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Monday, 22 September 2014

Agatha Christie Festival

I had a lovely time last week visiting the International Agatha Christie Festival which was held at Torre Abbey, Torquay.

I am ashamed to say that despite having lived a mere 11 miles from Torre Abbey my entire life, I had never visited. So, what better excuse than the Agatha Christie Festival?

The festival ran from Sunday 14th - Sunday 21st and I managed to get there twice.

Danika looked lovely in this fetching red hat!

The first Sunday I took my daughter for the 'All Things Vintage and Lovely Fair'. We had a wonderful time wandering among the many stalls, trying on hats and checking out the jewellery,

Having scoured the stalls, we then walked around the Abbey itself. Part-gallery, part-museum and part-historic house, it was a really interesting visit. Danika particularly enjoyed the 'Harry Potter style' moving pictures!

For me though, the best was yet to come.

Saturday morning; nervous, excited, not sure what to expect - I went back to the Abbey for the Crime Writers Workshop. This was my first ever workshop run by an actual author (Actual! Published and everything!) Honestly, I was a bit of a wreck. 

Anyway, I was first in. And there to greet me was Sarah Hilary - author of Someone Else's Skin, which  has been chosen for Richard and Judy's Book Club.

What a wonderful experience. Sarah created such a relaxed atmosphere that my nerves soon went and I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. Sarah gave really good advice about such things as writing a synopsis, character development and finding an agent. She was open and honest about her own journey and was a real inspiration. I also met with like-minded writers and hope that we will keep in touch to share our journeys to becoming published authors. 

Sarah stayed to sign copies of her book. I wish her every success with her debut novel and the ones that will follow, she really is a lovely 'normal' (now an in-joke) person! You can follow her on Twitter here

Monday, 8 September 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been nominated for the "One Lovely Blog Award" by the inspirational Vanessa Wester: short story writer, novelist and Twitter friend! Thank you Vanessa :)
CLICK HERE for her post.

You can follow Vanessa on Twitter HERE she is great to follow, always up for a chat and often posts scrummy pictures of baked goods too!

Okay, so for this award you have to give 7 facts about yourself... Now, this is going to be the hard part. Not long ago I did the same thing for a different award, so I have been racking my brain trying to come up with another 7 facts about myself that aren't too dull. It's been a challenge - but I don't like to back down from a challenge therefore will give it a shot. Forgive me if they are boring!

First though - THE RULES!

  • Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 blogs that you particularly like, or fewer if you can’t think of 15
  • If I’ve nominated your blog, please don’t feel obliged to take part if you don’t want to, just revel in the fact you’ve been nominated – but if you can that would be fab!

Here goes then -

1- When I feel sad, lost or just in need of inspiration, I am drawn to the sea, (this is cheating really as I mentioned this before - but I'm adding in my all time favourite place to be in this post, so it's a bit different!)  My favourite place is Porthleven in Cornwall - it's the most amazing place where in rough weather the sea can reach the church. Spectacular scenes!

2 - The very first short story that I wrote and sent off got published. I was completely gob smacked as well as being hyper for at least a week. This, however, lulled me into a false sense of security - it took a number of further attempts before my next success! But - it gave me such a buzz and increased my confidence so much that I will never forget that acceptance email! It's nice to think back to it whenever I get a rejection, that's for sure (of which there have been numerous lately!)

3 - My best friend Tracey has been my friend since we were two years old. We have been through so many ups and downs in those 39 years - but have continued to be there for each other and support one another through life's journeys - we have a bond that will never be broken.  I have just got back from coffee with her and it's the first child-free coffee we've had for years, her last child has just started school. 

4 - It took me 67 driving lessons before I felt confident to attempt my test. My instructor used to say to me "You may take longer than most, but you will be safer than most". Bless him. I think he was really fed up with seeing me come the end. He finally got rid of me after I passed on the second attempt.

5 - I became an Auntie for the first time at the grand old age of 7. My sister is 17 years older than me, and was much like a mother to me when I was growing up. I remember being such a proud auntie and when I was taken to the hospital for my first visit with my niece, I sat by her cot and refused to let anyone else see her!  

6 - I stole my first pet from my neighbour.
Before you think badly of me, it wasn't 'proper' stealing... as such... Thomas the kitten used to play in my garden, I was about 6 at the time and I loved him so much that I 'prevented' him from going back in his own garden - in a nice way - I played with him for hours and used to dress him up and put him in my pram and wheel him around (he did enjoy this I promise - I have photos somewhere to prove it!) Anyway, in the end the neighbours gave in and just told my Mum to let me keep him! He was the best cat - he died when I was 15 and it felt like my world had ended. Now I have Chester - and he's amazing, he has given me a fright recently but is still with us. 

7 - Charlotte's Web was the first book I remember being 
completely enthralled by and the first that I read in just one sitting. My love of reading came from my Dad. He used to take me to the library every week and I looked forward to it greatly. I loved all the adventure books by Enid Blyton too, particularly "The Sea of Adventure" Great stuff!
Well, that's it!

I haven't nominated the full 15 (I know cheating again) as I am a bit worried the ones I would have nominated would have emitted a loud groan as it wasn't long ago that I tagged them for the last one!

Here are my somewhat fewer nominations:

Click on each name to get to their blog!

Thanks for reading :)