Tag Archives: Impress Books

Going Public

Sometimes I wonder whether writing a blog is a waste of time. An enjoyable waste of time, but still time that I could spend doing useful things like, um, writing proper stuff? Or testing my kids on their irregular verbs. Or making fab meals for my partner. Or maybe cleaning the greasy grime from my bath (actually, no; not that).

And then something like this happens, and my effort is rewarded.

Like what? I hear you ask.

Click, click, click… like this:

I was in the Pyrenees mountains on my writing residency in June and, to avoid being lonely in the evening, I wrote silly things on my blog about what I’d been doing each writerly day.

On my last day, I received an email via my blog contact page from Clare, a Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook website editor.

If you’re a writer and you’re thinking about publication, you’ll know that this red writers’ bible is published annually and contains listings of agents, publishers, magazines, awards and associations. It also has practical articles from writers talking about their craft.

Well, Clare had been reading my blog and wanted me to write an article for the Writers & Artists  website.

So I did. I wrote ‘Going Public’.

And from this surprise request, I have learnt that having a bit of fun and being yourself seems to be more effective than spending hours drafting queries and proposals.

(Hmm… talking of drafting queries: if you happen to be a literary agent and like my blog, feel free to contact me and offer me representation.)

Anyway, here‘s the article on the Writers & Artists website.

I hope you find it useful. Or interesting. Or something like that.

While you’re there, take the time to browse the website because it has loads of useful information on it. You can register for free and sign up for the newsletter too.

You might even find an article about how to catch the media’s attention via your blog…


Tree Magic available to pre-order

cwa5iacweaqami0I’m pleased to announce that my YA novel Tree Magic is now available to pre-order from Amazon and other ebook websites. It will be published on 9th January by Impress Books’ digital-first imprint Watchword ebooks.

“13-year-old Rainbow travels from England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, to discover whether her ability to communicate with trees is a gift or a curse.

“Will she find her place in today’s scientific society? To find the truth, she must also find herself.”

You have until the end of today, 9th November 2016, to win a Tree Magic prize on Twitter at @ImpressBooks1. Just retweet and follow the pinned tweet at the top of the page to qualify.

Many thanks for your support.


Tree Magic

“Thirteen-year-old Rainbow discovers she can communicate with trees. But that’s just the beginning.

Her magic hands can shape trees at will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences. An accident that leaves Rainbow in a coma leads her mother to make a confession that will change Rainbow’s life forever.

Are her abilities a gift or a curse? Can Rainbow really trust her mother?

From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known.

To find the truth, she must also find herself.”

DSCN2202I didn’t write this. I mean, I wrote the book Tree Magic but I didn’t write the blurb you’ve just read.

It’s a strange feeling when someone else writes a piece based on your own work.

Unlike a review, in which the reviewer is giving their opinion from outside the book, this blurb has been written from the inside. It’s written by a reader who is interpreting your story and wants to share it with other readers. Up to now the only person who has done this is me.

So who did write it?

My publisher!

Ooh…Shivers down my spine. Yes, I’m excited. A novel is a bit like a child, and when someone takes an interest in your child it makes you happy. Unless it’s the police, of course. Or an unsuitable boyfriend – you know: tall, dark (why dark? Isn’t that hairist?), handsome, rich, fun. (In case you’re wondering, he’s unsuitable because your daughter will fall for him and then neglect her studies).

Rainbow has interested several people since she first knocked on the door of my imagination and demanded to be let in. To begin with I let her into the hall, where she asked for a short story – this was back in 2005. I read Rainbow’s story to my writers group, Lumineuse. Later, one of the writers (Christine) told me she could almost see Rainbow beside me.

Rainbow liked this. “See!” she said to me. “Now you’ve got to let me sit down and have a drink.”

She ignored my protests about not having sold my first novel (novel Zero) yet, pushed her way into my living room and demanded a novel of her own. These teenagers. They’re all the same.

Like the model mother I try to be, I negotiated that she could have a small novel as long as she took her feet off my coffee table and helped with the washing up.

She shrugged. “Whatever,” she said. impress post asleep

But the small novel shot up, in the way teenagers do, and became a full size novel.

Rainbow had her own bedroom by now. She would play loud music and order pizza for dinner. She was great company – when she wasn’t sulking about me having to go out and earn a living and deal with real life.

In the end, she decided my house was too small for us both. She wanted to go into the world, which I guess is natural. I’d taken her to meet my writing friends over the years, but now this wasn’t enough.

We wrote off to find her a place with an agent or publisher. Some were interested and encouraged her to keep trying, though they didn’t have room for her. She was interviewed several times, won a runner-up position in a competition and, at one point, was even offered a place.

This didn’t work out, though, and I think she became a little depressed. These poor kids spend years studying, only to find there are no jobs at the end of all the hard work.

Then, one day, an interviewer asked to see her for longer than the standard three minutes. She took her whole self along and gave everything. The publisher liked her. Rainbow liked the look of the publisher. We negotiated. Rainbow yawned – she was a bit bored by all the nitty-gritty, real-world stuff – and we came to an agreement.

So my Rainbow is due to fly the nest. I’m leaving her in the capable hands of a nice young man (Tall? Dark? Handsome?) at Impress Books.

Hence the terrible pun in the blog post title… my apologies if you’re groaning.

Click the following links to find out more about Impress and their ebook imprint Watchword. You can sign up to their blog, discover their authors, see a silly photo of me, read a quote from my editor – and, around January 2017, you’ll find Rainbow sitting on the shelf beside the other Watchword ebooks.