Hi – I’m back!

Hi guys, I really hope you are all keeping well. Having taken some time out for a while and put in for a mental health referral with my GP, I have been distracting myself with my new reptile.

This is a painted agama – it’s a bit like a bearded dragon, but will end up smaller. He’s called ‘seven’ because that was his clutch number. Although he’s recently shed and has lost his number now. He has beautiful orange and black markings and I will grab a new shot of him soon. If I were to rename him, I would be tempted to call him Wally as, like the film character, he gets up every morning and recharges himself – in seven’s case, by hanging from the protective cage around his ceiling UV bulb.

Despite lockdown, I managed to sell 7 books through the Adopt and Artist scheme running in nearby Taunton. Sadly, the shop who supported me is closing down and I am now looking for a new place to display my books in Taunton.

Come September, Elizabeth Jade class will take on a new name. I am saddened to think it didn’t get the use I would have liked with all the lockdowns, but it was still nice to have been chosen. I hope they go on to have a more settled school year.


Lockdown has been a stressful time for everyone, but particularly those who struggle with their mental health. I’ve found it really hard to focus on anything and find I’m spending a lot of time just distracting myself. I find it hard to go out at the best of times, and it’s a sad fact that I’ve only left the house twice since March. It’s been a disruptive start to the school year too. Not to mention the fact that the excitement of having a junior class named after me has been severely dampened by the fact no-one is actually using it right now.

On a more positive note, first edits for my next Akea story have reached chapter five, so making reasonable progress there. And three vaccines give us hope for better things later in the year. So, in the meantime, stay positive, keep busy, and stay safe.

Blog Tour

This weekend marks the start of my blog tour with Akea – His Mother’s Son. There are some curious Q & A questions, snippets from the book, and some interesting reviews. So why not pop along and check it out on my Twitter. Some of the reviews are Instagram based, like this one. It’s my first multi platform tour.

New Interview

It can be a challenge to find something fresh for a new interview, but I think there were some interesting questions from the editor of In Bath online magazine. Questions like…

How important did books and writing become to you, and how much did they help you cope with your anxiety?

At 18, you found out you suffer with Aspergers Syndrome (an autistic spectrum disorder). How did you feel when you found out the news?

How, if at all, does this affect you from day-to-day?

You can read the interview and a whole host of other interesting things over at In Bath Magazine.

Radio Interview

Earlier in the month, I was interviewed by BBC Somerset Radio. Two questions that really stuck in my mind were, ‘How did I feel about my Asperger diagnosis’, and ‘How did I feel about having a junior class named after me.’

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, being asked how I feel about something is probably one of the hardest questions in the world. Somehow, I actually succeeded in answering both questions, and you can listen to those answers here: https://youtu.be/j260U37cYjc

InBath Magazine

InBath magazine is a new online entertainment and leisure magazine. Focusing on what’s on listings, interviews, food and drink, competitions and much more.

I’ve just completed a full spread interview with them which will be featured in the November edition. I’ve seen the sneak peek and it’s brill. There were some tricky questions for someone with Aspergers, like ‘How do you feel about…?’ But hopefully, it gives an in depth look into life on my side of the spectrum.

Watch this space…

Elizabeth Jade Class

When I wrote to Oldfield Park Junior School to thank them for naming a class after me, I never expected to see my three bullet points up on the class board alongside so many huskies. Each child had written what makes them unique. I received a large number of thank you letters and hand drawn husky pictures too. It was all rather exciting.

It was an incredible few weeks, as I also had a newspaper article on the topic, and recorded my first radio interview about my autism and having a class named after me. Since then, I’ve written back to the school, and I also look forward to hearing my interview when it is broadcast.

Bringing myself back to earth was hard, but book 3 beckons, and I must crack on… wish me luck!

Children In Read

Do I mean Children in Need? Well, yes and no!

BBC Children in Need is a charity that provides grants and funding to projects based in the UK that have the aim of helping disadvantaged young people. The 2020 appeal show takes place on 13th November.

Children in Read is an auction of signed books and items donated by celebrated Authors and Illustrators from around the world, the proceeds from which go to Children in Need. There are over 500 lots in every genre you could think of – from Phillip Pullman to Nigella Lawson, and from Carole Matthews to Robbie Fowler and Mary Beard. Oh, and my husky/wolf stories are in there too.

The Children in Read auction is live now, and will run until Children in Need night on 13th November. So pop along and have a look. As well as helping raise funds, you could find your next #mustread too.

Reviews & Visibility

Like most authors, I am always in need of reviews for my books. This recent review for Akea – The Power of Destiny on Goodreads, really made my day.

Aug 09, 2020Children’s Bookshelf rated it Five Stars

Wonderfully written chapter book! A coming of age story written from the dog’s point of view. Been reading it with my third graders and they’re getting into it. Really interesting about the pack rules and dynamics of a sled dog’s life. Ultimately about friendship and finding your way in the world. This is a great read and also part one of a series. Definitely worth checking out! It was exceptional. I enjoyed the dialogue the wolves had with each other. The action sequences were well planned and executed. The violence was not very explicit to preserve the sensibilities of younger readers.

Sadly, my second book, Akea – His Mother’s Son, isn’t getting as many reviews as I would like, although I suspect this is largely due to people’s attention being elsewhere since March. However, if you have read either of my books, pretty ‘please’… can you spare a moment to review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Visibility is another issue for writers. For this, I can highly recommend Smorgasborg Blog Magazine. They have a Cafe and Bookstore feature and another specifically for children’s books.

Sally puts a great deal of effort into showcasing the different books, and her followers are very interactive in the comments section. Of course, it’s also a great place to find your next #mustread, so why not pop along and have a browse. Be sure to take along your coffee or tea, after all, it does say Cafe and bookstore.