Monday 25 March 2024

The Scottish Association of Writers Conference was fiery fun!

Monday Matters!

My news for the weekend just gone is that it was certainly very eventful. I attended the SAW (Scottish Association of Writers) conference in the Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld, some 15 miles from Glasgow, Scotland.

From my arrival mid-afternoon on Friday 22nd March, the whole weekend was a delight. The SAW committee, led by chair Grahame Anderson, did a sterling job of organising everything. The welcome volunteers made registration very simple, so meeting up with authors not recently seen was easy to go straight into. 

I met lots of new writers this past weekend, people beavering away across all sorts of different genres and styles of writing. The Award Ceremonies are an integral part of the weekend, and it's wonderful to hear of so many different achievements. One of the best aspects of being placed in one of the SAW competitions is the excellent feedback given by the adjudicators - all very helpful advice. 

I was delighted to receive a Highly Commended Certificate for Before Beltane, Prequel to the Celtic Fervour Series, in the Competition for Best Self-Published Book. This particular competition is highly competitive since the book can be of any genre, and encompasses both the fiction and non-fiction categories. My thanks to Myra Duffy for my feedback. 

The fiery fun reference was that I had just put out the bedside lamp and nodded off to sleep at midnight, - very easily since I was exhausted -  when I realised what I was hearing was not my phone alarm. Yes, there was a real fire at the hotel in a room that was not far from my own, though separated from my corridor by the emergency exit stairs. Since I was the last room in the third-floor corridor, and next to the emergency exit stairs, it was a quick exit for me.

Everyone decanted outside quickly, with no panic at all. There was definitely a smell of burning electrics, that Bakelite sort of smell, increasing a bit as I descended the stairs but not acrid enough to be truly alarming. The first fire tender arrived within minutes of me being outside, followed soon after by three more appliances. 

One ground-floor window had an interesting reddish glow showing behind curtains a few minutes after we mustered outside, but there were no visible flames, and only a very small amount of black smoke escaping from one air vent.

It was a bit dark and increasingly cool outside, perhaps a temperature of 2-3 Degrees Centigrade? as we milled around. Deciding on who was the best dressed or undressed was a challenge, but the sartorial elegance was definitely not up to Paris Fashion Week standards! 

After a wait of around an hour outside, near the hotel entrance, the fire master/fire crew decided it was safe enough to allow us to enter the foyer and bar areas till they further secured all rooms. The hotel staff responded excellently well in updating information as soon as the manager received it from the fire-master. Bottled water, and then hot tea or coffee, kept everybody going till we could access our rooms at around 2.30 am. 

Now it's time to get on with the last tweaks to the formatting of the paperback version of Novice Threads, my newest novel that's in the publishing pipeline. The Novice Threads eBook/kindle version is done and dusted and currently available to Pre-Order from Amazon. I now need to get the final page count sorted for the paperback version, to send it to my cover designer who needs the details to calculate the spine width accurately, and to design the back of the paperback cover. 

Till next time,


Thursday 21 March 2024

Novice Threads is available to Pre-Order in Kindle!

Thursday Greetings!

It's been a good long while since I've had any 'Brand New' book news to share, but I'm over the moon to announce that today is the day! Novice Threads, Book 1 of The Silver Sampler Series, which begins in 1840s Victorian Scotland, is now available for Pre-Ordering in Kindle.

Writing this saga-type historical fiction series has been a lovely experience and has been quite different from my other historical writing set in Roman Britain. I'm also glad to say that Book 2 of the new series is already in progress. 

I absolutely adore the cover that I've had made from designer Laurence Patterson- and I hope you love it, too. 

More information on the official Launch Date, and on the publication of the paperback version will follow in due course.

Till then here are the LINKS to use to PRE-ORDER: 

Amazon (dot) com:

Amazon UK

[I'll post a universal one as soon as I can.] 

I'm off for the bubbly now!