Having a Lovely Time Writing

April 30, 2010

please help with my research

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 7:27 am
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http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TY2LFSY (focus poetry)

Thanks it is for my MA.


April 22, 2010

Gillian Philip interview part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 1:01 pm

Hi Gillian

It is good to speak to you again, I managed to finish Crossing the Line in just two sittings with the major sitting having read the rest of the book in one go from page 22. I found Nick a really fascinating boy and thought he was believable which then made me full of admiration for you. I have tried once to write as a male character and gave up but here was Nick and I wasn’t thinking this is Gillian writing as Nick – no, Nick was real I believed in him and found myself totally absorbed in his world.

Boy, did this book make me think, was it one of the most amazing adventures my imagination had ever been on? Yes, it was and now it’s over I wish I’d not done it in one sitting! But I will enjoy re-reading Crossing the Line again looking at it next with a writer’s eye and enjoying this book from a different perspective – enjoying how you have managed the craft of writing.

‘Mickey is obviously one of the least sympathetic characters; did you find him difficult to write because of this?’
Like a lot of villains (but not all!), Mickey was quite hard to write when I started out. I knew he was more the bad guy than Kev, so I found it easier to relate to his little brother. But as always happens, I got to know him better as I wrote him. In many ways he’s very like Nick – he too looks after his younger sibling – but he has gone about things in a far more extreme and violent way. Nick looks up to Mickey, and I think it’s quite a close call as to whether Nick will go the same way.

In the end, I did feel a certain amount of sympathy
for Mickey. Not a lot, but I don’t think I could have written him if I couldn’t see things at least to some degree from his point of view.

‘You bring up so many key issues – guilt, blame, coping with death but the one that got me was the putting of Lola Nan into a nursing home – for me this was so cruel but also completely necessary? You can imagine the pressure faced by Nick’s parents and I don’t think Nick really understood his parents which just adds to the realism of this book! It really is a portrayal of a modern family – what I’d like to know is do Mum and Dad sort things out or are the messed up forever?’

You know, I’m not sure. I’m never sure at the end of a book quite how things will go – I might have a vague idea, but to know for sure I’d have to write a sequel. After all, the book itself changed in all sorts of small ways while I was writing it, and I’m sure the same would happen with any further story. I do like to think, though, that Nick’s parents get a bit of a grip on themselves. Dad’s more likely to do that than Mum, I can’t help thinking!

My friend Gerry has told me I must read Bad Faith by Gillian Philip next as it is another amazing read. I will do Gerry!


Thanks Gillian, I loved chatting to you and can’t wait to read more about your totally believable characters and get absorbed into their worlds.

Keep up to date with what Gillian is up to:


March 26, 2010

It’s a Dog’s Life so Blog it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 3:23 pm

Today I had the opportunity to interview the wonderful blogging dog called Dylan.


Read Dylan’s blog:


March 24, 2010

Speak Out!

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 2:56 pm

Really pleased with the first in my new series on www.letsstartwriting.com

Jill Stevens Speaks Out!


Thanks Jill.

If you want to Speak Out! then contact me


March 20, 2010

Great Book to Review – Castle of Shadows

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 12:03 pm

As a reviewer for TLC magazines my daughter Katy aged 9 was delighted to find a signed copy of Castle of Shadows in her possession this morning. I haven’t heard a murmur from her, as she sits curled up on the sofa with her head in this gorgeous book. I’m waiting for her to finish chapter one so I can read it!

The cover is gorgeous and is eye-catching, both Katy and I read the blurb and automatically we knew this was going to be a book we wanted to read – I think we are both going to enjoy this shadowy world and are keen to discover why the Queen disappeared!

Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner is published by Orchard Books and is ÂŁ5.99

more about the author:


Author Interview – Donald Nelson

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 11:56 am

I have had a wonderful time chatting with Donald and think he is one of the most interesting people I have met. Well, he’s the only fisherman I’ve ever known and I don’t know anyone else who has done a Storytelling Workshop at a Theme Park.

I’ll be uploading Donald’s interview to my website


March 17, 2010

There’s No Smoke update

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 4:03 pm

Illustrations from Sue Hardy-Dawson arrived yesterday and they are awesome!

Thought I’d share one!

There's No Smoke Without Dragons

March 15, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 6:39 pm


Eyes grow wide
in flame and fire
Nostrils flare in fresh fear
as plated body glistens in moonlight
Cloudy steam escapes the cave
like smoke from a witches cauldron.
A firecesome dragon anxiously waits
Flashes of lightning illuminate
a melancholy knight
struck by paralysing terror
His solemn face briefly silvered
Waiting for the attack.

No more blogging from me

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntyfruitcake @ 10:32 am

I have decided that I don’t really have time to blog.

This blog has nothing to do with www.havealovelytime.com which is a great website and run by the lovely Linda Jones.

I set up this blog to try blogging but have decided it is too time consuming and I just want to concentrate on the author interviews; my work for TLC magazines and writing teaching sequences for authors. Thus I will not be blogging on here any more as I really don’t have time.

I am deleting  this blog once I have moved everything over to my new website. www.letsstartwriting.com it will feature a blog but it will be about the There’s No Smoke Without Dragons anthology, my writing  and the odd post about my Stuntman in Training.

March 9, 2010

There’s No Smoke Without Mr Airey

Filed under: There's No Smoke Without Dragons — auntyfruitcake @ 8:06 am

Had a wonderful time on the phone to Mr A last night and I am so excited about all the dragon related drawing and writing and drama happening in Mr A’s South London Primary School.

Today’s assembly sounds like it is going to be brilliant – Mr Airey has chosen My Pet Dragon by Michael Alexander to read and do a ‘poemwhoosh’ with the children. A ‘poemwhoosh’ means someone from the audience gets up and acts out what they think is happening in the poem until they hear whoosh then they sit down! Sounds fabulous.

Mr Airey says that the children have been so inspired by the project that there has been an increase in children writing independently and at home. The poetry has inspired the children and he has found that they have really expanded the number of adjectives and descriptive phrases they use.

It has been wonderful to hear that even the nursery children have been drawing dragons and have enjoyed listening to the There’s No Smoke Without Dragons poems. I think it just goes to show what a great collection of poems we have that they appeal to children of all ages and adults too!

I can’t wait to speak to Mr A tonight and find out how the poetry whooshing went!

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