Tag Archives: Books

Peace Betrayed: A Book Launch #peace series @gunmakersarms

teatriopeace

Having counted down since November, it is now nearly time. Time to formally launch the third book in the Devan Coultrie Peace Series Saga. Time to formally launch it all in the middle of the United Kingdom.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Three years ago, I became involved in the Peace Series of Novellas. A group of more than a dozen authors, all writing stories set in the fictional town of Peace. Montana.

Montana, somewhere in the American Mid-west.

‘Punam, have you even been to Montana?’

Not yet, but hold that thought

Anything is possible.

Having scanned the shelves of the Mills and Boon’s in a library in Warwickshire, I felt a little perplexed. Well, intrigued, actually.  Whilst the shelves all contained pure-fantasy, where are the books that had characters of South-Asian ascent? And, was it really necessary to have a cover where there was a bare-chested fella, woman in lingerie and the central premise of  country squires bodice ripping?

(Actually, there are quite a few rich millionaires, penthouse apartments, quivering lips, and some really strange gender politics. From lots of different places on the globe too, actually. Europe features quite heavily.)

I had questions, and lots of them.

I also had a book to write. I was trying to rise to a challenge; that of stepping outside of my comfort zone, I had just finished Fragments, there were two gardening books.

Retreating to Peace, opens with sheet fluke. Devan sticks a pin in the map of North America.

(This map does exist, long story.)

Devan. A dual-heritage former banker in the City of London, who used to live in Rugby.

The name bothered me. How to use an Anglo-Indian-esque name. He’s got some vague Scottish Ancestry; that was echoed in his surname. For six months, he was faceless. I didn’t have a clue as to what he might look like. I wrote him blind, in that respect. As a figment of my imagination, I wasn’t the one who was supposed to fall in love with him.

(Mates, maybe. I’d buy him a pint; perhaps tolerate him. We’d have a mutual acknowledgment of one another. I don’t think for one moment, he’d be within my universe, Oh, the irony….)

Sheer fluke. Retreating To Peace, was written trying to avoid the rules, the tropes. I sulked a the prospect of a Happily Ever After. Thankfully, S.H.Pratt, the Godmother of Peace, reassured me.

‘How about a Happy For Now?’ she wrote, in correspondence.

That, I could deal with.

Retreating to Peace, is experimental. I’m throwing things together, to not follow the rules.

A year later, I’d got a restless pen. Devan Coultrie had got his happy for now. But he wasn’t done. I’d written a few short stories; seasonal ones mostly. There was a massive great big Christmas Day one, a couple of Diwali ones. There was a world to be filled, created; jumped into to flesh out a life. I was also having fun; that helps.

Postcards from Peace, a collection of short stories, saw a year/eighteen months in the life of Devan Coultrie. His universe filled out, we got to see more of who he was, and the people in his world.

Most, if not all, of the stories in that book, are dedicated to the important people in my world. Some of them, have crept into the books, as muses, characters. They are immortalised, and probably haven’t a clue!

I still wasn’t interested in Happily Ever After. Happy For Now, was still the main motive.

Then I had a conversation, with a fellow Peace Author, Sandra Hurst. I had an idea, or she had an idea; I don’t actually remember. A huge light bulb went off, I remember giggling with some menace.  Postcards from Peace, had a kicker.

The kicker, was Peace Betrayed.

Oh, my. How I wanted to smack the figment of my imagination. I sulked, he sulked. This book was a fight to write. For once, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do with the guy.

(I won’t give anything away, you’ll have to read it.)

Devan Coultrie’s story, was conceived to be different, to not follow the traditional tropes. In Peace Betrayed, there is character development, there are changes to a sense of being. There is also the underlining of the notion, that no, you don’t have to fall in love with characters. As with life, there are people you like, people you don’t; people, who you have no idea, as to what is going on in their heads.

Three years later; three books later. There is a book launch in the pub.

The Gunmakers Arms in Central Birmingham, plays host to an evening of Devan Coultrie. 

Yes, a pub, in Birmingham, several thousands of miles away from Montana.

(Peace, is fictional; no point googling it.)

I have a brown stetson. There’s even a pink boa.

Writing; a process and a journey

Standing on the edge of a new decade, I’ve been thinking a great deal about the last few years and my journey as a writer.

I struggle to identify as an author, as a writer. There is a huge mountain, of feeling like an imposter that somewhat colours that self-image. I find it difficult, to say it out aloud. I can tell you, that I’m a counsellor, a teacher; that I have an allotment. Yet, telling you that I am author, that I write books, will be done somewhat sheepishly.

2020 sees book number seven be published, there are a couple of books events that I’m going to be involved in. So I have a lot of focus on, as a writer. My plan, beyond that, is to spend 2020 writing. I have a stack of notebooks, pens and ink. There are plans for works. So I won’t exactly be twiddling my thumbs.

I won’t start writing til January; January 6th is the date that I contemplate sitting at my desk to write.

Why then?

It’s Epiphany, the day the Three Kings arrived after their journey having followed the star. The notion that we have an epiphany, a moment of deep-seated clarity, that is also part of it.

At the moment, my head feels like it is full of squashed flies. I did write two books this year, and I choose to rest as we move towards the festive period. I plan to do little during this time of family, feasting and merriment. I need to recalibrate my soul a little, do some reading. I’m currently half way through Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, so we shall see what else I read.

I also need a dictionary slash thesaurus. That has been on my mind a great deal.

The 10’s have seen seven books. Well, technically, it’s the last five years; that’s when I first published a book. So I have been busy;I have pushed myself in a ridiculous fashion at times to get things written. It has taken that time to figure out what my writing process is.

I hand-write most things, the first draft of them in the first instance. Hence the notebooks, my pens, a box of ink too. I have a bittersweet memories of Fragments. Two massive great big, hardback notebooks and black biro. I bought my ink pens right at the end, I felt a though I had found my magic wands. They’ve been my trusty companions ever since. Fragments, gave birth to  my writing process. Researching, writing, constructing; and feeling too. Of being immersed in something, so much so, that your soul permeates through it, every fibre of it.

There is a cost to writing; the intrinsic one, that perhaps gets missed. I know not to write when exhausted; it physically hurts.

That said, I have works for next year. I’m conscious that I have the tendency to get absorbed into a project, almost a though I have blinkers. The challenge, is that I have three that I would like to work on, concurrently, in parallel. Something that I haven’t done before, and it does feel overwhelming, The sensible thing, would be to take one at a time. Yet, this feels intrinscially different. I want to take my time, I’ve yet to set myself a deadline. Ordinarily, I would give myself a year for one project. A year is a long time, and I have yet to set my a strict deadline.

There is something whimsical about the writing plan for the next year. To write in bits, fragments, I guess. To listen to my brain and soul, as to what could be written. I have plans, stories mapped out.

The key is not to put pressure on myself, to kick myself. I like to write, I like to create these universes.

With that comes some excitement. What I plan to write, makes me smile. I have a sense of joy about it.

Here’s to it actually happening.

In the mean time, some speculative, flash-y fiction.

****

Copyright 2019 Punam Farmah

Cabinet meeting

Tapping his toe to a blues riff, Gorbind nodded as long as he stared at his pint. He’d been asked to get to The Gunmakers after he had put Mango to bed.

It was his daughter who had relayed the message. Something about the cat speaking to her, having had a fight with a squirrel. The squirrel, had lost. Padmi had screamed blue murder at the carnage that covered her kitchen floor.

Gorbind had resisted calling Forensics.

Given who had sent the message, this wasn’t as strange as it sounded.

“Ah, you came,” Hades pulled up a wooden chair on the opposite side of table. A tumbler of Kraken rum slid across to sit next to Gorbind’s.

He was still trying to figure out his poison.

“That cat of yours,” pronounced Hades, “Is a sandwich short of a picnic.” Taking off his long, Mulberry coloured overcoat, he draped it over his chair.

“Not my cat,” said Gorbind, picking up his pint. “Can’t stand him. He’s machiavelli in a fur coat. Padmi’s. Send her your feedback. See what she does to you. Whatcha want?” He asked, sitting back.

“To tell you were right “ Hades pulled his drink closer. “Christmas, Advent, the Mr.Bleu De Chanel adverts. Brings magic. Oh, and she’s doing that thing…”

Gorbind closed his eyes to let out a deep breath.

“She looks at all the pieces “ he said softly. “Puts corners in place. Starts putting things together. Fragments had diagrams, post-its. Kangana, a trip to the mill. Think you, Hades, were an exam. You just wait til she add the human condition.”

“I’m not human-“

“No, you’re a God,” said a third voice.

A woman in scarlet had appeared by the piano. She moved slowly towards them, her silken skirts rustled.

Hades snapped to his feet. He bowed, to take a gloved hand and plant a kiss near knuckles.

“The Lady Aurelia,” he beamed, stepped aside and pulled out a second chair.

“Shit, the Vampire,” Gorbind stood, holding onto his pint.

“Stand down, Detective Inspector Phalla,” Aurelia smirked as she pulled off her gloves. “I’ve no inclination to eat you. His Unholiness here, tells me you’re one of the colours on the wind. A thread in fabric of the universe. A White Knight, sent from The Powers That Be.” She lifted a veil frok her eyes, unpinned her hat to set it down onto the table. “I know of you, and of your young lady, Mango. Her real name, Gorbind. Altogether very fitting, I must say. A good choice.”

Clicking her fingers, she conjured up a scarlet-hued merlot.

It was definitely merlot.

Wiping his hand across his jacket, Gorbind remembered his manners. “How lovely to meet you,” he added a smile; more out of curiosity than anything.

She knew about Mango. That would do.

“Take a seat, Gentlemen,” Aurelia flashed a toothy grin. “We have much to discuss.”

****

Needless Alley, Birmingham.

“What take are we on?” Yawning, Hades stretched his eyes open. “I’m cold, wet, and that Christmas Market; it’s all a bit trippy.” Pulling up a fur-lined hood, Hades sunk hands into the depths of deep pockets. He’d overlook the fact that it was maroon, toggled and made him look like a hipster trying too hard. “Oh, and I could do with a stiff drink. Gunmakers isn’t that far away. We could skive.”

“Cold, wet?” Gorbind screeched loudly . He narrowed his eyes to open his jacket. His shirt was slashed across his stomach, there were two gunshot woods in the centre of his sternum. “You’ve not been shanked and shot, having ran down the stairs of the Floozie whilst trying to catch a bad guy.”

“That’s true,” nodded the Lord of The Underworld. “I tend to just evisc-“

A glare from Gorbind told Hades to quit whilst he was ahead.

“Take six, seven, nine and a half,” grumbled Gorbind, pulling his own coat closer. Knee-length, blue and quilted, his was a bit more sober compared to Hades. Rain was coming down in sheets; it had been all day. “She won’t commit anything to paper, unless she has proper sequence of events for the opening salvo. There are just snatches for now. She’s waiting for a tipping point; to stitch all the fragments together. Get to the point where our paths collide.”

“Meh,” Hades shrugged to root around in a pocket. He grinned to pull out a hip flask and a packet of Jelly Babies.

“Those,” said Gorbind, “Are mine.” Grabbing the bag, he tore away the corner. “Tell Padmi about these, and you’re a dead man.”

Scoffing, Hades flicked the lid of the flask.

Gorbind bit the head off a green jelly baby. Looking left and right, he checked around. The muse wasn’t to be seen for now.

“It’s okay, Mercury slash Hermes, is otherwise engaged,” commented Hades. “He’s had a rough patch lately. The world, his wife and every single writer in this world is out to brain him.”

“Gunmakers,” sighed Gorbind, stuffing the jelly babies into his pockets and making a move.

“Gunmakers,” smirked Hades, following the man fated to become his wing-man. “But Street Food Place first. Line your stomach. I can drink til hell freezes over…”

Rolling his eyes, Gorbind walked passed Tesco’s and into the blurry mass of market goers.

No one would see them, hear them; they might feel a breeze, a buzzing that they couldn’t decipher.

A zombie copper and the Lord of the Underworld. An unlikely alliance.

******

Habemus Hades

Savouring the taste of Ragu, Padmi pulled a face. She dropped a tea-spoon into a blue bowl, to reach for a pepper mill. It squeaked as though in pain as Padmi ground the contents.

She was alone this afternoon.

Gorbind had taken Mango out; he was enduring jelly, ice-cream and party-rings.

Padmi and Gorbind were also in the middle of a fight.

She was wrong; he was right.

Football, be damned.

Padmi had no plans to concede defeat. She was holding Gorbind’s stash of Jelly babies hostage until he gave up. Until he bent to her view and her view alone.

He could stew a little longer.

Behind her, the kitchen door swung open. She felt a cold, cutting breeze across the back of her deck. Padmi caught a reflection cast across shiny kitchen cabinets.

“Finally,” she said, her lips parted into a smile. “Sweetie, you have a face.” Lowering the heat beneath the pan, Padmi turned to face her visitor.

“Meh,” pulling at his cheeks, Hades shrugged. He passed a hand across coarse, dense stubble. “And a get-up,” he parted his jacket-tailored as it was was-to reveal a Waistcoat covered in pastel-pink poppies. “It’s a start.” He sighed, sinking his hands into his pockets. Hades looked down at his feet; he wiggled his toes within the confines of teak-coloured Oxford Brogues.

“And we know hows this ends, Hades “ Padmi looked the Lord of the Underworld up and down. “You’re a bit…rakish,” she squinted, to incline her head. “Skinny. Not my cuppa tea,” Padmi frowned, shaking head. “You should be a little…beefier.”

“The feeling is mutual,” Hades poked out his tongue, to laugh. “I’d worry if I was your cuppa tea, Padmi. It really wouldn’t work. Reckon you will ever have a face; the women of the Fragments universe? Aditi too.” His question was a distraction. He was suddenly feeling very vulnerable; exposed by having a face, an identity.

“No, never,” replied Padmi. “We’re any woman, and every woman. Oh, and Dracula,” she crossed her arms to leave against the work top. “You don’t have to see us, hear us to feel our thrall, our magic. It hangs in the air, our presence is pulled taut as thread in the fabric of the universe.”

Raising his brows, Hades hung on her every word.

Any woman and every woman.

Padmi was right. They both knew how this would end.

At least now, he had a face.

 

 

Peace Betrayed Book Launch @GunmakerBrum #Peaceseries

teatriopeace

Book launch!!!

Saturday 15th February 2020

Gunmaker’s Arms, Birmingham

Peace Betrayed: A Peace Series Novella

Tickets for the event

The third and final instalment of the Devan Coultrie Saga from The Peace Novella Series will finally appear in January 2020. To celebrate this and in fact all three books, The Gunmaker’s Arms in Central Birmingham will host a book launch.

During the course of the evening, we will hear how it all started with Retreating to Peace, see what happened with Postcards from Peace to the final act of Peace Betrayed.

Peace Betrayed is part of the Peace Novella Series. A series of romance novellas set in the fictional town of Peace Novella. A town that has come to life using the many, diverse talents of over dozen authors.

Devan, as fictional as he is, actually from Rugby. These three stories see how he lands in the USA and makes a new life for himself.

There will also be the opportunity to hear works by other Birmingham Authors during the course of the event.

The Blurb!

Devan Coultrie has found his Peace. He has a home, a business; his relationship with Aditi is ready to move to the next stage. They have plans to start a family, their life together could finally settle down properly.

Retreating to Peace was the first stage. The next was to make it all a picture perfect postcard.

Only Devan and Aditi’s relationship isn’t that straight forward. Its strength is about to be sorely tested.

Devan Coultrie has a decision to make.

He could keep and enjoy his ‘Happily Ever After’ in Peace, Montana.

Or will he betray it and lose everything that he has ever wanted?

If you have a kindle,

can click the link on the side bar to pre-order your copy.

Fragments: Fiction from theory

Fragments_Cover_for_Kindle

Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself reflecting upon my journey as an author. A journey that has had many twists, turns and been a really valuable process of development; it still is. I don’t think, for one moment, that this process will ever stop in terms of development.

There are, of course, the gardening books. I’ve diversified into fiction, and experimented with both fiction and non-fiction. A lot has happened over the course of six, soon to be seven books.

There has been a big career change that has straddled across those texts, across the last five years. I’ve been a teacher for ten years, and throughout that journey, I undertook another in parallel. I trained to become a person-centred counsellor. A process, that isn’t for the faint-hearted. I can safely say, that I am not the same person who started out on a level two listening skills course all those years ago. I think it was 2012, my memory escapes me!

In 2017, in I published the book that you see above. I spent 2015-2016 writing it whilst studying and teaching. I’ve written before, as to my reasons why. I experienced two significant bereavements through the course of writing that book; these impacted upon so many different aspects of my life and being. To write about a book about that process was somewhat interesting, and I guess-in hindsight-an aspect of grieving. I know that after the second bereavement, I found it physically impossible to pick up a pen to write. I had to give myself permission to finish what I had started, to complete a cycle, move on and through what I had experienced.

Fragments is a work of fiction, yes. It does however, have some basis in theory. Mourning and bereavement, to be more specific. To this day, I remember learning about Worden and his four tasks of mourning, to be acutely aware of how Fragments was written with those four ideas in mind. I kept them in mind, as things that ebb and flow. I don’t, for one moment, profess to be an expert. There are some, that say all counselling is about loss. This is certainly something that has echoed and permeated through my practice, and I can see how that would be the case.

The principles:

  1. To accept the reality off loss
  2. To work through, process the pain of grief
  3. To adjust to the world without the deceased
  4. To emotionally relocate the deceased whilst embarking on a new life.

Each of these four things is a part of the fabric of Fragments. Each of the six stories touches on these four principles. Each of the stories is also linked by Marcy the counsellor. A character, who herself, has a story about grief. There had to be a counsellor, I was training to be one, I saw one too.  I tried to distill into the pages, what I was learning, experiencing and feeling.

The characters are deliberately diverse, they reflect real life. There is Nandini, an elderly woman of Indian-ascent. A character who has a very private grief, a process that she struggle with on many levels. She is someone who might not, in real life, go to counselling. It pains me, makes me angry too, that there are communities out there, for whom counselling is unavailable, or not part of their frame of reference; it’s not the done thing. Nandini echoes to me. She is the type of client that I would want to support in my private practice-another story, another day-to help improve access to talking therapies and also the stigma around mental health.

I deliberately wrote about Chris, who loses his dog, Adelphi. Man’s best friend, a relationship just as important as all others; this had to be written too. There are children; teenagers, actually who feel pain and need someone to talk to.

That’s the key here. To talk.

People tend to pull faces at me, when I say that I’ve written about grief. My response is always the same. We don’t talk about grief, we hide it; so why not read about it? I could, very easily, attach a health warning. I choose not to. I see value in what I’ve written. I see, know, that it’s not an easy book; it’s long too. I also think that talking, about grief, is important. It is part of those four stages, least of all part of my practice as a counsellor. It’s not a textbook, not by any length of chalk. I’ve never intended it to be one either, but it does have a purpose. It certainly had one for me.

I hope that by reading it, someone else will find that too.

You’ll need tissue.

And a big mug of tea.

Look after yourself, though.

You’re important.

 

Two years on #peaceseries #WritingCommunity

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The Peace Novella Series is officially two years old. It feels as though it was yesterday, when the first novella-Songs of Peace- was released as part of an ambitious, dynamic and diverse anthology series. Sixteen authors worked together to build the fictional town of Peace, Montana.

Two years ago, we would have seen Songs of Peace, Love in Peace and what Peace Remains, go public. This Saturday, marks the anniversary of Reclaiming Peace.

Running from Autumn 2017 to Summer 2018, we saw the novellas release on e-readers every other week. It was an exciting time, in reading and collecting what felt like a whole Peace Library. This is a series where there truly is something for everyone.

RTPDUO

My contribution was Retreating to Peace, and this arrived in January 2018. This year, a year and bit later, I published Postcards from Peace. The Devan Coultrie Saga needed to be continued. To be honest, with Postcards, there were more questions. Things were to develop a little further.

There will be a third contribution!

Slated for January 2020, Devan Coultrie’s Peace journey arrives at it’s conclusion.

Stand by.

There will be further details in the run up to Christmas.

Tippling Tales at Gunmakers Arms

 

Last week, I had the absolute privilege to be in great company, and also to read in the Gunmakers Arms, Birmingham.  Organised by A.A.Abbott, this was an evening to sample some of the stories that are written by Birmingham authors.

This is only the second time that I have read from one of my books and in public. An exciting opportunity, but also rather nerve-racking. I read from Kangana, and it was interesting to hear the the characters jump out aloud in the room.

There is just something about hearing stories, experiencing the work of authors, that really is pure magic.

*****

When Fictional Characters pay a visit to the Gunmakers Arms.

“For now, just play nice,” Hades blew across the top of his Guinness. He pulled a face having taken a mouthful. “Dionysus lied about this stuff. Muppet.”

“Can’t make me,” Devan pouted as he swirled a wheat-coloured IPA. He had two black eyes and a plaster across his nose.

“Can and will,” replied Hades. “Be civil or I turn you into a horse’s behind. But without the romance of a Mid-Summer’s night dream.”

“Of all the places in Birmingham,” Padmi arrived, clutching a glass of Merlot. She grimaced at Devan to sit next to Hades. “Never been here before. Didn’t realise this belonged to writers and such.

“It’s a nice place; they have two of the most adorable cats.” Hades kicked Devan to attention beneath the table. “If moody knickers here can make it. You and Gorbind will be fine. Gunmaker’s Arms. Looks good to me.”

“Moody knickers who?” Gorbind put another glass down before Devan. He himself had half a pint of lemonade.

“Don’t trust yourself?” Asked Devan, pulling the glass close. “Scared? Reading and all.”

“Just a bit,” he replied, exhaling deeply. “And so is she.” Gorbind looked at the Maroon 5 hoodie that hung on the back of an empty chair.

He knew what she was about to read. Thing is, he hadn’t told his wife. That was scared him. That, was what had him on the lemonade.

 

Later in the Gunmakers Arms

“Do I kiss you, kill you slowly?” Glaring at her husband, Padmi pressed the cool rim of the wine glass to her lips.

“Slowly, ever so slowly,” wiping tears, Hades laughed. He’d found gin now, and was picking out spiralised zest. “So we can watch.”

“You got laughs,” shaking his head, Devan winced as his nose throbbed. “You actually made people in a Birmingham boozer, laugh. Welcome to the club,” he slugged his IPA and landed a hand to Gorbind’s shoulder.

“Talking to me now, are you?” Slurping lemonade, Gorbind took his turn with not playing nice.

“You may have broken my nose,” replied Devan, “But you’ll need hell to freeze over before you break my spirit.”

“I can do that, hic!” Hades momentarily looked bashful. “God, Padmi ought to nail your bits to-“

“You scared her,” Padmi cut off the Lord of the Underworld to once more pin Gorbind to his seat. “She took a chance on you; read you aloud, tripped over almost every inch to keep going. The pair of us, she gave us a reason for being. Made you real. Remember that.”

A sudden hush had unfurled around the table. The lights crackled, a darkness descended.

Then they were gone.

****

Devan Coultrie is from Retreating to Peace: A peace series Novella. Earlier this year, he made his Birmingham debut at a Tippling Tales event.  Hades, is a work in progress: more details on him in the future!

A special mention to A.A.Abbott and also the Gunmakers Arms, Birmingham.

Thanks also to JA Media for the images.

Bookish: Road to #Birmingham2022

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From Telford to Birmingham:

A book-related adventure.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a some time now; particularly how to put into words. This is altogether nerve-wracking.

Well, here goes.

In July 2022, the Commonwealth Games will be just about to kick off in Birmingham. As such, this has inspired a multi-genre gathering of authors from across the world. One of them, just happens to be yours truly. A gathering that is scheduled for the heart of Birmingham, yards from the Floozy in the Jacuzzi, in the Birmingham Council House.

The journey, this bookish road to Birmingham, starts in Telford in April 2020.

That’s less than six months away.

How did this all start?

With a short story. And nerves. Lots of nerves.

I was ecstatic to be invited to Birmingham 2022, by fellow local author Martin Tracey.

I met Martin, in a pub. The Gunmakers Arms in Birmingham, actually; I was reading there, so was he. That was my first ever public reading-Postcards from Peace, Devan’s Halloween Story, I’ve never been so scared in my life-thanks to A.A.Abbott, her Tippling Tales evenings are brilliant, and well worth attending.

(I’m back there tomorrow! Get tickets here.)

Immediately, as you can imagine, excitement and anxiety collided. This would be one a massive, historic, multi-genre event. A first for me. It was, and is, a huge step as an author, and Indie Author at that. I set about thinking; how could I make steps towards this big event, to raise my profile and actually reach people?

I have no idea if people read my books, unless I pester them! The dreams of having a fan-club, are exactly that. Being somewhat eclectic, the book back catalogue is somewhat diverse.  There is most definitely something for everyone.

I thought about it, and took a chance. Was there an event, that I could do in the mean time? Turns out there was. In Telford; sooner too. A good opportunity to build a profile, and reach readers.  This was Shenanigans 2020.  The link for tickets is below.

Shenanigans 2020 tickets

There are a couple of locations, currently being investigated, for pit stops in the middle. Birmingham 2022, will hopefully be something of a homecoming, in that respect.

The key thing, the most central to all of this, are the books.

six

As I type, I’m preparing book seven. The teasers were done yesterday! This is my third instalment for the Peace Novella Series. All being well, this will be out there for everyone, by April 2020.

As an Indie Author, reaching readers, is a key. This means that reading and reviewing is incredibly important. That moment, when you randomly recommend a book to someone, helps that happen. Even if’s a one line review, even if you only add a couple of stars.

 

Plant Pot tales: the seeds of an idea

From blogging to beyond.

plantpottales

Four years ago, around about tea time, I pressed publish. What I was publishing, self-publishing that is, what Playing with Plant Pots: Tales from the Allotment.

I was bringing to a close, work that I had been doing over the summer. At the start of that summer, I had decided to write a book. I had no idea, what to do or how. The plan, all very vague, was to build on what I had written for the blog.  What I wanted to do, was to share via another platform, everything that I put on the blog.

I felt, more keenly than anything, that was I was about to do, was useful. That what I had learned, experienced and recorded would be valuable to others. I also like books. I am and always will be, a bookworm. Books are magical, they serve an infinite number of purposes and have an infinite number of effects.

What I was also doing, was taking my first tentative steps toward being an author, being a writer. That’s something that I’m still trying to get my ahead around. I’ve yet to put that on my CV; I feel like an impostor. It has taken me ten years to feel like a fully fledged teacher, I have no qualms about saying that’s what I do. Declaring myself a writer, an author, is just as hard as saying I’m a newly qualified and registered Counsellor.

Plant Pot tales was published via Kindle. The whole world of Indie publishing is still very new to me,  it’s an ongoing process to learn and process things. Plant Pot tales was a my gateway in, a baptism of fire. Without this book, I wouldn’t have written and published another five. After Plant Pot tales, there was Sow, Grow and eat. I had learned a fair few significant lessons before taking the plunge with that one.  Plant pot tales stands for so much, I’ve never fully appreciated it til now.

One of the best moments, was being sat there whilst Mama F told me her recipes. Most of what has been grown on the allotment has passed through her kitchen. I had to convert her conversation into a set of standardised instructions that could be replicated. Instructions that were both reliable and valid across time, location and population. In a word, these were recipes that could accessible, uncomplicated and bring some form of enjoyment to those using them. This was not supposed to be an onerous, over-complicated book to bamboozle people. There is nothing so off-putting as being over-complicated.

What I will never forget, is standing in the kitchen whilst flicking through the pages. It was the pictures that got me. I’d taken them all, used them on here for a blogging. I was developing an archive of images to support what I was writing. I don’t for one minute think that it’s a run of the mill gardening book. It’s part reference, part cook-book and that’s deliberate. I didn’t want to write a book that was the same as all the others; the same as all the ‘proper’ ones.

Not writing anything ‘proper’ or within expected norms, is a theme that carries on with all the other books. A theme, that does make it difficult to spread the word, promote and share the books. That is however, another story.

Plant pot tales has also travelled. It travelled to the US, where it was sold in a book store. Yes, a proper book store with shelves, people and everything. My book, was on a shelf. In a book store.

You couldn’t make that up, not really.

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Peace Novellas: A summer read! #peaceseries

 

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It’s high summer, and a good time to settle down,

kick back and pick up a book to read.

Well, how about a few books, and to keep your thoroughly entertained?!

Set in the fictional town of Peace, Montana, there is a whole canon of novellas that will draw you into a world of riveting romance.

Written by an armada of different authors-me included!-there is something for everyone.

Most of the books are available from kindle, at less than a couple of quid for e-books. There are paperbacks too, and these are approximately a fiver a piece. Not bad really, for either an electronic library or paperback. If you have kindle unlimited, then I think some might be even be free to download!

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Yep, I’m part of that armada. I have two runners and riders in the Peace stable. The first is Retreating to Peace, and we meet Devan Coultrie. Devan travels to The USA  in something of a state, he’s after a new beginning and Peace is where he wants that to happen. Following on from that, is Postcards from Peace. Devan has settled into Peace, and here we get a snapshot of how his life has evolved.

If you fancy a copy of RTP or Postcards, the links are on the sidebar.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer: the season to read

 

Love, life, laughter

and all that is in between.

 

The days have become longer, the sun is shining-mostly!- and there is a chance for some downtime. Downtime makes for a cracking opportunity to catch up on reading. From the graphics above, you can see that there is something of a diverse range on offer. There are the two gardening books, one romance novella, a two novels and series of short stories.

With June and July, the growing season becomes apace. If you have more courgettes than you know what to do with, or really want to know about Aloo gobi-that’s spuds and cauliflower, then those are for you.

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Retreating to Peace and Postcards from Peace are my contributions to the Peace Novella Series. A stable of different authors awaits if you fancy having a look at the rest of the series. With RTP, Devan Coultrie arrives in Montana with something of a broken heart. There is follow up in Postcards as we get another look into his life.

Fragments is a great big of six inter-related stories as it considers what happens when we lose the people- and animals-that shape our worlds. Kangana sees Gorbind-he appears in Fragments-have a no straight forward romance. There are also snatches of Birmingham, with Lucifer from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery making an appearance.

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All of the books are available on Kindle and in paperback.

You can clink on the sidebar,

or go to the Books page to get your copies!

 

And don’t just take my word for it.