away copies of my book "Silent Night" to some of her listeners.
I had a wonderful evening at a charity function for the LIONS. They raised £21,000 that evening which was just amazing. What is wonderful to know is that every penny will be used for local and international projects. I feel very proud to belong to the LIONS.
I had another live radio interview this morning at 12.30 a.m. which is 6.30 p.m. American time. Deniece was a fabulous interviewer and gave me time talking about my book Silent Night. She said she was reading it and was enjoying it. I spoke about gangs and why young people join gangs. and a little about Domestic Violence. I enjoyed the interview very much and Denience said I would be welcome on her programme any time which I thought was very kind of her.
Life has been a whirlwind lately. I had another radio interview and it was absolutely fantastic. I have written an article which has been published twice and another article might be published. Dina from Dan Publicity is working so hard for me. I am breathless by it all and I am working hard on another article. Life is good and fun and will see where it takes me. The link for the latest article published is The Good The Bad and The Criminal http://newsblaze.com/story/20100403211835zzzz.nb/topstory.html
I was on the radio for Wisconsin Morning News talking about Gangs. I had a wonderful interview and very much enjoyed talking about my stance on why young people join gangs. I also talked about how boys as young as 12 years old were ruling the roost at home because they were the eldest male in the family. The family dynamics of a single mum raising a family alone with a 12 year old boy acting like the head of the family and doing what he liked with the mother unable to keep any control. I was made very welcome on the show and they were kind enough to let me talk a little about my latest book "Silent Night".
I stayed up and was interviewed on the Lars Larson radio show . I really enjoyed it and Mr Larson was wonderful. I was asked to comment on youth criminality and in particular how they can marshal themselves together so quickly. I think the comment alluded to the Portland Riot. Mobile phones; some young people have at least 2 mobile phones and some 3, together with text speak makes communication across a wide area so easy and quick. We discussed the fact that the work ethic is not something that has been instilled as a matter of rite into a lot of young people's lives. If parents dont work and aunts and uncles dont work what hope is there for the children to understand that education and jobs is what gives you self respect, respect in the community and makes you able to be proud of what you achieve.
Just back from Spain where I met some wonderful people who were there for a 70th Birthday party. Doreen was 70 years old but no one could believe it, she looked at least 10 years younger. Danny is a budding actor and he took a copy of my latest book Silent Night and promised to give me feedback.
Trevor from Felixstowe Radio emailed me. He has aired another of my short stories "Mother Knows Best" It had good reviews. I have asked for a link so I can put this on my website. I love writing short stories and have sent another one to Trevor. I am waiting to hear if he wants me to record it.
I have been very busy at the moment. I am working with Smith Publicity in America and they are going to promote my latest book. I am really looking forward to working with them. They seem very enthusiastic and professional. Today I am talking to Dina about my work to give her an insight into who I am and where my characters come from. I have to say they come from all places, some quite dark and disturbing. I have to say I have met people who I couldnt use as a character because they would be unbelievable. There are some fascinatingly unique people in the world.
Just back from Manchester where my youngest son lives with his family. Was wonderful to see them all. I have a small but beautifully formed group who enjoy my books and I met with some of them.
I went to Felixstowe Radio on Saturday and recorded all 4 of my short stories. I had a wonderful time and loved meeting everyone at Felixstowe Radio. Today, Sunday, the first short story "Its Good to Talk" was aired. I was so motivated by it all I have today written another short story.
The short stories are about people on the same train that has stopped for the last 2 hours. I always wonder who I am sitting next to when I am on a train. The stories all have a twist to them. I may make this into a book at some time and the title I would use is "Train of Thought"
Felixstowe Radio is a community radio station and it is full of motivated people. I pick up Felixstowe Radio through their website. Trevor has a writing programme on Sundays usually about 5-6 p.m. and that is where my short stories are read. There is a schedule of programmes on the website.
I am really excited again! I have been talking to Trevor who is the Chairman of Felixstowe Radio. I am meeting him next weekend to discuss my short stories. He has read two of them and kindly edited one of them. I have added a bit more to the story because he wants them to be at least 10 - 15 minutes long. I looked at their website and listened to them on the radio. They sound really good and I enjoyed the programme about the Beatles and their music. Felixstowe Radio have a short story slot and I am hoping my short stories will be read.
I have spoken to and sent an email to Waterstones in Chelmsford asking if they will organise a book signing for me. They gave me a book signing for my first book last year and I am hopeful they will do the same for my second book. Apparently there are lots of local authors in Chelmsford who want the same. Gosh! I hope they will consider me. Waiting to hear.
I have been a bit quiet lately because in discussions with Smith Publicity. It is all going to get underway from 1st March 2010 in America. I am really excited. Smith Publicity look to be a go getting company and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do for me.
Life could get very exciting soon. My publisher, Troubador, have recommended a publicity company called Smith Publicity in America. I wrote to them asking what they could do for me and got a swift and lovely response from Corinne. I am in the process of initial discussions. They sound fantastic and I am hoping they will help me break into the America market. My first two books are based in America and England. Watch this space ...... I am back at work on Monday but will feel I have used my time well if I have started the process of publicity in America. It feels very exciting.
Just got back from Northern Cyprus. Love the people there and I enjoyed walking to the village of Karsiayaka every day. I got a wave and a hello from most people I passed and it felt very warm and friendly. Met Abdi on the plane. Isnt it strange to meet such interesting people when you least expect it. Abdi owns the Pie and Mash Shop near Eastbrook Pub in Dagenham. I have been in there because I work close by. He makes his own pies and they are gorgeous. True East End Pie and Mash. He kindly took a couple of my flyers for "Silent Night" and said I could bring some in when I am passing. His daughter Mary just 4 years old made the boring flight fun.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL - Had a fabulous New Year in Green Palace Restaurant in Karsiayaka. We had Meze and we ate all night. I danced most of the evening and loved to watch Turkish men dancing. Was a traditional evening and I got hugs and kisses at midnight by lots of strangers who felt like friends.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you and I thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for your support. I hope you have a wonderful day and that 2010 is the best of years for you. Lots of love Maureen xxx
I took some of my books to work and everyone has been so supportive. I have sold quite a few. I really hope this book earns me some money. I suspect I shall have to fund the third book and I am hoping between the two books I have published, they might raise enough money to fund the third. Now I have started I shall have to continue. lol.. My third book is nearly finished and I would love to be someone who has a book to publish every year. I have a small band of avid readers who look forward to the next book and I dont want to disappoint them in any way.
I have had a lovely evening. I was invited to meet the Lions for their monthly meeting. I was made to feel very welcome. They are a lovely organisation that raises money to help projects in the local community and abroad. I was so impressed by their professionalism, friendliness and courtesy. They work hard to help many projects and the evening meeting was full of deserving projects and allocating funds raised. I hope I have something to offer such a fine group. I will go to their next meeting in January and see.
It arrived today! My second book, Silent Night is here and I have copies. It isnt in the shops until the publishing date of 4th January but I have my copies. I just couldnt wait to open the box and take a look and hold it. I am so pleased with it and happy. Is it wrong to hug a book? lol. I feel very proud that I wrote it and I just love the cover. I ordered 200 copies and it came on a pallet. Dont know how to get rid of that. I have friends and colleagues who are waiting for their copies before Christmas. Some are giving the book as a present. I feel very proud that everyone who has read "The Devil's Tears" wants a copy of my second book. I hope it is successful because I have the third book in the wings that I hope to get published next year. Any Agents out there want to take me on? I desperately need someone. The first book I took out of the box I have put in an envelope and sealed it. I did this with my first book. First edition copies. Is that me being optimistic? lol They are for my grandchildren.
its funny and wonderful when you get taken by surprise. I went to my gym Nuffields and the young chap behind the counter who I know suddenly said he had read my book. He said he loved it and got quite excited about it and we talked about the characters. It is so lovely to hear someone has enjoyed something I have written. He wants me to sign his book which I will be very happy indeed to do.
I know this page is supposed to be about my writing but I have to say, this is going to be the best day of the year. Today my 3 children, 7 grandchildren are coming for a pre christmas dinner and pre christmas presents. I love this day. I get to cook for my children and grandchildren and they get to chat and laugh and catch up with each other. I love the faces of the grandchildren with the crackers on the table and the present under the tree after dinner. We play finding games. Every year I hide little things for them to find. One year it was frogs, then it was dinasaurs, this year that man Bill Stickers came to my house and left stickers everywhere for them to find and collect. lol.. Its such fun.
Terry from my publishers Troubador, told me today I will have copies of my second book "Silent Night " delivered to me on 10th December. Cant wait! There is something rather wonderful about holding the book you have worked on for a year in your hand with the cover in place and looking so professional. It wont be in the shops until 4th January but I have people who are waiting for the second book and I will be able to sell to them for Christmas.
Went into Chelmsford today and as usual checked Waterstones to see how my book is doing and how it is place. The Waterstones in the shopping centre has sold out! Fab. Checked and they have more on order. Will check when I am next in town if they have come in. Checked High Street Waterstones and they appear to have only one left so will check that too.-
I am at home today. I am cooking. I make a soup that has been handed down from my grandmother to my mother to me and called, surprise surprise "Mum's Soup". While I am there I shall make a couple of shepherds pies one to eat tonight and one or two to freeze down. To cook is a wonderful opportunity to think. I am formulating the next step in the plot of my third book "The Singhing Detective". I find it a fabulous time to think and work out where the plot is going. It is, again, going off in a direction I hadnt thought of at first and thats really exciting to me.
As a postscript: Not sure thinking and cooking is a good thing! Had a few good thoughts but the soup looks too thick and the bolognese type sauce for shepherds pie isnt quite right. So I am going to stop thinking and get creative and bring the food back to what is should be like, fingers crossed.
When I am in Chelmsford I always go into Waterstones. Its a lovely shop and I like the people who work in there. They are committed to books and love them. I go and check my book "The Devil's Tears" is on the shelf and which way it is facing. I like it when it is facing out then the customer can see the full front page.
Today I had a wonderful surprise. Tim, who works there was reading my book and he has finished it and written a review. The review is along side my book and he says he recommends "The Devil's Tears". He enjoyed reading it and said it was a page turner and the characters very believable. I take that as a high compliment from a professional.
I signed the copy and it gets a sticker put on it saying signed by the author.
Chelmsford Waterstones are waiting for my second book to come out called "Silent Night" and I said I will bring in a copy when it arrives. I will be sent copies before they are ready to go into shops.
Received a wonderful call today from Anne in Manchester. Someone had lent her my book "The Devil's Tears" and she loved it. She has to give the borrowed copy back because someone else wants to read it. She is buying 2 copies of the book from me, one for herself and one as a Christmas present for a friend of hers. I will, of course, sign the books. You never know in the future I might be known. I intend to keep writing so I will flood the market with books eventually.
Its really brilliant to get feedback on my book. So far the feedback has been good. It gives me such a buzz to think something I have written has made the reader unable to put the book down. I hope the second book has the same appeal.
I have about 3 friends who are my critics. They read everything before I submit it to the publisher. Jeremy at Troubador Publishing, also has the final say on whether the book is good enough to go to print or not. He seems to enjoy what he reads which is a good sign. My friends who read pre publishing, tell me how they find the book and the story line and if it has grabbed them. They have all said they think the second book "Silent Night" is a thrilling read and even better than the first book. Gosh I hope every one thinks the same. I have a small but perfectly formed group who are waiting for the second book "Silent Night" to appear on the books shelves because they enjoyed the first book so much.