Year of the Rat

I hope you’ve all had a very good start to your New Year. Many are asking what the year of the Rat holds for us. For myself I’m hoping the rat’s aptitude for survival and its prodigious breeding capacity bodes well. I’ve thankfully survived the bad bout of migraines brought on by my Lupus last year. It made me reassess my needs and how I want to live my life going forward. I made the tough decision to give up my teaching which has provided me with the bulk of my income to date. For years I’ve wanted to concentrate solely on my writing and I think now is the time to do it, nerve-wracking though it may be. I’ve got a clutch of stories, poems and novels incubating and ready to hatch.
Those born in the Year of the Rat are said to be ‘industrious and thrifty, diligent and positive’. While I’m not a product of one of the Rat years I certainly hope the traits of this particular rodent will rub off on me. I’m going to need all these to complete and publish the projects I have in mind.
Here are …
Happy New Year!

Wishing you PEACE, LOVE, HAPPINESS & every good thing the world has to offer for 2020

Best Wishes for the Festive Season

Wishing you all the very best for this festive season. Thank you for all your support over the course of this year. I look forward to bringing new and improved writing to you in the New Year and hope all your most fervent wishes come true.

From Folio to Film

You are of course aware of my obsession with books being turned into films. Not too long ago I insisted the book is ALWAYS better. See my September post if you’ve forgotten. Whenever I hear an adaptation of a favourite or classic novel is being produced for the small or large screen I inevitably cringe. Can you blame me? Let’s review a summary of the evidence yet again:
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – a total disaster Dracula – Wynona Ryder War of The Worlds Tom Cruise posturing Emma Gwynnyth Paltrow’s attempt at an English accent Chocolat – great eye candy and nothing more Northern Lights – even the title was too complicated for Hollywood and had to be changed to The Golden Compass
The list could go on and on but I’ll stop there because thankfully in 2016 a seed change occurred, particularly in #gogglebox adaptations. It all started with the Beeb’s excellent production of Le Carrè’s The Night Manager. The cast choice was superb and the pace exactly what I would expect of a spy thriller. The…

Best Laid Plans

Yes, the ominous title says it all. My publishing plans for 2019 have been put on hold. In the last 2 to 3 months I’ve been struggling to bring a flare up of my Lupus under control. This mainly consisted of migraines on a daily basis. Unfortunately I haven’t quite succeeded. Together with my homeopath I’ve more or less managed to get the migraines under control. Visits to the doctor have been endless. Not to mention all the blood tests I’ve had to endure - my favourite thing.
I’ve tried to keep my writing and other plans going as per usual but after 5 hours in A&E one evening earlier this month I’ve finally had to admit I need some time away from the laptop. I will still be working on my writing projects but at a much slower pace than usual. This does however mean that the promised release of several books will probably only happen towards the middle of 2020 and beyond.
I apologise for this as I know several people were keen to read The Witch Adoption Project (the follow up to The L…

Not Another Hero

In the UK October is Black History Month and inevitably has me thinking about who I admire most. I usually write a related post but in principal I disagree with the idea of only one month to celebrate what should be an ongoing acknowledgement. Invariably though, it’s during this month that I think about the people who inspire me because the question is asked of so many children in classrooms during this time. But heroes needn’t be living beings. It’s entirely possible to have literary heroes too. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about those heroes in books and films I admire despite their race, gender or obvious unheroic flaws. And since I’m currently participating in an e-book giveaway about atypical heroes it seems fitting to be writing about this particular topic now.
So firstly, here is a list of my favourite books containing atypical heroes and heroines. It is fairly long but I will only subject you to a few of them. If you haven’t read any of these books as yet then I sincerely …

The Book’s Better

I recently found out that Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials is being done as a series by the Beeb (that’s UK speak for the BBC). I certainly hope they do a better job of it than the Hollywood version starring Nichole Kidman and Daniel Craig, which chickened out on dealing with provocative issues raised by Pullman’s series.
Not too long ago I was fairly impressed with the way Amazon Prime handled one of my favourite novels of all time – Good Omens. In my opinion they were spot on when they picked David Tennant and Michael Sheen to play the demon and angel. Then their script writers did a bang up job (sorry I’ve been watching a lot of Life on Mars and I’ve got Gene Hunt’s turn of phrase stuck in my head). At any rate, they did a great job with the script, updating it for a modern, younger audience and adding in the odd inspired outcome too. What I loved most of all was that they didn’t stray too far away from the Gaiman and Pratchett novel. I’ve reread it so many times that I was keeping …