#amediting for the next two weeks!

Last week I finally completed the read through and edit of ‘Search for the Sentinel’. It’s in good shape, though far from ready to self publish. I need to add in a dozen or so scenes and have lots of tell and unnecessary exposition to delete. I also need to work on some of the world-building ideas to make sure they come alive for the reader.

I’ve challenged myself to complete this next stage of editing in two weeks, deadline when the kids breakup for half term. If you could see the scribbled mess of my draft you would know that it’s quite an undertaking. But if I don’t set the challenge I will just drift along without completing anything. Looks like I will have to unplug my Wifi.

The plan will then be to print it and read it again after a break of a week or so. Then I’ll keep repeating the process until I’m happy enough to pass it on for it’s first beta read.

I also need to look into book covers. This time it will need to have a theme that can run through 3 books – and I have no ideas where to start with that. But I shall be heading over to ‘The Cover Collection’ who made the brilliant cover for Visions of Zarua.

In the near future I hope to put together an editing checklist which will incorporate what I’ve learnt from creative writing classes, professional critiques and professional editing. Watch this space.

My editors are getting ready to give me a hand…

See you on the other side of two weeks, if I still have my sanity!


#Writers – looking for inspiration?

When I get stuck for story ideas or am in need of some inspiration I love to look through my magazine collection. I’ve found new counties and countries that might feature in my stories, possible characters, interesting facts, buildings and objects, articles on crafts and quirky details that might spark story ideas.

Some of my favourite magazines are:


Countryfile – This magazine is always filled with inspiring stories, beautiful walks and landscape photography, crafts and seasonal articles. Plus they usually run a few pages on a chosen location with lots of interesting facts and pictures. It’s been a source of many of the photos on my wall for my W.I.P – Search for the Sentinel.


Discover Britain – this magazine is brilliant for pictures and articles about Britain. They have a focus on history and places to visit in Britain, and each issue will star a particular county i.e. Norfolk for the magazine in my picture. They have headers like History, Architecture, Art, Gardens and a Travel guide. Plenty to inspire…

Lonely Planet – The spectacular photographs are the stars of these magazines. I also find lots of interesting articles on places all over the world. They have monthly features like Globetrotter, Easy Trips, Great Escapes and Mini Guides.

My collection of writing magazines – These always have interesting articles to learn from and inspire, and I always head straight to the competition pages to see what’s coming up that I may be able to enter. I like the themed competitions for inspiration, and those that offer critiques for a small fee – possibly the most valuable thing to come out of entering competitions (if you don’t win that is!).


I’m always on the look out for interesting and quirky magazines. Do you have any to recommend?


Dark and thrilling fantasy novel: Visions of Zarua

I would like to share this wonderful review from C at happymeerkatreviews. I supplied her a free copy for an honest review.


visions of zarua

I was kindly sent a free digital copy of this book from the author Suzanne Rogerson.  It’s a wonderful fantasy book.  Links for the author’s website and other sites are below the review.

This is my review of Visions of Zarua:

This is a dark and thrilling fantasy book that really keeps you gripped from beginning to end.  Set in the world of Paltria, where there is magic, wizards and dark creatures, Paddren and his friends begin their journey by trying to save his master Kalesh.  But when Kalesh is found dead they must find out why and their search reveals the dark and sinister past haunting Paltria.

This book is one of the best fantasy books I’ve read to date!  From the very first chapter I was hooked to read more and it isn’t many books that truly keep you reading from the very beginning to the very end. …

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Dog on a Train by Kate Prendergast #Bookreview

Book blurb – Boy is late for his train. Rushing out of the house, he drops his favourite hat. Luckily, Dog is there to pick it up. But will Dog catch Boy in time? Follow the plucky Dog on this wordless adventure through the streets and rush-hour crowds. Charming and humorous. Dog on a Train is a book to delight dog lovers and tired commuters alike.

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book published 1st October 2015. The story is told through illustrations only and that is part of its charm. Toddlers and young children can interpret the story through the pictures. It is a perfect introduction to story telling, and can help children prepare for school where the first books they bring home to read with their parents are picture only books.


I rate the book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend to anyone with young children. It would also make a beautiful gift.

Buy now on Amazon UK

#BookReview – Wild Ruins by Dave Hamilton

The first thing that drew me to this book was the title, Wild Ruins. I’ve always loved ruins and this book has over 300 of them to discover. Then there is the amazing cover, which drew me in, not least because it’s just like an image I have in my head for my current WIP – Search for the Sentinel.

book review Wild Ruins

This is a very easy to use reference book with chapters focusing on counties i.e. Cornwall, Hampshire and Isle of Wight.


A nice touch are the pages at the beginning where the author suggests the best ruins for things like foraging (a favourite pastime of mine), picnics, beautiful walks, the weirdest and strangest ruins and the best for children and families.  The book has lots of inspiring pictures, maps, ordnance survey grid references and post codes for sat nav.


It’s a good size to fit in a ruck sack, and I certainly can’t wait to take it on family holidays and outings to discover these Wild Ruins for myself.

From a writers perspective this is a book of pure inspiration, a must for all our bookshelves.

I’ve rated it 4 out of 5 stars. I suppose my only complaint would be the lack of glossy pictures inside, just to make it more visually pleasing.

Check out Wild Ruins on Amazon.

Now for something a bit different – #indiemusic

Indies need to stick together, whether we are writers, artists or musicians. All of us can use a helping hand when it comes to getting discovered. So I would like to introduce local indie band, Pybus from Surrey, UK.

pybus attempt 3

They are an alternative/indie rock duo who released their first album, Better Days, in Dec 2015. Check out their website for more information and to sample the tracks on their album. Pybusmusic.com

Their YouTube video  ‘Standing in a field’ is lots of fun with a catchy tune and some cool guitar.

Please take a look, and share.



Visions of Zarua #giveaway and #review update

Last week I had my first delivery of merchandise. It’s so strange to hold a bundle of my very own books. I love ebooks, but there’s nothing quite as special as seeing it in print.


3 of these books are destined for the Goodreads Giveaway which is running until 14th February, and the other 2 are for giveaways I am planning in the future.

Review update – Visions of Zarua is currently rated 4.5 stars on Amazon uk thanks to 2 5 star and 2 4 star reviews.

‘The perfect amount of epicness…’

‘A gripping, well written story…’

‘A brilliant read…’

Another reviewer ‘really enjoyed this book.’

It’s so lovely to see that people have enjoyed something I created. And these reviews are important in helping other readers decide if they are willing to take a chance on a debut author. So if you have read Visions, would you consider leaving a review? I’d love to know what you think.

9 ideas to create your perfect writing space

During the Christmas holidays, I had a break from writing, though it was never far from my thoughts. It never is. I decided to use the time to prepare my writing space. I think you’ll agree it’s an organised mess, but it does the job. As soon as I sit here I feel in the mood for writing.

my writing space

9 ideas for a productive writing space;

Reminders of any successes: I have a poster of my published book to remind me what is achievable, and that no matter how hard the struggle it can be done.

Have a mascot: Meet Poppy the cat. She keeps me company while the kids are at school, though she does have a habit of attacking my fingers as I type and often treads all over the keyboard.

Beautiful pictures and visual aids: I have pictures of places and characters for my WIP – Search for the Sentinel. I find it best to write the first draft and then gather pictures that appeal to me to help build the world in my mind and flesh out the details.

To do lists: I have My 9 point plan to succeed in 2016 pinned up to remind me of the tasks I have set myself. I also have a marketing to do list for Visions of Zarua.

List of useful #hastags: I find it really handy to look at this list when I’m on twitter.

Reference books: I have a bookshelf above my desk filled with reference books. From books on herbs and the forest, to horse care and survival guides. I also have a very large dictionary, but usually rely on the computer’s spell check.

Objects that make you smile: I have a few ornaments that I like to look at; a Viking warrior, an owl, a goblet and a werewolf (he was the inspiration for the Nagras in Visions of Zarua).

Odds and ends: I have a beautiful pen pot and smart little note pad.

WIP: An A4 notebook and a hard copy of Search for the Sentinel that I am currently reading through.


As my desk is in the corner of the kitchen I can never escape everyday life, so it’s important I make the space feel like my own little writing haven. Somehow I don’t think I’ll get much writing done today!

not getting any work done

Do you have any strange items in your writing space?

Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson – Review + Giveaway

I’m really pleased to share this thoughtful 4 star review of my debut fantasy novel, Visions of Zarua. Reviewer Nyareads.


Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson Publication date: December 14th 2015 Genres: Fantasy An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria. Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city …

Source: Visions of Zarua by Suzanne Rogerson – Review + Giveaway