Thursday, 22 April 2010

This week started with a big event for any writer, the three day London Bookfair held at Earls Court. This year due to volcanic ash invading our air space there were fewer overseas stands - many left empty - and fewer visitors, which made it pleasant to walk around. Another significant difference was that most publishers were interested in talking to authors about their various projects and were very generous with practical information. What did come over loud and clear was that authors are expected to do the majority of the promotion and publicity for their book themselves through their own websites and blogs, and are encouraged to do book signings, radio interviews, and talks whenever possible. The days of the 'shrinking violet' author have gone!
Back at my desk I am working on the final draft of The Story for Gower. This was the first book I wrote back in 1992 and it has been in print ever since. Now I am working on a new edition which will be roughly twice as long with colour and black and white illustrations. Obviously this being my first book it is very special to me and I must thank my publisher Myrddin ap Dafydd at Gwasg Carreg Gwach for the opportunity to update this book.
I am also working on a new book for The History Press entitled Shipwrecks of the South Coast, which I am enjoying researching. Being born and brought up a stone's throw from the Gower Peninsula I have always had a special affinity with the sea, which can be so powerful. There are so many shipwrecks to write about that I think I will need to be extremely selective.
Next week on Tuesday 27 April I am running a Day for Journalists and non-fiction writers in London. Anyone interested in learning more or attending, please contact me.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Is it really almost a month since I last blogged? Where has the time gone? It has been an extremely busy time for me, and I am pleased to say my book Haunted Worthing is now with The History Press. The last two weeks have been 'hair-raising' to say the least as I tried to juggle interviews and photographic sessions with days at my computer. At the same time I was forever watching the days ticking towards my deadline! I got there in the end, which is all that matters. I shall give myself the luxury of a couple of days rest, then it is back to editing The Story of Gower and working on Shipwrecks of the south Coast, which I am really looking forward to researching, especially with the summer months approaching.
So much as happened since I last blogged that I am not sure where to begin, except to say that I now believe in spirits after a most unusual paranormal experience at the Dolphin Hotel in Littlehampton. Intrigued? Then you will have to wait and read my book, which will be out in September. Meanwhile if you are in the area do pay a visit to The Dolphin Hotel who recently received an award for the most haunted building in West Sussex. The pub is run by Ellie Boiling and her partner Katie Smith and you can be sure of a warm welcome and a friendly chat with the locals.
The last couple of weeks have seen me visiting Hiorne Tower, but I saw no sighting of the 'white lady' who threw herself off the tower when her lover rejected her. A visit to Arundel castle and the town was a delight, and so was a walk up Highdown Hill, closer to Worthing. My purpose was to visit the Miller's Tomb, an eccentric 18th miller who kept a coffin under his bed in case it was needed, and built his tomb 27 years before he died! He visited it every day to meditate but local legend tells another tale, that he was a smuggler and used his coffin and table top tomb to hide his contraband. Once it was elaborately decorated with verses penned by the miller. Sadly most have worn away, but a carving of a skeleton is clearly visible.
The village of Angmering not only has an interesting history, but its far share of ghosts too, and a special thank-you must go to Neil Rogers-Davis for his help, and his excellent website.
Saturday I start a 10 session course run by local writer Chris Hare in his Heritage Learning series, which I am really looking forward to. Being a relatively newcomer to the area I have much to learn. The following week 19-21 April is London Bookfair and I hope to meet up with fellow writers at this event. On Tuesday 27th April I am running a Day for Journalists and Non-fiction writers for the SWWJ, but guests are most welcome. Please contact me for details.