Sunday, 22 April 2012

Lets go viral!
Very pleased with the release of the video onto  to promote Out of Time The Secret of the Swan...the next step is to include it onto the website. I can see we are getting hits-probably from people who know us-but we need your help to extend and spread the word beyond the usual demographic! If you view the video please share it with friends-actually pass it on as much as possible so that it reaches people who wouldn't normally see it. I think its a lovely piece of work and it certainly put the book into pictures very clearly-it is very close to how  imagined the action! The final scene is very emotional for me as it is a fantastically accurate interpretation of the leave taking of George (who is/was my dad) and my son was uncannily like him in the shots Stuart used.
I will definitely be doing a second film later this year to be available at the launch of the next in series-Raven's Hoard. Its going to be a busy year and I must get sorted with lots more signings and visits-if you or your school or group wish me to visit please get in touch via the website email.

It was a wonderful week for Furness this week-as you will know I am passionate about Furness Abbey and the history of the area-which is why I write books about it. I desperately want to engage a wider public with the treasures of this amazing area and encourage children to take an interest and stimulate enquiry about the past. So you can imagine how delighted I was when the finds from the abbey were revealed this week. I had known about their existence for a while, but to finally see them and learn of their significance was amazing. They are to be on show during bank holiday weekend at the abbey and I and many others can't wait to see them. The Channel 4 report on Thursday gave further insight into the bones found at the same time of the abbot. These I would imagine will be re-interred at a future date-as they should be...after all he believed he would rest within the abbey precinct for eternity and I think this should be the case. This story went to News at Ten which is remarkable that it has had 2 national news airings-BBC kept it local; but its all over the papers and internet too.
As if this wasn't enough there is the viking hoard which will also appear at the Dock Museum from 4 May for a month! Barrow Borough Council are appealing for funds to buy this for the community to place it on permanent display-which would be another great coup and a draw for tourists! Everyone should get behind this because it would be a fantastic boost to the local economy and we could end up  being put on the map for tourism at last-then maybe Furness would be given the profile it deserves instead of the butt of jokes as it so often is. We have a fantastically rich and varied history and there is so much there which can be easily and freely exploited-we just need to begin to value the heritage and put ourselves firmly behind the abbey and the Dock Museum who both do a good job with limited resources.
In this vein, a number of local artists, historians, authors and lovers of the Furness heritage have formed a new group called Furness Abbey Fellowship. Its remit is to raise awareness of the abbey nationally and locally and to help to ensure that the artefacts remain here. It won't be an easy job because there will be security issues involved with housing such items-but the fact is there is no better place for them to reside! FAF...I know its a daft acronym...want to work with EH and other agencies to assist and promote the abbey and reinstate it as a centre for the community to work, learn, appreciate and enjoy. The interest extends to the other historical environments too and there is a firm belief that multi-agency approaches need to be taken to allow a consolidated strategy for the future of such important finds.

If you are interested in joining us please contact me via  the next meeting is at 7-30pm on Thursday 3rd May-please contact to say you are attending as we need to be sure of numbers.

So it looks as though we face an exciting few months ahead. On a personal note my second "Out of Time" book Raven's Hoard (written before the viking hoard was discovered) will be out before Christmas. More to follow soon...Ill be concentrating on the Keswick to Barrow Walk over the next 3 weeks-40 miles of pain, fun, euphoria and pleasure...come and give me a wave!

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