Saturday, 27 October 2012

Vikings, Halloween and books


The Viking leapt into the air raising his sword above him, his war cry curdling the blood in the young people's veins. He landed heavily on the sand, screaming his battle-cry again and running towards the headland, his swordsmen crowding behind him. The noise of the men's cries split the tranquillity of the day and as they gathered, some armed with axes, some with spears or swords and many with more than one weapon, the youngsters shrank into the dunes hoping to be overlooked.

 They had not seen on the headland a small force of local warriors, who were now racing to meet the Viking raiders...the Vikings had seen their quarry and ran rapidly towards the warriors, whooping and leaping joyously, impervious to the danger of battle.The noise was terrifying and ear-splitting. Metal clashed against metal, weapons hissed through the air, screams of agony met cries of triumph and victory. Bodies crashed heavily into each other, bones and skulls cracked and split, men fell to the ground never to arise again...

An altogether more peaceful scene-looking toward the Lakeland hills

A motley crew of Vikings plus the author
(L-R Iain, Terry, Gill, Piglet, Martin and Craig)

 A brilliant day today filming at Bardsea and Birkrigg with some very kind gentlemen--dressed as vikings. They are all re-enactors and did a great job. I have to thank them-with special mention to Iain McNichol who is a local "History Man" of local repute, Terry Harvey Chadwick (Midgard Living History) Piglet(real name unknown) Martin McFall and Craig Appely. Thank you all for your stirling efforts-I can't wait to see the end result.

It starts to be busy from now...the book is now out on ebooks/Kindle/ibooks and the paperback is released on Thursday. Tomorrow I am at Abbey House Hotel at 7pm giving a reading...

On Wednesday we (New Horizons) are having a 3 hour story and craft session for Halloween at Walney Community Centre-its a fun session for 7-11years and our first activity for children. From there I race over to Abbey Mill Coffee Shop to do more readings-this time in a tent...please dont let it rain... Thursday-Raven's Hoard is OUT!
Building up to a grand launch and signing at Waterstone's Barrow at 1pm for an hour only-so if you want a signed copy come on down!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Filming in Furness

Cast and crew
 Exhausted after a long day shooting the promotional film for Raven's Hoard with Stuart Appley of Comley Media. I am always astounded when watching Stuart how he manages to isolate scenes from my book and then fit them together so brilliantly. He sets up the scenes just as I imagined them and the end result is breathing life into my written words.

We travelled extensively today-visiting Barrow Library, Rampside Church, The                          Concle Inn, Aldingham Motte, Gleaston, Dalton church and Furness Abbey. The weather was kind to us and we got lots done. There is a brief shot tomorrow on the beach with a horse and rider and then next Saturday morning to see a brief Viking raid! All in a day's work! 

Tom and Dolly form Raven's Hoard
I have an exciting and busy few weeks planned. There are visits and signings, events and fairs-a wide variety which I hope will get the book reaching a much wider audience.

I had a lovely time today and it was made special by the people who joined us. Some I have known for a while, others are new acquaintances and the children are all people I have taught some years ago. Its lovely to see how they have grown up and little glimpses of those 5 and 6 year olds peep through every now and again.  They are amazing and so mature-it was a genuine pleasure to meet them again-on a very different footing.

I am privileged to be going on Friday to see The Sound of Music at the Forum. Lewis, Connor and Amy are all appearing in it. I'm sure there will be a tear in my eye as I watch. I am equally sure that I will remember them as they were in our modest little Christmas productions too. How nice that even though I have ended my teaching career that I am still able to connect with them in my new author capacity.

Stuart directing Lewis and Izaak for their scene on Birkrigg

Connor as George and Amy and Lewis at Barrow Library with the green screen

Friday, 12 October 2012

Out of Time: Only 20 days to go until Raven's Hoard is out. Its...

Out of Time: Only 20 days to go until Raven's Hoard is out. Its...: Only 20 days to go until Raven's Hoard is out. Its like the last weeks of a pregnancy...waiting and wondering what the outcome will be, bein...
Only 20 days to go until Raven's Hoard is out. Its like the last weeks of a pregnancy...waiting and wondering what the outcome will be, being only  fidgety and restless, being unable to settle to do anything. The only thing I haven't had an urge to do is clean the house! I am just sorting out dates for visits and signings and I am going to be quite busy until Christmas.  I am kicking off with the Halloween events-first at Abbey House Hotel on 28th October and then 31st at Abbey Mill Cafe 4-6 and 6-8pm. The book is officially out on 1st November and I am going to be doing a signing at Barrow Waterstones on 3rd November. I really hope lots of you will come and see me at Waterstones particularly as its nice to get good sales in your local book shop!

More events to follow.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Promotion, preparation and signing

just checking in tonight... have a few busy weeks ahead. The business is still in need of promotion and although we have had a fab couple of write ups in the NW Evening Mail, it hasn't brought many clients. I am an impatient soul but I have to try and get us known and out there. New Horizons Education has some good heritage courses which I am keen to teach...just need the students! In fact my life has become a massive promotional task-blogging, facebook, tweeting etc takes a lot of time but the key thing is its free!

I have a number of visits planned to various venues and I should be out and about up until Christmas. Its important to do the small things too-like tonight I've been to Hartington Street Methodist Tea Club. I didn't imagine that I would have such a good response-but I managed to engage the group and this led to leaflets being taken to hand on to teachers-with the hope I may get some Author visits in. Its a very different life to the previous one I led-as a salaried teacher. It is varied and interesting but the pay is indifferent to be honest and a little unstable...which is the one- down side really! However, it has freed me up to do something I have long wanted to do-work as a Museum Assistant albeit casual. I could never have consciously taken such a massive drop in pay when I was working...but now as all my work is intermittent and casual it is actually an extra! Weird!

Well I hope you are ready for Raven's Hoard-its a bit darker than Secret of the Swan-and quite exciting. It can be pre-ordered and I will be doing  signings locally from 28 October (if the advance copies arrive) onwards.
28 Oct Abbey House Hotel Halloween Family Ghost Walk 6-8pm
31 Oct Abbey Mill Cafe Halloween Scare Fest 4-6pm and 6-8pm
3 Nov Waterstones Barrow 
10-11 Nov Brantwood Craft Fair
8 Dec Dock Museum

Hope to see you there...somewhere...