Mystical magic!

This afternoon we ventured to the mystical, magical place that is Avebury, to admire the splendid stones and for the children to enjoy a ‘creepy cat trail’ that was on Β as a half-term activity. Every time I’ve visited this amazing site, I’ve been transfixed by these silent stones and their almost magical presence. I couldn’t help but think about ‘Posie Pixie’, ‘Wibble Woodlouse’ and ‘Raspberry Rabbit’ from my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series and how much they would love to explore the amazing Avebury stones and the undergrowth around them.

” Yes, yes, yes, that’s all very well,” I hear you say. “What has magic got to do with your ‘Whimsy Wood’ series? Aren’t all your characters woodland creatures?” Aaaah, well most of the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk are indeed woodland creatures, as you rightly say. However, there is a rather special magical resident within ‘Whimsy Wood’. She is none other than ‘Fearne Fairy’ of course! Now Fearne makes her first appearance in book 8, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’, where we also get to meet ‘Bertie and Beatrice Bramble’, the twin bunnies who live by the bluebell patch in ‘Whimsy Wood’. If you happen to be looking for a short story to read to your children over half-term, then please click on the link below and scroll to page 12. There you will find ‘Fearne Fairy And The Snarrot’, which was published in this month’s ‘Senior Siren’ magazine. Can you indeed deduce what a ‘Snarrot’ is before you get to page 12?! I hope you enjoy my fun and quirky short story πŸ™‚

It’s likely to be late summer 2015 before book 8, ‘Fearne Fairy And The Dandelion Clocks’ is published, as book 5, ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, is due to be launched this coming Saturday at WHSmith, 43-44 Fore Street, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8EJ, from 2pm. Something rather magical and related to book 5 arrived in the post yesterday. It was this fabulously festive banner for ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’!


Banner for 'Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree', book 5 in my 'Whimsy Wood' series
Banner for ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, book 5 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series

So, if you’re free on Saturday October the 25th and would like a signed copy of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s books, then do come along. I’ll look forward to meeting you! πŸ˜‰



Half-term happiness!

Half-term is just around the corner and I for one can’t wait! There’ll be a lull from the constant breakneck school-run dash, the setting of alarm clocks, the cleaning of school shoes and the endless checking of book bags to ensure homework, or important notes from school haven’t been missed!! Phew!

Instead, the world of ‘Whimsy Wood’ and I will be getting ourselves ready for the launch of book 5, ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, at the Trowbridge branch of WHSmith, on Saturday October the 25th, from 2pm onwards! If you’re away enjoying the half-term break, don’t worry, you can always pop over to the publisher’s website and order yourself a copy…..I do believe it’s the perfect size for a Christmas stocking!–book-5-in-the-whimsy-wood-series_p28434996.htm

Not only that, but my children and I will be getting out and about, taking woodland walks and seeing if we can spot some of the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk. We’ll be peering under logs, in case any of ‘Wibble Woodlouse’s’ relatives are there and making rock piles in quiet spots, to provide shelter for ‘Humbug Hedgehog’ and his prickly friends. I’m sure we’ll also find time to hunt out somewhere comfy to read a few stories, or indeed make some up of our own, rather like in this image below……

Children reading in a tree

On that rather magical note, I’ll wish you a whimsical week and promise to pop back next Wednesday for another installment from the world of ‘Whimsy Wood’ πŸ˜‰

Formatting Fun!!

My goodness me! How fiddly is it to format a children’s book with pictures in and everything?! I’ll tell you, since between myself and Abela Publishing, that’s what we’ve been doing for the past week! It’s very, very, very (with a heap more ‘verys’ thrown in for good measure!) fiddly! Having said that, it’s always worth it and hopefully by the end of this weekend, ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, (book 5 in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series) will be winging its wonderful self off to the printers! Incase you’d like a sneaky beaky preview of the front cover and some of the incredible illustrations inside, done by the amazingly talented Sarah Mauchline, then please cast your wee eyes below and click on the link πŸ˜‰

The 1st 5 books in my 'Whimsy Wood' series!
The 1st 5 books in my ‘Whimsy Wood’ series!

You may be excited to learn, that this fabulously festive book will be available from October the 25th and can be pre-ordered now!! I will also be able to post the date, time and venue for the launch of ‘Posie Pixie And The Christmas Tree’, very soon! πŸ™‚

Whilst I’ve been busy helping move text, illustrations and the new map at the back of book 5, up and down and side to side on the numerous pages, the ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk have also been incredibly busy! Autumn has well and truly arrived in ‘Whimsy Wood’, as the blackberries are in abundance on the hedgerows and the leaves are changing to golden yellows and burnt oranges. ‘Humbug Hedgehog’ has been rolling around the woodland floor, tidying up the fallen autumn leaves with his prickles, whilst ‘Mrs Spottisdowne the sparrow’ (‘Whimsy Wood’s’ Scottish seamstress), has been frantically sewing Halloween costumes for Mr and Mrs Dusty the dormice’s little ones.

In another part of ‘Whimsy Wood’, ‘Mrs Scarlet the squirrel’ has been scurrying about ‘The Woodland Store’, as she puts away boxes and boxes of cherry chews and hazelnut fudge. Looks like she’ll need to order in more pumpkins and apples this week, as the excitement of October with all its pumpkin-carving and apple-bobbing antics take hold of ‘Whimsy Wood’!

Well on that amazingly Autumnal note, I shall close the ivy-covered, heavy oak doors on the world of ‘Whimsy Wood’ for another week and wish you all a wonderfully Β whimsical Wednesday πŸ™‚

Lovely Lincolnshire!

It’s that time of the week again, when I open the doors to the world of ‘Whimsy Wood’ and let you know what’s been going on! Well, as you may or may not know, I was up in the lovely county of Lincolnshire last Thursday, visiting 2 smashing primary schools! The first being Swineshead St. Mary’s and the second being Sutterton Fourfields. I think I can happily say that I had a fabulous time reading my 4th ‘Whimsy Wood’ book, ‘Posie Pixie And The Fireworks Party’, to the 90 key-stage 1 children! They asked me some great questions afterwards too. One of these questions was…. “What do you like best about being an author?” It really didn’t take me long to think about the answer to this, as I love being able to get lost in my imagination while I write. “I don’t know if my imagination is pink, or purple, or rainbow coloured,” I replied to the wee girl sat on the floor, looking curiously at me. “I don’t know if it’s fluffy, or sparkly, or smells of sweets, as it’s tucked away in my head! What I do know, is that I can use my imagination whenever and wherever I like. It can take me to amazing places, without me even leaving my chair and it doesn’t cost me a penny. That’s what I like most about being an author.” The wee girl thought about this and then said…. “Hmmm.” I hoped this meant that she was suitably satisfied with my answer!

Now, I shall be returning to the lovely land of Lincolnshire in a few weeks time, as I have been invited to be the guest speaker at the Boston High School annual dinner, on Saturday October the 18th! This dinner is for ex-pupils of the school and having attended there myself many moons ago, I shall really look forward to going back! Having said that, the thought of standing up in front of a room of grown-ups and talking for twenty minutes really terrifies me!! I love talking to children, taking assemblies and creative writing workshops in schools, but a whole bunch of adults….well…., that’s a different matter entirely!! If I was ‘Posie Pixie’ or ‘Fearne Fairy’, 2 of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ characters, then I would want to run away and hide from such a scary thing!

Fairy Toadstools (otherwise known as 'Fly Agaric') for 'Whimsy Wood' folk to hide under!
Fairy Toadstools (otherwise known as ‘Fly Agaric’) for ‘Whimsy Wood’ folk to hide under!


“What would you hide under?” I hear you cry. It would have to be the ‘Fly Agaric’ toadstool of course! This fabulous fungus is iconic where fairy tales are concerned and is currently growing happily in ‘Whimsy Wood’! No doubt it is popping up in woodlands everywhere as we speak, as it loves the warm, wet weather that we’ve been having! If you’re heading out for a woodland walk sometime this month, then keep your eyes peeled for these fairy toadstools, especially around birch trees, which they’re rather fond of! See if you can spot the odd pixie, or fairy that may be lurking underneath too while you’re at it!

I would love to carry on waffling, but I really must get on! I will leave you with a link to a great review for my 3rd ‘Whimsy Wood’ book, ‘Posie Pixie And The Torn Tunic’, below. This book is specifically for the month of October, so it’s bursting with blackberries and other such autumnal things!

Wishing you all a whimsical week! πŸ˜‰