Friday, 27 February 2015

'Get in Character' charity event for children with cancer has begun!

Meet Jefferson Tayte on the pages of my next novel.

Earlier in the year I was contacted by CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading charity for children and young people with cancer, who invited me to take part in a fundraising event called 'Get in Character', which was trialled last year with great success. This year's event promises to be even better and is already close to last year's totals, despite only having been live less than 24 hours.

There are 69 authors taking part in the eBay auction this year, and there are some big names in the mix, including Lee Child, Peter James, Nicci French, Andy McNab and Simon Kernick to name a few. It really is my privilege to have been invited to participate, and to be in a position where I can help raise funds for this very worthy cause.

So, how would you like to have your name in my next Jefferson Tayte novel? That's the prize waiting for the winning bidder. It doesn't have to be your name either. You can name someone close to you, and what a great gift idea - a loved one's name written into the pages of a novel.

You can find out more about CLIC Sargent and the event, and see which other authors are participating HERE.

If you would like to bid for a place in my next Jefferson Tayte book, or know someone else who might like to bid, my eBay auction page is HERE. Thank you!

The auction runs for 10 days and closes on 8 March. If you could share the link to this blog page, or to my eBay auction page that would be great and very much appreciated.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

My nan at 90, plus charity fundraiser update & book news.

Happy birthday Nan!

Last weekend saw my nan's 90th birthday, and I wanted to post a few photos I took of some old photos my mum dug out for the occasion, which show my nan as a young girl back in the 1930s and 1940s. The family got together in my home town to celebrate the occasion and it was lovely to see everyone gathered in one place, which is something quite rare these days. When I was growing up, my nan's house, which was then my great-grandparent's house, was the hub of the family, shared by my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, my great-aunt and great-uncle and my nan pictured here. I wonder now how they all managed as other family members also lived in the same small Victorian terraced house with them at some point, but that was before I was born. Imagine the scene from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Grandpa Joe and you'll have a pretty good idea of what it must have been like. I look back on so many happy times spent 'down nan's' with great fondness, and a degree of sadness that all things must inevitably change. My nan still lives there, although by herself now since her mother, my great-grandmother passed away, which was at the grand old age of 101. Longevity certainly seems to run in the maternal side of my family!

Click Sargent charity fundraiser update.
The date has been set for the 10-day 'Get in Character' eBay auction, where authors are helping to raise funds for this very worthy charity, and winning bidders get to have their name, or the name of a loved one, immortalised in the author's next book. The auction starts at 8pm on Thursday 26 February, and I'll be posting a special blog soon with more information and links when the auction goes live. I hope you'll drop by and make a bid. In the meantime, here's a LINK to the CLIC Sargent website where you can find out more, and see the list of all the authors taking part, which includes Lee Child, Jodi Picoult, Peter James, Jojo Moyes, and Andy McNab, to name just a few.

Book news.
Readership of my series has been growing at a very good rate so far this year, thanks in no small part to the recent promotion of To the Grave and now for The Last Queen of England, which has been in the UK Kindle Top 100 since the promotion began at the start of the month. It's both encouraging and gratifying to see such interest in my work. The Last Queen of England is currently at No.65, and is still on sale for £1 until 28 February. Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy and helped to keep it there.

On the writing side of things, my next book, the 5th Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery is coming along nicely.  I've just passed 30,000 words, so I'm almost a third of the way there now, and the past narrative is only about three weeks or so from completion. I'm going to send a sample to my editor once that section is written, and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that she likes it. Then I can reacquaint myself with Jefferson Tayte as I work on his part of the story, which I'm really looking forward to. As always, I can't wait to tell you what it's all about.