Last Friday I met a lot of people I have only known as words.

Perhaps a tiny picture, or a photo of their garden, or child, or book. But we met in Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London, and it was an extraordinary experience. Looking into someone’s eyes who you have never seen in the flesh, and yet feeling as if you know them. In fact the bonhomie was so strong I found myself hugging total strangers as if we had grown up on this planet together!

Which I suppose we have, in a way. I met Derek Murphy, from far away, who designed Toxics – a cover that still stirs people to tell me how beautiful it is. Thank you, Derek.

I met a list of names and now they are people with whom I have shared a drink, or a giggle, or a tussle over space, or even a sandwich in the lovely cafe. Amanda Hatter, Debbie Young, Helena Halme and her bad husband, Christopher Bowden, Gilly Hamer, Liza Perrat, Catriona Troth, Jane Smith, Roz Morris, Dan Holloway, Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn with the long surname,  Ian Richardson, Derek Birks, Clare Flynn, Polly in Germany, Orla Broderick, Orna Ross, Dan Holloway, Ian Sutherland, Sandy Osborne, Chele Cook, Alison Morton, Eliza Green, Angela Formby and her lovely son, Nick Stevenson and the hard- working drinks staff who kept their good humour in spite of a roomful of hot, thirsty authors throughout the long day.

Thank you, Peter Urpeth for relinquishing some floor space so Toxics could be seen!

It was supposed to be a day of learning, in this needy, greedy world of writing and promoting your own work. And the speakers were marvellous. Realistic, inspiring, diligent, and giving of their own time after a very long book week at Olympia’s trade fair. I made copious notes on a brochure all through the long day, and lost them in the last moment! Perhaps it was for the best. They were so full of instructions I would probably have found myself gibbering with inaction at where to begin with my bossy instructions of what to do next – what to do better – what must absolutely be done.

My family asked me if I had had a good day. I was too dazed to reply. I have a kaleidoscope of faces flitting through my head, and in the end, it’s always about the people, isn’t it?

I have neglected my readers, in trying to finish Oceans, and for that I am sorry. So today I thank all who visit and like my blog, and you know who you are! And I welcome all new who fly by, and I will really try to find the time to say something – even though I still believe there are so many out there saying it better – if you are here – HELLO :)


‘We come. We go. And in between we try to understand.’

Rod Steiger





Dawn is such a time for dwelling on simple thoughts, don’t you think?

I was thinking it time to list again some of the people I have met on this journey, who have been of inspiration and help to me.

Click on their names to learn more about them.

I hope you find a few new friends, too!






AUTHORS I can’t begin to name everyone – but thank you all of you I have met at SilverWood, and Alli, and online friends I have met blogging, and tweeting! As a hopeless failure at fitting in guest blogging, I will make time in the Autumn to play better:)


Friday Fruitfulness flees for the Easter Hop!

SilverWood Blog Hop Image

Your Friday quotation is not here!

You will find it at the bottom of this post, along with a lovely surprise…

Easter is a time of exciting change, and this Friday I would like to share a wonderful group of authors with you, in the SilverWood Authors Spring Hop 2014. Here is the introduction from SilverWood’s Publishing director, Helen Hart:

Welcome to the SilverWood Books Blog Hop!

A few of our authors have come together to share a variety of articles and items of interest on their blogs for your enjoyment. There are some lovely giveaway prizes, and – to stay in keeping with the Spring and rebirth theme at this time of year – some colourful Easter eggs. Feel free to collect the eggs, and use them where you like. They were drawn by SilverWood author Peter St John who writes the ‘Gang’ series about a boy who was evacuated to a village near Ipswich during WWII. Meet Peter and his characters on the Blog Hop, along with a host of eggcellent SilverWood authors. ;-)

 Have fun!

Helen Hart


After Friday Fruitfulness – hop over and see what they have in store, too!

NOAH with Russell Crowe has just been released. It has, of course, caused a stir. With its biblical theme, inevitably not all are at peace with its messages. I hope, though, that all the world, and all religions would agree that change is an inevitable part of life, and love, whatever your beliefs.

Just as a new mother struggles to keep up with the changing daily needs of her tiny creation; so must the older mother adapt to the quiet departure of her full-grown child.

We live in a changing world. Animal kingdoms become extinct daily, and the climate seems to be performing alarming jumps of behaviour. The internet reshapes itself second-by-second. Like an intelligent virus it reforms within moments – swallowed by hungry teenagers, commerce, governments. Religion adapts. College terms clash with Easter, but the Pope and the Dalai Lama tweet.

To be at peace, we must embrace change.

Within the time it has taken me to write these lines, what has changed? The dishwasher beeps its end, the dog has woken, the flower unfurled.

Spring has filled the hedgerows with blossom, and the fields with crops…


A new world of writing awaits, and the characters in a special Old World are stirring to be released. My own novel, TOXICS was published by SilverWood last December, and I must now embrace change if its sequel is ever to reach its readers. I must learn to talk about the one, whilst I find the peace to finish the other!

Easter, and spring, are such a wonderful time – I hope you enjoy clicking on the links below for a lovely variety of articles, and the surprise? – A lucky draw for all who comment below – the winner, of course, receives a signed copy of TOXICS (please ensure you leave contact details for me to find you if you win!)

 Happy Reading :)


Helen Hollick : Let us talk of many things – Fictional Reality


Alison Morton : Roma Nova – How the Romans Celebrated Spring


Anna Belfrage : Is freezing in a garret a prerequisite?


Edward Hancox : Iceland Defrosted – Seaweed and Cocoa


Lucienne Boyce : Lucienne Boyce Blogspot -The Female Writer’s Apology


Matlock the Hare : Matlock the Hare Blog – Pid-padding the self-published Pathway


Michael Wills : Michael Wills  – A Doomed Army


John Rigg : An Ordinary Spectator – Television Lines


Debbie Young : Young By Nature – The Alchemy of Chocolate


Peter St John : Jenno’s Blog  – My Village


Caz Greenham: Springtime and Hanging Baskets


Helen Hart : SilverWood Books Ltd



‘There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.’

David Attenborough