Sunday, November 22, 2009


We all enjoyed the gathering of the writers' clan in Brentwood yesterday. Our good friend, Town Crier, James Shrubb came along to promote our MEET THE AUTHOR event and many travelled from around Essex, Surrey and London to talk about books and writing. It was lovely to meet up with so many friends and the Library staff were particularly helpful and hospitable. Here are a few snaps to illustrate the afternoon.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Here is a photograph of our first multi signing session in Brentwood Library last year. We have another coming up on Saturday 21 November from 2pm to 4pm. This is another special free event in Brentwood Library. Twelve authors will be gathering with their latest published books to meet their readers and fans from around Essex. Elizabeth Lord will be there with a selection of her superb books; Frances Clamp likewise; Samantha Pearce, Jim Reeve, Steve Crancher, Cecelia Pyke, Patricia Pound, John Roberts, Helen Finch, John Cassidy, John Cannell and I am looking forward to meeting lots of our friends and fellow writers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


What a super group of ladies to brighten up the dullest of November afternoons! Just enjoyed a great lunch with these "Red Hatters" from this part of Essex. They embody everything that is fun and delightful about growing older. Their 'Queen' Pat is in the front row, second from left with Janet (last year's Queen) next to her. Princess Philippa stands out in her customary 'pink' just behind. You see, you have to reach the grand old age of 50 before you can wear the famous red hat and purple outfit. Actually, I love the combination. See also Geraldine who looks stunning in another permutation. Huge coincidence that last week in London I met the poet Jenny Joseph at Somerset House at the Royal Society of Literature lecture. It was her poem written in 1961 entitled "WHEN I GROW OLD, I WILL WEAR PURPLE" which is the inspiration and philosophy behind this local Red Hat Society chapter and thousands of other groups around the globe. More on this at a later date.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


With the launch of the new book THE WOMAN WRITER, interest is coming in rapidly. Gave three interviews on BBC Essex, Gulf Radio and Phoenix FM in the last few days. Signings will be taking place at various venues and copies of signed copy of the book are being despatched to those interested. Check out the SWWJ website to find out more information. Appreciation to Michelle Ward, the Phoenix FM presenter of the Saturday morning programme PITSTOP (sponsored by Essex Ford) who kindly invited me on to her regular spot.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Can you believe that Essex has the highest number of reading groups in the land? More than 450 of them. Our local reading group is still going strongly as we exit our first decade. Audrey Tampkins was our first leader of the Billericay group in 2000 and some of our very first enthusiasts still come along on the first Tuesday in the month. Our current organiser is the lovely Eileen Meyer who arranges for copies of the books we have chosen to read to arrive at the local library. Of the 120-odd books on our past reading list during the last ten years, many have been classics, crime, chick lit, in fact we give them all a chance. Last month we studied Somerset Maugham's The Moon & Sixpence written in 1919 and currently we are reading Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence published around the same time. The authors chosen since 2000 range from Charles Dickens. Oscar Wilde to Margery Allingham, P D James to Hilary Mantel, Stephen King and Stephen Fry (his biography) - now that one should be interesting. Reading really does matter to our fifteen keen members.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


This is for all the ex pats who 'drop in' occasionally and wanted me to take some photos before this morning's service outside St Mary Magdalen, Billericay. Our MP John Baron was there, as usual, along with hundreds. Also our superb trumpeter, Graham Baguley.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Superb evening at Mayflower High School in Billericay on Thursday evening when a team of three was chosen at the local heat to go on to the regionals to be held at The Ramada Hotel in Colchester, Essex, in February 2010. All six formers taking part were of excellent standard as agreed with my fellow judges Captain Beverley Beale and Alison Deakin. The evening was organised by the Business and Professional Women UK Limited in Billericay with support from George Pontikis from the Mayflower High School. The winning team is pictured with Jean England, Chairman of BPW.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Saturday December 5th
Number One
Hurst Green


Spend a day learning about the traditional art of oral storytelling with Essex’s master storyteller

For more information
Ring 01268 767770
Or Email carl.tale- spinner@blue

Price: £50 including a delicious lunch

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


This is especially for Nicola at the History Press - my publishing house - as it isn't often I am able to gather so many of her Essex authors in one spot. The occasion was the autumn lunch of the SWWJ, at which Lady Williams - our Hon Life President - was our speaker. It was also a good opportunity to meet face-to-face some of our new SWWJ recruits. We usually communicate by web-chat and email. Also pictured is Chairman Jean Morris and competition Judge Solange Hando.