Facebook – General

What is your favourite book and why? What I read depends on my mood when I’m reading so I can’t possibly have one overall favourite. I’ve chosen below one from each major character when an author has several in their canon. A good way of squeezing more books in!

I’ve also deliberately chosen books from deceased authors. I love a wide range of contemporary writers too but thought for this post I’d take a look back at some of the books that have developed my love of reading (and ad a result my love for writing too).

Historical Fiction – The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Agatha Christie Novel – Murder on the Orient Express (Poirot)/The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence)/Nemesis (Miss Marple).

Terry Pratchett Discworld Series – Men At Arms (Vimes Series)/ Raising Steam (Moist von Lipvig)/Maskerade (Witches series)/Reaper Man (Death series)/Interesting Times (Rincewind/Wizards series).

P.G. Wodehouse – The Code of the Woosters (Jeeves and Wooster)/Heavy Weather (Blandings)/Uncle Fred in the Springtime (Uncle Fred)/Cocktail Time (for its send-up of what banning a book achieves – as relevant now as when PGW wrote it!).

“Letters” books – PGW’s “A Life in Letters” is a fantastic read. Also love the Evelyn Waugh letters. Kenneth Williams wrote some great letters too.

“Diaries” books – Kenneth Williams’ one is very sad in places but is also brutally honest. Such a shame he underestimated his skills in comedy and I don’t think truly realised how loved he was, especially for his Just a Minute appearances.

Playwright – Shakespeare, naturally.

Charles Dickens Novel – A Christmas Carol

Jane Austen Novel – Pride and Prejudice

Poem/Hymn – the words to Abide With Me (and I also love If by Rudyard Kipling).

Children’s Series – The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

So what would you choose?

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Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again

The best way of showing people what flash fiction is? Read some tales to them! Great way also to improve public reading skills. Lovely thing with reading flash fiction out loud is, by its nature, it doesn’t take long and so people are more inclined to listen! It is my fervent hope that those who won’t read or feel they don’t have time to will discover flash fiction as it is a form that gives bite-sized reads for those in a hurry! (From my point of view as a writer, it keeps people reading, I hope).

My own love of reading (and as a result of that for writing too) came directly from being read to as a child. I then went on to read my own choice of books (such freedom to choose what I wanted! I love my late mother’s collection but show me a decent bookshop and I can spend hours in there if allowed to do so. Note to self: Don’t spend too long at Foyles at Waterloo or you will miss the train home from the Bridge House/Cafelit/Chapeltown event next weekend!).

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Reading for Pleasure shares reasons why doing this is one of the most important things any writer can do to improve what they do.  (I think it is the most important thing).  Reading opens your mind to other worlds and so on.  What do your characters read for pleasure?  What books and stories would they choose?  Use that to explore more about them.


I share three Quick Tips which I hope you find useful.  I discuss reading your work out loud (and why it matters).  I also discuss marketing and not panicking about it – if you have a book out, you will be marketing it in different ways (without driving everyone nuts!) not just in the short term but in the long term too.  I also discuss the need to find the right balance between marketing, getting on with your writing commitments and finding time to write new work.  This last one I am struggling with at the moment but I know I will find the right key eventually.  When I do I’ll stick with it!


I didn’t get time to blog much yesterday but my current article for Chandler’s Ford Today is a review of A Comedy Trio staged by the Chameleon Theatre Group.  This consisted of three short but very funny plays, all of which I found entertaining and were excellent character studies too.  I also enjoyed playing “spot the reference” in some of them.  One of the plays in particular had a distinct nod to the Rocky Horror Picture Show!  Another had me sympathising with not just a hostage victim but the hostage taker too and yet it was funny.  Really well done by the Chameleons and some excellent writing.


Yesterday, Friday 5th May it was about my Chandler’s Ford Today post.  Today I discuss the joys of the Kindle and why I always seem to forget to take it with me when travelling because I’m too busy enjoying reading from it the night before and consequently leave it behind!  Oh, the joys of human fallibility!



I’m in Writing Magazine this month in the Members’ News Page plugging both From Light to Dark and Back Again and Baubles, the Bridge House Publishing anthology for 2016.  My short story, Helping Out, is in there. The piece looks good and thanks go to friend and fellow Swanwick devotee, Jennifer C. Wilson (author of the excellent Kindred Spirits historical ghost fiction – it’s a great mix, go and have a look!) for sharing the page all over FB!!

Always enjoy spotting a familiar face in Writing Magazine!

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Again I share news of the Writing Magazine spot and some images I thought appropriate to go with it (some of which appear in the book trailer).

In a separate post I discuss how I got into flash fiction in the first place.




Flash fiction should make a positive impression, no matter how brief it is!  Image via Pixabay