#wwwBlogs A spot of Murder and Mayhem with @carolJhedges #Author #Interview

I’m delighted to have author, Carol Hedges on my blog today. The last time Carol popped over for a chat, it was to talk about a new release – you can read that interview HERE. Since then, Carol has been busy penning a further two books for her Victorian Murder Mystery series.

Carol Hedges Picture

What is (or was) your occupation?

I trained as a librarian, and worked for Brent Libraries and Camden Libraries as a Children’s Librarian and a Music Librarian, stopping work in 1984 when I had my daughter. It was far harder to hold down a full time job in those days, as workplace nurseries and wraparound childcare just didn’t exist. And I believed raising a child WAS a full time job! So we put up with the privations of living on one wage until she got to 14, when I re-trained (age 46) as a secondary English teacher.

What are your hobbies? Continue reading “#wwwBlogs A spot of Murder and Mayhem with @carolJhedges #Author #Interview”

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly #MondayBlogs #AmEditing

Everyone knows how much I love social media! It’s no secret that I lurk around on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram at various times throughout the day.

However, I have a manuscript to edit, and a deadline.


I watch in awe as fellow writers sign off their Facebook account with a ‘love you guys, but I’ve got to write this book/edit this draft/plot my next bestseller’, and they do it! They disappear from the public eye for so many days or weeks and return fresh-faced and another book better off.

So, I’ve decided to adopt their methods. I have some fabulous content scheduled for my blog and will happily share these posts, I will also pop over to see my favourite bloggers and catch up on their posts and help promote them, I may even post a few dragon pics on my YA Facebook page! All of this should take me an hour a day, after that, I will shackle myself to my desk with a red pen in hand. Continue reading “Normal Service Will Resume Shortly #MondayBlogs #AmEditing”

Can photography help with your writing?


With the school holidays in full swing, all hope of getting any work done has been abandoned in exchange for family time. I am still managing to put pen to paper, but my time management is totally off the radar. I don’t mind. In fact, I cherish my family time. In a few short years, I will be calling my kids to see if they remember me, as they throw themselves into careers, partners and exploring this incredible world. I’ll take what I can get.

My kids are incredibly laid back. Where I try to organise exciting trips and book holidays to cities full of culture, they are happy to sit back, and sip a cool drink and watch the world go by. They learnt this from me because I used to be an incredibly laid back person too. People watching was my favourite past-time. But lately I find myself in a restless and jittery mood.

Continue reading “Can photography help with your writing?”

BUY or PASS? The Friday Five Challenge


Welcome to the ‘Friday Five Challenge.’

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Would you BUY or PASS if you only had a thumbnail image and five minutes to decide?

Welcome to the #FridayFiveChallenge. The original idea comes from Rosie Amber, and you can join up at https://rosieamber.wordpress.com

The rules are laid out at the end of this post if you fancy having a go.

Here is my contribution for the week:

For father’s day last year I presented my dad with his family tree. Using Ancestry.com I managed to trace back to my great-great-great-great-great-grandad, Thomas Wilson, born in 1804. Genealogy is addictive, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t go back any further online. Would there be a perfect book to help?

Using family history as my theme for the Friday Five Challenge, I typed ‘Genealogy’ into the Amazon search bar.

Continue reading “BUY or PASS? The Friday Five Challenge”

Writing Challenge Is A Doorway To…



Flash Fiction Writing Challenge

Inspired by one of my Pinterest boards, this is a flash fiction writing challenge based on the following theme:

‘Doorway to…’

“The door you are afraid to enter might lead you to the most beautiful and magical places.”

Use one of the images below as inspiration, write a 300-word flash fiction story about what lies beyond the door. Who will you find and where will the doorway lead you? Any genre (except erotica) is acceptable. As I write for a teen audience, please be aware that under 18’s frequent my blog.

Continue reading “Writing Challenge Is A Doorway To…”

Series or Standalone Novel?


Over on my Facebook page, we had a great debate going about the popularity of a series over a standalone book.

The consensus was in favour of the series. Although, there were quite a few who, like me, enjoy reading a standalone novel after completing an epic sequence of books – a bit like having sorbet between the starter and main course.

The series tends to be hugely popular in the young adult genre.  It was as I hit my thirties that I started to actively read young adult fantasy – brought on by my Buffy the Vampire Slayer obsession. I enjoyed getting involved in a series of books and spiralling along with the ever-evolving characters.

Continue reading “Series or Standalone Novel?”

Medical Procedure or Alien Abduction?

So far this week I have learned several new phrases that will fill me with dread if I ever hear them again in the future.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) and Sudden Intracranial Hypotension, or as I like to call it – the mother of all headaches!

I was admitted to hospital last week for a lumbar puncture – a procedure that I decided to google prior to my arrival. Not my best move. Being a fan of fantasy, sci-fi and horror I was able to gloss over the invasive procedural facts and use my new found knowledge to my advantage. Flash fiction stories poured from my quivering fingers as I let out my anxiety on the blank screen before me.

Closing my google search bar, and finally understanding how anyone can go from headache to clinically dead in three clicks, I prepared for my day patient adventure.

I listened patiently as my dad gave me a blow by blow account of his full English breakfast on the drive to the hospital, never once daring to mention my nil by mouth predicament.

The consultant was pleasant, with steady hands, and the nurses were lovely and attentive. I was ushered into a fetching nightgown and double wrapped to avoid flashing my ample behind to the man in room 5. We took the leisurely stroll to the x-ray department where I was stretched out beneath the machine with my spine exposed.

It was at this point I recalled that Falling Skies is due to return to our screens in June. For any sci-fi fans out there, then I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this. The alien machines began whirring and jolting around me. I felt the pressure on my spine as the needle slid into my flesh and pierced through to the CSF, draining out the sample that would be rushed off for testing.


My meditation breathing wasn’t working as well as I’d hoped, and I was convinced that I could hear skitters in the room. It was the most nerve-wracking procedure I’ve had – and I’ve had three kids!!

Putting aside my fears of being harnessed to an intergalactic race of aliens, I lay horizontal for an hour, as advised by the nurses. Everything was going fairly well until I stood up.  This is when I realised that you don’t miss your cerebrospinal fluid until it’s gone.

Five days later and I am typing this post from that same supine position in my bedroom. I have a crick in my neck from tweeting and Facebooking via my phone and I can’t begin to explain the ache in my backside from laying down for such a long time.


The worst of this has to be the excruciating headache. By day three, I started to believe that an alien species was, in fact, responsible for my predicament. Pain couldn’t be this bad, surely! As it turns out – thanks to another google search – my normally well-cushioned brain has been banging around my skull due to the lower than normal volume of CSF. Imagine a night out on the town, WAY too many mojitos, followed by the whirling pits. Now amplify that by a million and discovering that putting your foot on the floor to stop the spinning won’t help!

At best, I can sit up or stand for fifteen minutes before I need to resume my level position. Nausea, dizziness and an odd ringing in the ears all work to confirm my alien suspicions.


As a writer, we can use our life experiences to help evolve our stories. To create realistic scenes and characters. After my jaunt to the hospital, I am in the mood for sci-fi, and I am now a hundred percent convinced that the creator of Falling Skies, Robert Rodat, has had a lumbar puncture!