Sunday, 24 June 2018


I’m just about back down to earth, after the launch of Esther Bligh.

Launches come in all shapes and sizes – a platform for promotion (and sales), a literary event, where the author can showcase their work. Or it can be a celebration.

And that’s what I decided I wanted – a celebration of my debut publication, a book with only one writer’s name on the cover – mine. Yes, I’ve won some competitions in the past, and my work has featured in a number of anthologies and journals. But this is the first time it’s just me. And it’s a great feeling.

A celebration requires family and friends, and I was thrilled that so many turned up for the occasion from far and wide, in spite of the rain. Being a writer, as all writers know, can be a tough business. Rejection is a fact of life, and sometimes it can be very hard to deal with. But a strong network of support (which may, or may not, be connected with the writing-process) provides a cushion for all those blows. Thank you, all, for being there – at the launch, and always.

I was also fortunate to have the perfect venue in Seaways Bookshop, Fishguard. We are very lucky to have this shop in Fishguard – well, I think you would be lucky anywhere. It has a great choice of books, and kind, knowledgeable owners (Barbara and Bridget), who really went that extra mile to make it a great day. Thank you, both.

It was particularly appropriate as the launch was held during Independent Booksellers’ Week, so here are Bridget and Barbara dressed as Bookshop superheroes!

I’m dressed in black, because Esther wore black, and it’s a dark story.

The book is, however, a dual-narrative, alternating between Esther and Grace. So here I’ve put on a hat to read Grace’s words, saying ‘a red hat, topped with a peacock’s multi-coloured feathers sat proudly on her head.’

Quoting from the back cover, I told my audience that the book may be the psychological exploration of a troubled mind (i.e. Grace’s), or a tale of demonic possession in a haunted house. And I posed the question ‘Is this, quite simply, a ghost story?’
Looking at this last photo, where a ghostly image of Esther is peering in through the window at us all, perhaps the answer to that is ‘yes’.

 And here’s to the next launch!

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The long awaited day!

‘Exspectata dies aderat…’    Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 5.

Or, for those of you who don’t understand Latin, ‘The Long Awaited Day Has Come.’

No, this isn’t Phaethon’s horses carrying Aurora up into the sky. It’s something far more exciting – to me, at least.

‘Esther Bligh’, my debut novella, published by Holland House Books, is out today!

And, yes, it is exciting, even though I’m at home, in front of the computer, typing this, ‘liking’ Facebook posts etc. (My launch is in ten days time – which will be another excitement!)

It’s great to see all the support from family and friends (thank you, all), and Amazon has only got one copy left. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But the book is available from plenty of other places, both online and in actual bookshops. I’ve already seen it in my local shop, Seaways, where I’m having my launch, which is a great feeling. Having been a librarian in my time, I also look forward to seeing it in the library, where I’m intending to do a reading. And there are a few other events planned, so it’s a busy time, but I’m really thrilled by it all.

Long awaited, maybe, but definitely worth it!

Thank you, Robert Peett at Holland House!