Archive | Book Signings

Sign Books – Send out Words

The wind is blowing today and swirling the leaves around, autumnal messages from the trees to the earth below, red songs, yellow secrets, laments in purple and whispers in brown.  Millions of millions of leaves, each one entirely unique, soon to die and rot.  And there are millions and millions of words, uttered and written, though many unspoken and unread.  Humbling!  Autumn does that to you.

I have had a number of book signings and given some talks this summer, following the publication of my book, ‘The Lost Journey Homeward’, in June.  It’s good to meet readers and sweet to the soul when they buy your book and take it away to read.  Occasionally I get feedback, which is so useful, but usually I hear nothing from those who buy and read my book. I often wonder if my words, my story and my message about the human heart really do ever make a difference and impel someone to think about life and vital aspects of it such as forgiveness and hope and love.Eve in Winstones

I am reminded of Shelley’s magnificent Ode to the West Wind, which I studied at school and university.   I do so love Shelley’s poems and in particular the final stanza of this one.  Many years have passed since I was first blown away by this poem and learned it by heart. Having become a writer, I now understand much better the urgency he expresses towards the end of this ode – his passionate desire that his verse and his thoughts be disseminated throughout the world.  His poetry is now known to hundreds of thousands of people. My prose, my words – probably only by a few hundred. But that does not mean I don’t have a message.

There is hope of a better world, and, as I believe, of eternity with the author of love.  As the trees head into the hibernation of winter, we can be sure of spring with buds, leaves and foliage. As the world appears to be going ‘Downward to darkness on extended wings’ (from ‘Sunday Morning’ by Wallace Stevens), I shall trust that the headlong rush into war and misery by the greedy, the cruel and the misguided will be slowed down and one day reversed by the patient, long-suffering and quiet majority of those living on this beautiful earth.  I shall try to be at peace with winter as I wait.

Eve below tree


From the final stanza from Ode to the West Wind by Shelley

“Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness.    …………….
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
……………………………………..        O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Independent Bookshops are great!

All bookshops are marvellous places but a good independent bookshop is really worth supporting. I’m lucky enough to have a book signing next weekend on Saturday 19th September at Winstone’s Book Shop in Cheap Street, Sherborne in Dorset. Winstone’s is a treasure-house.  It’s a light and well laid out independent bookshop based in the beautiful historic town of Sherborne. Wayne and his team are passionate about books and reading – and the shop is stuffed to the gills with books, stocking over 9,000 titles.

Sherborne Flyer 19.9.15


I’ll be there from 1 pm onwards signing copies of my latest novel: “The Lost Journey Homeward“, so, if you are in the vicinity, do come along. There’s a great little coffee shop too.  I hope you can make it.

Prodigals with Tea and Cake

My third book has been published this summer by Onwards and Upwards – a novel called The Lost Journey Homeward. It is a contemporary take on the parable of the Prodigal Son, though in my book the prodigal is a daughter, Kate, who strays off the rails and falls into bad company overseas. The son, David, is a stay-at-home workaholic who runs a debt-ridden hotel. They try to get things back on track as they look for love but find disaster. Their father, Theo, is a renowned sculptor who tries to help his wayward children. My story interweaves the relationships between the family members, people they encounter and the ones they love.

I have a Book Launch on Thursday 10th September at 4pm in Salisbury at the Sarum College Bookshop in the Cathedral Close. I shall be giving a short talk with a reading from my book and there will be free tea and cake. Not for free but good value is the paperback which sells for £9.99 and the author – that’s me – will be there to sign your copy! Everyone is welcome. Do come – and bring a friend.

Book Signing Satisfaction


Authors must help their publishers to market their own books these days. We tend to target local booksellers to hold book launches, talks and signings in our own areas, where we know people and can spread the word or words (literally) to our contacts and friends.  It’s quite easy to sell to friends, who are generally supportive and buy.  But selling to strangers is the most satisfying – they are buying the book not because they know you but because they like the look of the cover, or they are intrigued by the story outline. Perhaps they’ve read a review or heard about the book, or they’ve just met you, chatted with you and decided to buy it. What a compliment!  How satisfying.

IMG_9615 Milton Abbas




Sunday Tea and Talk

My next Event coming up is on Sunday 2nd August at 4pm  – Tea and Talk at Beatons Tearooms in Blandford Forum, Dorset.  Here is further information: Blandford Tea & Talk Flyer.


FLASH FICTION:  If you want to read my micro-fiction – stories in under 500 words – these are now to be found on the Flash Fiction page of my website.  Just select a photograph icon and the story flashes up!

Paintings and Books

I love painting watercolours as well as writing fiction, and I’ve done both for some years.  I belong to the Milton Abbas Art Group and every summer we hold a group exhibition when, along with the other members,  I exhibit a number of paintings.  This year the opening day of our 10 day Exhibition co-incided with the famous Milton Abbas Street Fair – on Saturday 25th July.  The sunny warm day brought out crowds of people, and many visitors walked through the exhibition.  I was ‘on duty’ during the afternoon and also held a book signing for my new novel: THE LOST JOURNEY HOMEWARD which was on sale along with all the paintings. I donated 25% of my book sales to the Art Group – and I sold quite a few.  I also sold one of my paintings but not my favourite – which is entitled ‘Charlie Hebdo’ – here is a photograph.  I think people found it a bit too edgy!Book tower portrait

Juggling Books and Music – on Stilts!

IMG_9434The Dorset Midsummer Music and Food Festival on Saturday 20th June at Warren Farm on Bulbarrow Hill was so enjoyable!  During the day, at the bookstall, I was selling and signing copies of my new book THE LOST JOURNEY HOMEWARD and listening to the music on the stage below us.  Children were amused by Jamie Jigsaw, an entertainer and juggler, and here he is with my book whilst I hold his juggling batons. I wonder if I need to grow a bit taller for a better impact? Or wear brighter colours?  I’ve always wanted to walk on stilts!  Later that evening we were all dancing on the hillside under the stars to the vibrant sound of ‘Lionstar.’



Christmas Cracker

On Wednesday, 3rd December, I will be in Dorchester in Dorset at Waterstones ‘Christmas Cracker’ evening shopping event 6 – 9pm, with other local authors at a signing and book promotion. Next week I’ll be at a book promotional event with local authors at Huckleberry’s Bookshop in Salisbury Street at Blandford Forum in Dorset, during their special Christmas late-night shopping evening in the town.

Madness Lies

Since ‘Madness Lies and other stories’ was published in September, I have been busy with book signings and events. The London Launch was held aboard a large houseboat on the River Thames at Putney on 18th September, which was reported in Mandrake in the Daily Telegraph. On October 14th I was on a panel of local authors discussing the Booker Shortlist at an event organised by Waterstones at Bridport Arts Centre.