Sunday, 28 February 2010

With the proofs of The Story of Pembrokeshire safely back with my publisher I can now turn my undivided attention to Haunted Worthing. This book is coming together nicely, and I have now reached the stage when I can see its construction taking shape, always a time of great relief for an author. Yesterday I met up with two very interesting guys from West Sussex Paranormal Investigations and C.O.T.C Paranormal Investigations who were extremely helpful. Thank you guys for all your help. Do check out both these sites which are very informative and try to explain the unexplained. One of the chaps has already published a book on Haunted Chichester, so it was good to talk to a fellow writer too, and share the ups and downs of putting a book together.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Earlier this week, still struggling with a chest infection, I went to see my GP for a prescription for some antibiotics and steroids. Within a day I was breathing much easier and it made me reflect on how lucky we are to live in this century with its wonderful health service, modern medicine and drugs. In my spare time I have been researching my family tree and discovered that my great-grandmother had died at the tender age of 35 from congestion of the lungs. leaving a young family of four children. We have a lot to be thankful for.
Yesterday I woke feeling much better, and as it was a lovely sunny morning, I thought I would take advantage of the day and do some further research for my next book. Armed with a notepad, hubby and camera, we set off with a list of venues. By lunchtime we had covered half the list and were in need of a rest and some refreshment. As we were outside one of Shoreham's oldest pubs in the High Street, The Crown and Anchor we decided to call in. The atmosphere was as welcoming as the sun outside, and just as friendly as the owner Giles, who gave me a tour of his pub. It is so rare to find a owned pub today, most are managed and serve up more of the same. The Crown and Anchor is split on many levels, which makes it unique and interesting. In by-gone days it was frequented by smugglers, hardly surprising when you learn of Shoreham's sea-faring past. Today the Crown and Anchor has a bright and cheerful ambiance The stylish restaurant is split on two levels, with an enormous wooden boat hanging from the ceiling, and a wonderful view of the River Adur. The riverside terrace would be a most enjoyable venue in the summer months. We sat near the window looking out on the still river, as we studied the menu with its plentiful choice to suit all tastes, but we decided to order off the set fish menu, which had an excellent selection of starters and main courses as well a 'specials' board. We finished our meal with a coffee and a mint, a nice touch, and although by now there were many diners it was not noisy, and we were able to sit and chat in comfort without having to raise our voices to be heard. I look forward to returning one evening to sample the food and entertainment, as well as enjoying a lunch or two with my friends and writing colleagues. Pubs like this are a rare find, and in this present economic climate Giles deserves to succeed and, according to my husband, well worth a visit as Giles keeps an excellent pint! Thank you Giles for an enjoyable visit. We shall return!

Friday, 12 February 2010

This week has seen me struggling with a cold and a chest infection, little wonder when the weather can't make up its mind what to do. But, as they say, life goes on and a writer's life is never dull, specially as the deadline of my book on Haunted Worthing is looming, and still much needs to be done. Any Worthing resident out there with a ghostly tale to tell? Please contact me.
I was feeling particular low on Thursday, but soon brightened up when the post arrived with the proofs and cover of next book to be published, The Story of Pembrokeshire. This is always an exciting time for a writer when at last you see something in print for all your hard work. Guess what I will be doing over the weekend?
It is a while since I submitted the manuscript for The Story of Pembrokeshire, so am enjoying reading it with 'fresh eyes' so to speak. I am very pleased with the cover, and I am sure you will agree that it is very pleasing to the eye. I am also delighted to learn that this new edition is to include two sets of 16 pages of colour photographs, making 32 in all, as well as numerous black and white photographs. It was a joy researching this edition - the first edition being in print since 1993 - and I am sure it is going to bring back many happy memories to readers who trekked along the coastal path or climbed yet another hill to photograph a standing stone, or went in search of the mysterious blue stones that found their way to Stonehenge. I hope new readers will find it interesting and informative. It has already brought back memories for me of several weeks in the area, and early morning walks to a monument only to discover that the sun was in the wrong direction for a good photograph! As the back cover blurb states: Where in the midst of commercialism can one find peace, tranquility and paradise for nature lovers? Where else but Pembrokeshire: an area that rose from the sea over a thousand million years ago, and has since played host to pagan warriors, Celtic fort-builders, Welsh princes, swashbuckling pirates, Manx shearwaters and the Grey Atlantic seal. In this book Wendy Hughes has combined her unique blend of history, legends, and notorious characters to bring together a tale that will leave the reader spell-bound until the last page is turned. I hope I have done justice to such a unique area of Wales. Watch this space for more about this book, due for publication in May.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

I have just finished reading Sylvia's Kent excellent book on the history of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists( SWWJ), entitled The Woman Writer.
Since the Society was founded in 1894 by Joseph Snell Wood, the SWWJ has attracted many famous writers, journalists, poets and playwrights and this well researched book will give you an insight into this prestigious society and how is has gone from strength to strength, and is still attracting new members every week. I for one owe a great deal to the society. A copy of this book should be on every writer's bookshelf. Thank you Sylvia for featuring me in the book (yours truly is mentioned on pages 64, 114, 120).

Thursday, 4 February 2010

It seems an age since I set up my blog, so I will bring you up to date on my writing news.It has been a strange couple of weeks ranging from an attack of writers block to being extremely busy with not enough hours in the day. Interestingly I have always told my students that writers block don't exist, now I know it can be very real, and frightening.
Work on my new book Haunted Worthing is progressing well. yesterday I met up with a really helpful chap, Andrew House who explained the various types of ghosts. Absolutely fascinating! I have also heard from my super Welsh publisher Gwasg Carreg Gwalch who has informed me of his publishing schedule. I'm excited to learn that an updated edition of The Story of Pembrokeshire will be out in May 2010, and a new edition of The Story of Gower has been scheduled for May 2011. A new book The Story of Carmarthenshire is planned for May 2012, so watch this space for my progress with this book.