Categories
Books Reviews

Hunter’s Review

Today, I’m reviewing the new audio version of Hunter’s Chase by the fabulous author, Val Penny. This is part of the blog tour organised by Reading Between the Lines – Online Book PR.

First, some information about the novel.

Hunter’s Chase

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. 

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough. 

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.

Hunter’s Chase audio version is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US, etc.

My Review

I hadn’t read this novel, so it was a new story for me. The main characters, however, were familiar, as I have read a later novel in the series, and I was keen to find out how they “began life”.

I’d had hardly any experience of audio books and worried about two aspects of listening:

  • What would I do while listening?
  • Would I understand the narration?

The second was a valid consideration. This series of books is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. Clearly the narrator needed to have a Scottish accent, which was provided by Sean Pia. I remembered once concentrating on a Scottish comedy act and never understanding the punchlines. I also remembered a Scottish guy at a writing retreat whose accent I struggled to follow.

I’m happy to say that this narration was excellent – very clear and easy to follow, even for me. My only complaint is that occasional sentences are repeated, but that hardly affected me.

As for the novel itself, the plot is exciting and kept me wanting to listen. And the characters are all well-rounded and true to life with plenty of backstory woven in. I knew I would enjoy it, having read Hunter’s Force.

Was I won over to audio books? Not really. I feel the point of audio books is being able to do something boring while listening. It doesn’t feel right to me to just sit and listen. But I don’t have enough boring things to do. I hardly ever travel long distances, and I have radio programmes to listen to while working in the kitchen. I could listen to an audio book very occasionally, if that’s an option, but I certainly wouldn’t take out a monthly subscription.

Val Penny

Val Penny’s other crime novels, Hunter’s Chase, Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s ForceHunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret form the bestselling series, The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. They are set in Edinburgh, Scotland and published by darkstroke. Val’s first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story, Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.

Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.

Author Links

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Bookbub

Links to Val Penny’s Books

Hunter’s Chase / Hunter’s Revenge / Hunter’s Force / Hunter’s Blood / Hunter’s Secret / Let’s Get Published / Dark Scotland / The First Cut

Categories
Books Israel

The Journey of a Stone

This post is about a new novel. It’s one that covers four thousand years and follows a stone on its travels close to home and then further afield. I was lucky enough to read a draft, about which I made suggestions that have been incorporated by its author, Olga Swan (pen-name). I look forward to reading the final version, which has just been published as The Meleke Stone.

Here’s the author herself to tell you about it.

Thank you so much, Miriam, for allowing me on your blog. I’ve been working towards The Meleke Stone all my life. Included are all the times, and perpetrators, from 1900 BCE to the present when the Jewish people were ousted from their land. It’s a novel with a strong underlying message. Here’s the blurb:

“A meleke stone from the ancient plains of the Dead Sea is passed down by generations of females through four thousand years.  

In 2019 Sami, the son of Egyptian immigrants in Toulouse, is traumatised by the family’s hardships in France and plots revenge.  

Menes, Sami’s father from Cairo, had emigrated to France in search of peace. An unlikely friendship forms with Holocaust-survivor Moshe, each recognising their past struggles.

Suddenly, a terrorist bomb explodes in a Toulouse synagogue. Moshe asks his son, Simon, to produce a film showing the true history of his people from the time of Sodom and Gomorrah.  

What will happen to Moshe’s and Menes’ special relationship when an intrepid French detective’s efforts to find the terrorist reveal the horrifying truth? 

In a soul-searching conclusion in Jerusalem, having no female descendant to whom to give the meleke stone, there’s only one thing that Simon can do to maintain the survival of his people for all eternity. 

…..are you ready for the four thousand year journey of the meleke stone?”

Follow the story as it moves between Toulouse, Warsaw, Cairo and through to Jerusalem. Read the historical truths about Sodom and Gomorrah, the Maccabees and what happened during the Six-Day War in the Sinai.  But above all, recognise the lifelong friendship between a Jewish man and an Egyptian Muslim. Enjoy!

About the Author

Olga Swan has a B.A. Hons. (Open) in English language and literature.  For many years she worked at The University of Birmingham, following which she spent twelve years living in S.W. France before returning to Birmingham in 2017.  She has had 7 books (3 non-fiction) published by indie publisher Crooked Cat Books, which has now closed. Three of Olga’s works are narrative non-fiction, one of which (Pensioners in Paradis) is approaching one million pages read and is already a four-times international best-seller.  A second edition of this and of An Englishwoman in America have now been reprinted. Three novels form a series set in wartime Germany, France and Poland. Dunoon Assassin  moves between NY, Dunoon and Amritsar.

Olga has been writing her blog every Sunday for 13 years with hundreds of regular readers each week from around the world.

She can also be found on her Amazon author page, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linktree.

Categories
Books The writing process

The End of an Era

I joined NaNoWriMo in 2012. I wrote eight novels inspired by NaNoWriMo. Four times, I reached the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. Today, I deleted my NaNoWriMo account.

Why?

When I joined NaNoWriMo, it was to connect with writers around the world. It didn’t matter to me what they wrote or how they wrote it. What mattered was that we were all in this together. It was the cameraderie that drew me in and kept me updating my profile and creating a new project every year (except for one).

Recently, NaNoWriMo has shown itself not to be the organisation I joined. They’ve taken sides in an incredibly complicated conflict, showing themselves to be swayed by popular belief and unable to comprehend even the existence of another side. Rather than bringing writers together under the common theme of writing, they’ve pushed them apart by taking a stance in a conflict they clearly don’t understand.

I didn’t leave on a whim or in a bout of fury. I wrote to them and received an unsatisfactory response. Then I waited for three weeks before making the final decision. I’m sorry to leave, but I think it was the right thing for me to do. I would never encourage anyone else to do the same.

I will continue to write. I will probably continue to write novels in November, spurred on by my local writer friends; I’m not leaving our Facebook group. And I discovered a wonderful video that explains how to create NaNo-type, word-count graphs.

Bye bye, NaNoWriMo. We had great times together. I’m so sad it’s over.

Categories
Books The Power of Belief

The Power Of Belief: Catherine Fearns

After a break for multiple reasons, the Power of Belief is back, and the multi-talented author and musician, Catherine Fearns, takes the theme in a new direction. Over to you, Catherine.

Miriam’s new blog series instantly leapt out at me, because ‘the power of belief’ is a major theme in my books. The characters are motivated by religious beliefs, and the readers are free to interpret my novels according to their own personal beliefs. The main concept running through the Reprobation series is the dialectic between truth and belief. The truth is only what we tell ourselves happened; there are infinite alternatives. We act based not upon the truth, but upon what we believe to be the truth. And since reality is only that which conjures itself into being, beliefs can become truths; they can act as self-fulfilling prophecies.

Christianity has been a constant presence in my life, but I have always been a spectator on the side-lines rather than a genuine participant. I attended a Church of England school where we prayed and sang hymns, every day, from the age of four through eighteen. I can still recall in their entirety countless hymns and prayers all these years later. My grandfather was the warden of an eleventh century Norman church in the Lake District, and I spent my weekends and school holidays running in and out of the gravestones and pews and messing about on the organ. I attended Christ Church college, established by Cardinal Wolsey, functioning as Oxford’s cathedral, and with religion at its heart. I gravitated towards the religious topics for my history degree – the European Reformation, the architecture of Wren, the writings of Bede. I married into the Greek Orthodox church, where religion is very much something you ‘do’ – Easter, Christmas, saints’ days – they are all as important for the family, the food and the ritual as for the belief. I adore exploring churches, listening to religious music, even reading religious texts. I’ve read the Bible many times. 

And yet I remain an atheist. No, that would imply believing in something. I’m an agnostic. I was never moved. Why? Billions of people practise a religion today, base their lives around it, draw comfort from it, kill for it, believe in it. I’m the one in the minority.

I have had ‘spiritual’ experiences in my life, sure. The births of my children, for example. The times I experimented with drugs as a student. And nowadays when I go to a heavy metal concert, yeah, I get it. But God? I can’t get past the notion that if God exists, he’s kind of a bad guy.

In the Reprobation series, Detective Inspector Darren Swift is a confirmed atheist, an eternal cynic, who is gradually drawn towards the supernatural, towards a possible world beyond our own, by the realisation that people act based on their beliefs.

Sister Helen Hope is a nun who breaks her vows, loses her Christian faith, but then gains another sort of faith.

As for the criminals and victims in the books, I’m not giving away any spoilers, because what they believe would give it away! But every crime in my books has a double interpretation, depending on the reader.

And as for what happens to Mikko Kristensen, the devil-worshipping death metal guitarist – well, you’ll have to wait for book four, which I have almost finished writing!

Recently I have been trying to work all this out. It’s no good saying ‘religion is bollocks’ when many of the world’s conflicts and injustices are based on religion. It’s important to understand how and why people believe, because it will help us to be more tolerant. And to understand why people believe in dangerous things like conspiracy theories. Climate change denial, anti-vax campaigns, populism – these are the movements that will bring about the apocalypse far quicker than the Second Coming.

Stephen Hawking famously said that ‘if we discover a theory of everything, then we would truly know the mind of God.’ Many scientists are religious, and even those who are not acknowledge that religion is unfalsifiable.

Recently I’ve been trying to work all this out. I have been reading a lot of Rene Girard. In fact, I had to stop underlining passages in ‘Things Hidden Since The Foundation Of The World’ because I was underlining the whole book. I’ve been reading about synchronicity, about esotericism, about Judaism, Islam, Eastern religions. I’m learning about the function of religion, how if God didn’t exist humanity would have created him anyway. And perhaps I’m approaching the beginnings of a faith of my own; no sudden revelation, no thunderbolts from heaven, but perhaps an acceptance of the presence of magic and mystery in the world.

Ok, I’ll give you a clue about Mikko Kristensen. He’s one of my most popular characters, a nihilistic Norwegian death metal musician who covers himself in blasphemous tattoos and screams songs about Satan. But why is he so obsessed with Satan? In ‘Lamb Of God’, he decides to try Pascal’s wager. The philosopher Pascal posited that rational beings bet with their lives whether God exists or not. It’s safer to believe. So Mikko tries Moore’s paradox: he tries to believe in something that he knows is not true. What happens? You’ll have to wait for ‘Lamb Of God’.

The Reprobation series is available from Amazon:

And also from the Reprobation online shop, where you can also buy exclusive merchandise. All merchandise profits to Sefton Women and Children’s Aid.

Author Links

Categories
Books Social anxiety The Power of Belief The writing process

Ask and You Will Be Answered

Yesterday evening was Ladies Who Launch – a joint online launch event with the fabulous authors, Jo Fenton and Alison Knight. And me. We were celebrating the launch of our new novels:

I was looking forward to reading an extract from my novel, but not so much to tackling questions. In fact I was sure I’d mess that part up. I was ready to say, “I haven’t done your question justice, but I’d be happy to answer it properly on social media.”

In the event, there were no such problems and I managed to answer fairly well. But there was a different problem. There were several questions that I didn’t get to answer, many of which I didn’t even have a chance to see.

So, I’m opening this post up for the questions that weren’t answered, and for questions that weren’t asked before. Ask, in the comments below, about Style and the Solitary. Ask about me as an author, or as a person. With time to consider my responses, I’m likely provide a more satisfactory answer, anyway. I’ll reply to the comments or write one or more separate posts in response if the question warrants it.

What you should know about Style and the Solitary

  • It’s a murder mystery
  • It’s set in Jerusalem
  • It includes a romance
  • One character has social anxiety
  • One character is a new immigrant from France
  • It involves the power of belief

Ask away!

And many thanks to all those who attended the event and those who tried but failed.

Categories
Books

SATS Launch Day Update

Since my last post about Style and the Solitary, there have been several developments. I’m going to copy from the post and add to it.

Thanks again to Melina Kantor and Shoshana Raun, whose prompts and other writing suggestions helped to craft the plot much more than I’d expected. Joan Livingston, who read and commented on my draft, and also wrote the cover line and the brilliant foreword. And Stephanie and Laurence Patterson of darkstroke books whose editing and cover design were magnificent.

Also to all those who have opened up (or will open up) their blogs for me:

Name and LinkTopicDate
Natalie WoodWhy crime?3rd March
Jennifer WorrellSettings24th March
Carynn BohleyInterview5th April
Heidi SlowinskiInterview20th April
Sue BarnardImportance of Setting21st April
Tim TaylorExtract25th April
Paula ReadmanInterview26th April
Angela Wren25th May

What can you do?

  • You can come to today’s Facebook Launch.
    Click now and press Going. There will be information about the book in text, photos and music, and plenty of interaction, including a competition.
  • You can come to the joint online launch event called Ladies Who Launch, where three darkstroke authors will introduce our new books with readings and answer questions.
    It’s on 6th May. Click now to secure your free ticket.
  • And you can buy Style and the Solitary – paperback or ebook – on Amazon.

Thank you, everyone!

Categories
Books Editing Interviews

All About SATS

SATS. That’s my new novel,

Style and the Solitary

In just five days, it will be launched into the world. My first venture into crime fiction. Fortunately, it has some wonderful people to help my baby emerge from the womb.

No, I didn’t mean Nathalie and Asaf. They carry the story through from start to finish. But I’m talking about the lovely, real people who have helped in many ways, and to whom I will always be grateful.

People like Melina Kantor and Shoshana Raun, whose prompts and other writing suggestions helped to craft the plot much more than I’d expected. Joan Livingston, who read and commented on my draft, and also wrote the cover line and the brilliant foreword. And Stephanie and Laurence Patterson of darkstroke books whose editing and cover design were magnificent.

Also to all those who have opened up (or will open up) their blogs for me:

Name and LinkTopicDate
Natalie WoodWhy crime?3rd March
Jennifer WorrellSettings24th March
Heidi SlowinskiInterview20th April
Sue BarnardImportance of Setting21st April
Tim Taylor
Paula Readman
Angela Wren

What can you do?

  • You can come to the Facebook Launch on Monday.
    Click now and press Going. There will be information about the book in text, photos and music, and plenty of interaction.
  • You can come to the joint online launch event called Ladies Who Launch, where three darkstroke authors will introduce our new books with readings and answer questions.
    It’s on 6th May. Click now to secure your free ticket.
  • And you can buy Style and the Solitary – paperback or ebook – on Amazon.

Thank you, everyone!

Categories
Books The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief: Alison Knight

I’m delighted to welcome Alison Knight to the blog today. Alison is an author, a creative writing teacher, an editor and much more. Here’s her story.

WHAT MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME

They say that our early years influence our adult beliefs. I’m grateful that an important lesson I learned from my parents was that I could achieve anything in my life, so long as I was prepared to work for it. Some things would come easy, others would take a lot of hard work. But the belief that it was possible was the important thing.

That belief has helped me throughout my life and continues to do so. I instilled it in my children and grandchildren. It has helped me create a good life in which I am happy and fulfilled. It hasn’t always been easy, but believing it helped me to keep going in the darkest of times.

I BELIEVED I WOULD BE A WRITER

I always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t something careers advisors would encourage for a girl from a working class background in London in the 1970s. So I took a business and secretarial course and embarked on a career as a legal executive. I got married, had children, and got bogged down by the everyday pressures of family, mortgage payments and work. I still dreamed of writing though, and took evening classes, joined writing groups and kept trying to write the perfect novel.

LEARNING MY CRAFT

I’d decided at age twenty-five that I would be published by the time I was thirty. I now wonder whether some omnipotent spirit had been listening at the time and decided I needed to learn some hard lessons first. Either that, or said spirit had misheard me, because it actually took me thirty years to get my first book into print!

When I kept getting rejections, I realised I needed to learn more about the craft of writing. In my forties, I went to university for the first time. I was a part-time student. My children were still at home and I was still working full-time. It was a struggle, but I loved it and I learned an enormous amount about both myself and the craft of writing. At the age of fifty-four, I had a first class degree and an MA in Creative Writing and within a year I got my first three book deal.

THE BOOK I WAS BORN TO WRITE

Even though I had many disappointments along the way, I couldn’t give up. I knew that there was one story that I simply had to write – about what happened to my family in the late 1960s. It was a tragedy that affected so many, but I knew that I was the only one who could tell it. I see my years of struggle and study, and my first three books as my apprenticeship. They helped me to gain confidence as a writer, to find my voice so that I could write the book I was born to write.

Writing MINE, my family’s story, took years. I wrote it, sent it out, got rejected, rewrote it, and sent it out again. I had so many rejections. I couldn’t give up but I didn’t know what to do next.

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE

By some quirk of fate, I ended up working alongside a woman called Bryony Evens who had once worked for an agent. Her claim to fame was that she picked up Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone from a slush pile and persuaded her boss to represent JK Rowling. If you want to hear her talking about it on YouTube, see this link. Her belief in that story changed the world!

Bryony was one of the first people to read my manuscript of MINE. She gave me some valuable advice and told me it was a good book. Given her history, I was very happy to believe her! It still took several years to get the final version of MINE published, but her encouragement – added to the beliefs that my parents instilled in me – kept me going.

MY STORY IS TOLD

In 2020, Darkstroke Books published MINE on what would have been my mother’s 90th birthday. After a lifetime of striving for this moment, it finally happened. I had believed I could do it. I needed to do it. I wanted the world to see what I saw, to know the people I knew. I believe I have done them justice. I believe they would be proud of me.

BUT WHAT NEXT? 

That belief that I could do anything so long as I am prepared to work for it has kept me strong in many dark times and enabled me to achieve so much in my life. I now believe that I’m not destined to be sitting on my laurels in the next phase of my life because I have a lot more stories to tell. They may not be as personal or as powerful as the events depicted in MINE, but rather they are stories that explore the human condition in all its glory. I want to make people laugh and cry, to challenge the reader to put themselves in my characters’ shoes. My next book, THE LEGACY, was inspired by a scene in MINE and explores how two people respond to an unexpected inheritance. Is it a blessing or a curse? It will be published by Darkstroke Books on 4th May 2021 if you’d like to find out!

Thank you, Miriam, for letting me talk about my belief here. As you said in your recent post, belief can give you confidence, which is a powerful tool that helps us in so many ways.

ALISON KNIGHT, AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Alison has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.

Her first novel with Darkstroke Books, Mine, is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.

Her next book, The Legacy, is a drama set in 1960s London, exploring how we don’t always get what we want and how we shouldn’t count our chickens before they’re hatched.

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.

BUY LINKS

Mine by Alison Knight

The Legacy by Alison Knight

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Imagine Creative Writing Workshops

Darkstroke Books

***

Next week’s post in this series will be from Jo Fenton. Remember, belief doesn’t have to be connected to writing, and these posts don’t even have to be about true stories.

If you want to take part, do let me know via Contact above or social media.

***

Remember my new novel, Style and the Solitary, a murder mystery loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. Both stories are about the power of belief.

Style and the Solitary launches on 26th April and the ebook can be pre-ordered now.

Categories
Books Everyday life Israel Social anxiety

Going Out – Coming Out

Today, 23rd March, is a day for going out and for celebrating coming out.

I, together with the rest of the citizens of this country (hopefully) will be going out to vote. It’s only a year since we last voted and we all hope the next government will last for longer. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the election results will give a better advantage to any party.

Voting
Voting in 2013

Today is also an anniversary. Twelve years ago, I began this blog, tentatively, anonymously, scared to own up to having social anxiety, even though I knew it was obvious. Optimistcally, I called the blog and myself “An’ de walls came tumblin’ down.” They haven’t tumbled, but they have some large chinks.

Nevertheless, a lot has happened in that time. It could all be summed up in the words “I came out.” It’s made a big difference to me that I can write about having social anxiety and give presentations about it, even though it’s still hard to talk about.

Where were you, twelve years ago? Have you changed over the years?

Categories
Books The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief: Paula R. C. Readman

Today, I’m delighted that author Paula R. C. Readman has come to visit. Her story is one of perseverence against all odds. I am in awe.

The power to be able to change the direction of your life has always been strong in me. I guess it started in school after reading Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem The Brook. The poem spoke to me about the certainty of changes as the brook makes its journey down the valley as it heads towards the river. The line that’s repeated throughout the poem is ‘Men may come and men may go, but I shall go on forever.’

To me, the poem talks about the driving force of the brook to remain on course with its aim to reach the river, its final destination, no matter what obstacles stand in its way. Like the brook, we all have to deal with barriers that stop us from following our dreams. Mine was the lack of a good education and my dyslexia. I was diagnosed in my junior school but it wasn’t followed up in my senior school. Thus I was labelled slow of learning, which I found very frustrating.

I’ve always had a deep love of books and spent my teenage years at the weekends in a library near to where I lived. I would spend all day reading books on different subjects until closing time. With the help of a librarian assistant who filled in a form for me I was able to take books home to read during the week until my next visit.

At sixteen while travelling to work, I would read novels on the bus. Whenever I got stuck on a word I couldn’t pronounce I would look it up in a small dictionary I carried, to know what the meaning was, so I could try to understand the context in which it was being used. I knew my lack of an education was holding me back, plus I felt deeply embarrassed, too. Being titled slow of learning at school haunted me while I sought work and limited my expectations of life.

By the time I was in my thirties, life had thrown me a few spanners and stopped me from following my dream to be an artist. I failed to get into college, unable to pass the English entry exam to do an art course. Art was the only subject I managed to shine in at school. I loved drawing.  My parents’ marriage had broken up when I was in my teens, so they weren’t very encouraging. On the whole I was expected to be self-sufficient, so I became my own driving force wanting to better myself.

I worked mainly in low paying jobs, so money has always been tight for me. My first marriage broke down and I was left supporting myself and a young son while paying off a mortgage and loans. This didn’t leave me much time to think about my dream of being an artist.  It was only when I met my second husband, Russell, that I could once again follow my creative heart.

One day at work with my fortieth birthday looming, I decided to become a writer instead of being an artist, to tackle my fear of writing head on. I decided if third world children could learn from books then so could I.

I set myself a challenge to have something published by the time I hit fifty. First I started with non-fiction and wrote several articles connected to my family history. Then I wrote a short story which I showed my work colleague, Lisa Moulds. She told me she wanted to know more about the character. This led me to write a novel.

The novel suffered thirty-five rejections so I set it aside, deciding I needed to work on my writing skills. So for years, I focused on writing short stories and tried to get published that way. I felt I needed to build a body of published work. I wrote a second novel and tried to get that one published too, but once again, more rejections. Slowly, my short stories were beginning to be published which helped build my confidence. Then in 2012, I won the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival & Writing Magazine Short Crime Story competition. My winning story Roofscapes became my inspiration for my third novel. This suffered thirty-seven rejections but I wasn’t willing to give up. With the help of an online friend, Kim Martins, I spent eight months working with her and learnt how to edit. I submitted it to Darkstroke who accepted it. In 2020 I had three books published, and this year I’m pleased to be able to say the first novel I wrote has been accepted for publication. I guess the power of belief is still flowing strong in me.

About Paula

Paula R. C. Readman is married, has a son and lives in Essex, England, with two cats. After leaving school with no qualifications, she spent her working life mainly in low paying jobs.  In 1998, with no understanding of English grammar, she decided to beat her dyslexia, by setting herself a challenge to become a published author. She taught herself ‘How to Write’ from books her husband purchased from eBay.  After making the 250th purchase, Russell told her ‘Just get on with the writing.’  Since 2010 she has mainly been published in anthologies in Britain, Australia and America and won several writing competitions. In 2020 she had her first crime novella The Funeral Birds published by Demain Publishing, a single collection of short stories Days Pass Like A Shadow published by Bridge House Publishing. Her first crime novel Stone Angels was published by Darkstroke, who will now be publishing Seeking the Dark, May 2021.

Paula’s Links

Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon

***

Next week’s post in this series will be from… me. I want to show you that belief doesn’t have to be connected to writing! These posts don’t even have to be about true stories, although next week’s will be.

If you want to take part, do let me know via Contact above or social media.