This Mojo’s Working

After much excitement me and KPH finally got to see Mojo.  We actually went on Thursday, but this week has been so crazy busy that I’ve only just had time to write anything down about it.

untitledFirst things first. If profanities bother you, then perhaps Mojo isn’t the play for you to go and see. I could say that there is some swearing, but more accurate would be that there are some normal words, connected into sentences by quite a lot of very bad words. Secondly, you get to see Colin Morgan in his pants (that’s underpants, just to be clear). For quite a long time.  Now, there has been many a daydreamed hour about witnessing that moment, but when faced with it from 3 rows off the stage and when it features some grubby fifties style Y-fronts, it’s rather off-putting.

The subject matter is the blackest of comedy, and the ending of the play will leave you speechless, particularly the penultimate scene. All the performances were typically amazing, though some were worthy of a mention: Rupert Grint in his first stage run was impressive and did a fantastic comic turn as Sweets, partnered with Daniel Mays who was manic, Ben Whishaw was suitably unhinged as Baby and Colin was a very twitchy, whiny club doorman called Skinny Luke.  None of the characters were what you could call likeable, but the actors got this across perfectly. KPH and I both agreed that Baby was so horrid that you were actually glad when he wasn’t on stage, but that’s got to be a testament to the skill of the man playing him.

There is so much I want to say about this play but can’t for fear of spoilers.  The Harold Pinter theatre is small and intimate and has a sort of grunge feel all of its own that lends a great atmosphere to what’s happening on stage.  This is not my favourite play that I have seen Colin in, probably because the era and subject matter don’t appeal to me personally, but I can appreciate that this is excellent stuff.

4178-1384515481-mojo7We went to a matinee, and there was a sign up at the stage door saying that no photos with the actors were allowed after matinee performances. There wasn’t many of us waiting, and not many of the cast came out, so perhaps people already knew that they wouldn’t. Daniel Mays emerged, and I’ve never seen anyone run so fast from a stage door! We would have stopped him for an autograph but it didn’t seem like he wanted to be stopped (I will never ask someone who seems like they’re reluctant), although some people further up the road collared him.  We came away from the stage door after while, as neither Colin nor Rupert came out, but as we were checking out the posters at the front door of the theatre, the guy who played Silver Johnny, Tom Rhys Harries, came up the street looking very relaxed and happy so stopped to talk to a few of us.  He posed for a few illegal photos (naturally, I had to get one) and was really very adorable (cue fangirling as I go to investigate his other work), so all in all, I was glad we waited around. Someone asked him if Colin was coming out, and Tom said that he was sleeping, but as Colin has never emerged at any other matinee I’ve been to, and after seeing some of the photos of him being mobbed on the web, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he really just didn’t want to.

colin-morgan-skinny-in-mojo-at-the-harold-pinter-theatre-photo-credit-simon-annandA great day, only marred by the fact that all the trains home were delayed and it took forever to reach the comfort of my bed…


The best three little words…

I’m going to say three little words, the best three little words in the whole world, and even though I’m as romantic as the next girl, it’s not the three words you’re thinking of.


I can now officially begin sentences with those three words, should I wish to, which at the moment seems to be quite often!  I have just sent back my signed agreement to be represented by LAW in London. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am by this development in my career.

I’d often heard writers talk fondly of their agents, saying it was like a marriage, and you need to find the right person who ‘gets’ you and your writing, and honestly, although it sounded like a wonderful sentiment, I never thought it would happen to me.  Until now, that is, because I really feel that I have the best, most gorgeous, most perfect agent I could have ever found in Peta Nightingale (sorry all you other lovely agents, I’m sure you’ll forgive my enthusiasm). I have yet to meet the rest of the gang at LAW, but I can’t wait!

And we’ll have some exciting stuff coming up this year and next – new books to spring on the world and maybe old ones to spring on the world again in new and surprising ways.  But for now, I’m going to sit and gaze upon the most beautiful envelope I’ve ever seen, which bears the logo of LAW, and smile for a while…

Merry Chick Lit, a Christmas anthology in aid of breast cancer charity

51XOHBqtNOL__AA160_In the spirit of giving, six chick-lit authors present a charming collection of seasonal shorts sure to inspire holiday cheer, plus love and hope throughout the year, with all proceeds donated to Rocking the Road for a Cure!

On Friday 22nd November, Merry Chick Lit, a warm, funny Christmas anthology in aid of Breast Cancer Care, will be officially released.

Every penny of the royalties is going to Breast Cancer Charity, Rocking the Road to a Cure.

Rocking the Road to a Cure is dedicated to improving the quality of life of people undergoing the often energy-depleting and emotionally draining treatments for breast cancer.

The name comes from their founder and President, Dawn Frey, a musician, who learned through personal experience that “it takes a village” to get through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and not every individual has the support network they need.

Rocking The Road For A Cure provides free, in-home housekeeping, health and wellness services to restore strength and confidence, and to rebuild spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.

So, when you settle back and relax to enjoy reading Merry Chick Lit, please know that you have helped us help a breast cancer patient to also settle back and relax…and heal.

Featured authors & stories include:

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
In “Santa’s Gift,” journalist Jessica thinks Santa’s just a silly myth for children, so when he asks what she most wants for Christmas she tells him the one thing she knows he can’t deliver–true love. Or can he…?

Sarah Hitchcock
In “The Christmas Lights,” one competition pits two families against each other…who will win this war?

Francine LaSala
Pretty Izzy knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: hunky sales manager Jake Harrington wrapped up with a shiny silver bow–and nothing else. Except Santa may have other plans in “Carol of the Belles.”

Nikki Mahood In “Spinster Christmas,” Cara’s looking forward to spending Christmas alone until she learns her old–and she believes very gay–crush needs a place to stay. Though it soon becomes clear that while still hot, Ronan isn’t gay after all…

Holly Martin
Ella’s dreams of making a better life for her and her daughter seem further away than ever in “Iced Dreams.” But as Christmas approaches, and she wishes for a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand to fix her life, things begin to change in ways she never imagined!

K.C. Wilder
In “The Mermaid,” Allie’s content to spend Christmas by herself at a vacant beach house to make good on a promise made to her true love lost, Jeff. Until Jeff’s gorgeous college roommate Tim crashes in on her with his own promise to keep…

So snuggle up near the fire, drink a glass of wine or a cup of cocoa and enjoy these festive holiday shorts, knowing your purchase of this book is helping women with breast cancer.

You can get your copy from Amazon. You get a great read and you help a great cause!

Find out what Christmas means for Jaimie Admans and her newest heroine, Mistletoe Bell!

This week sees the release of Jaimie’s newest offering, North Pole Reform School, a YA romantic comedy.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – nobody writes quite like Jaimie Admans, she has a refreshing and original voice and I absolutely love her books. North Pole Reform School is no different and people who love Christmas films like Elf will absolutely love this book! So… here’s my Q&A with Jaimie.
1. What’s your first Christmas memory?
I remember waking up to find my mum putting a stocking full of presents at  the end of the bed! I don’t know how old I was, probably 4 or 5, but it was the  first time I realised Santa wasn’t real! I don’t remember being overly  traumatised by it so maybe I suspected he wasn’t real anyway!
2. What’s your best Christmas memory?
I don’t know! I have loads of good memories of Christmas when I was little!  I loved having all the family in and all the presents stacked under the tree,  and I was the one responsible for handing them out when I was barely old enough  to be able to read the names on them! I remember jumping on my mum’s bed at 4am  when I knew she’d got me the Princess Jasmine doll I’d wanted for ages! The  Christmas our dog ate the whole tree and most of the presents under it was  pretty fun too in a disastrous kind of way! I think overall my favourite memory  is rushing downstairs at ridiculous-o’clock every morning in December to eat the  advent calendar chocolate and sing Christmas songs when everyone else was still  asleep! My family must’ve hated me in December!
3. Can you tell us anything about the parents that were strange/ mental  enough to call their baby Mistletoe Bell?
They’re completely mad about Christmas! Her dad works as a Santa in a  supermarket and her mum wants to be a Mrs-Claus-esque host of the perfect  Christmas! They had their first kiss under the mistletoe at a Christmas party,  and when Mistletoe was born on Christmas Eve, they thought it was some kind of  sign that she should be lumbered with an embarrassing Christmassy name for the  rest of her life! Of course, they think it’s the loveliest name ever and don’t  think it’s embarrassing at all! The book starts when Mis gets whisked away in  the middle of the night to North Pole Reform School so her parents aren’t in it  much, and I did cut a lot of their scenes and backstory as I wanted the book to  mostly focus on Mistletoe and Luke – the boy she meets at the reform  school!
4. This book seems very much to have the Jaimie Admans trademark surreal  vibe, despite the fact that it’s a Christmas tale – where do your influences  come from?
Ha ha! I think I just have a really weird, slightly disturbing imagination!  People do mention Tim Burton a lot in relation to my writing, and I have to  admit that I absolutely adore him, but I don’t think he directly influences me!  The whole idea for this story came from a newspaper headline – it was about a  window cleaner dressed as an elf who was cleaning windows while balancing  precariously on a ledge, with no harness or anything. The headline was ‘Elf and  Safety’, and it immediately put an image into my head of elves in a classroom,  learning the elf equivalent of our health and safety practices. Somehow that  turned into an image of elves in a classroom teaching humans the same thing, and  the whole idea of a North Pole school was born, and ‘elf and safety’ became a  class that the Christmas-haters have to take in the book!
5. A bit random… what’s your favourite Christmas song and why?
Up until a few years ago it was Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues, but  now it’s My Favourite Time Of Year by The Florin Street Band! It’s just such a  lovely, old-fashioned Christmas song! I fell in love with it as soon as I heard  it! And it’s got such a snowy, Christmassy video! (Youtube link:  I even managed to work a mention of it into North Pole Reform School!
6. Do you still believe in Santa? If so, what have you asked him for this  year?
Of course! You can’t write Christmas books and not believe in Santa! That’s  the kind of thing that gets you a lump of coal in your stocking on Christmas  morning! Seriously, I love all things Christmas, including Santa, and I actually  wish he was real! How awesome would that be? I honestly don’t know what to ask  him for this year, unless he could provide a winning lottery ticket? A winning  lottery ticket and a massive box of Ferrero Rocher, please Santa!
If you’d like to grab a copy of North Pole Reform School, you can buy from Amazon here. You can also check out Jaimie’s other titles and find out more about her by going to her website.

Holly Martin, author of The Sentinel, chats about heroines and scary films

20131002-1-1-1After reading Holly’s breathtaking book, The Sentinel (I can only liken the experience to a literary version of Speed where if you stopped reading at a million miles an hour your brain might explode!) I was keen to know more about what makes Holly (and Eve, for that matter) tick. So I decided to treat Holly to my infamous, Paxman-style author questions, which I haven’t done for a while now, and here’s what she had to say…

The Sentinel features Eve, a girl with super powers tasked with saving the earth. If you were suddenly thrust into Eve’s place, how do you think you’d react to being told this was your future? Would your reaction be like Eve’s or do you think you’d be different and if, so, how?
I think Eve handles it quite well considering she has just found out everything in her life was a lie and that everybody in her life including her friends and family were in on this big facade. I don’t think I would handle it all that well, I think I’d be in a corner crying. To be told that you are responsible for saving the world is huge, how does anyone cope with that amount of responsibility. I think Eve’s reaction to that would be very similar to mine, all those worries about whether she is good enough and not wanting to let people down, I would totally think like that. To find out I had all this amazing power though, I don’t think I would be quite so restrained as Eve was, I’d have great fun trying to find out what I could and couldn’t do. Eve seems to be more sensible in trying to learn her powers so she will be ready to save the world.
What sort of TV/ films do you like watching? Are they the same as Eve likes?
Eve wasn’t allowed to watch TV too often, there was always martial arts, learning how to shoot and lots of other kind of training that she never knew what it was all for. She longed for a normal life so i think to fit in she would watch things like X-factor or Britain’s Got Talent so she could talk about it with the other kids. Personally, I don’t watch a lot of TV, there never seems to be a lot of time around writing, seeing friends and family and a full time job, especially something that requires a weekly commitment. But I love films, love them, pretty much any genre is great for me, love the mindless action, big stunts and cool special effects, love sci fi and thrillers that mess with your head, love a laugh out loud comedy or a sweet romance. I generally avoid scary films, I live alone so there’s nothing worse than lying in your bed listening to the noises of the house and wondering if its ghosts coming to get you and no one can hear you scream. After watching Signs, (I was living with my parents at the time but they were away) I lay in bed all night listening to the floorboards settling and absolutely convinced myself that aliens were outside the door. Signs wasn’t even that scary. Blair Witch Project messed me up spectacularly, I still think about that film now, a film that is about what you can’t see and the fear comes purely from your imagination, that’s a clever film.
What book is open on your bedside table at the moment? Would this be a book that Eve would read?
Ha, how very appropriate that you asked me that question, last night I started reading The Young Moon, book 2 of the Sky Song Trilogy. I absolutely loved the first one in the series and I’ve been dying to get into book 2. Eve would love that story and I think she could definitely relate to the decisions and responsibilities that Jacob has to face. (Ed: I approve wholeheartedly of this choice!)
 If you can tell us without spoiling, what’s next for Eve?
She meets the Oraculum, those that created her, in book 2. They don’t exactly hit it off. We also meet The Reaper’s, the ones that do living autopsies on those with powers, we meet one of the animal hybrids and Seth’s half brother. There’s loads more action and as Eve becomes stronger in her powers, she can achieve bigger and better things.
 Name 3 things that are within reach of where you’re sitting right now. Can you tell me if there is any significance to them and what that significance is?
My notepad, I always have this within reach, so I can write in it whenever inspiration strikes. I write scenes, ideas, conversations, characters. Sometimes they turn into something, sometimes they don’t. I also use it to keep track of dates or events so I don’t forget.
A half eaten bar of chocolate, its my carrot on a stick, write 2000 words and you can eat the rest. I’ll invariably eat it anyway as a reward for trying but it helps to have something to work towards.
My photos. I have a big collage frame that has 15 photos in one frame. I have ones of a snowy forest, deserted beaches, ruined castles, flowered fields and incredible sunsets. They’re from my travels. It was never supposed to be a mood board but it became one, now I can use these to help me write detailed descriptive scenes or help to remind me what it was like in a particular country

If you want to find out more about Holly and Eve, you can visit Holly’s spanking new website or you can add The Sentinel to your Goodreads shelf of just get on Amazon and ruddy well buy it…. you know you want to!

Sky Song Trilogy

A fab post by an actual YA reader about my YA books!

The Great World of Geek!

At the moment I am reading the Sky Song Trilogy by Sharon Sant and I though it would be interesting to show how I saw some of the characters for example, this is how I see Jacob LightFoot:

I know this is Dougie out of McFly but that is how I see Jacob. I tend to make random connections when I hear a description of a certain character for example Luca reminds me of Tom out of Wizards vs Aliens:




Well Ellen is a completely different story as I see her as one of the little girls that are on some of Gorjuss products.






Now Alex is introduced in the 2nd book, the young moon. Alex took a while to be associated with a person that I know off but in the end my brain decided that she was going to look like Abby…

View original post 92 more words

what’s in my earholes 18th October

It’s Friday!!!!! And we all know what Friday means…

Today it’s the turn of a band that I adore. I’ve seen some amazing gigs – Radiohead (twice), Oasis (at a local pub on the day their first single came out) REM, Blur, Pulp to name a few – but The Hoosiers came to a tiny venue in my town and blew the roof off that place. From that moment on I was in love with them! They even came down to the merch stand after the show and signed stuff for people, and I got a kiss from a lovely sweaty Irwin… sigh. I love their videos too – there’s so much humour in them that sums up their spirit perfectly….

Will the real author please stand up?

212_profile_img1_michelinLast Monday I was extremely privileged to be invited  to be part of the Michelin Inspiring Women event.  My  lovely writer colleague, Mel Sherratt had attended the event last year,  and this time she passed the baton to me so I could have a go at inspiring  young girls aged 13-15.  Ten ladies were on the panel, and it was our job to make sure that the girls went away feeling like they could do anything!  We ranged from  racing car drivers to blacksmiths to consultant gynaecologists, luxury  car engineers and crucial cornerstones of local business.   There  were ten tables of girls from local schools and the plan was that the  guest speakers all took turns to visit each table, in a sort of speed  dating style, to answer questions about what we did for a living, our  backgrounds, and what inspires us.  Before that began, we had to  stand at the front of the room holding up a number and the girls played  a  stereotype quiz.  We didn’t speak but stood there while  the girls tried to work out from a list provided which of us ladies  did which job.  When that was over we started the table visits.

Of course, like all the ladies, I was fascinated to  know what they had got me down as.  Two tables had an unfair advantage,  as I had already done an author visit for their school and they already  knew me!  The other guesses included the racing car driver (two  tables), the consultant (two tables) and the music service director.  Some couldn’t decide but nobody thought I was the engineer, so clearly  I have nothing about me that says ‘I can fix machinery’!

I loved talking to the girls.  Even though many  of them weren’t particularly interested in writing or reading, they  still asked great questions about my profession and were very interested  in me as a person and my career journey. I did meet one girl who wanted  to write, and we had a great chat about that. I also sat at one table,  pulled out a copy of Runners and a girl immediately said ‘I’ve read that!’  which made me so happy.

My fellow panellists were all incredibly interesting  and amazing too and we got the opportunity to eat lunch together and  swap tales about our professions. I was mesmerised by all their journeys  and what their jobs entailed, and I will endeavour to stay in touch  with them.  I found that listening to their stories inspired me  too, so I’m sure that the girls who came for the event took away as  much, if not more, than I did.

Roquet’s Reapings – Angela shares her latest news

Normally I share a music vid on a Friday night, but when I saw this vlog post from fellow Off the Beaten Path author, Angela Roquet, I just had to share it. Not only do I really wish I lived near to her so I could go to the Prombie Apocalypse (I know, how cool?) she also gives The Memory Game and Off the Beaten Path a little mention, which makes me very excited indeed. I have Angela’s new YA, Crazy Ex-Ghoulfriend, on my TBR list and I can’t wait to read it.

For now, let me introduce you to the very lovely and cool Angela Roquet.

Off the Beaten Path blog tour – day 7

Off the Beaten Path_front_96 dpiThe second bit of excitement today is that it’s the final day of the Off the Beaten Path Blog tour. Today I’m featuring fellow contributor, Monica la Porta, who is not only  a very talented writer, but was also generous enough with her time to help this poor English girl get all Luca’s Italian dialogue right in the Sky Song books, for which both me and Luca will be eternally grateful!  Monica has penned the short story’ Home Wet Home’ for the Off the Beaten Path anthology as well as her own brilliant fantasy books, The Priest and Pax in the Land of Women.

You can find Monica all across the usual internet hang outs:

Monica La Porta’s blog:
The Ginecean Chronicles’ Facebook pageMonica KB promotion 500x743
Goodreads Author page:

The Ginecean Chronicles:
The Priest
Pax in the Land of Women
Children’s books and YA short stories:
The Prince’s Day Out
Linda of the Night

The Priest

Mauricio is a slave. Like any man born on Ginecea, he is but a number for the pure breed women who rule over him with cruel hands. Imprisoned inside the Temple since birth, Mauricio has never been outside, never felt the warmth of the sun on his skin. He lives a life devoid of hopes and desires. Then one day, he hears Rosie sing. He risks everything for one look at her and his life is changed, forever. An impossible friendship blossoms into affection deemed sinful and perverted in a society where the only rightful union is between women. Love is born where only hate has roots and leads Mauricio to uncover a truth that could destroy Ginecea.

And don’t forget to enter the  giveaway where you can win a bound copy of the anthology and Amazon gift cards.