And Now, the End is Near…

So, as all good things come to pass, my holiday reaches its conclusion. As I prepare for a return to the mundane tomorrow, I can reflect on the highlights of the past week. These have mostly been getting stuck into writing tasks that I wanted to complete, or at least progress a little further. And then there was the reading. This was a little disappointing since I found myself sucked into perusing the myriad of excellent blogs out there, waiting on tenterhooks for new posts to appear in the reader. Obviously this was also reading, but did not aid in the completion of the books that I had planned to get finished.

But I still have a few hours left to savour I suppose. How will I elect to spend these?

I need a big push today to try to finish off that scheduled reading. I am a bit of an obsessive planner about these things and if I don’t tick off all of the boxes, I end up getting stressed by it. I end up feeling guilty that I haven’t completed everything I planned to, putting myself under undue pressure. I should perhaps set myself less taxing objectives!

I also passed an enjoyable evening listening to Audrey Niffenegger speak. My short post on that can be seen here. Last night was spent taking part in a quiz in order to help raise money for my nieces’ nursery. It was entertaining, although sadly our team came in a miserable fourth. There was no round on literature or books that I would have hoped for. The science round was good for us, as I work in that field, but sport and celebrity dating rounds were poor.

And so from tomorrow I shall be mostly back to the usual schedule of work, study and reading. Maybe then I will be able to work on some more interesting posts. For everyone’s benefit, I certainly hope so!

Marketing Your Book: Part Three with Harry Steinman

I love reading this guys advice. I suggest checking out the previous parts too.

readful things blog

It’s Thursday (thank goodness) and we are back with the next part in the Marketing tips series featuring the well spoken gentleman Harry Steinman. He paid me to say that. I don’t say kind things for free.

I would once again like to thank Harry for sharing his wisdom, his success stories, trials and errors with all of us. He is a man that one can learn a lot from and I truly, greatly appreciate his friendship. Okay, I gave him that one free. I might send him a bill later.
Feel free to ask Harry questions and make him tell you his secrets. Studies say that nothing keeps the brain young like giving it a good workout.
If you missed part one and two, you can find them here.

Overnight Success: the Planter and the


By Harry Steinman, a Guy Who Sold


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Audrey Niffenegger Talk

Last night I attended a talk and book signing by Audrey Niffenegger for her new book ‘Raven Girl’. I had not attended one of these events before and so had no idea what to expect. The event was one of a number of similar events hosted by a local bookshop Toppings and Company Booksellers. I had purchased the book the day before and had read it, so I already knew the story which was handy. The talk was mostly about the process of creating the book and the fact that it was fairy tale designed to be made into a ballet. She has been collaborating on the project with the Royal Ballet in London and there will be performances later this month. A background to the creation of the story and of the book and the preparation of the aquatint prints was covered and then followed by a short reading of the opening few pages.

I think that I learned more about her creative process from the question and answer session at the end, although there was a significant bias towards the printing process for the art work, understandable I suppose given her training as an artist, and about the ballet. It was interesting to hear about different media in which the ‘Raven Girl’ story could be experienced, as a fairy tale, through the graphics in the book, as a ballet and more to come. It was also interesting to hear that the ballet was something in which she was involved in a truly collaborative sense, whereas she said that she had no involvement in the film of ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’. She even mentioned that she had not seen the film, although I am not sure if she was joking or not. Since the actors she mentioned were not the ones actually in the film I suspect she wasn’t.

Her views on creativity and the importance of being open to things and recognising opportunities for stories were revealing, as was the information that she is working on a screenplay for an Indie film version of ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’. The question responses also gave good insight into her methods of researching subjects, in particular Highgate cemetery for ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’.

All in all I had a great time, although I did not realise until the end the mistake I had made in sitting right at the back. I was originally very happy in my choice of location. I could see and hear extremely well. My error was only highlighted when I realised that the book signing was at the front of the church (the event was held in a church), and I was automatically right at the back of the queue. So I left without getting my copy of ‘Raven Girl’ signed. C’est la vie.

I definitely intend to go along to some future events like this, now that I know that they are being held in the area. All in all it was an enjoyable experience, although I would have preferred to have heard more about her novels, ‘The Time Travellers Wife’ and ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’, both of which I enjoyed reading.

Holiday Progress

So far on my holiday I have managed to get up early every day and get writing early. I have surprised myself and have actually managed to write every day and complete the schedule that I have set up for each day of my holiday. In addition, which is even more surprising, I have also left the house every day so far, for at least an hour. Normally I would spend the entire time reading or writing and probably only set foot outside of the house maybe twice during the course of a week’s holiday, mostly to get groceries.

I went into Ely this morning to pick up a copy of Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger. I will be seeing her speak tomorrow night and need to prepare. I neglected to pick up a copy when I collected the ticket and so had to make a special journey this morning, early, so as to avoid people as much as possible. I got the price of the ticket for the talk discounted from the cost of the book which was nice. I just need to read it before tomorrow evening now. I have just finished ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ so I should then be primed for the talk, having read everything of hers that I want to.

So far the holiday is going well. I have got plenty of writing done, some reading and now I am having to do a few chores such as mow the lawn. Still, I suppose they have to be done some time. I would rather be reading though. I should really get myself a t-shirt that says ‘I would rather be Reading’ on it. I wonder if they are available. Anyone seen one? I could get one printed if not.

I will update you on the Niffenegger talk before the end of the week hopefully. I am looking forward to it immensely.

Now I am off to finish, well start really, the chores. I suppose mowing the lawn in the sun won’t be all bad.

The Liebster Award


I have been nominated for another award that I have great pleasure in accepting. This time it is a different one, the Liebster Award. I was very kindly nominated by Kevin, over at

The Rules for The Liebster Blog Award are as follows:

List 11 random facts about you.

Answer the questions that were asked of you.

Nominate 11 other blogs for the Liebster Blog Award and link to their blogs.

Notify the bloggers of their award.

Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer once they accept the award.

So, Eleven Random Facts About Me.

  1. I have blue eyes.
  2. When I was younger I gave up my job to play guitar in a band (unsuccessfully, obviously).
  3. I hate the heat and even find the UK too hot most of the time.
  4. I enjoy reading – no surprise to most of you.
  5. I love espresso.
  6. If forced to pick a favourite author it would probably be Evelyn Waugh.
  7. I tend to overanalyse the things that people say, coming up with all sorts of, probably incorrect, sub text.
  8. I get frustrated by the frequency of simple spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in print books these days.
  9. I live alone with my books and some friendly tropical fish.
  10. I am rubbish at golf
  11. I am very selfish with my time and particularly resent it when others say, ‘You aren’t doing anything, you are only reading’.

My Answers to the Questions I was Asked

  1. Do you have a favorite memory? – Holidays spent in Cornwall as a child
  2. Who or what inspires you? – Excellence inspires me, so, many people out there that are good at what they do inspire me
  3. Finish the sentence: When things get rough, I like to… – sit down and make a plan, be logical and find a solution, if there is one
  4. If you could meet anyone in the world who would it be? Why? – A difficult question but probably Richard Feynman, a true genius and a very interesting man – otherwise George Harrison or John Lennon
  5. What’s your definition of friendship? – when you can go without seeing a friend for a long period of time but always know they will be there for you, and when you do see them again, nothing has changed, it is as if you haven’t been apart
  6. What’s your favorite creative art? Why? (writing, painting, drama, sketching, etc.) – Writing
  7. Spontaneity or planner? – I am a planner most of the time
  8. Word processing or handwriting? – It depends on my mood, generally word processing though
  9. Are you more of a risk-taker or prefer staying in a comfort zone? – I am definitely not a risk taker
  10. Are you a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or tactile learner? – Probably visual
  11. Would you rather be extremely happy or simply content? – Naturally I would prefer to be extremely happy, but this often requires periods of intense sadness to contrast the happiness, otherwise how you feel would just be normal. If I needed to have those periods of sadness, I would rather just be content, much as I am now

Eleven Questions for my Nominees

  1. What is your favourite book?
  2. Do you play an instrument? If so, which one?
  3. What is your ideal holiday?
  4. Which author would you most like to meet (they do not need to be currently alive)?
  5. What is your favourite genre to write in?
  6. What is your least favourite book?
  7. Do you have siblings, if so which?
  8. PC or Mac?
  9. Do you eat meat?
  10. What is your favourite sport?
  11. Do you have a day job?

The Nominees

I had a list of eleven nominees this morning, with one extra in reserve, and so far today two of them have received awards already. I have therefore flouted the rules and only nominated ten bloggers. I feel like such a rebel – your own conscience will have to determine whether you feel you can do the same.

Sarah Cradit


William Louison

Amanda Allen

Robynn Gabel

Congratulations to all of my nominees. I hope that they will all accept this award. Thanks again to Kevin for nominating me and I hope I have discharged all of my duties fully with regard to my acceptance of this award.

Strange WordPress Behaviour

Ever think that you are being got at by technology? Sometimes I feel that WordPress is doing some strange things, behaving weirdly. For some time I have been getting comments from a blog that I have not signed up for and do not really want. Odd. Then I have been sitting here thinking that this person, or that person, hasn’t posted for a while. I go and check their blog and find that they have been posting and I have just not been receiving emails when they do post. I investigate further and find that for some reason I am no longer following them. How can this be. I have not unfollowed anyone that I have started following. So unless multiple people are somehow blocking me or stopping me from following them, which is certainly possible, but since I have now refollowed them ok, seems unlikely, then something very strange is going on.

In addition, a couple of weeks ago my twitter account became disconnected from my blog. For no apparent reason.

If it seems like I have only just started following you, when in truth it has been a while, I apologise. I didn’t unfollow you, please believe me.

Is it just me or has anyone else experienced odd behaviour from WordPress? Please comment and set my mind at rest that is not just some spiteful trick that WordPress is playing on me personally?


Guest Author: Charles E. Yallowitz

A really interesting and informative interview. Both the questions and the responses are well thought out and organised. Well worth a read.

...and then there was Sarah

My guest today is Charles Yallowitz, author of the Legends of Windermere series. Thank you Charles for being my first featured author!

If you are interested in participating in the program, you can submit here.

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