What a year it’s been!


As we  have reached late Autumn, I wanted to write a summary of my year so far.

2013 began with the editing process at Safkhet Publishing. It was a tough time.  I had been ill, although not very ill, but I had some odd symptoms on my tongue, a strange tingling sensation which I happened to explain to my doctor during an appointment  for something else. I felt fine other than the usual aches and pains. Within a couple of days she sent me for a scan.  I was horrified to discover I’d had a stroke.  Yes, there it was a white blob on my brain which I could see on the screen quite plainly.  The first words I said to the cardiologist after he told me, was ‘Oh, my goodness, that’s shocking!’ and it was!  Both my parents died of strokes, but fortunately I have never smoked as my father did and neither do I drink a lot, so yes it was shocking as I had always thought of myself as healthy.

In the months that followed I had treatment with some life saving pills and although sometimes I had felt quite confused and unable to focus properly, I eventually improved and hoped this won’t happen again.

The worst part was the confusion.  I did my best to concentrate hard, but it was just a case of time and not worrying about it too much.  The best thing to do was get on with the editing process and hope I wasn’t going to fall ill again.

After editing back and forth,  we had, at last, finished and the manuscript was ready to be printed.  My role now was to put my social networking together and arrange a book launch.   I had the most generous support from the people of the Isles of Scilly.  The book is a holiday read with Pippa Lambton and Sven Jorgensen as the main characters. I hope it will encourage people who have never been to Scilly to visit there.  It is such a beautiful place. The story surrounds the nature and scenery of the islands.

Goodbye, Henrietta Street was launched on 1st July 2013 and I spent the afternoon in The Edge of the World bookshop in Penzance at my first book signing event which I enjoyed very much.  I had organised  a book launch  party, on the 8th July,  at The Mermaid pub on the islands.  I travelled by sea to St Mary’s and the weather was a force 6 and needless to say I had to give up a signing session on the ship, due to violent sea sickness. In the following days, summer had arrived and I experienced the most wonderful three weeks, touring the islands, in the warm sunshine, and meeting the local residents and tourists of Scilly. I felt very sad when I had to leave.

The weeks that followed involved networking on Facebook and Twitter and returning to the UK in September where I did another tour in Whitby, Yorkshire, which is also where part of the story takes place. This was fun, as my book is now in the bookshop in Whitby. We sold many copies.  I had a wonderful time in the local library which I found to be very friendly and professional.  They had invited people to attend a talk on ‘becoming an author’ and I received some excellent feedback from the audience.

As I live in The Netherlands, it isn’t easy to arrange book signing sessions due to the language. Fortunately, there are a couple of places I have managed to do this.  Last weekend, I spent the afternoon in The English Bookshop, in Amsterdam where a man came into the shop and bought four copies of the book for his friends.  On 3 November I shall be part of the entertainment at the Irish Cottage pub in Oude Niedorp in North Holland.  We have a book signing session in the pub during the afternoon and plenty of food, drink,  and Irish music. This should be very good because many of the people who attend these events have a soft spot for English islands and interesting places in the UK.   I look forward to it very much

This morning I received some news, they sold out of books in Whitby and will keep them in the shop in the future. They have also invited me to come over and do a book signing session in the shop next Spring.

So folks, that’s my year so far, and I am delighted to inform you that I am now feeling much better and in the middle of writing my second book.

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