The Monsters Are Coming

It has been a while since my last blog, still not sure if anyone actually reads my ramblings but thought it was a good time to pop in and reflect. My brain gets kind of full sometimes and rather than explode I think its useful to unload a bit of the mayhem swirling round. 2017, a new year and so many possibilities ahead! I’m still trying to kick myself into gear as January seems to have me on a go slow, but i’m so excited for all that this year could hold! I have just finished my 11th picture book, which is currently with the printers (http://www.print-evolution.co.uk) ready to be thrown at the world. An amazing little company in Wales that offers such great service and support for a range of needs. The new book is called Murphy and The Monsters and its being released on the 21st Feb 2017 in true Monster style with a party of course! I’ve been working on the concept for Murphy and The Monsters for about 18 months now and with the magic of Holly Bushnell illustrations (http://www.hollybushnelldesigns.co.uk) we’ve finally brought him in to existence. Its been such an amazing process to see him come to life and watch his story grow and evolve. I wanted to create a story where monsters didn’t have to just be scary or mean, where they could be vulnerable too and even need help from time to time. I also wanted to show that normal little boys and girls can believe in big things, and that their imagination didn’t need to be defined by what adults told them was or...

Saving the future

As a child an off hand comment always stuck with me “A drug addiction would be cheaper to feed than keeping you in books” I was often accused of eating and devouring books, another statement as a child I could never quite understand. Why on earth would I want to ‘eat’ a book, sure they smelled great but reading them was much more appropriate than trying to eat them.   But as I look back, the comments began to make sense. As a child I could devour up to four books on a good day in the school holidays reading for up to 12 hours straight oblivious to the world. I often emptied the local Barnados charity shop of whole shelves at a time to keep up with my expensive addiction, but even then I was craving more and bar turning to a life of crime I wasn’t sure how to fuel my costly addiction to ink, paper and worlds of infinite possibility.   I had noticed a building, old and dusty looking next to the local swimming baths, I had passed it many times and never had the courage to venture in until one day a school visit opened my eyes to all I had been missing. The first thing I can remember was the smell. Even today in this digital age of kindles and computers there is no comparison to that smell. Paper and ink, the heavenly smell of books. If they could bottle it as a perfume i’d wear it everyday. Next, was the view that graced my eyes, shelves that seemed to touch the heavens...

Shadow Magic

Ever since I was old enough to read, I immersed myself in stories of fantasy and worlds that you could only get to in your dreams. I suppose thats where my love of writing sprouted from. Being able to create the impossible and escape into worlds with infinite possibilities and outcomes. From magic to mystical creatures to adventures and peril, my childhood was filled with the stories of the many fantasy worlds created by some of the worlds most amazing authors. And its been a while since I’ve been able to find that buzz from a book that just so willingly pulls you in ensnares you so much that you struggle to pull yourself from it until you have absorbed every single word. Until today. I had heard whispers of a new not to be missed book from author Joshua Khan, with hints of magic and giant bats suggested my interest was peaked to say the least. The book came highly recommended from Beyond Book’s Media (Tony Higginson) who usually can tell you what best sellers are coming before they even hit the shelves. My shiny hardback arrived and immediately my interest was caught with the captivating artwork on the cover, that with the irreplaceable new book smell and I was already looking for the nearest quite space to hide and not be disturbed. And so I began to read, and I didn’t stop until I reached the end and the disappointment that Book 2 is not ready yet for me to devour. I literally could not put it down! From the intricate roles of the characters to the...

The Magic of the Old

The past can hold so many memories and emotions for us, especially from our childhoods. One of my fondest memories was visiting the theatre as a child. We didn’t have much money and it was a huge treat each year that I eagerly anticipated. Seeing my favourite books brought to life on the stage was about as magical as it could get for me. The most memorable was of course The fantastic Mr Fox, a firm favourite in my bank of child hood memories. I can remember entering the majestic theatre, with its velvet royal feel. Sitting eagerly in my seat and the excitement as the curtains drew back and the magic began. So imagine my joy when I won a set of Tickets on Twitter to return to that very theatre that had brought so much magic to my childhood. The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham first opened its doors in 1913 as Britain’s first ever Repertory Theatre and has been providing magic on the stage ever since then. Still retaining most of its original charm and design that I feel gives it a magic all of its own. On a chilly Saturday afternoon, after battling through the traffic of a bustling Birmingham City Centre we arrived at the entrance, exactly how I still remembered it from my childhood. As we entered we were greeted by a team of very professional and happy looking people directing people accordingly. Once we had picked up our tickets for our showing of “We’re going on a bear hunt” Squish, Boo and I eagerly ascended the stairs up to the theatre. We still...

Just like Magic

Inspiration I find is just like magic, mysterious and full of surprises. It can come from absolutely anywhere, and when it hits you, that feeling that buzz, theres nothing quite like it. Especially the excitement as your fingers hit the keys filled with the energy of all the new possibilities opened up to you. Recently I had the wonder of inspiration and magic combined. I went to the highly reccommended house of illusion in the beautiful town of Salou, Costa Dorada, Spain for their evening show as a treat with my lovely husband. The pre show magic made me instantly smile, full of wit and humour. I was never a fan of card magic but this particular gentleman had the balance of magic and entertainment on a perfect scale. My mind began buzzing under the surface, anticipation building for the rest of the evening. As I sat in the audience, bouncing in my seat just as excited as I was when a child, I heard a voice, the compare of the evening introducing the show. I was mesmerised instantly. Words hold such a magic of their own and when so eloquently and beautifully delivered they can bring magic to a whole new level. As I listened to his hypnotic voice talk about the mysteries and endless possibilities of magic, my brain started to tick. Its something I find I can’t control and once something captures my imagination the writer in me hijacks my brain and i’m just along for the ride. As each of the magicians, these mystery men began, it soon became apparently clear they were all different,...