Book Signings Continued…..

This coming Saturday morning, 1st November, I will be at Ryde Bookshop, 135 High Street, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2RJ between 10 am and 12 pm to talk to anyone who cares to meet me – whether they buy signed copies of HER PARENTS’ DAUGHTER or not!
I look forward to seeing you there….

PS I’ll also have copies of my other books available…..

PPS Thanks to those who talked and bought at County Press Shop, Newport, Isle of Wight last Saturday including ‘Beanie’ from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Anomaly Competition

Anomaly Competition!

When I was a teacher back in the early 70s I used to check that my classes were concentrating by inserting something completely daft into my discussions.

For example, when talking about the formation of volcanoes I would mention men and women working deep underground turning on taps to allow lava to flow or when discussing the reasons for the development in Roman times of a settlement where London has developed I would make the suggestion it had something to do with the location of Heathrow Airport……

The idea was to jerk pupils out of their complacency by saying something so completely, utterly and obviously wrong that they just had to respond.

I have done something similar in all my books and I have done it again in the first 100 copies of Her Parent’s Daughter.

This time the anomaly is the basis of a competition.

Contact me via this website with the details and the page number.

Tell me your name and address and I will send you the 3 volumes of The Iniquities Trilogy by way of reward.

Changes and Apologies

Summer is over and it’s been a busy one. No competitions were won (not even by Liverpool FC) but the exciting news is that the new book Her Parents’ Daughter is going to be ‘out there’ soon. It leapfrogged A Set of Lies which will be published in the spring of 2015.

For this, my fifth book, I’m doing things differently.

Firstly, after 8 years with Troubador, I have decided to change publishers and am now trying New Generation – we shall see how that goes but so far so good (I think).

Secondly, since having a stock of books is the last thing a self-published author wants to be left with I’ve decided – on the strong advice of my husband Colin – to go with Print on Demand. I took some convincing but fingers crossed the quality will be as good as NGP say it will be. Her Parents’ Daughter will, of course, also be available as an e-book in all tablet formats.

Finally, after comments from several of my readers I understand that the genre of this book is Crime/Thriller. Re-reading the previous books I understand that this should have been the genre for all but Highly Unsuitable Girl.

Once the physical book has been seen and approved I begin the rounds of Sales and Marketing. Shops and Press on the Isle of Wight will be harassed to take stock and coverage and then the press and shops in Ludlow, Shropshire, where I used to live and where some of the book is set.

Fingers, as ever, are firmly crossed……..

PS – A note on the title.

Her Parents’ Daughter was originally to be called Silver Birch but I decided on Her Parent’s Daughter because it is who the main character’s parents are that cause her all her problems. I did not know of similar titles. SO….

Apologies to Carlos Bernard, the actor who played Tony Almeida in 24, who produced a short comedy film called ‘Your Father’s Daughter’ in 2012.

And to Alice Pung whose book ‘Her Father’s Daughter’ was published in 2011.

And to Gene Stratton-Porter who had previously published a book called ‘Her Father’s Daughter’ in 1921.

How difficult it is to choose something totally original!


I’m not very good at competitions.
I am a coward, preferring, most of the time, to keep my head below the parapet, out of the firing line so I can avoid any risk of losing. I could never, for example, stand for election for anything.
My father stood several times as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate through the 40s, 50s and 60s but he never won – he was a Liberal and in those days (as today?) it was a very unfashionable political position. No. I could never stand for election.
But I do go in for some easy forms of competition.
Several years ago I won the bonus ball at two pubs, the Sunday meat raffle and the Giant Easter Egg Draw – all in one week. This week I won the pub bonus ball, and I’ve drawn Costa Rica in the World Cup sweepstake (stranger things have happened!), but I don’t see those as proper ‘I only win if I’m better than everyone else who’s entered’ competitions.
I have won two of those, though in neither case did I actually put my name forward. In 1968 I was awarded the Sixth Form Prize for Geography at my school (Birkenhead High, and I still have the atlas I won) and in 2006 my first book, The Last Dance, won the David St John Thomas Prize for self-published fiction. The £250 I won for that was more than eaten up by the cost of going to Harrogate to pick up the cheque.
Now I’m breaking the habit of a lifetime and entering my work (myself?) into a real competition.
Last week I submitted my fourth book, Highly Unsuitable Girl, to Guardian Legend Self-Published Book of the Month competition.
Fingers are crossed……..


Spring is two thirds of the way through and what’s happening?

Liverpool Football Club may or may not win the league for the first time in 24 years – but even if they don’t come top they’ve done brilliantly.

England Cricket is going through a transition period and may or may not come out better at the other end, surely it could hardly be worse than this last winter. (Did they mean to lose against The Netherlands so Ashley Giles wouldn’t get the job?)

And I’m on my final “Director’s Cut” of the two books A Set of Lies and Her Parents’ Daughter that have occupied my mind for 12 and 4 years respectively.

Perhaps by the end of May Liverpool will be Champions, England cricket will know where it’s going and perhaps, also, I’ll be progressing publication of both titles……

And, just perhaps, it will be warm and dry again with a long hot summer in prospect……

Now is the time to submit to agents…….

This should be an interesting week. At least I hope it will be.
Introduction letter and synopsis for A Set of Lies have been written.
The first chapters have been extracted.
All documents are saved as PDF files.
I even had to produce a CV – for the first time in over thirty years!
And now I’m ready to submit A SET OF LIES to various agents who, I really hope, will be sympathetic.
It’s a good story that took twelve years in gestation and four more in the writing.
It’s gone through so many proofs and re-reads, re-writes and rearrangements, re-thinks and even more re-reads I cannot imagine how many hours have gone into it.
Hours spent with a laptop on my knee while Colin watches television.
Hours spent lying awake wondering whether I have covered all the details of how Sir Bernard did what he did.
Hours spent with the laptop on the kitchen table with Lodger the cat trying to help by walking over the keyboard.
Hours spent at my desktop when there was no ‘day job’ work to do.
Every single one of them enjoyable – in one way or another.
I have loved writing A SET OF LIES and I shall be sorry to wave it off into the real world.
I shall have to say goodbye to Skye, Andy and Carl (though Carl may crop up again – he was after all in THE LAST DANCE, WALKING ALONE and RUNAWAYS).
I no longer need to worry about whether William and Josephine are rather too unhappy and whether Bernard and Catherine are rather too unsuited.
And did Gussie really have to die the way he did? And was Bernard’s punishment of George rather too harsh?
And were the Married Women’s Property Laws that unfair and Estate duties in 1917 that draconian.
Ah well – perhaps one of the agents will spot potential and perhaps they will will find a publisher who will want another re-write and I’ll get to know all the Laceys again.