Tag Archives: Narberth Book Fair

Long Shadows: Tales of Llys y Garn by Thorne Moore

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You may recall my interview with Thorne in September. She co-hosts the Narberth Book Fair in Pembrokeshire with Judith Barrow. You can read more about Thorne here https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/12/thorne-moore-author-and-co-organiser-of-the-narberth-book-fair/

I was fascinated to read her books and began with Long Shadows, her newest book released in April of this year.

A compelling read

This book is written as three novellas, each containing tales of Llys y Garn, a house in Pembrokeshire. Each story is told by the female protagonist.

The first is The Good Servant 1884, the second The Witch 1662 and the final story is The Dragon Slayer 1308. The house changes over the centuries, but the women who strive to be heard within it do not.

The first story is about Eluned Skeel, servant to the wealthy owners of the house, while the second is from the perspective of Elizabeth and her siblings. The third is about Angharad, daughter to Owain ap Elidyr.

The reader is given a fascinating insight into the lives of these three women during these points in history. They are all required to be obedient and subservient to men and yet, they’re strong women, willing to fight for justice, family and their honour. Eluned will do anything for her precious ‘son’, while Elizabeth battles for the right to live in the house she adores and Angharad fights in memory of her mother and sister.

The characters are beautifully drawn, giving the reader enough information to paint in their own colours and bring the story to life as they see it. Visually crafted books, written in the third person are my favourite. Each story is compelling, memorable in its own right and written with nothing held back. The stories are set in violent, cruel times and nothing is omitted when describing fights, abuse and childbirth, yet there is joy in Angharad’s friendship with Johan and delight when Mrs Skeel’s boy comes home.

If you’re looking for a compelling read, look no further.

You can buy Thorne’s book, Long Shadows here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Shadows-Tales-Llys-Garn-ebook/dp/B07CQRXKBL/ref

or for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Long-Shadows-Tales-Llys-Garn-ebook/dp/B07CQRXKBL/ref

 

Pop back for more book reviews, author interviews and other writerly stuff, plus tried and tested plant based recipes, dance and magic. Sign up for my newsletter and receive a FREE short story, as well as first opportunity to enjoy my latest special offers. Bright blessings xx

 

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Lisa Shambrook – author of ‘The Surviving Hope’ novels and ‘A Symphony of Dragons’

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Today I’m welcoming Lisa Shambrook to my blog, another author who lives near me in Wales who I’ve met and chatted to at book fairs. You can meet her on 22nd September at the Narberth Book Fair and 29th September at the brand new Llandysul Book Fair, hosted by Cheryl Beer of Parlour Press Publishing.

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I wish I could have a writing routine – time set aside to write, but life is just too complicated for that! I write when I have time and I tend to plan. My first novel Beneath the Rainbow had no outline, I wrote as it flowed through my head, and edited thoroughly after to iron out the creases and fix the plot. Subsequent books, though, have all been well outlined and plotted. I like to have a scene list to work with, but that doesn’t mean I stick to it – any author will know that their characters evolve, and they, very purposely, throw curve balls at you! I absolutely love it when my characters take the lead and tell me, in no uncertain terms, that they’re going to do things differently to how I expected. It spices up my writing nicely!

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

 It might sound odd, but I’m a bit of a squirrel… I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and acorn cups are my stim. So, when I settle to write I have an acorn cup which I can smooth my thumb over and into while I mull over words and prose.

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

 The first thing is my acorn cup addiction and I really do carry them everywhere with me; each of my jacket pockets hold one or two, they’re placed strategically all through my home, and I make a bee line for oak trees!

Secondly, I love the stars and the moon and often find the theme threading through my writing. My Dad used to star gaze with us and Orion is always my first point of call when gazing up into the night sky.

I can’t bear seeing books abandoned, so I repurpose damaged and broken books into gifts in my Etsy store Amaranth Alchemy – breathing new life into old books…

I’m an observer. I like the small things – they need to be noticed. Every word I write in a novel is important, and is placed for a reason. I like details.

Lastly, I’m very partial to Fry’s Turkish Delight and Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

 

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

I’m going to count my family (hubby and three kids) as my first item – I don’t care if that’s allowed or not, I’m choosing them anyway! I’d want my laptop, but if there’s no electricity and there’s a strong chance there’d be no electricity on a lost desert island, then I’d want notebooks, lots of empty ones, and a pen or two, or three. I’d also like my bed, I hate camping and being uncomfortable, so my bed. And lastly, my camera – no doubt there’d be beauty to photograph and I love beautiful things!

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

I’d take The Lord of the Rings – Tolkien – in one enormous book, The Hobbit – Tolkien, His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman, The Dark is Rising Sequence – Susan Cooper, and The Old Kingdom series – Garth Nix. But if I was limited to only five physical books, it would be Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom: Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, Clariel, and Goldenhand.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

Oh, wow, so many to choose from! I’ll be honest, I can’t actually choose between Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan.

 

 7 Your current writing projects?

I’m writing The Seren Stone Chronicles – ‘Centuries beyond post-apocalyptic, the landscape of Wales has turned into a whole new country – and the rumble of dragons has returned…’

I’m ready to begin writing the third book in the trilogy, and hopefully book one will be out in 2019.

 8 Other published work and links….

 

Beneath the Rainbow – Freya won’t let anything stand in the way of her dreams – not even her death. Now her family will need to uncover the clues to her secrets before it’s too late.

 

Beneath the Old Oak – Meg’s mother is having a breakdown, and Meg can’t cope. Seeking to escape bullies and overwhelming anxiety, she discovers an old oak tree whose revelations begin to change her life. Due for release by my new publisher BHC Press 16th October 2018

 

Beneath the Distant Star – Jasmine knows her very existence reminds her mother of something her sister will never have—life. Jasmine struggles to become her own person, and her fragile relationship with her mother shatters. Due for release by my new publisher BHC Press 11th December 2018

 

A Symphony of Dragons – A lyrical collection of seven stories featuring enchanting worlds of fantasy, contemporary fiction, romance, steampunk, and more that will let the song of dragons lead you…

 

Human 76 – Fragments of a fractured world. Follow Ghabrie on her desperate quest through a stark post-apocalyptic world to find her lost sister. A unique book of short tales from myself and 13 other authors.

 

You can find links to all my books on my website: www.lisashambrook.com/books and my blog is www.thelastkrystallos.wordpress.com Publishers website https://www.bhcpress.com/Author_Lisa_Shambrook.html Etsy Shop Amaranth Alchemy https://www.etsy.com/shop/amaranthalchemy

 

Thank you for joining me Lisa and I love and agree with so many of your answers! Getting to know other authors really helps on those long, cold, wet days when it’s just you and a restless, unhelpful WIP!

Join me again for more interviews and writing tips. Bright blessings xx

 

Carol Lovekin – author, feminist and flâneuse

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Today, I’m blogging my interview with Carol Lovekin, an author who lives in my nearest town here in West Wales, whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet and chat with at book fairs over the past couple of years. Carol is published by Honno Press, a Welsh based women’s press based in Aberystwyth. Carol will be at the Narberth Book fair on 22nd September and Llandysul, hosted by Parlour Press Publishing on 29th September.

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I’m a plotter. The idea of writing a book without a plan terrifies me! It’s hard enough with one, frankly. I write a detailed outline. That said, I’m up for the challenge. If plot, characters &/or other factors (editor?!) suggest tangents, I’ll go with them. It’s part of the excitement of conjuring a story. Characters in particular have a way of knowing where they need to go.

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

I have magical, writing earrings! They’re odd – an amber one & a moonstone. Until I lost one of each original pair they were favourites. Rather than abandon them, I paired them up & gave them a role. And I do like a tidy desk. I can’t work in a mess.

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.
I’m a trained ballet dancer.
I hand write in pencil on unlined artists’ sketch pads.
I can swim underwater for (almost) the entire length of my local swimming pool. Working on those last three metres!

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 59.

I don’t do even numbers.

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you want with you?

Knife. Flint. Huge box of pencils. Big box of paper. Teapot.


5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee. My favourite book. Immaculate writing & a superb indictment of racism in America.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve loved it since I was fifteen &
 read it every year. Where my love of the Gothic novel comes from. (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier vies for this slot, for the same reason.)

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Sublime writing; a beautifully constructed novel & a moving exposé on the reality of war. 

Possession A S Byatt. Insanely good writing & the best dual narrative novel I’ve ever read. 
The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman. I love her take on magical realism. The writing is lush; it has an indefinable quality to it.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?
 
Dame Judi Dench.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

One project at a time for me. I’m currently editing my third book. It’s like wandering through a vast wild wood. Luckily, I have breadcrumbs.

 Website: carollovekinauthor.com
Twitter: carollovekinauthor.com

Thank you so much for joining me Carol. You can find Carol’s books on Amazon here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-Lovekin/e/B01ADAWMPC/ref

or for friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Lovekin/e/B01ADAWMPC/ref

Join me soon for another author interview; a peep into a modern writer’s life.

 

Thorne Moore – author and co-organiser of the Narberth Book Fair

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Thorne Moore is a wonderful writer and supports Judith Barrow in organising the Narberth Book Fair. You met Judith earlier in the week https://wendysteele.com/2018/09/10/judith-barrow-author-and-co-organiser-of-the-narberth-book-fair/, so now it’s Thorne’s turn to share a little of her writing life and what makes her tick….

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as

you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I wouldn’t say everything is totally unplanned, but I certainly don’t work it out in detail. I have an idea of where it should go, an image – usually of a location – and a cluster of characters who are mostly 2 dimensional until I start writing. Then they begin to create themselves without any help from me and do or say things I wasn’t expecting. I work on the assumption that if the characters become real enough, the action will also become natural.

The one thing I do need from the start is not a plot but a theme. Something like isolation or guilt or motherlove, which drives the whole story.

 

2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

No ritual whatsoever, unless you include removing the cat from the keyboard at regular intervals, and I don’t care what mug I drink from, as long as there’s caffeine. But I do have a pattern, I suppose. I start writing as soon as I wake up. Don’t bother getting out of bed: dressing is a waste of writing time. I write until I really have to get up and do something else. Afternoons are good for research, but my mind is too occupied with other things by then for total immersion. Finally, unless it’s absolutely tipping down, I always go for a walk after dinner and let my story play itself out like a film in my head. It’s the best way to let problems find their own solution.

 

3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

  1. I ran a restaurant because I like cooking, but I really like it as an essential stage in eating the finished product. A sort of foreplay. I’m not so strong on cakes because they really need precision in following recipes. I’m more of a spontaneous-rummage-in-the-fridge-and-improvise sort of cook.
  2. Given the weather and a lack of other commitments, I’d walk all day. Of course having the Pembrokeshire coast path down the road is a help. I used to run every day but my knees no longer work. I used to climb Snowdon once a year, but now my knees seize up just thinking about it.
  3. Nobody could ever say I wasn’t opinionated. I was known for it at school and why change the habits of a lifetime? It is excellent aerobic exercise, shouting and throwing things at TVs and radios.
  4. I make miniature furniture – dollshouse furniture for collectors, mostly elaborately carved Tudor and Medieval. It’s my alternative means of earning a living and I’ve been doing it for 35 years. Eyesight problems are making it increasingly problematic, but I keep going.
  5. I love houses, their evolution and all the history fossilised in them. Big country houses, ruined castles, 1930s semis, half-timbered cottages, iron-age post-holes in the ground.

  

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you

want with you?

  1. A laptop with solar charger
  2. Inexhaustible wine (and a corkscrew).
  3. A really good carbon steel cook’s knife.
  4. I don’t do glare.
  5. A spider catcher.

 

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

  1. Mansfield Park. Really any of Jane Austen’s books, but that one’s the most complicated, I think.
  2. The Bell, by Iris Murdoch. A regular read full of enchanting imagery, quirky characters, deep thoughts, amusing quotations and it breaks all the current literary rules.
  3. Lord of the Rings, because, although I adored it when young, I haven’t read it for years and it’s nice and long. It set a trend for fantasy novels, but a lot that came after missed some of the elements that made it a success.
  4. Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, because it’s even more relevant in today’s world than it was when she wrote it and I’d like to be reminded how lucky I was to be marooned on a desert island.
  5. Albi by Hilary Shepherd, which I have just read, because it’s huge, not just in length but in scope, focussing on the intensely small and personal and yet highlighting the widest issues of humanity.

 

6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?­

That’s a difficult one. Lots of people I’d like to meet and question, but what if they were a huge disappointment? What if they were really boring? I think I’d plump for Shakespeare. Lots of questions to answer there and I don’t think he’d be too dull. I might have trouble with his sense of humour though.

 

7 Your current writing projects?

I like my books to be complete in themselves, and I never had a fancy to write a series, but I’ve suddenly been overcome by an urge to write a prequel to my first novel, A Time For Silence. I made a start on it a couple of years ago with a short story that keeps nagging me.

 

 8 Narberth Book Fair must take up a lot of time. Why have you got involved?

I was delighted when Judith Barrow held the first fair (in Tenby) because it was a chance to emerge from the private troll’s lair where authors work all alone and meet the public with my books. Or book as it was then. I was delighted to join the team because book fairs are a rare opportunity for indie authors or authors with small indie publishers to showcase their work. We could write the greatest book in the history of humanity but we would still be unlikely to find ourselves in W H Smiths or in the window of Waterstone’s. Book fairs offer that chance to be seen, and heard, but nobody is going to organise them for us so we do it ourselves. I’m gratified that we’ve been able to showcase an increasing number of authors to an ever-increasing audience. Hard work but worth it.

 

9 Other published work and links….

A Time For Silence https://amzn.to/2v6zvPH

Motherlove https://amzn.to/2M3jmkM

The Unravelling https://amzn.to/2LOxAsO

Shadows https://amzn.to/2mYgCKv

Long Shadows https://amzn.to/2NX0QLi

 

Blog: http://thornemoore.blogspot.co.uk

website: www.thornemoore.co.uk

FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/thornemoorenovelist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThorneMoore

Amazon author page http://amzn.to/1Ruu9m1

 

NARBERTH BOOK FAIR www.narberthbookfair.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/events/187825558612624/

 

Thank you so much, Thorne for sharing with us…you’ll have to come and poke around in my old house one day!

Check out the website for the Narberth Book fair or the Facebook page and be sure to find out more about Thorne’s novels…I’ve Long Shadows on my kindle which I’m itching to start!

Support book fairs! They’re a brilliant way to introduce children to books and to meet the author behind the stories you love.

 

See you on 22nd at Narberth!

 

 

 

Judith Barrow – author and co-organiser of the Narberth Book Fair

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Today, I’m excited to interview Judith Barrow on my blog, repaying the favour after she interviewed me for BookSmart on Showboat TV. I met Judith two years ago when I attended what was then the Tenby Book Fair, which has now flourished into the Narberth Book Fair, hosting over 40 authors and their books.

There’s a fabulous website too, where you can find out about the authors before you attend.

https://www.narberthbookfair.co.uk/index.html

Let’s meet Judith and find out about her writing, and a little of what makes her tick…

1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?

I have vague plans for my characters but, as I’m sure many authors have already told you, Wendy – and you know yourself – they take a life of their own and won’t do as you planned. Usually they know what they’re doing, so I go with the flow.

 2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?

No, I don’t really have any rituals. I think this comes from years of snatching moments to write or scribble ideas in notebooks: as a child, as someone with a career in the civil service, as a young mother of three children under three (no, we weren’t careless, we had the lovely surprise of twins second time around), and then as a working wife and mother, and later as a carer for my aunt. It became a habit to fit writing around my life. Must admit, though, some days now, if I’m not teaching (I’m a creative writing tutor for our local council) I write all day in my kaftan and don’t get dressed.

 3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.

Being proud I survived a…let’s say…a difficult childhood and turned into a reasonably ‘normal’ adult. I would love to buy a camper van and just go off travelling (seriously – so who knows!) I love painting seascapes – in pastels or watercolours. I used to make novelty cakes (did it for years for my own and friends’ children – made it into a business for a while but totally uneconomical) I am a qualified swimming teacher

4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would youwant with you?

May I take four ten thousand page notebooks and an everlasting pen? No? Okay, If not, then my husband because he’s a great handyman and will keep everything ship-shape? Right, being serious…hmmm…obviously a pencil/pen and notebook, a wind-up record player (there is no electricity or batteries?) and a recording of Swan Lake, because it was the first record my favourite aunt  (who lived with us for many years after we moved to Wales) bought for me at the age of twelve. A full set of Dickens books (am I pushing my luck here? There are thirty editions and I’m only through two thirds of them. How many is that?) Toothpaste and brush – count that as one? Just had a thought though – if I could take Hubby, he’s another person, so he could take his five things? Yes? Right – that’s easy then – all his photography equipment to record our days for posterity – and for us to look back on in our old (er…older) days, after we’ve been rescued. Have to say here, he takes wonderful photos and will do nothing with them…like frame and sell them at craft fairs (been nagging him for years to do it.) Yes, I do know I’m rambling. And five things, you said, Wendy? As you can see, I’m no good at sticking to rules

5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?

Oooer… the set of Dickens – which, if I counted it here would mean I get an extra item above at question four? Sapiens – which might… might…make me understand the human race. Set of all Shakespeare plays? Which leaves me with three books? Or two? Anyway, back to childhood: The Tree that Sat Down. (Never did find out who wrote it but it was in my stocking one Christmas and I woke up and found it at two in the morning – yes, I have always been a poor sleeper!) Anyway, I’d read it by torchlight by the morning and had to spend the next few days pretending I was reading it for the first time. How many is that? Last, but not least, any book by Catherine Cookson because, I think, it was her who set me off loving family sagas.

 6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?

Aphra Behn. She was a working playwright, author and poet in the middle of the seventeenth century who broke all sorts of barriers in such a male orientated literary era (and was accepted by some more free-thinking poets and writers). She was also a spy for Charles II. She got into all sorts of political trouble and debt at various stages of her life. A fascinating woman to chat with! Would we really have time to actually eat?

I studied her play, ‘The Rover, written in 1681 for my degree (I was a mature (well sort of mature) student, twenty something years ago. I remembered and dug out a quote from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own: “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” Yay!!

 7 Your current writing projects?

At the moment I have a manuscript with my publishers, Honno (https://www.honno.co.uk/), waiting for editing and I’m fifty thousand words into my next family saga. I’ve also plotted out my next two novels.

 8 Other published work and links….

I do have a book I’ve Indie published, Silent Trauma: http://amzn.to/2kXIvRe.

I was involved with the UK charity for some years and then the USA charity. The book was the result of being asked to write something that the general reader would understand and be interested in.

Here’s the blurb: “When Meg Matthews gives an interview on the local radio station it leads to a friendship with three other women. They share a terrible secret. Together, can they find the strength to expose the silent trauma they have endured all their lives?

The story is fictional: the facts are real.”

The UK charity was disbanded through lack of funds and publicity. Despite writing many times to successive Governments, help/aid/support was not forthcoming, Unlike Thalidomide; the damage caused by DES is not immediately obvious. It usually comes to light in the teenage years of (mostly) young girls. The results are devastating to both daughters and mothers (and the guilt, totally unwarranted, of the mothers, is heart breaking).

I give talks to women’s groups about DES, whenever I’m asked.

Here’s a small explanation of the charity taken from the USA website: https://desaction.org/

In 1938, DES (diethylstilboestrol) was the first synthetic oestrogen to be created. DES was prescribed to millions of pregnant women, primarily from 1938 – 1971, but certainly not limited to those years, in the mistaken belief that the drug prevented miscarriage and ensured a healthy baby. But it didn’t work. Instead DES harmed the mothers who were prescribed it, the children born of those pregnancies and now possibly their grandchildren and beyond.

 Never patented, DES was cheap and easy to produce, so hundreds of drug companies made it all around the world. DES was marketed under numerous brand names.

I also have written an anthology, Secrets, a collection of stories about the minor characters in the trilogy. http://amzn.to/2swOWgg

This is the blurb:

 Ashford, home of the Howarth family, is a gritty northern mill town, a community of no-nonsense Lancashire folk, who speak their minds and are quick to judge. But how many of them are hiding secrets that wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny of others?

Judith Barrow’s Howarth Family trilogy, Pattern of Shadows, Changing Patterns and Living in the Shadows, along with the prequel, A Hundred Tiny Threads, published by Honno Press, is peopled with just such characters. Here are some of their secret stories – the girl who had to relinquish her baby, the boy who went to war too young, the wife who couldn’t take any more…

“Judith Barrow has surpassed herself in writing this great family saga… There is such a wealth of fantastic characters to fall in love with and ones to hate!” (Brook Cottage Books)

It’s been lovely having you here, Judith…I’m not good at sticking to the rules either! If family sagas are your read of choice, do check out Judith’s books here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

 

 

 

Hubble Bubble, Book fair double

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I shall be attending back to back book fairs in September!

The Narberth Book Fair is 22nd and hosts over 40 authors, something for everyone! You can check out the authors on the Narberth Book Fair website https://www.narberthbookfair.co.uk/authors.html

On 29th September, I’m at the Llandysul Book Fair hosted by Parlour Press Publishing.

This is a brand new event, so come along and support local authors. There’s not just adult fiction, but children’s books and poetry too.

Treat yourself or buy a book for a gift. I look forward to meeting you.

Face to face at the Book Fair

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On Saturday 21st July, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales held a storytelling event and book fair called Plant & Plots. I was invited to bring my books along to set up a stand in the Great Glasshouse.

All began well at 8.30am. The plants are amazing and the thought of spending all day with them, and meeting the plant loving public, filled me with excitement.

More authors arrived. I was opposite the fabulous children’s author, Angela Fish and we chatted about the prospects for the day and our books. Her stories are wonderful with glorious illustrations. I was sure every parent and child who walked passed would love one of her books.

I’d recently linked up online with Cheryl Beer, a poet and organiser of a new book fair for September 29th this year in Llandysul, so it was lovely to meet her ‘in real life’ and have a chat. Thorne Moore was there with her clever book stand to keep the drips off her books, and her books of course, psychological mysteries or ‘domestic noir’, exploring the reasons for crimes and their consequences. It was lovely to see Judith Barrow after she interviewed me for Showboat TV, and her wonderful family sagas. Thorne and Judith are the brains and beauty (and damned hard work!) behind the Narberth Book Fair, this year on 22nd September. Check out the fabulous website they have created. http://www.narberthbookfair.co.uk/

Sarada and John Thompson, organisers of the Carmarthen Book Fair on 11th August, invited me to the event, so it was lovely to catch up with them and their work.

And then the sun came out…. and nost of the public chose not to come in. I didn’t blame them. I love the sun, am very happy in it, but the heat and humidity were unbearable. Angela and I took turns to get fresh air, but it was a struggle returning. After a few hours, we nabbed someone to put an industrial fab on which helped a bit, but by 3pm, I was beginning to feel unwell. A meeting of authors was called. Graham Watkins spoke to those in charge of the event and we were offered a table in the Gallery for the following day, but I chose to leave space for others on this occasion; my broken toe is still mending!

I shall definitely return to the Botanic Gardens and I did meet some lovely people. I talked at length to a wonderful gentleman about the magical landscape of Wiltshire and I danced with a little fairy who called me the purple lady. In this digital age, you just can’t beat chatting about books and inspiration face to face.

Don’t forget my Summer Special Giveaway Be in a Book! In three easy steps, you can be yourself in my next novel!

 

The Music and the Magic

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Following a successful day at the Narberth Book Fair last week, where I gave my talk ‘Magic, Witchlit and a vote for women’s fiction’ for the first time, an idea for a short story arrived in my head.

Within hours, I had a beginning, a middle and an ending. The next day, I began to write.

This time of year, after the autumn equinox, wending our way to Samhain, it is time to look back and reflect on the year that has gone but also to be open to new ideas and change.

The story that emerged from my pen, The Music and the Magic, reflects these changes, not only in my protagonist’s life but in mine, yours, our local community and the world.

We live in an ever changing world, political decisions seeming beyond our remit to influence or change, but in our own way, in small important ways, we can make a difference. By supporting and being active to promote kindness and thoughtfulness, we can change our world for the better.

It wasn’t the story I’d intended to write but I allowed the story to unfold, trusting in the magic. I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnMcZbl4K2E

 

If you’d like to hear more stories, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon for Tales from Pan’s Grotto from my riverbank in Wales.