Thursday, 13 February 2020

Oakhill Productions

I am currently working with Oakhill Productions on several exciting new projects, which I hope to have news about very soon. 

Unfortunately, in my line of work, there is often much to tell, and at the same time, a restriction on what I'm actually allowed to say. This can be very frustrating when what you really want to do, is shout things out from the rooftops...

So, in the meantime, why don't you take a look at the Press Release of one of Oakhill's other projects. (And no, I wasn't involved in this one.)

Watch this page for more news, coming shortly...

Until then - happy reading!

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Men In Sheds and other news.

Hello everyone!

Well we're still in January... doesn't it go on? Cold, dark drizzly days almost without end.

So we all need a bit of cheering up, right? Luckily I've got lots of news!

As you know, I've always got lots of different projects on at once, so to save me typing a long list, and you trudging your way through it, I'll update you only on the things that are moving more swiftly.

I have an eight part podcast coming shortly with brilliant co-writer Alexandra Taylor. Beneath The Waves is based on a true and current situation and is set in Wales. It's a drama but has humour there too and just the tiniest possibility of a blooming romance... you're gonna love it.

I have also been asked to write a TV/Netflix series set in the 80s so I'm currently researching this (and yes, I was around then, thank you, but not in the location the series is set in).

My BFI Network supported film is currently with the director and I hope things will soon be moving on that, and yesterday I signed a collaborative agreement with the very lovely and visionary Michele Lammas, in order to turn her children's book into a screenplay.

On top of that I have another big project with director Ben Bloore which is coming along really well.

As well as the zillions of other TV/film/animations I have ongoing...

But what I really wanted to mention in this post, is men. Older men. Things have changed a lot since I was a child, and now there are as many men as women who take and collect kids from school, make dinners, load washing machines.

But for the 60 plus generation, this wasn't something that came naturally. Consequently, these men, once their working lives are over, often feel misplaced in society, redundant - useless. Women, the lynchpin of most families, continue generally to do what they always did - care for children, emotionally support the family... but their men folk are being left behind.

That's why The Shed is such a great concept. Providing a place for men to meet, share expertise and help each other over a cuppa, it gives men not just somewhere to go, but a support group to turn to.

As a woman myself, I've seen what happened when my own parents retired from work. My mother found numerous new hobbies (and indeed a new husband along the way, but that's a different story entirely)  while my dad became isolated and lonely.

So take a look at the clip below. And if either yourself or a loved one fancies popping along to see what it's all about, I'm sure they'd be very welcome.

Until then - happy reading! x

Men In Sheds - Bromsgrove

Monday, 16 December 2019

Merry Christmas!

Hello again readers!

We are fast approaching Christmas and it's going to be a very different one for us. Not only do we have a different dog in the house ( one who despite all her nervousness and strangeness, is weirdly indifferent to the Christmas tree and decorations) but I'm feeling as if we are a little thin on the ground.

As you may know from reading my blog, we have had lots of losses over the past two years, and with my eldest now away at Uni, I feel somewhat diminished, smaller in myself. Having taken my third child to some college interviews recently, and with the middle one starting to think about universities, it's clear I'll soon have to face 'empty nest syndrome'.

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was dropping my youngest at nursery, and I wonder what happened to all the intervening years. Inside my head I'm still a young woman. The exterior of me tells a different story, I'm afraid.

So I've made some major decisions. I'm the sort of person who likes to take stock of their lives and I've come to realise that I need make a move towards vegetarianism. I was veggie for two whole years about 28 years ago. I'll admit I found it hard going.

But back then there wasn't the choice of vegetarian foods there is today. Back then it was soya mince or nothing. The other problem was and still is, that I don't like potatoes and I actually don't like many vegetables, other than salad leaves and broccoli... kinda makes it difficult to have any variety.

Nevertheless I'm going to cut down on meat with a view to becoming totally vegetarian in time. So - wish me luck. I think it's the right thing to do, especially as my body gets older and needs more nutrition and less rubbish, and from a moral viewpoint.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

A time to heal...

I haven't blogged for a few months. To be honest I've been  too raw. 

The last time I posted on here, things were looking great. One of my latest films had garnered BFI Network support, and we were just about to go on holiday to Crete for a family wedding. The future seemed rosy...

But like all things in life, there were events lurking around the corner - things I wasn't yet aware of. One of them was that my beloved Rottweiler had terminal cancer. 

She'd had a limp for a few weeks before I had it investigated. Earlier in the year she'd tripped over her own paws when chasing a squirrel, and had limped for a week or so. Second time around, I assumed the previous injury had flared up, even though I hadn't witnessed her doing anything to cause it. 

But the x-ray told a different story. There was a huge tumour on her left shoulder and shadows in her lungs, indicating that the cancer had already metastasised. My shock and horror on hearing this was profound. I couldn't believe that my sweet dog was so bravely and uncomplainingly suffering through this horrific disease. 

The vet was right when she said the particular type of cancer she had was aggressive - within the week we were making another visit to the vet's to give Roxie a dignified end to her life. I held her and comforted her,  and knew that she had loved me just as enormously as I had loved her.  

We entered a period of grieving. I couldn't look at her beds, her toys and bowls... but I couldn't get rid of them either. To have lost my dad and both dogs within just less than 18 months, seemed too cruel. 

I came through the front door and there was no lolling tongue, no wagging tail to greet me. Just silence and too-clean floors. 

I came to hate the way the floors stayed clean when I vacuumed; to be repelled by the echoing silence in the kitchen when I entered first thing in the morning; to be heartbroken that I no longer got to kiss her goodnight before I headed up to bed. My heart was broken. 

And then something happened. 

I decided to foster. Not to adopt, but to take on and try to heal a dog that was as broken as me, one whose spirit had been crushed by the sheer force of its former bad luck. 

So I contacted a rescue centre. After the home check, I explained that I would take the dog that cowered in the corner of its kennel, the dog that would greet no-one, the one that no-one wanted because it was just too broken...

They gave me Beauty. A street dog from Bosnia that's terrified of people and who refused to come anywhere near me or anyone else. 

With only one eye and a large scar on her side that looks like a burn mark, it's easy to imagine that she lost her eye through some deliberate act of cruelty. But she can't say and I'll never know. 

What I do know is that she has a lot of love to give, now that she's becoming so used to us. And I think that as much as I'm helping her, she's helping me too. 

Who knows, maybe we'll both emerge stronger from this experience. Whether we do or not, I know one thing. There's a happy face and a wagging tail in the house again, and my heart is filled with hope. 

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Big news, medium news.

I'm aware I haven't told you my big news... my latest film is being supported by BFI NETWORK. If you're not sure what that means, here is the logo, which I'm sure you'll have seen elsewhere.

I'm obviously thrilled about this development and can't wait for you to see it. But there's a lot of hard work to do in the meantime. 

In addition to this, I have several other films in development, as well as a couple of TV series, but since it's all hush-hush, I can't disclose any more than that. 

So what can I tell you? I can tell you that the BFI NETWORK only fund and support films they truly believe in, so to have them behind one of my films is incredible. And thrilling.

I've also been involved in top-notch discussions regarding a new TV series. I even had to sign a non-disclosure agreement in front of a witness. 

Although cloak and dagger stuff is fairly commonplace within this industry, which is worth billions in viewing figures, I've never had a situation which was so tightly sewn up. Let's just say MI5 has nothing on this lot!

I'm aware too that you've all been waiting patiently for a new book... well there are several on the way, but I'm sorry to say the wait will be a little longer. And hey, it's not like I've been sitting around doing nothing. I'm working flat-out!

In the meantime, if you want to catch up with me for a chat, I will be at the Space Day at The Hive in Worcester on October 5th. It's something I've been involved with for the past six or seven years, as a writer of science-fiction as well as thrillers, psychological and otherwise. 

So until I can actually reveal more, happy reading and have a great summer. x

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

LYV - a short film, coming soon

Goodness me, we're halfway through the year - how did that happen? 

I'm aware that I haven't posted in absolutely ages... but there is good reason for that. I have been working on several very different film and TV scripts, so much so, that I haven't had a moment to myself. 

So, here's how you can help me get back on track. On Twitter, search for @Lyv_shortfilm. If you follow it you'll be able to see how things are progressing on this short, written by yours truly. 

I'll be filling you in on all the details as soon as I can. 

Happy reading! 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Yes, but what's your real job..?

In my experience most people automatically assume that being a writer isn't actually a real job. Even when I tell them I write every day, for at least six hours a day, more than half the people I talk to, will still ask what my real job is. 

In fact the reaction is often akin to what it would be, if instead of saying I was a writer, I claimed to be a fairy charmer or a dietician for frogs. On the whole, people just don't get it. Perhaps because of the fantasy (excuse the pun) surrounding the concept of being a writer (see previous post) or perhaps because it seems a tenuous way to make money...

And in truth they're not far wrong. With royalties literally only pennies on every book sold, it takes thousands of sales to be able to buy a round at the pub, and yet, there is money to be made. 

One of the ways is in ghost writing, or in writing commissioned articles for magazines, either online or in print. There are well paid jobs in copy writing and/or editing, so if you're not fussed whether you write about a new-to-market car, or the latest restaurant, or how to rid yourself of the misery of piles, or any number of things that magazines publish, you can have a job for life. 

The trouble with this sort of writing however, is that it's all slanted towards making the average consumer lust after the subject of your article. This sort of writing is rich in flashy adjectives which often imply that a person will be sexier, more beautiful, richer in life, thinner, sleeker, more intelligent, if only he or she will buy/use/spend /try/give,  etc., etc., etc... And come on, we all know the reality of that, don't we? 

Another problem that writers can face is in connecting with others. It's a dog-eat-dog world in writing, so chatting to another author can become a bit of a competition. They tell you how many books they've written and how successful they are, and you reciprocate. 

You're both cautious when discussing your WIP (work in progress) because there's a chance that 1. this person might steal your idea, 2. this person might ridicule your idea, 3. this person might suggest there is no value in your idea, since the concept has already been written about in a book they will name by an author you've never heard of, and 4. this person might actually like your idea and therefore tell others about it, leading to numbers 1-3 above. 

So connecting with other authors has to be done carefully. 

Quite recently I found myself in one such scenario, and on exiting the building where we had met, I let out a huge sigh of relief ,and then allowed my self to laugh at how silly I felt at having to skirt around the topic of my WIP, whilst she did exactly the same thing. 

We were like boxers in a ring who never landed a single punch. 

But funny as it seems, it's deadly serious too. I know of two production companies who are adamant that their productions have been ripped off by another company. Easily done, when agents, publishers, film directors, producers and TV companies insist that they want to see a whole script before making a decision. 

Of course you can pay for copyright and registration of your work, but like everything in life, that requires money. Whilst relatively inexpensive per script, try doing it with thirty books or scripts. And of course, should you be plagiarised even so, it takes seriously big bucks to drive these cases through court. 

So remember, as they used to say in the war - "Loose lips sink ships," and keep those great ideas to yourself!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The Pros and Cons Of Being A Writer - Part One

The reality of being a writer is usually far from what people expect.

Generally, people assume that it's a glamorous job, that my days are filled with excitement, my evenings star-studded. 

It's seldom like that. For me, anyway.

The path to being published or produced is a hard and rocky one. There is more rejection than acceptance, and there are times when you will want to quit, and times when the idea of quitting seems impossible. The publishing industry is a hard nut to crack and the TV and film industry is a daunting thing to attempt to infiltrate.

And I choose my words carefully. There are helpful people in  these industries but there are also many who will rip you or your idea off, at the slightest opportunity. 

Most days, you will tread the slim line between quitting and persevering at least forty or fifty times... depending on what your latest review has come back saying; whether your agent is free to take your call or not; and generally, whichever way the wind is blowing...

From this, I think you will get my point. In an up and down world, being a writer is one of the most fragile of mindsets you can possible hold and not go totally insane (if you're lucky, and if you have people at your side to hold your feet on the ground).

So let's take each point one at a time. 

DREAM  - well you'll have plenty of those. Both in the sense of actual sleeping dreams and hopes and aspirations. 

Of the actual sleeping dreams, expect these to be peppered with all your fears and anxieties, not only about your own life, but about everything and everyone you encountered that particular day. 

My dreams are so vivid that often I wake up, convinced that the world really has been taken over by aliens; that I can fly; that I did win the lottery; that I've entered another reality… etcetera, etcetera...

These dreams have to be taken with a pinch of salt, and unfortunately, although they might have seemed riveting when your unconscious brain was rolling them out on the widescreen of your sleeping inner mind, they will be so riddled with plot holes and weird inconsistencies, that there's no way they will make interesting books or films. 

So dreams are not the lazy way into writing. 

As for the sorts of dreams that are hopes and aspirations… well these can also be problematic. 

It's possible that you will be  a billionaire upon the launch of your first book. Possible - but highly unlikely. 

What you might be, is a few pounds better or worse off, depending on your publishing situation. 

Readers will not flock to your door, demanding more of the same... indeed your readers many not even leave you a review, even if they loved your book. 

That is of course, assuming that any readers manage to stumble upon your book in the first place. There are now millions of books for sale on Amazon, with the growing popularity of the idea  that everyone has at least one book in them. 

You can call me a pessimist if you like, but I stand by my belief that there are many people who don't even have one book in them, let alone more. 

And why should they? We are all different and  our experiences within life are all different, ergo why should we all  have the same story telling skill?

So when it comes to hopes and aspirations, being grounded is the key. 

If you want to write, you must ask yourself why. And you must be truthful in your answer. 

If it's to get famous, then forget it. If it's to give yourself enjoyment and perhaps spread that enjoyment to others, then maybe test the waters. But don't ask your family's opinion of anything you write. They love you, so can't be objective. 

If, on the other hand, stories and characters burn bright inside your mind, then you really have no choice but to write and let them out. 

So, before you put pen to paper, think hard - it may just save your sanity!

Next time we'll cover Not A Real Job, and Connecting With Others. 

Happy reading! x

Thursday, 10 January 2019

2019 already!

Hello again readers. 

Hasn't it been a long Christmas and New Year period? My children didn't go back to school until January 8th, and by then we were all so far removed from our routine, that it kind of came as a shock when it arrived. 

That said, I'm well into the three films I was planning to get started on. The truth is that I couldn't wait until January, and started them around Christmas. 

So far I'm loving them. You may remember me telling you that they are very different and I think that's half the fun, having so many different characters in my head, all offering their opinions on any given subject at one time. I swear, some days they have a party in there and don't even invite me!

Today I woke up to a wonderful message which was sent to me by a reader. 

" I have just finished reading your book, began and finished in one night! Incredibly hooking story and very well written, definitely hope you write more! Thank you for such a great read!"

Needless to say, I'm absolutely delighted. I do hope she leaves a review on Amazon. 

And yes, there are more books coming. To date, I have written 20 books and around 8 films, the first of which will be coming out this year. 

So if you haven't yet read any of my published books, you really should. 

Happy reading! x

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Christmas wishes.

To all my readers, I wish you a fabulous Christmas and a coming year filled with wonder and delight... and because I'm a generous spirit, even if you're not one of my readers, I still wish you the above. [See? I am generous ;) ]

Once the kids go back to school, I will be straight into my new works, one drama/ romance film, a horror film, and a dystopian science fiction film.   As you may know, I like a bit of diversity. 

I am also hoping to move some of my stack of  unpublished books forward. The problem with these, is that I have to make a decision and I've always been rather indecisive - ask anyone who's ever sat waiting for me to make a choice from a menu!

Where I can, I promise to keep you up-to-date with my projects, but this is harder to do with film than books, as so much is out of my control. 

So until then - happy reading! x

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Naughty or Nice?

With Christmas almost here, my thoughts have turned to the strangers who have been most helpful to me, this year. Or not.

It's only a bit of fun, but I do advise you to make your own list, as not only does it allow you to vent your angst over something, but it allows the wider picture to be seen, whether you reach a balance or whether you've had a year full of annoying, petty, problems.

NAUGHTY                                                      NICE                        
The man who shouted abuse at me,         All the fellow dog- walkers who stopped  
because I pressed the button                    to chat with me. 
for the lights to change. 

The woman who complained about       Glasgow Council, who helped me 
me placing things outside of my            dispose of my dad's old furniture, 
dad's flat for the council to pick up.       after he passed away. 
(The furniture was next to the bins as
I'd been told to do.)
The sales assistant at Charford Post       The OTHER sales assistant, who just did it 
Office, who sent me away with my           the next day, when I returned, 
heavy parcel unposted, as                       refusing all help from me.
'she wasn't allowed' to  lift it, 
( fair enough) but insisted that I
couldn't place it where all the other
large parcels waited to be collected
by the Parcelforce driver, as only she
could do that!

Beko manufacturers and AO for           Argos for replacing my broken vacuum  
making and selling me a dishwasher     cleaner, without the slightest quibble.
that broke the DAY AFTER the 12
month warranty ran out.

I could go on, but I won't, as I think you get my point.

Life is made up of the things that happen to us and how others help us through those times.

Going forward, I'm going to do my damnedest to be on other people's 'nice' side.

I hope to see you there! ;)

Happy reading.

Monday, 3 December 2018

A quick catch-up.

With Christmas fast approaching, I'm working hard to get the three films I have been writing, finished and signed off.

Of course in this industry, nothing is ever actually signed-off until it is made into film, and even then scenes may be lost to the cutting room floor, or new ones inserted.

Part of the reason for this, is because making a film is like asking a bunch of theoretical scientists to all agree on a particular theory. Everyone has their own version, no matter how minutely different that is from everyone else's ideas. So it is with film.

Even the most brilliant scripts will be moulded to fit a director's mindscape, diverging from the original idea as conceived by the screenwriter. It's inevitable. It's just a question of how much really.

But I am very lucky in the quality of the teams I am working with - top notch directors and producers - people who really know their stuff, and who are happy to let me get on with my side of things.

So, after Christmas, what are the plans?

I will be working on two brand new films. One of which is set in Cyprus.

I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into this one, not least because of the rich tapestry of the story I will create, but because of how different it is to things I've written before.

So until I catch up with you again - have fun, eat well and happy reading.

Carmen. x

Monday, 26 November 2018

Just Charlie

Last night I went to a special showing of the film, Just Charlie

I had read that the film had received awards and was aware that the story was about a transgender teen and his/her struggle to be the person he/she felt inside. 

But not for one second was I prepared for how beautiful and powerful the film was. 

We live in a world very changed from previous decades. Inter-racial marriages no longer raise an eyebrow, there are just as many single parents as there are married ones, being gay is considered a third gender and we all cheer on the Paralympic athletes. 

Yet transgender kids seems to strike a different note somehow. It is, I believe, the last taboo. And that's very strange. 

We have personalised sex dolls now flooding the market, quite recently I heard that a man had professed to being in an active sexual relationship with his car, and if lots of reality shows are to be believed, it seems that everyone under the age of 25 has slept with everyone else under the age of 25. 

Yet we have difficulty accepting that someone who looks on the outside like a boy or girl, may feel that on the inside, they are the opposite gender. 

I guess the best way of explaining it is that when we cut open an apple, we don't expect there to be an orange inside. 

But that's exactly what these kids are. They effectively have the wrong wrapper on them. 

And if you raised your eyebrows at my explanation, think on this. We all have wrappers. 

We all are different on the inside to how the world perceives us. It's one of the reasons, I believe, that we have depression and suicide within society. 

Wouldn't the world be a happier place if we could all just be how we truly want to be, as long as no harm was caused to others?

Ah but therein lies the crux of the problem. 

As Rebekah Fortune, the director of Just Charlie explained after the showing, the situation with transgender kids is not just about them, it's about their families and friends, even the ripples which lead out - diminished, but still there - to the wider community. 

A transgender person makes us question how we really feel about the situation. And that's exactly what this brave and wonderful film does. 

Showing not only Charlie's psychological pain, it shows his parents' pain and fears. Fears not only that Charlie is mistaken about how 'he' feels, but that he is choosing a path in life that will lead only to pain and humiliation. 

And let's be honest, most of us as parents would baulk at the idea of our child changing sex. Not just because we'd feel that perhaps we never really knew them if we hadn't noticed something different... but that because as parents, we are hard-wired by nature to protect our offspring. 

So whatever you have to do, to get to see this film which is available on Sky Cinema, whether it's to drop in unexpectedly on friends who have Sky, or to stand in the TV section of your local electrical retailer, I strongly advise you to do it. 

You won't regret it. 

Carmen. x

Friday, 23 November 2018

Christmas again? So soon?

I'm almost reeling at the thought of it being the Christmas period again. 

Honestly, I'm beginning to think there is little point in taking down the trees this year, as before I know it, it will be yet another Christmas. 

I honestly don't know where all the time in between last Christmas and this one has gone... Okay so in truth, much of it was spent in front of a computer, writing yet another book or film script (or TV script, or animation, because yes, I have written all of these) these past 12 months, and some was no doubt spent in an alcoholic haze after a hard day... (don't raise your eyebrows, writing is hard work too you know :)) 

But the rest? The minutes, hours, days that make up a whole year? Where have they all gone? 

If you have been following this blog, you will know that it's been a year of change for me. My father and my dog died this year and my eldest went off to university. I signed up with a producer with world-wide distribution, and a director who has won awards and accolades for her work. I have managed a little bit more renovation of my home, and have decided on the best way to progress the rest. 

But most importantly, I have decided to do what makes me happy in life, instead of always trying to please others. 

Now you might think this a selfish thing to do. But actually it isn't. I'm happier, everyone's needs are still being met (they're still all watered, fed and loved) but I'm less stressed and much, much calmer.

This has not been an easy transition for me to achieve - I'm very much a people pleaser and find it difficult to say no, but it was high time I put myself first. 

So if I have one piece of advice for you in the lead-up to Christmas it's this - Be true to yourself. If you can make yourself happy without compromising someone's else's happiness, then do so. 

Trust me, everyone around you will feel the benefit. 

Oh and don't forget, my books make fabulous Christmas presents - there's everything from romantic thrillers to science fiction. Just click on the link to your right. 

Happy reading. x

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Just a quick hello...

At the moment I am frantically busy finishing off three very different film scripts - I promise I'll tell you all about them, as soon as I can.  
What I can tell you, is that not only are they different genres, but they are vastly different settings, with one set in a large city in China, and another set in Birmingham. 

So, back to work for me after the half term and my strange virus. 

Have a wonderful week, everyone. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Bromsgrove mourns.

I haven't written a post about the tragic death of a Bromsgrove teenager for a specific reason.

Like much of Bromsgrove, I knew the boy personally. Not as the teenager he eventually became, but as a younger child, when he was friends with my eldest son.

As children sometimes do, they eventually went their own ways - but I still saw him at school assemblies and ceremonies.

Whilst I'm aware that my grief at his passing cannot possibly compare to those who knew him better, nor even touch the mountain of overwhelming loss and devastation felt by his parents and sister, it has been a hard thing to come to terms with.

I have found myself in tears over the past two weeks, in turn hoping and praying that he would be found safe and well, before sinking into despair that he wouldn't.

And even as a writer, I'm aware that my words don't do justice to the grief of this whole community, who rooted for his safe return even, against overwhelming odds.

We are parents too - most of us facing the need to let our own children truly stretch their wings for the first time.

And it's terrifying.

I look at my own 18 year old and I remember with horror the risks I took, when I too thought that I was invincible.

You teens who are reading this, please, please, please look after yourselves. The world is a dangerous place and whilst we want you to have fun and explore, inside we are terrified.

We can't bring this beautiful young man back - but I hope we can prevent future tragedies.

Shine bright Tom Jones. You are a guiding light. x

Thursday, 30 August 2018

My name is Carmen, and I'm a workaholic...

A couple of days ago I made a list of everything I've written in the past 6 years. I was surprised by the outcome, as it was much more than even I thought it would be.

Here it is:

19 books,  [various genres]                                                      
5 original full-length feature films
4 original short screenplays
1 original cartoon series
and 1original theatre play.

In addition to this, I am currently working on a variety of projects [films and books] and I'm enjoying every moment. So keep your eyes peeled on this list, because it's growing...

For collaborations, novel to screenplay commissions, or screenplays written to order, email : 07757559091

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Exam results!

To all the teens and their families who are anxiously awaiting exam results today - I wish them the very best of luck.

But whatever happens, just remember that your families will ALWAYS love you, whether you go off to university or not. 

There are always other avenues to explore, other doors which will open for you. 

Stay safe. You are loved regardless of what life throws at you. x

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Time flies - whether you're having fun or not...

Time is elusive. I've always known that.

Even as a young child I was aware of how it slipped away from me. Perhaps that's because I've always had so much to do, so much I wanted to achieve.

More than half a century later, I feel no different. There is still so much to do, so much I want to experience and even less time than there was before, to achieve it in.

I'm impatient for new experiences, to stand on fresh ground that my feet have never before trodden, to meet new adventures and to go to bed drunk on a day well-lived...

But for now my reality is the same as it is for many mothers in the UK - go through the kids' old school uniform, sort through last year's clothes, and prepare for the coming school year. So humdrum. So necessary.

Yet the internet and social media is full of slogans that urge us to live for the moment, to cast of the shackles of domesticity in favour of adventure. Excuse me whilst I just step over this pile of dirty laundry and be on my way to the mysteries of Machu Picchu... No? So let's get real then.

Chores have to be done, responsibilities have to be tended to. And then, maybe, just maybe, I can find a time to fit in all the spirit-enhancing stuff I'd like to do. And let's face it, you are probably in the same scenario as me. Are you going to cast aside your family and go off on a Shirley Valentine adventure? Thought not, appealing as that might be.

So, back to the drawing board, or in my case the newest chapter of my current book and next scenes in the screenplay. And it's not so bad. As a writer I can live vicariously through my characters. And boy, do they whoop it up!

So if you're feeling in need of adventure, you know where to turn. Try one of my books today.

Happy reading.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Sign me up!

Ooh exciting times!

I have just signed two contracts for work, and am about to sign another. I'm like a dog with two tails!

The projects are a little top-secret right now, but what I can tell you, is that one of them is for an adaptation of another writer's book for screen, and one is a publishing deal for one of my own books.

There is of course a lot of work involved - but then I'm hardly a stranger to that.

With 20 books and several screenplays of my own, I know what it's like to knuckle down, and luckily I love my job.

And rest assured, as soon as I can tell you more, I will.

Until then - happy reading!