Love short stories…?

Do you love to read but sometimes lack the time to sit down and really get your teeth into a novel? Ever thought of trying short stories instead? They’re perfect for that morning commute or coffee break and are ideal if you want a short read on holiday.

The Cafe Three-Zero authors have just released their 3rd eBook of short stories and no matter what your choice of genre you will find something to your taste.

Layout 1

You can also find more information about Cafe Three-Zero at the blog link below…

Categories: Book Releases, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Canned Food and Veggie Zombies–Apocalypse Week!

Well it’s here–apocalypse week! So here are a few thoughts and ideas to get you through eternal damnation.

Things to remember for the apocalypse:-

Forget queuing for petrol, water is the new gold. Store plenty of bottled water.

Get canned food if you have no camping stove(and remember the can opener–nothing  worse than leaving home without one) oh, and if you’re civilized, don’t forget a spoon/fork/knife.

Apocalypse food:-

Providing you’ve managed to get some canned food, here are some yummy delights that will brighten up your post-apocalyptic days…remember, these don’t need heating up to be great.

You will need a can opener…

Baked beans…always a favourite…even cold 🙂


Canned fruit (contains sugary water which might come in handy)

Canned potatoes or veg( so you can a balanced meal)

Canned tuna with pretty much anything tomato flavoured including:-


Chopped tomatoes

Canned spaghetti (an italian favourite with fish) Yum!

Jamie Oliver…eat your heart out

Actually, scrap all that…lets just eat Jamie Oliver instead!( Only joking…I love Jamie’s 15 min meals)

You will also need a lighter/matches, a wind up torch and a camping knife for just about everything.

MP3 play list:- Radiohead and various.

Watch out for zombies too, they kind of resemble Chavs or One Direction fans so it’s hard to tell them apart…but, this is important…remember it’s the brain that has to be destroyed to kill them!!!

(just a thought…do veggetarian people become veggie zombies?…hummmm? Protect those canned peas and carrots!)

Have a happy apocalypse and even happier Christmas! 🙂

If the world was ending, what would you be doing in those last few hours? What would be on your apocalypse playlist if you had one? Remember, keep it clean. 🙂

See you on the other side (the new year of course). 🙂

Categories: Reclusive Ramblings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

NaNoWriMo and the Hammer House Of Madness!

This month I took the plunge and registered for NaNoWriMo. Having written little more than 1000 words a day in the past, 1600-2000 a day is going to be an achievement in itself, let alone keeping it going for 30 days. As it’s my first go, I’m trying to not get too bogged down with the idea of failing.  Any substantial amount of writing during this time will be a bonus, and if I end up with 25-30k– I’ll be happy enough.

I’ve developed a plan where by I write around 500-1000 words by longhand and then transfer to word processor. That way, it’s easier on the eyes and the shoulders. Also, I can usually get a feel for the piece before it goes digital, and I can type it quickly– therefore avoiding staring at the screen, procrastinating. Of course this plan is not tried and tested; my hand might seize up, my pen will run out of ink and my husband will definitely steal my writing pad and use it for something other than fiction!

Oh, the trials of being a writer, eh!!!

I’ve done the usual preparation for NaNo including reading on-line tips and planning the novel. The internet is packed with writers offering their views and past experiences.

It seems everyone, including the seasoned writer, is in the same boat.

Indeed, much of the writing social network will be turned on its head for the duration of November to achieve the word count. Some will blog. Some like me will shut themselves away and do little in the way of networking (apart from this one-off post).

At the end of the month I will realise that I have no friends or social life beyond the characters in my story. I’ll be talking to myself and freaking the dog out. As for the cleaning, well, my home will resemble a Hammer House Of Horror complete with dust, cobwebs and strange creatures lurking in the corners (my poor unloved and unfed family).

There is a positive side to this of course: I won’t need to decorate the house with tinsel for Christmas. I’ll just stick a few fairy lights up behind the cobwebs and have an instant frosted forest. Job done!

Are you mad enough to attempt NaNoWriMo this year? If so – whether it be a tried and tested approach, or just a long drink at the end of the day – do you have a NaNo survival plan in place?

My NaNoWriMo page :-

Categories: About Writing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

So why flawed characters?

There seems to be a bit of a pattern forming in my writing where all my characters are thieves or some kind of assassin.

Hmmmm…so what does that say about me?

I’m developing a strange fascination with people or characters who, for what ever reason, have issues. Gone are the cardboard cut outs of good and bad. I’m much more interested in what’s really going on inside. Why do people hurt others and what makes someone break the law?

Flawed characters are so much more interesting, don’t you think! Emotionally they’re pulled in different directions; what is the right decision for one, is totally unacceptable for another. That’s what makes people, and ultimately characters in a book or film so compelling.

For that reason, I’ve taken to studying psychology. It should be an interesting journey. Not only will I be able to read into people’s behaviour and use elements for my writing, but I will probably learn something about myself along the way.

Scary thought, eh!!!

So what inspires us writers when creating characters?  For me it’s a combination of past experience, observation and psychology. For others, it can be something completely different.   What about you? Are you a writer or a reader who is drawn in by characters? Do they matter more than the plot when it comes to sticking with a story or particular book? Feel free to have your say!

Categories: About Writing, characters, Reclusive Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Who needs The Olympics or The Hunger Games (when you have London St Pancras)

‘Who needs the Olympics or The Hunger Games when you have London St Pancras!’ I said, witnessing a display of immeasurable speed and agility by passengers attempting to board the 11.00 train.

My husband and I watched in awe as Young Asian Family were pipped to the post by The Dylans who secured a gold medal, followed by Single White Female, who won a respectable Bronze. Each of them with seconds to spare, dashed through the barriers, just making the train in time. Any later and Single White Female would have lost her bag, or worse, her foot in the door. It could have been carnage. You’d have thought that the mass of curly hair the father and son duo The Dylans had would have created some resistance to the air as they flew by everyone else, but no. Just goes to show what the non-athletic Brits can do. It’s little wonder our athletes are doing so well this summer.

The athletics marked the end to what had been an eventful morning; with killer crowds, Peppermint Tea Lady and an abandoned suitcase… Sigh! Need I say more…?

Everywhere, people were frantic; fighting through the crowds, queuing, screaming, stopping in mid walk so everyone behind tripped over their suitcases. We were desperately trying to avoid a human pile up and failing.

‘I do like people watching, even if it’s a bit mad.’ said my husband.

‘Me too, but I keep getting my rucksack knocked. They’re gunning for me today!’

After the initial fight to get into the train station, we decided to eat breakfast at Pret. As we shuffled forwards in the queue to get much-needed choccy croissants, it became obvious that the suitcase next to us was unloved and alone. I looked around and then asked the man in front of me if it belonged to him. He responded with a slow, slightly uninterested shake of his head,’No, not mine luv.’

Soon word spread and everyone began looking around in a meerkat watching for predators kind of way. As time passed, more of us caught on to the fact that this huge – and I mean huge suitcase was now standing in the middle of the floor on its own.  How could anyone misplace that! It’s  the size of the Titanic! Okay, okay, maybe we should tell the manager– clearly no one’s coming for it! After a few minutes the manager was alerted and the suitcase whisked away somewhere. Don’t they normally have to evacuate and conduct a controlled explosion? Obviously not!

Thankfully I was spared the agony of the “run or choccy croissant, run or choccy croissant” scenario, which I don’t think my nerves or my stomach could have taken.

Then came Peppermint Tea Lady.

Right after the suitcase incident, Pret staff shouted down the queue of suddenly zombified customers, ‘Who wants coffees, teas…?’. Before my poor husband could even inhale enough breath to speak,  a shrill voice from behind him shattered the air, ‘Peppermint tea! Peppermint tea!’ Okay– steady on love– it’s not the apocalypse. You have plenty of time!

My husband by this point was more than slightly annoyed. ‘I feel invisible,’ he said. Which is no mean feat. With his mass of curly hair, much like The Dylans and a tall, broad frame, he’s hard to ignore.

As we moved to the front of the queue we watched Peppermint Tea Lady find a table, sit down and stir her drink. ‘Yeah, she looks like a Peppermint Tea Lady.’ I said, folding my arms.

Now, to be honest, they don’t really have a look, but she was just one of those holier than though people. You know the sort; clenched buttocks, both feet firmly planted on the ground and nose in the air with no emotion apart from a deep hatred of anyone a little overweight, with a choccy croissant clasped firmly in their hands.

Anyway, we found a seat, ate, drank our coffee, then boarded our train, both confirming to each other that we were Country Bumkins now, and returning to live in London might not be the best course of action.

Now, I do love London, in small doses. You get a real sense of life, albeit, a little frantic. You can also find some great inspiration for characters and stories when observing people and trying to get inside their heads. We do it all the time. Perhaps we’re a bit weird…who knows, but it’s a useful and entertaining exercise.

At home we recovered and then discussed another possible trip to the Big Smoke. Well…what can I say, you can’t keep a story junkie down for long.


Don’t forget, you can follow my story junkie tales and ramblings by email/Wordpress and Networked Blogs. You’ll find the links on the right-hand side of my main page. I’ve also recently published some short stories with Cafe Three-Zero, the links to which follow this post.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment about your own experiences of character or story development.

Cafe Three Zero books:-

Tales From The Cafe: Vol 1

RED, Tales From The Cafe: Vol 2

Categories: About Writing, characters, Reclusive Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

John Locke Book Review–How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months

4 out of 5 stars– A no-nonsense guide to not only selling your self-published book but selling yourself too. So, follow a few simple steps and you too could be a million book selling author. Of course, John Locke does confess that his strategy doesn’t work for everyone… but might work for you. If anything, it can help increase your author visibility on-line, which, in a world of wanna-be writers, can’t be a bad thing. Well worth a read I say, particularly if you’re a writer into marketing, Twitter and blogging.

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

RED–Our Short Story Ebook Is Out Now!

RED is now available to buy from Amazon! Tales From The Cafe: Volume 2 contains 22 different tales, including my own story Find The Lady. Each one will take you on a journey of discovery, from mythical lands to our own more familiar shores. Cafe Three-Zero authors have offered a unique take on the theme of RED, and no matter what your favourite genre choice, be it suspense, fantasy, romance or the supernatural, you’re sure to find something to your taste.

Categories: Book Releases | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RED Book Launch–Available To Buy Now

RED Book Launch–Available To Buy Now.

at Smashwords…

Follow the link for all the information you need about Cafe Three-Zero’s new eBook, to which I have contributed a short story. If you want to take advantage of the half-price April offer, check out their competition blog post too.

Journey from mythical lands to our own more familiar shores…for tales of fantasy, suspense, mystery and the supernatural!

Categories: Book Releases | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Great Books for Writers

I thought I’d share a couple of books with you that I think really help writers to focus their minds, not only creatively but in the business sense too. There are so many distractions on the social networks at present, that it makes procrastination a full-time job.  Ferris takes away the need for inspiration with a few hints and suggestions and gets you working, even with the dreaded writers block. Gaughran on the other hand, looks at the digital world as a whole; breaking it down into manageable chunks of information, then guiding you through subjects such as social networking and the mechanics of ePublishing.  Both books get five stars from me and are well worth the time and cash spent on them.

How To Get Inspired To Write – Stewart Ferris

Lets Get Digital:How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should

If you’ve read these books or have read anything similar, pop a comment here. I’d love to see what you think!

You can even follow by email.

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


Hello and welcome to Narrative Space, my new blog hub for fantasy, Sci-Fi/dystopian and supernatural fiction. Here you will find book reviews, posts about themes or characters along with my ramblings or observations about speculative fiction and related subjects. There will be a dash of horror and magical realism too, and you might even find my love of history and folklore creeping in from time to time. After all, history has a huge influence on my writing.

Please take some time to navigate the site. You will find sections on character and genre and all my links to stories that I’ve had published. There’s also the opportunity to follow by email so you don’t miss any new posts or book reviews.

Thanks for stopping by!

Categories: Welcome | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: