I decided to start this blog to journal my experience of having my first novel published. I hope to encourage other debut writers and receive advice from those who know the process. Reaching this point has been both exciting and hard work. I’ve discovered there is no blue print though I’ve masses of books and have attended many courses in an effort to find one.

In addition to developing the stamina to write, research and keep going, I’ve made friends with a variety of people I wouldn’t otherwise have met. That may well be the best bit.

Transition not trauma!

Writing a novel is one part of the process of being published. Marketing is something else. Something I didn’t consider when I started out. Rowan in Batsford Arboretum knows how to adapt If I had been going to open a coffee shop, I would have invested in a...


I am reading Braiding Sweet Grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer about how the native North Americans lived in harmony with plants and animals in their environment. She begins with a creation story told by indigenous people. Skywoman fell ‘like a maple seed, pirouetting...

Notes home

Car after car, vans, lorries, double decker buses and a cyclist in red shorts pause five flights below our hotel window. Across the four lanes of traffic, another hotel; its lift slips up and down, down and back up. People drag luggage across the road, pass the...

This writing life

When I first started writing, I had no idea: about what I would write- novel, poetry, memoir- or how my life would change. For over 20 years I had been a probation officer, my day varied but dominated by deadlines. As an unpublished writer,  there were no prescribed...


When I was a little girl living on the edge of a small town, I used to climb the trees behind our houses. Until I read books by Robert MacFarlane, I thought it was an activity confined to childhood but no it is (or was?) something he enjoyed into his 40s. Trees were...

Unclaimed experience- Trauma

Several years ago I had a car accident. Until that point I had enjoyed driving because it gave me the sense of freedom and independence I now get from cycling. Prior to the accident, I drove a white Lambretta scooter which I loved despite falling off in the Pennine...


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