A blog for November


This is Billy. Actually he was Millie Marmalade until the vet informed us Billie may be better!

I have finally managed to create myself a writing space, and Billie can no longer sit on my hands as I type.

Unless I let him in. He has a very loud miaow – his mother was half Bengal, apparently :)

But today Billie is the other side of the door, and I am trying to absorb myself in my new novel, in my new writing space, in my new garden, in my new snatch of time since beginning my new work.

So today I think of all of you who are struggling to make the space for your writing, and I leave us with an inspirational quote:

‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ – William Churchill


Blog of November


There is a French quote : ‘Plus ca change (plus c’est la meme chose)’

The best translation of its meaning I found is that it is ‘used to express resigned acknowledgement of the fundamental immutability of human nature and institutions.’

So I will give my Friday quote a little direction henceforth – my aim is to show this quote in the literature that I love. From children’s literature, to plays, poetry, and philosophy. To show not only it working within the words, but in the writing community.

What was once said by Aristotle can probably be found in a version of its time in the latest kindle bestseller.

‘Plus ca change’

I hope you enjoy the journey – see you on Friday!tumblr_mcu0m7anrT1rqgv0oo1_1280


Summer crop


Thunderclouds gather, and the fields glare back.

Sun has curled the leaves of the abandoned raspberry canes, and three broody hens stick their noses out to sniff the approaching storm,

before returning to their empty nest.

In the middle of a small country, all is verdant, hushed, still.

Then a passing lorry roars at the crows in the treetop, and they clatter their wings.

And on the wind comes a song of ancient time –

It travels across the land, and calls to me as I sink,

It speaks of wind, and wave, and open sky,

Blue-glass walls spitting their salty spray –

I inhale deeply,

Soon, I think. Soon I shall be with you.

August, to me, has always been the month to head for the sea! Oceans – the sequel to Toxics– arrives as the summer fades. I will post the date it is published for digital or print purchase – here and on my FB page:  www.facebook.com/IsabelBurtNovels

Meanwhile, here’s a lovely description of Oceans, in an early review to help you decide…

oceans front only jpg

“Following on from ‘Toxics’, Isabel Burt offers in ‘Oceans’ another rich and absorbing world that quickly draws you in – great for young fantasy lovers!

In ‘Oceans’ we see 18-year-old Felicity return to the Old World after three years back with her family and friends in the modern world. During that time she has yearned to find her way back to her love, Reuben, from whom she was separated underwater at the end of Toxics.

Given the modern setting and introduction to Felicity’s best friend, Al, in the early chapters I was a little unsure as to whether I would be convinced by the Old World again – but Isabel Burt doesn’t disappoint. Once Felicity finds her way back, we are quickly drawn back into a new part of her fantastical and colourful world whose rich character cast is this time dominated by ocean dwelling creatures incuding Thessalons (giant turtles), The Draar-sil (an army of protective sea lions) and the Humb (ill-meaning giant squids) — as well as the dying-out race of the ‘Meshi’ ocean people whose existence had been hidden from Reuben’s Old World.

Makia, the withering and scheming Meshi medicine woman, is portrayed brilliantly as she scuttles and schemes from her sunken sea cave where she holds not only Reuben, but also a lost Meshi princess captive – playing with potions and allowing for some clever tension at the start of the book between Reuben and Felicity. Makia has a pivotal role as the plot develops and is a joy to encounter on the page (if not for real!).

An ever-present threat comes in the form of the lurking GRAI whose menacing soliloquies from the ocean deep open many of the early chapters, foreshadowing the inevitable climax of the book in which darkness descends (literally) on the Old World. Gradually it becomes clear that Reuben, Felicity and their immediate team have been thrown together to try to understand and save the Old World from this dark force.

Whether they succeed is for you to find out!”   Karen Inglis, author of The Secret Lake

oceans front only jpg Available to order from all good bookshops, or online, very, very soon!

Publishing pebbles


Oh, OCEANS is so close, now. I can smell the sea-salt and hear those pebbles!

It’s been a long spring, tidying it up, but to all who await the return of Felicity and Reuben – fear not!

It’s going off to the editor this week, for its spit and polish – do you see those tiny extra gaps between words that are invisible? They do!

Then the cover will commence! Something to echo the glorious colours of TOXICS, and yet the feel of the Ocean must be strong.

This adventure is set far in the Western Isle, and in the hidden territories of the Meshi – a sea-folk as yet undiscovered.

I had so many horrors wanting to outdo each other in vileness – to increase tension, a writer must increase obstacles. In OCEANS, Reuben and Felicity meet plenty !

Will they succeed, again? Or will this be the end of their love? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see!








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