Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Charity Launch

The time has arrived and there is tension and excitement building in our group. The time for the launch of our book has arrived.

I was honoured when Jen asked me to be a part of the anthology, that was to become, Tales of an Old Wizard. She explained that the profits would go to charity (which would change yearly) so I wouldn't get any money from the sales but I didn't mind. Somebody had faith in me that my stories could, not only give a child some enjoyment, but that I could raise money for worthwhile causes at the same time.

I have enjoyed being part of the process in creating the book and my happiness has been deepened by working with the other authors, one of whom happens to be my own daughter. Together we have pored over the text, editting, suggesting and honing our stories. And although this was Jen's idea, she listens to the group and takes suggestions and amendments seriously.


 "TALES OF AN OLD WIZARD is a collection of short stories for 9+ readers.

The world has forgotten the real, old magic and no one remembers how to make a fire by snapping their fingers, or how to raise waves with a whisper.

Greum is a wizard. He used to rule the elements but now he doesn’t bother. The only magic left in his life is that in the stories a young boy delights in tricking out of him. Stories of dragons, warriors and sorcery."

I hope you enjoy the book as much as we enjoyed writing it. Please join us for our launch  where there will be games/giveaways and a chance to chat with the authors.

I look forward to seeing you there. As you can see Megan and I are fully prepared with our bag of sweets!



Monday, 11 February 2013

A Ferry Journey

“Claire McFall's work is, in essence, all about first love and difficult decisions. Her novels take straightforward romantic narratives and hurl them into unusual and extreme settings, blurring accepted genre boundaries and creating new sub-genres of her own. She then charts her characters' reactions to these unfamiliar situations and the new and confusing feelings that beset them in a hyper-real, engaging, deeply poignant and literary manner. Claire is a teacher and lives in the Scottish Borders with her husband and is currently working on her next novel for Templar Fiction.”
  How long have you been writing?
Wow... forever.  I had a typewriter when I was a child and I’d bash away on it writing “the great novel” until I bruised my fingertips.  I gave it up when I went to university (I was too busy exploring life) but when I started teaching, I got the literature bug again.  For a while it was just reading, then a friend of mine wrote a book and I just thought: I could do that.  I used to do that.  Why aren’t I doing that?  And the writing madness was reborn.  Now I can’t stop! 
 Do you write in the same genre all the time?
No.  Or at least, I hope not.  I do stick to YA, although I fluctuate between younger stuff and books that are definitely edgier.  I don’t like to do the same thing over and over again, and I never know what’s going to grab me.  When it does, though, I tend to just roll with it.  I confess I love dystopian literature.  I’ve tended to stay a little away from the paranormal – or just skirted the edges – but that’s because I’m not too sure I could bring anything new and fresh.  If I came up with the right idea, I think there’s nothing I wouldn’t try.
Is there any genre you would like to try?
Oops, I guess I kinda already answered that.  I’d like to do something more adult maybe... someday.  But I think I need to grow up first ;)
Where do you get your ideas from?
Anywhere and everywhere.  Quite often they are dreams (I have a bizarre imagination), but it’s been a film, a song, a news story...  Something just hits me and percolates.  Then it tends to haunt me till I give in and write it.
How did it feel to get your book deal?
Stupid excited.  I did my happy dance.  In school.  And pupils saw me.  It was not my finest moment. 
What was the hardest part of the process?
Definitely editing.  I’m kind of a first draft and move on kind of girl.  I don’t like to go back and fiddle with sentence and chapter breaks and all that itsy-bitsy detail stuff.  I can appreciate that it’s better afterwards – but the process itself is torture.  Slow, painful torture. 
What has surprised you about working with a publisher?
How friendly and approachable everyone is!  I didn’t really know much about the whole scene, and lack of knowledge tends to breed fear, so I was a bit apprehensive at first, but the people at Templar (my publisher) have been very friendly and looked after me very well.  I was also surprised about all the different steps of the process (like I said, I didn’t really know much about publishing at all) and I now understand why it takes so long from writing a book before it appears in a bookstore.
I know that there have been articles in newspapers about your success. Is that a happy feeling or scary?
Both.  Definitely both.  It’s all very exciting, but I guess the thing about writers is we specialise in hiding ourselves in little rooms and typing away.  Putting yourself out there and schmoozing and chatting and selling and bragging doesn’t really come naturally.  Plus, I’m double-handicapped because us Scots aren’t good at talking ourselves up.  If you want me to insult myself and provide you with a list of my faults, I can.  At length.  But my plus points?  Eek!
The first of your 3 books is called Ferryman. Tell us about it.
Well, the main character is a girl called Dylan and she’s 15.  She’s just about to connect with her father – who she hasn’t seen since she was teeny-tiny – but on the train on the way up to Aberdeen something goes horribly wrong and there’s a crash in the dark depths of a tunnel.  When Dylan wakes up she’s completely alone.  She climbs her way out to find the only person around is Tristan, a boy who claims to have been on the train, too.  However, as time goes on it becomes very clear to Dylan that Tristan isn’t all he seems, and that they are no longer in southern Scotland.  They are in the wasteland – the space between the land of the living and the dead – and Tristan is her Ferryman, the one who has to guide her over to the other side.  Only, along the way, things start to get really complicated because Tristan, well he’s just perfect.  And Dylan doesn’t want to leave him.
And that’s all I’m telling.        
When is the book due out?
First of March.  Which is really soon!
Double eek!

I want to thank Claire for doing my interview - she is crazy busy with the launch fast approaching.
If you want to find out more about Claire visit her website

Facebook page

Put the date - 1st March -  in your diary to pick up your copy of Ferryman.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Imagine That

Elizabeth Glanville lives in London. She has been novel-writing for five years and has just published her first novel, The Imaginist, which was longlisted for the Sony Reader Award for Unpublished Writers, in collaboration with The Dylan Thomas Prize. Elizabeth also works as a Journalist and in Psychology and Education, but novel-writing is her passion.

 Read on for a synopsis of The Imaginist…!

Louise has long coveted the young professional lifestyle: the career, the mates, the flat, the boyfriend. But when she moves from South Wales to London she finds the cold realities of real life harsher than she ever imagined.

Louise’s enthusiasm starts to falter, and she seeks solace in her daydreams. But when the line between reality and fantasy starts to blur Louise finds herself on the precipice between the two, with the pull towards idealism becoming just too strong to ignore…

Ryan, meanwhile, has high hopes from life, but when things don’t turn out as expected it becomes a struggle to keep face. As the gulf between real life and that which he portrays to others widens Ryan sinks deeper into despair and isolation, resorting to drastic measures just to cope before fleeing across the Channel to start a new life in France.

Secrets, lies, distortion and disillusionment combine to create a dangerous concoction. But can Louise survive London, and Ryan survive Paris, to return from the brink of destruction and to the family and friends who so desperately want them back?


The Imaginist is available to buy now at
or download for Kindle at

Find out more at
Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @bethglanville or find her on Facebook at Elizabeth Glanville, writer.