A shameless plug of my children’s book.

Keeper of the Enchanted Pool by Lucy Fox

Keeper of the Enchanted Pool has been compared to The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia and Enid Blyton’s books. Which, although very flattering, I don’t have the audacity to think that I could stand up and be counted next to such great authors.  It is a book that I loved writing, though and there will be more from Lottie, Bertie and the Pipples.

Although it is classified for children in the 8 – 12 age group, it has been enjoyed by ‘children’ up to the grand old age of 80! I have a page on this blog about how ‘Lottie’ – my pet name – was ‘born’. Lottie!  A journey from Maine, New England, USA, to Old England, UK!

It can be bought from outlets worldwide including  http://tinyurl.com/Keeper-of-the-Enchanted-Pool

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Douglas Jackson’s Caligula… Did he time travel to write this remarkable novel?

Before I begin my review of Caligula, I must start with a quote from Stephen King’s On Writing aka my ‘bible’.

‘Fresh writing on the other hand, teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narration, plot development, the creation of believable characters and truth telling. A novel like The Grapes of Wrath may fill a new writer with despair and jealousy – ‘I’ll never be able to write anything like that, not if I live to be a thousand.’ But such feelings can also serve as a spur, goading the writer to work harder and aim higher. Being swept away – or being flattened, in fact – is part of a very necessary formation. You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.’

Well, my friends, it has been done to me by Douglas Jackson’s Caligula.  Truly a modern day great. This is not me just spouting ‘hot air’ or false praise, as his new publishing success of his new ‘baby’ Claudius, (my next read) which I believe is part of a three book deal offer, will attest. I wish him all the very best with this new venture/life, having very bravely given up his positon at the Scotsman. Keep a close eye on this author’s work if you are a true lover of really great fiction.


As shocking as it is spectacular, Douglas Jackson’s Caligula is so vivid, it is as if has witnessed everything. He writes with such mastery, that, like Rufus, you want to turn away from the horrific spectacles but are compelled to read on. I defy anyone not to be transfixed by this story that takes one through and beyond the full gamut of every human emotion. Such empathy and passion, with powerful sensuous erotic moments, intertwined with so much pathos.

Whether you know of the Rome of old or have not even the slightest interest in history, has no relevance. This book will appeal to anyone who wants a damn good read. It is, in short, a masterpiece.

Keeper of the Enchanted Pool – A journey from Maine, New England, USA to Devon, Old England, UK!

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My children’s fantasy novel came as quite a surprise to me, having been more interested in writing and reading crime and thrillers. It was born in Maine, home of my hero Stephen King, in Dysarts Truck Stop.

My ex-husband and I went to live in Prince Edward Island, Canada, for a while, where he worked for a trucking company. I went out on the road with him as he could be gone for as long as eight days and he needed the company, (looking after). It was a really great experience. We travelled from the Island to many places in America and Canada. As far south as North Carolina, and west to Ontario and north to Quebec, Brrrr!

The most thrilling sight for me, was seeing the Amish in Pennsylvania. They stood by the side of the road complete with long hair and beards, black clothes and straw hats, men that is, no women about. We even saw them in their horse drawn buggies.

So, back to my children’s book and the truck stop. I… had a dream… I did honest, and when I woke up I wrote as much as I could remember. I then began to start writing a few ideas in my notebook and transferring them to my laptop when we stopped. Before I knew it, I had a 16,000 word story that was growing fast and almost completely out of my control. The characters had taken over! This was a first for me, I had read that it can happen in Stephen Kings, On Writing, (a very amusing and informative must read for aspiring writers), but thus far it hadn’t happened to me. Things happened I didn’t plan. It was a very weird but satisfying feeling.

I finished writing the last few pages in England, a complete 45,000 word children’s story. I did leave it alone to ‘prove’ for a while whilst I carried on with other work. When I did read through it again, it was so weird. ‘Did I write this?’ I couldn’t remember writing much of it. Such a strange experience. I then did what I considered to be a thorough redraft. Then sent it out to various agents and a couple of publishers, with a firm ‘No’, response from all.

The one good thing that came out of it was a referral to YouWriteOn.Com from Chicken House. I didn’t look at their website straight away, more’s the pity, as I was wallowing in self pity about my poor rejected baby. It was a couple of months later that I was going through my little pile of rejects that I read the letter from Chicken House again, and thought I’d take a look at YWO. That was a big turning point in my writing career. Lottie – my pet name for Keeper of the Enchanted Pool– was praised, ripped to shreds, criticised, lambasted in every way and loved. It was a metamorphic journey that has turned my very rough draft into what I, and many other think, is a lovely book for children.

But for the help of all the reviewers on YouWriteOn.com, my book would probably still be ‘unpublishable rubbish’, as one unsolicited reviewer told me at the start.

Yes, it was hard work getting the textblock and cover ready to send to the printer. I learned many new things, postscript files, pre-flight checks, distilling etc. Using my printer, Lightning Source’s template for my book cover. It’s a wonder I had any hair left! But, although I didn’t get much sleep and my nerves went through the grinder, I can actually say that I loved every minute of it.

My daughter, Emma Hogan, BA, did a sterling job on a picture for the cover for me. It was as much stress for her, too, as she knows how important the cover is.

Keeper of the Enchanted Pool is published by Arts Council sponsored YouWriteOn.com and Legend Press.

 

 

Rugby player’s debut novel, exciting as Johnny Wilkinson’s World Cup win!

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Excitement and intrigue from beginning to end. Steevan Glover takes the reader through a page turning, ‘edge of the seat’ gripping novel.

Once I started to read The Frog and the Scorpion, I had to force myself to stop reading to get to sleep. I completed it in three nights and the story and brilliant end, left such an impression that I will always remember it. Every page is compelling. Steevan has created a believable tale of dramatic gangland characters and innocent people caught up in their world. Or are they really that naive? Read it yourself and find out. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.