Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Hysteron proteron

This is a figure of speech in which the natural order of events is reversed. It occurs in well known phrases sich as 'born and bred' 'put on your shoes and socks' and 'thunder and lightning'.

Be careful of accidental hysteron proteron in your writing, for example 'Fred jumped in the air. A loud crash from the dropped tray of glasses had startled him.' Unless you have a good reason for doing things differently, cause should come before result.

Can you think of other examples of hysteron proteron?

Monday, 16 October 2017

Growing Green

Thanks to Beatrice for passing on the details of the Green Parent writing competition. They're looking for articles of between 500 and 2,500 words on the theme of natural parenting. 

There's publication and £150 for the winner. 10 runners up will also be published with 'a hearty byline'. (I'll be interested to see how much more substantial that is compared to the regular kind.)

As well as pregnancy, childbirth and education, suggested topics are alternative health, sustainable lifestyles, green travel and gardening.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Thank you!

Thank you so much to everyone for the help you're giving me in spreading the word about Leave Nothing But Footprints! I really appreciate all the tweets, retweets, likes, shares, comments etc over on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks also to Diane Burton for hosting a blog post on my reasons for writing this particular story. To Anne Rainbow for interviewing me about my research process, Alex Cavanaugh for the mention and Mac Wheeler for one of his special shout outs. 

On Monday Tara Watson is hosting a post about what it's like to work in the campervan and the few ways in which the story is similar to my own life.

Without your support, my marketing campaign has simply consisted of photos I took whilst researching the book.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Lovely shiny new book

My latest novel is out now today! 

Leave Nothing But Footprints is a romance. A lot of the action takes place, in a campervan, in South Wales. There are photographers, lovely views, yummy food, long walks, wildflowers, deer, mud, cocktails, beaches... The research was soooo tough!

Jessica Borlase always gets what she wants. From cocktails in the exact shade of her manicure, holiday on Capri with friends, to a spacious apartment, her father's money makes it possible. She enjoys the luxurious lifestyle and is grateful for his support, but frustrated to always be treated as Daddy's pampered little girl. She tries to break free, by leaving Borlase Enterprises and studying photography.

Now what Jess wants is the utterly gorgeous Eliot Beatty; a world famous photographer who often uses his talents to benefit conservation projects. Her father attempts to bribe Eliot into taking Jess on an assignment in order to teach her the skills she'll need to develop a career. Although annoyed at the interference, she's delighted to discover this means two weeks with Eliot in the beautiful countryside of South Wales and close confines of a campervan. Trouble is, the man can't be bought.

Jess eventually manages to persuade Eliot to take her. She believes she can earn his respect and that she's ready for the hard work, long hours and living conditions far short of those she's used to. She's wrong on all counts. Can Jess learn to cope with the realities of the trip, and is Eliot really worth the effort?

You can probably see how I got the idea for this one – but I promise it's not autobiographical.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017


A gadabout is a person who gads about. Obvious when you think about it, isn't it? Well, that's unless you're not entirely sure what gadding about involves. Fortunately I'm a gadabout myself (even when writing my books) and therefore able to enlighten you.

To gad is to go about in search of pleasure, or idle wandering and adventure. A person doing this can be said to be 'on the gad'. I have gadded on numerous occasions.

After writing it in all it's forms, I'm no longer sure I like the word gadabout and would rather you thought of me as the travelling writer.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Coming very soon...

It's been almost two years since the last one, but finally I can say my latest novel is out this week! (It can be 'Pre ordered' here.)

Leave Nothing But Footprints is a romance about photographers working from a campervan and is set in Wales.

Anything you can do to help spread the word will be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

West Country writers wanted

Thanks to Gail Aldwin for passing on the details of this novel writing competition. Unfortunately (as I'm in the South East) it's only eligible to authors in the South West of England, who have a book which is either locally or self published.

The prize is £1,000.

Ah well, I've been to the West Country, so at least I have an excuse to post more of my travel photos.

If you'd like to write in the West Country, then you might be interested in a Writer's Workshop Weekend next March. It isn't free, but it's going to be excellent!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Letting things slip

"Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?"

I don't think it's possible, nor desirable, to avoid putting a little of ourselves into our writing. We wouldn't, for example, give a character views we strongly disagreed with. Or rather we might, but then they'd be the bad guy, or someone who later realised the error of their ways, or got their comeuppance.

Allowing readers to get a glimpse of my personality and opinions doesn't bother me. Writing is all about sharing what's inside our hearts and heads, isn't it? 

I write about subjects which interest me and I research the places and activities featured in my stories, wherever possible. That often means using our campervan (aka the mobile writing retreat) to work 'on location' and taking photographs to jog my memory later. (The nearest I have to a day job is acting as my photographer husband's assistant.)

What does concern me a little is that readers may think more of my work is based on reality than is actually the case. That has happened in the past and as my latest novel Leave Nothing But Footprints is a romance about photographers in a campervan, I can't help thinking it might happen again.

Being familiar with living in a campervan, having a professional photographer to advise on technical aspects, and setting the story in one of my favourite areas helped a lot with the writing. And I confess, just a few of the small incidents may have happened to me.

But the storyline isn't autobiographical. The van isn't even the same model as ours (well, not the current one anyway). I'm not Jess and Eliot isn't my husband. You do believe me, don't you?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blog hop. If you're a writer, or would like to support writers, then do consider joining.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Guest post by competition winner Lindsay Bamfield

Today's post is by Lindsay Bamfield.

You can learn a lot from Patsy’s blog. Unusual words, pictures of all sorts of interesting places and details of writing competitions. Not just competitions but free-to-enter competitions. Some ask for just a few words while others require mighty essays. Patsy includes non-fiction competitions and fiction embracing all sorts of genres so there’s something for everyone. Some prizes might be modest but others can be serious money. Many aren’t for me, but I have entered two or three, and have now won one.

I love writing and I love travelling, so the competition for the Senior Travel Expert website, leapt out at me. Entrants didn’t have to be a ‘senior’ traveller to enter the competition, although I do qualify on that score! I’d just returned from Uzbekistan and I quickly jotted a piece, not about the place but about travelling with groups of people who were, as our lovely (young) guide phrased it, of an elegant age. I’m going to use that phrase a lot from now on. I played around with the piece for a few days, deleting and adding, and eventually pressed send. And I won. At least, I half-won. Two of us were deemed winners so we shared the prize! You can see both pieces on the Senior Travel Expert website.

Keep an eye on Patsy’s blog, because free competitions are a great way to get competition savvy. After all, what have you to lose? Having said that, free competitions need to be taken as seriously as any other with only your best attempts submitted, because some attract a large number of entries. And if you don’t win, chances are you can recycle your entry for another competition! 

*blushes* Thank you, Lindsay and congratulations once again on your win!