Unheard Voices

A reader who has read Jiddy Vardy and who is reading Jiddy Vardy 2 – High Tide as a Beta-Reader, mentioned the use of dialect in my novels.

She said she’d never read a book like this where the voice comes so strong from their location – Yorkshire.

It set me thinking about voices. Publishers, everyone, in fact, is saying they want novels from little or unheard voices. But there are so few from the North of England. Why is this? Or are they and I haven’t heard of them? We’re saying young people need to see themselves in books and hear themselves….so are ALL young people really being represented?

I’ve heard northern voices in adult books. Andrew Michael Hurley’s and Ben Myers’ resonate with the North.

And I’m not talking dialect like Joseph’s in Wuthering Heights. Jiddy is a smattering of ‘were’ and dropped ‘the’s.’

I know people who speak like this but I don’t hear their voices in YA fiction.

We’re supposed to all be represented in books. So, let’s hear working class northern voices. Authentic voices from people of the north. Authentic working class voices from everywhere in the country perhaps?

Jiddy Vardy is historical fiction, set in Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire. Sixteen year olds can sound the same when they come from the same place whatever the century.

Why write historical fiction? Because sometimes, it is more palatable to see today’s troubles at a distance. And some things never change. By viewing them in another age, we may see our problems more clearly and see the choices that we could make. Jiddy Vardy explores why people commit a crime. Why they took up smuggling. Still relevant today with rising prices and taxation.

So, two points here! Historical fiction can speak volumes for today’s audience and Northern voices need to be heard!ROBIN HOOD'S BAY



International Talk like a Pirate Day – 19th September

International Talk like a Pirate Day

Ahoy Maties! It’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day!!! A paradic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) of Albany, Oregan, USA. So, in the spirit of Pirates, Jiddy Vardy and I say, ‘Shiver me timbers, crack open the barrel of rum me hearties and swashbuckle through the day!’

The point of book reviews & the unexpected bonus of them…


BOOKS READ IN 2019 - Letting Go by Cat Clarke

The super kind Madge Eekal Reviews sent me this 73 page, dyslexia friendly YA book after I commented on her 5***** review of Letting Go by Cat Clarke. I’ve never met Madge Eekal and am bowled over by her generosity.

I read the slim book this morning.

Immediately, you fall in love with the main charcter, Agnes. You want her as a friend because you hear the honesty in her voice, the words fire off the page. You’re in her head and heart. She’s in love with Ellie, has been dumped by Ellie, is suffering from depression but keeps her promise to scatter Ellie’s mum’s ashes on a mountain. With Ellie…….and Ellie’s new boyfriend. What could possibly go wrong? Or right? It’s funny, gripping and just downright great. The F-word comes out a few times, from all the characters, and I couldn’t have put it better myself! A very short read but perfectly formed. Love the honesty of the writing, can’t stress that enough. This shows the importance of book reviews as I wouldn’t have read this book if it wasn’t for following Madge Eekal and reading yet another of her insightful reviews. Thank you. She even sent me a little card. Follow her! And have to say I want Madge as my friend too!


Talking Books at Music Festivals

This year, at The World Music Workshop Festival near Bungay, Suffolk, there was a new tent…the KIWI Lotus Tent that hosted talks, demonstrations and conversations.

I felt honoured to be part of this festival, not only by all the dancing I usually do, but by talking about Jiddy Vardy, sharing my experience of a writer, in where I find inspiration, the writing process, publishing process and then a full on discussion about books, films and life.

This is what literature is about. A spring board, a walk in another’s shoes, an opening up of life and a sharing of ideas.

Thank you WMWF, formerly known as Drum Camp! I have always loved this festival that has become to feel like home. Now I love you even more, if that’s possible!

Dancing and talking books combined. Fantastic. I will be back next year!







Looking at things from a different angle

Realised this morning that preparation for author talks and events is actually research and work towards Jiddy Vardy 2 and not a distraction!

Preparation is helping me to focus on themes, what I need to explore further in the second book about Jiddy, smuggling and finding her roots. It’s helping me to know what I need to develop, to revisit and a reminder of the characters.

Funny how thinking about something from a different perspective brings renewed excitement…and peace of mind!

Looking forward to discussing whether it was possible for Jiddy to be a feminist in 18th century Robin Hood’s Bay.

Tomorrow, 4th May, 2pm at the Book Corner, Saltburn by the Sea, North Yorkshire.

Blackpool 1 - Copy

My Inspirations for the Bookshelf – L M Montgomery

The wonderful K M Lockwood asked me what my Inspirations from my bookshelf were for YA books, for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) weekly newsletter.

The Anne books by L M Montgomery!! Red hair, freckles,  love of make believe and so much more… Click the link to find out why…