Friday, 14 October 2016

The story of a teeny tiny indie author - and a surprisingly friendly giant.

Once upon a time, in the faraway and magical land of Cornwall (see picture below) there lived a teeny, tiny author.

And this teeny, tiny author lived in a normal-sized house with a very kind and normal-sized man called Peter and two normal-sized cats called Oz and James.
Day after day, week after week, and month after month everybody in the normal-sized house lived very happily -  until one day.
The Day When Life Changed
On that particular day the teeny, tiny author woke up and thought,  I don't feel at all well, and, My legs don't work.  
(Actually, on that day the author wasn't an author at all, she was a teacher who loved being with children because they made the world light up.)
But on The Day When Life Changed the teeny, tiny author had to stop being with children who made the world light up, because a nasty bug had carried all her energy to a distant land. 
Sooo ...
instead of being with children who made the world light up the teeny, tiny not-yet author began writing words, and the words grew into sentences and the sentences grew into stories. In fact her teeny, tiny head nearly EXPLODED with the ideas pushing and shoving to get her attention.
And then there were the pictures - which grew and grew out of nothing at all!

But, sadly, when they were finished . . . the stories were very, very shy.
They were so shy that they didn't even want to creep out of the front door.
But one day they woke up and the door was wide open and Peter was pointing meaningfully to the big, wide world. The time had come to leave the safety of the normal-sized house.
Which is when the stories and the teeny, tiny author met the giant. 
And it wasn't any old giant, it was a world-famous giant.
Some people were actually scared of it!
BUT, the teeny, tiny author took a deep breath and tapped the giant on his knee and the giant slowly turned and looked down.
She took another deep breath. 
'Mr Giant, I know you like stories ...' she began nervously, 'so may I introduce you to some of mine?'
The giant considered the teeny, tiny author and the shy and frightened stories.
At first he didn't say anything; he just looked.
And then ...

very slowly

he smiled a great, big smile

and said,

'I like the look of these stories . . . I'd like to share them.'
The Golden Sword (The Camelot Inheritance ~ Book 1): A mystery adventure book for teens and older children age 10 -14 by [Morgan, Rosie]
The teeny, tiny author smiled a great big smile back at the giant and the pages fluttered and the letters skipped and the writing danced.

Then the friendly giant asked, 'May I share these stories with my friends?'
The teeny, tiny author could hardly believe her ears but she nodded her head and said, 'Oh, yes please, I'd love that.'
So the friendly giant told all his friends and LOTS of people got to know the stories and the teeny, tiny author began to feel a little bit bigger, and her stories began to feel a little bit braver and the writing danced and the pages quivered with delight.
But best of all the not-so teeny, tiny author was able to share her stories with children who make the world light up.

And the moral of this tale is: Amazon can be quite a friendly giant.
This teeny, tiny author is definitely smiling a great, big smile. And to all the other teeny, tiny authors out there - maybe you're not as small as you think you are.

I still feel quite teeny, tiny but I'm gradually getting bigger. 

Here's the US link:

The Golden Sword (The Camelot Inheritance ~ Book 1): A mystery adventure book for teens and older children age 10 -14 Kindle Edition

And the ranking as of Friday 14th October - always changeable though!
4.5 out of 5 stars    24 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,687 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

             But, as I've said before, all of it is grâce à Dieu - thanks to God.  

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Merlin's Vow Gallery now open

Merlin's Vow - where it happened

My apologies for the pause between publishing Merlin's Vow and uploading the gallery of pictures behind the story. However you can now click on the 'Merlin's Vow Gallery' and see some of the inspirational places I visited when researching for the book.

Right now I'm typing in my favourite spot for writing when I'm at home - in my very own storyteller's chair. Yes, it really is called that! (Here's a picture of the chair minus me.) One of our cats is curled up across the room and I'm looking out towards the Cornish hills through a honeysuckle arch. Wonderful.

For those of you who've read Merlin's Vow, I hope you enjoyed it. One of the greatest pleasures is hearing from people who've read my books, I love getting feedback, whether directly on here in the 'Contact me' box, or as a review or rating on Amazon or Goodreads. (If you have the time, a review is very, very special - especially if you liked it!)  

There won't be many updates on here in the next few weeks because we'll be in France and, although we will be able to pick up a signal, it's a VERY slow one. However, if you want to contact me, I'll get your messages and I'll make sure I reply! 

I'll leave you with a photo taken beside a river in a Cornish valley, and one of an evening in my garden.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Merlin's Vow released.
St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, a major part of Merlin's Vow -
 #3 The Camelot Inheritance.

Book 3 of The Camelot Inheritance hits the shelves.

Magic from the word 'go'.

Hi folks and sorry for the long silence - life has been full-on but, at last, the third in the series is out there!

Before I rabbit on, I must say a huge thank you to those people who've discovered the book in the week since it was published, and have already given it some lovely ratings on Amazon U.S. and Goodreads. What stars you are!

I've loved watching the story unfold as I've written it. Sometimes it's hard to believe that I've been involved - characters and events can take on a life of their own. Dragon has become even more important, Nick's humour more developed - and Tamar more challenged by her own very special gift. It takes guts to be a successful Time Keeper.
You can get a glimpse of the characters and the story with the 'Look inside' feature on Amazon.
Click here for Amazon UK.
Click here for Amazon USA.

Pretty soon I'm going to put a gallery of photos together which were the inspiration for the settings in 'Merlin's Vow'. In the meantime, here's the map of Trezion - where most of the action takes place.
Trezion - loosely based on Marazion

Whereas this is the real Marazion.

And then there's the island - St Michael's Mount. On my map it's easily spotted. (If you look up Merlin's Vow on Amazon, you'll see the illustration heading Chapter 1, featuring the island.)
St Michael's Mount - the model for the Little Mount in Merlin's Vow
As ever the Cornish landscape has provided a beautiful backdrop. If you don't know the UK, Cornwall is a county (much like a small state in the USA or a department in France), on the very end of our country. The island and the village of Marazion are pretty close to the end of the county - and one of my favourite parts of my beloved Cornwall. 

My thanks must go to Sally Vince, my wonderful editor who enabled my story to fly; Katie Stewart of Magic Owl design, my creative cover designer, for her patience and clever interpretation of my ideas; and to Helen Blenkhorn, Dragon's life-giver. Also THANK YOU to each and every one of my friends and family who have encouraged and spurred me on.
And always, and at all times, grâce à Dieu.

Keep watching for the gallery, then you really will see the backdrop to Merlin's Vow!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Writing, illustrating and editing in Cornwall

Cornwall in Spring (and a progress report).

I am the most fortunate of writers. I've been pointed in Sally Vince's direction - an editor with super powers. She's already begun work on the third in The Camelot Inheritance series and I'm in awe. It's all really coming together. 
However the title is still being decided upon (see the end of this post). 
And the illustrations are still being drawn. (Again see the end of the post.)
But I'm seriously hoping to have the book out by June. In the meantime I thought I's post a few photos of Cornwall... and some other bits and pieces. 

Bodmin Moor looking towards Dartmoor.
I've been snowed under with writing, editing and illustrating, so with spring nipping at our ankles I've collected a selection of photos of our beautiful moors and coast - the inspiration behind my books - as a sort of apology for being absent for so long.
These first two were taken a couple of weeks ago on Bodmin Moor; home to many sheep, wild ponies, Galloway cattle, rabbits, frogs...

Whereas the ones that follow are at the coast, at Looe - renamed Pendrym in the books.
Pete and I often pop down here, it's just a sort drive from our front door. It never fails to remind us how very fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world. 

This is just one of Looe's streets, dating back several hundred years. The building you can see on the left of this photo is called the Smugglers Cott - a gorgeous restaurant squeezed into a low-roofed cottage with beams pulled from the wreckage of the Spanish Armada.
The Smugglers Cott in Looe
And then of course there's the beach which features in the first of The Camelot Inheritance books, The Golden Sword. 
In summer it's packed, but in winter and early spring it's quiet with just local families and only a few tourists.

And this is the bridge over the river in Looe. In both my books there are maps, and in each map you'll find that this bridge is featured. Spot the stone-built arches that span the river.

I just couldn't resist this photo. As any of you who've read either of my books will know, a crow is one of the more important central characters, and here was one sitting on one of Looe's signposts.
Look carefully and you'll spot that the railway is signed. This is the same railway that joins Liskeard and Looe, and is featured in the Camelot Inheritance.
The growth of an illustration.
And now - evidence of my illustrating. This picture is for the third book. There's an episode involving a steam train. I won't elaborate because I could spoil it for you!
A train steams through a valley.
And of course, always at my side monitoring my work is Oz, my trusty cat.

Oz checking out my work.
I have a question as I work with my editor and commit drawings to paper - what should I call the book? I've two possible titles: Merlin's Vow or Arthur's Quest. Which do you prefer? If you've got a preference, please do let me know. You can write your choice in my contacts box and don't forget to put your contact details.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy New Year from Cornwall!

Christmas and New Year wishes

To my readers in the US, UK, Spain, Germany or France, my very best wishes for 2016.

Christmas in Cornwall has been fun; filled with family-time and celebrations marking Jesus' birth.
I love all the paraphernalia that goes with Christmas... and the excuse to get together.

But before I go any further, I want to send a massive thank-you to indieBRAG for awarding 'The Time Smugglers' a medallion. It's an immense honour because the book has to pass several stages and then ten different readers have to agree that they liked it enough to recommend to other readers!

However on to Christmas in Cornwall.
A couple of weeks before the big day we went up to the moors (much of the setting for 'The Golden Sword'), and happened upon carol singers... on horseback (and in the mist!). Bizarre but strangely wonderful.

However whilst in the warmth of our sitting room we decorated a HUGE tree. It is beautiful, if a little on the large side! (It scrapes the ceiling.)

 Meanwhile I had fun buying and wrapping pressies and sending numerous cards and we had the MOST fun staying in a cottage over Christmas with four generations of our family. AND ...
... we visited some great places.

Every year volunteers and gardeners on the National Trust's Cothele estate (on the banks of the river Tamar), create a beautiful, dried-flower garland for the Christmas season.
So during Christmas Eve afternoon, Pete and I paid a visit. It was spectacular.
If you visit the Tamar Valley I strongly recommend a visit to Cothele, even if it's not at Christmas.

We also popped along to the market town of Tavistock,

Great shops and a pannier market with everything from clothes to flowers to chocolates. I bought Pete a train in a tin :)

And Boscastle was pretty impressive. It's a harbour a little way along the coast from Tintagel, legendary home of King Arthur - so I would like it wouldn't I?! Click here for their website:
Boscastle's entrance
Boscastle's seas in winter - beautiful.
Cutting to New Year and welcome to an evening with friends and games- May I recommend TFI' Friday's 'Epic Malteaser Challenge'?

It's easy. Take a steel tape measure, stretch it, hold it up and link to a friend's open mouth and send the Malteser down. We tried it down a flight of stairs. T'was fun.

Yeap, okay, we've some growing-up to do!
And before I finish, a promise of what's to come in the next few months.
Book 3 will shortly be on its way to the editor and the illustrations are already underway.
Meet Tyto the Barn Owl.
Tyto the Barn Owl
I've sent airborne communications to the v. talented Katie W Stewart who will be designing the cover; if the last two are anything to go by this one will be a stunner. 
And Helen the Dragon artist will again be conjuring our little green friend to life. Can't wait.

Thank you for popping in. Do send me a message via the contact box, I love to hear from you and I always reply! X

Friday, 16 October 2015

Travels with my laptop.

La Roche Bernard, Brittany, France

My laptop, my notebook and me.

This year has been a year of rattling along roads, sailing seas and flying skies. It's been months of packing and unpacking, flinging cases into cars, trains and planes. Together, my notebooks, my little Hewlett Packard Mini laptop and me (and Pete of course!), have covered many miles and written many, many words.
But now we're home and we're not going anywhere for some months. 
So, with a fair wind behind me, the third in The Camelot Inheritance series should be finished and published by spring 2016. Originally I'd promised by the end of this year... but hey, life happens.
Pete and I always aim to travel as cheaply as possible, so this means no package holidays but as D.I.Y as we can manage.

In the early summer we popped down to west Cornwall to do a spot more research for the third book.
St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall
...An essential weekend at St. Michael's Mount and the village of Marazion, the setting for Book 3 and one of my favourite places in the world. Every time I go there, I cannot get over how fortunate we are to live near here.
West Cornwall
It happens to be here in Cornwall that the Poldark series is filmed and Doc Martin is set. It's a wild and beautiful landscape, infinitely inspirational and climatically changeable... and the perfect place to set 'The Camelot Inheritance' series; after all it does have a spot of magic in it.

The little-known Tamar Valley
And then on the border between Cornwall and Devon is the beautiful Tamar Valley, a gem of a place. So peaceful and far from the holiday crowds.

But this was all close to home. 
We've also been to the north of England, on the edge of the Peak district and to the south, to Bath - a setting used by Jane Austen.

We've been in Brittany, northern France...

La Roche Bernard, on the border of Morbihan and the Loire Atlantique. A gorgeous little town.
La Roche Bernard, Brittany
And then down to Marseilles in the south...

The Old Port Marseilles
The Old Port, Marseilles
 and while there visited the old port. 
We dawdled past shops hidden up narrow alleys, selling soap, suitcases, perfume, olive oil and wine and cheese. I'm not a travel writer, but if you happen to have the opportunity to visit this city, you must take in this wonderful spot.
One of the more original shop fronts.

And then we happened upon a piece of street theatre, several floors up... on the outside of an apartment building. I couldn't watch (!) but a huge crowd, braver than me had gathered, and they watched. I can't imagine Health and Safety allowing that in Britain (there were no wires or nets), but it was magnificent. And so,so French.

Our ultimate destination was Porquerolles, a tiny island facing Provence, for a belated holiday after a busy year.
How to find Porquerolles

We took the train along the coast from Marseilles to Hyeres, and the ferry from Hyeres to the island. 
As it turned out we were fortunate to be able to visit in September because the island is a nature reserve; unspoiled, but much visited.
The seas are crystal clear and the sand soft. Few cars are allowed and few 'proper' roads cross the island - bikes and feet are the way to get around.
It was a perfect place to write but to be honest as long as there's somewhere to plug in my HP, almost anywhere is a perfect writing place.
Our hosts were the immensely kind Claude and Veronique (we loved their studio). It was a week to treasure... and we will. Thank you Claude, thank you Veronique.
One of the beautiful bays in Porquerolles.
The seas really were these colours.

But the very best thing about this year hasn't been the sand and warm seas... May I introduce our brand new granddaughter.

Gorgeous eh? 
Enough said.
Until the next time x