The Morning After at Wordsworth’s Glade

A quick note to say ‘From the Edge of an English Summer’ can be downloaded for just 99p/99cents until Sunday. Thanks again to everyone who has already purchased. A special shout out to America, you’re doing me proud. Your support really is flattering, encouraging and humbling all at the same time. The prompt picture has fallen well for me this week, I’ve selected a short episode from one of the several spent round Wordsworth’s camp fire in the book.

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

Despite the tiredness and alcohol, Sunday morning came repeatedly, every hour it seemed. To say I had an interrupted night’s sleep would be uncaringly inaccurate. Sleep punctuated my moments awake. Wordsworth had helped me cobble together a makeshift mattress of bracken and lent me an old jumper but I was cold and uncomfortable.
He stoked the fire back to life, placed a pan of water in the embers and we were soon enjoying a reviving cuppa.
“It wasn’t cold last night and that’s a very comfortable bed. The problem is not with the world, it’s you,” he said, “you’ve grown soft.”

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Second Novel (The One that Made it.)

I haven’t blogged about ‘My Novel,’ for a long while now and that’s mainly because there was nothing to say about the first one, as I waited for agents and publishers to take it on. They didn’t and in the meantime I started to write another.
I thought it would be the sequel to the first but I awoke one morning with a completely different, virtually perfectly formed novel in my mind which I sat down to write that very morning and had completed inside six months.
Those who read the first drafts said the same as they had about the first, everything was complimentary except this time, there seemed far more feeling in their words. As though they liked the first one but had reservations which they didn’t have about ‘From the Edge of an English Summer.’
This encouraged me to submit to agents and publishers again, only this time I had a time limit. If no one had taken the book by June, I would self-publish. There were two main reasons for this, the first that I didn’t want to sit indefinitely waiting again and the second and most important, my mother was getting older and I wanted to be able to put a finished book in her hands, for her to see it and hold it.
Whilst the agents and publishers replied with words of appreciation and encouragement, no one took up the option and on December 1st I launched the book on Kindle. Fortunately, the paperback copies were available to order before that as Mum passed away on the 1st, a copy of ‘From the Edge of an English Summer,’ on her bedside table.
So far, I have been flattered at the way the book has sold. The bulk of them to people here in the UK but copies have been bought as far afield as the US, Canada and Australia. There’s no other language version of it, so I can’t expect sales in other European countries but it would be good to crack the English speaking part of the Indian market.
I’m immensely grateful to those that have already bought it and the response from those who have read it has been tremendous.

I leave you with several examples of what they’re saying about From the Edge of an English Summer:

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Good story, well told.
1 February 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a difficult book to define, so I’m not going to try. It’s charmingly set, well written and, after getting the main characters defined, moves along at a decent pace. The plot has integrity and addresses an important issue in our society. Well worth a read.

“streety1”
5.0 out of 5 stars
Funny, good plot and a real page turner.
13 January 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
Couldn’t put this down as the plot kept me intrigued but was also very funny. Great characters and looking forward to the next book to see what other adventures they have.

Clare H
5.0 out of 5 stars
What an incredibly well-written novel!
2 December 2018
Format: Paperback
The plot is fast-paced with some very amusing scenes, particularly with Lydia. It’s hard to decide who is my favourite character, but she is brilliant! Lydia is the typically lacking-in-understanding wife of Julian, the narrator. She is horrified at his leap from corporate banker to the depths of society and is appalled by his new acquaintances.
Set in and around Chelmsford, Essex (with a couple of fictional places thrown in) each character is perfectly built and you have empathy with those seeking justice but also with Lydia who is totally bemused by the change in her husband. Wordsworth is a complex character who has chosen a very unorthodox way of life. Julian is trying to establish himself as a writer and to find meaning to his life having worked for years making more money than he knows what to do with.
Julian blunders into a situation he could never have imagined himself in and bumbles his way through, determined to ‘do the right thing.’ The story takes him into some very sticky circumstances, some of which I am sure he will never let Lydia learn of.
Wordsworth is the local tramp, who has begrudgingly allowed Julian to befriend him. They realise there is something amiss with a group of young girls they see each morning and determine to put matters right. Their exploits put them in serious danger and the suspense had me on the edge of my seat, breath held.
For anyone wondering whether to buy ‘From the Edge of an English Summer’ I can highly recommend it!

Wordsworth’s Glade

Thank-you for all the support I’ve had from Friday Fictioneers so far for my debut novel. I’m looking forward to the launch date December 1st and the subsequent reviews. This week’s 100 words is a short excerpt because the prompt fitted so well. I hope you enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The air was full of the scent of new shoots and woodland flowers. We crested a rise over which there was a steep drop to a clearing through which ran a wide stream, tinkling over rocks and gravel. A kingfisher perched on a wayward branch hanging over the water and alarmed rabbits scurried away, white scuts bobbing through the green before disappearing into an extensive warren. After the mad race from Claretree, the sense of peace and wholesomeness was palpable. “Where are we?” I asked Wordsworth.
“If you were me, you’d probably call it home, I’m reluctant to call it my place.”

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

Born Free but Chained to Obligation

I have been a little self indulgent this week. This is an adapted extract from my recently completed novel about a tramp, nicknamed Wordsworth for his quirky,  homespun philosophy and his penchant for reciting poetry in the street. He  guards his freedom jealously but ends up joining forces with a road sweeper to solve a crime of abuse and exploitation.

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

It’s hard to determine where the dirty clothes finish and Wordsworth himself begins. Filthy dreadlocks hang from beneath his beanie and his face resembles an unkempt garden, hair sprouting wherever a follicle can get a foothold. His worn boots are held together by string and tape.
I’d seen him about town but was as guilty as the next person of paying him no heed. I offered a pair of my old boots.
“I take those and you’ll start asking things of me. Wordsworth is beholden to no man.”
“But they’re just a pair…”
“No,” he interrupted me, “They’re a contract.”

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.

Shame and Kindness in the Same Bin

Hi all,

I haven’t posted for several weeks due to waking up one morning with a novel virtually fully formed in my head which I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve just completed the third re-write so it’s time to pause and let it ferment a little before going back to it. So I can join in again and here’s my contribution to this week’s FF

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight

Armand broke from work for a coffee in his room, above the bakery. He took it onto his balcony and listened for the familiar muffled noises from the bins.

Boivin raided the sacks of yesterday’s bread meant for the pig farmer, every morning.  Armand smiled. When Boivin opened the sack today, he’d find fresh croissants and cake with a note, Bon Apetite.

Armand craned excitedly to hear but an unexpected cry of anguish assailed his ears and heavy boots fled, all attempt at furtiveness abandoned.

Armand rushed downstairs. The sack gaped, the treats still there.

He never saw Boivin again.

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.