New YA Book

I’m having a lot of fun writing this book and really hoping that you’ll enjoy it when it’s done. As it’s based on things that could (and do) happen in real life, it’s taking more time to write as I have to make sure that I’m getting my facts straight – I’m aware that someone will find a factual error somewhere along the line and will let me know – so I’m doing what I can to make sure that doesn’t happen (apologies from the get go if a blunder slips through!) As the first two books I wrote were pure magic and fantasy (okay,  I took locations from places I am familiar with and – um – played with them a bit…), they were easier to manage. But this one needs to be correct in areas unrelated to location (which, in this book, takes place in a fictional area loosely based on a real place in England).

I’m still not entirely sure what it’s going to be called, but that will come to me before I finish, I’m certain! In the meantime, the storyline is buzzing along and I’m getting immense pleasure from it. My ‘how does this sound to you?’ young adult readers are constantly telling me to get on and finish it, so I must be doing something right! I just wish there were more hours in the day to do so, as my ‘day’ job seems to be becoming a ‘day and most of the evening job’… which is why I haven’t been posting as much as I really should – my priorities being my daughter, work – as it pays the bills and the onus is completely on me to keep a roof over our heads – writing and running the house. It’s a juggling act and on occasion I have to let a ball or two drop! (No rude jokes please!!) Sorry, to those of you who like reading my occasional inane ramblings!

By the way, I’m writing this as I listen to old Davie Bowie tracks, and last night my daughter and I had a Harry Potter marathon. No, we’re not wallowing in the aftermath of the tragic news that has hit the world so hard these past two weeks, we’re celebrating their genius and glad to do so. They left something of themselves behind for all of us to treasure and I am grateful.

On that note, if your child would like a copy of my books, The Seelie Princess, or Rise of the Dragons, please click here if you are in the USA, or here if you are in the UK. You don’t need a Kindle, there’s an app that lets you download them to your smartphone and other places, and you can get them in paperback too if you like a ‘proper’ book to keep.

Until next time, live your life and make sure you enjoy every day!

Happy New Year!

The feverish festivities of Christmas and the New Year are now over with until the end of 2016 and I hope you all had a wonderful time? Fireworks went off at midnight all over the country, and London put on a truly spectacular show – well done to all the pyromaniacs (sorry, pyrotechnics) and musicians involved in sorting that lot out!

Did you all see the crowds gathered to watch them? Thousands upon thousands of people of all races, ages and religions joined together to see in a fresh new year filled with hope. The vast majority linked hands with others that they had probably never met before that evening to sing the traditional Auld Lang Syne (a song that never fails to make me shed a tear or two) and they did so in peace and harmony.

You see, to me, that is what makes this country special. On the whole we are a tolerant nation that welcomes people from all over the world – and make them friends. That is how it should be. We open our doors to those that need an open door. We help where we can.

Those are the key words: we help where we can. But our government also needs to recognise that it has a duty to help its own people. Those who have lost their homes due to the horrendous floods that are still occurring need that support now, yet it has not (at the time of writing) been given. There are far too many homeless and poverty stricken people. Yet the rich are still rich and massive companies still get away with paying little to no taxes…

Television programmes are aired showing feckless layabouts who freely admit they don’t want a job, but who are, actually, few and far between. These programmes do not show the vast majority who do work (probably on zero hours contracts) yet still struggle because their wages cannot possibly cover their outgoings. Oh no! We are fed the stories of the lazy layabout because it makes for better viewing figures (shock values) and reinforces the idea that ‘the poor’ are all like them and therefore need to be penalised to make them work. People with real disabilities are having their assistance stopped and are being told they have to work. I know a man who is now in his sixties. He worked for over 40 years (and paid his stamp and taxes) but lost his job when he began to suffer from Parkinson’s Disease. He was forced to apply for help. He has had his money stopped as he has been deemed (by someone sitting in an office) to be capable of working. He has had no income for almost two months now, but he can’t find anyone to employ him.  He has times when he can barely walk. Realistically, how is this right? Or fair?

Mr Cameron’s idea of a ‘living wage’ is laughable. Appallingly, more and more working people are having to rely on food banks because they cannot afford their rents (private rental fees are astronomical but no council housing is available) and the choice they face is whether to use their money for food or to keep a roof over their heads. Cuts means that money has been diverted from our fabulous NHS, from education, from the police force that now struggles to do its job and from various other facilities that we have relied upon for decades. Our elderly are treated as second class citizens despite the fact that they have paid tax and NI all their lives. More and more people are suffering from mental health issues through the stress of trying to survive, let alone actually have a comfortable life. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the gist…

Austerity? Dickens, eat your heart out!

So, this year I would like to see our Government pull back on its spending outside of this country, and put our hard earned taxes to work to help its own people. And yes, by ‘own people’ I do mean the melting pot of nationalities that makes up this truly Great Britain along with genuine refugee seekers. We all need to pull together and start to look after our own – poverty must be eradicated here before we pay for it to be eradicated elsewhere.

Then we can all have a Happy New Year to look forward to.