Jan 31


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Hi! … can’t believe I’m on here. I’m excited, apprehensive and honoured to share in this venture.

I love reading. I don’t think you can be a writer without being a bookworm. I panic if I’m coming to the end of a good book and feel bereft until I’m lost in another story. Although I loved English at school, my degree is in Italian. I lived in Rome as a child, worked in Sicily, met my half-Italian husband there and now, in our retirement, we spend six months of each year in Tuscany, where we run a small holiday business. Although I’ve always written, only now that our three children are independent have I been able to settle seriously to the craft. I self-published two novels set in Tuscany and they’ve been taken on by Endeavour Press. Last year I had seven stories accepted by women’s magazines and I enjoy the discipline of this genre too, so hopefully I will sell more in 2018.

However, this year I am becoming a hybrid author and returning down the indie route to self-publish “something completely different”.

In 2006 my best friend discovered she was suffering from ovarian cancer. We did lots together, including hunting for bargains in charity shops and at auctions, nicknaming each other Mavis and Dot. She was extremely brave, but she had her darker moments too and I tried to cheer her up by writing silly stories about Mavis and Dot. They made her laugh and she drew cartoon sketches of the characters, which I still have hanging on the back of our loo door. Sadly, she didn’t recover from this silent killer and I filed away my anecdotes. A couple of years ago I pulled one out to read at a writing group and raised a laugh. So, I decided to develop the stories and put together a novella. There will be illustrations and I’m busy searching for the right artist as I type.

I feel rather wobbly about Mavis and Dot, but I dearly want them to succeed as I intend to donate any profits to Cancer Research. Humour is notoriously hard to pull off and my usual style is literary, so I have to banish the goblin from my shoulder telling me I am writing drivel that nobody will find amusing. My launch date is mid-November, but I know time whizzes by faster than a bargain snatched off a charity shop shelf. So, I need to get down to business. And that is the main cause of my wobbles. Going indie again means getting my act together with social media and marketing. When I see telecom engineers at the side of the road working on control panels, plugging wires into holes, it makes me think of me procrastinating over algorithms, metadata, BISAC codes, author platforms and networking. Which hole should I connect with, – when and how? However, I have also made virtual friends on-line with a whole bunch of supportive authors and bloggers in the past months and, although there’s a mountain to climb, I want to scale this peak.

Time is the thing, isn’t it? And discipline. We are blessed with three children and four very young grandchildren (with another on the way), and when we are in England during our six winter months they keep us busy.   I will stop bleating about that because I know there are many authors who burn the midnight oil and squeeze their writing into fewer hours than I have. Wish me luck, nevertheless. “Live where you fear to live”, said the 13th century poet, Rumi.



  • Best of luck with your new venture and what a wonderful way to honour your friend.

  • Angela Barton

    So sorry to read that you lost your brave, dear friend, Angela, but what a wonderful idea to keep her memory alive by introducing Dot and Mavis to us all. I wish you all the luck in the world with it. xx