Library Event

Want to know more about Asperger’s Syndrome and autism? As part of National Autism Awareness Week (27 March – 2 April), I am having a library event to raise awareness of this condition that I have.

I will be relaunching my children’s book ‘Billy and the Sparkling Socks’, handing out leaflets and cards about Asperger’s and answering questions about living with Asperger’s. The event will be on Saturday 1 April at Sydenham Community Library, SE London, UK from 10.30 am to 12 noon.

If you are in London and the area, please pop in and say hello.

Writing exercise – Sci-fi idea for me

Today’s post is a writing exercise that I want your help with. As well as trying to write fiction for women’s magazines, I also want to try to write short sci-fi stories. I already have one idea for a story, which I will write soon (want to enter a story competition first) but would like more. Yes, I know I might be a glutton for punishment. Thinking about science, I have realised that it is behind a lot of things we either use or eat/drink. Here is a list of things I thought about:







Cosmetics, lotions etc

The future

So, I want you to think of an idea for a sci-fi story that features one of the above, and has a good person and a bad person. Eg the bad person is attempting to harm everyone and the good tries to save us. But what happens next? It is up to you. Give me a brief summary of your idea, and I might turn it into a story to write.

Good luck.

Discoverability – Being a member of an organisation

There are lots of advantages to being a member of a writing organisation, but today I am going to talk about ways you can get discovered through it.

I have recently posted about how I can get discovered through being a member of ALLi, now I am talking about things I have done in the past to get discovered with other organisations.

Years ago when I was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association I used to go to their conferences and meetings. At their conferences, members were asked if they would write up about the talk they went to. I did a few of these, which went on their website and in their magazine.

I am a member of the Society of Children’s British Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) who all write for children. If you blog about writing for children, your blog can be picked up by their own blog called Words and Pictures. Mine has a few times over the last couple of years. Also, like the RNA, if you go to their classes, someone is asked to write up about the class for the blog. I can’t remember if I have done this yet but I might do later this year as I will be attending a few of their workshops.

So, if you can afford it and have the time to go to meetings and classes, joining a like-minded group is a good way of being discovered, esp if you offer to blog about it.

Discoverability – Guest blogging

One of the ways to be discovered for what you write, is to appear on someone else’s blog. It can be another author who writes in the same genre as you, or a like-minded writing organisation. Here is an example of what happened to me:

A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a piece for their blog about writing about children with Asperger’s by the blog’s organiser, Debbie Young. She said that she would put it up when my book went live. The post went up last week and you can read it here

Then a couple of days ago Debbie asked on the FB group for ideas on out-of-the box marketing for our books. I posted about wanting do a library event during National Autism Awareness week. It was picked up and put on a blog post, which you can read here

After this, I have realised that my biz is now going to be writing children’s book about children with Asperger’s, autism and other health issues, and raise awareness of them by doing events at libraries, if I can.

So, if you know of either an author who writes in the same genre as you or a writing organisation such as ALLi and get the opportunity to write a blog post for them, take them up on it. You never know who might be reading it.

A writing exercise- Words

Today’s post is a writing exercise for you all. This one is similar to one that Billy does in Billy and the Sparkling Socks. I give you the names of three people in history or recent history. Here it is.

Mary Secole. Winston Churchill. Bill Gates. These are three people from different generations. Write a story like Billy did that has all three in.

Billy did really well and got a star for his effort. You can find out more in the book available at

Good luck and happy writing. Let me know how you get on.


Another publishing change – women’s magazines

Today I am going to tell you about another change in publishing, and this one affects anyone who wants to write short stories for women’s magazines. Just before Xmas last year, I found out through a Facebook group that Take a Break’s Fiction Feast were no longer accepting stories from new authors, and from authors who had only had one or two stories accepted by them. This caused a lot of fury. They only take stories now from their ‘preferred list’ of authors – that is authors who have a certain number of stories published by them over the last 2 years. They have done this because they say they get so many stories that they can’t read through. It is not just authors who have been affected; their fiction editors who were there have been given the chop, too. They only have one person now to check stories. They also say they can’t afford to pay a team to check all stories coming in.

So, that’s one less magazine that is available to us. My Weekly has the same policy, too, from 2009. There are still 4 magazines out there, though: The People’s Friend, The Weekly News, Woman’s Weekly and Yours. I am now concentrating on writing for People’s Friend and Woman’s Weekly, and have just posted a story to them this morning.

Next week there will be a writing exercise, so plenty of time to find that thinking cap.


Publishing changes for indie authors

There have been a few major changes in indie publishing the last month, esp before Xmas, and I want to inform you of the ones I know about. So, here we go:

1. If you use Draft2Digital website to create paperbacks of your ebooks to Createspace, then you will be majorly affected. As from March this year, D2D are stopping their partnership with CS. This affects me because I have put a few of my children’s ebooks into print via this route. So, later this year I will have to take them off D2D and put them into print somehow else. The reason D2D have decided this is because of the second change

2. Amazon KDP have only helped authors to publish ebooks so far, until before Xmas. They now have in beta testing mode a new Paperback service, v similar to Createspace. The format is the same eg the way you choose the trim size of the book, the colour of the interior on paper. I know because I have been trying to publish my latest children’s book on there. But beware – the size of the cover is slightly different to the one on Createspace as they have different paper stock. This proved such a sticky point for me and my designer, we couldn’t get the right size in the end. So, since this post was first written, I have now published my book ‘Billy and the Sparkling Socks’ on Createspace, which proved a whole lot easier to do.

I have also read that with KDP Paperback services, you can’t order your own copies for events and you can’t order a proof copy for yourself, both things you can do on Createspace. This also made me stick with Createspace. And I will do so for the rest of the series and until it no longer exists.

3. If you are a romance indie author and have been using a website called All Romance ebooks to distribute your ebooks, then you will have got an email from them before Xmas stating they are closing doors. This website closed giving romance authors only time to deactivate their books on the site, and no time to publish them on the other platforms; it being Xmas, most platforms had closed for the holiday. This change didn’t affect me as I only had a couple of my adult ebooks on there and didn’t make any money out of it. If it does affect you, then a brill blog to read is Kristine Kathryn Rusch on her kriswrites blog. Find the post for the beginning of January, there is a link in there that you can go to and read all about what has happened and what you can do if you are affected.

So, those are the changes in the publishing industry I know about. Any more I find out about I will let you know when I do.

Happy writing.