The Blood is the life! by Catherine Green

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Today Catherine Green talks to us about unusual dietary needs in the Haemophagic community. Take it away Catherine…

The Blood is the Life! 

The Blood is he

Not really blood… honest…

Many of you will recognise this famous quote from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. When I read it or hear it, I very often think of the hilarious spoof movie, Dracula: Dead and Loving It. I can’t help it, I like the lighter side of the supernatural world. But that is a topic for another day. Today I want to talk about Blood. The blood is what drives a vampire to do what they do. They are motivated by the need to drink blood. They do not want or desire anything else. Blood is, for a vampire, the centre of their world.

 

When I think about bleeding, or I see something gory in a picture or on television, I am very often repulsed by it. And yet, for some unknown reason, I have always been fascinated by vampires. I know that vampires are supposed to be bad. I certainly do not subscribe to the recent Hollywood craze for sparkling vampires (you know the movies I refer to!). My Redcliffe vampires most certainly do not sparkle. They feed, a lot. They do not always kill, but the thought is always there. Jack Mason could very easily take the life of the woman he loves. Jessica has allowed him to feed on her several times, and the last one, in my upcoming novel Eye of the Tiger (A VoB Book Launch Crewe 2016Redcliffe Novel), almost went very horrifically wrong.

 

Blood is a drug for a vampire. They thrive on it. They see the world more clearly when they feed. Blood and sex are very closely intertwined. It is that knife-edge between pleasure and pain, the fact that a person could so easily let it all go and indulge their deep, dark fantasies. Vampires act on this fantasy, this desire, when they feed on a human. And sometimes, if they get carried away, the human dies. That is a fact of life, and death. Blood is the link between the living and the dead. We humans seem to have a mixed response when we talk about blood. We know that we need it if we are to survive. Yet we shy away from it. We do not want to look at it, or talk about it, or deal with it. We take it for granted. Vampires do not. They appreciate that the blood is the life…

 

Did you enjoy this article? Join my tribe today, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!)

Author of British paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels, Catherine Green was raised on books from a young age, and has happy memories of Saturday mornings spent in her small local library, devouring the contents of the shelves. Catherine has always been fascinated by the supernatural world, and it feels natural for her to write about vampires, werewolves, witches and other mystical creatures in her contemporary stories.

If you sign up to Catherine’s newsletter, she will send you a free copy of her Redcliffe short story, It’s Complicated, to introduce you to her fictional supernatural seaside town in Cornwall, England.

More recently, Catherine released her contemporary English Gothic novel, The Vampire of Blackpool. These novels will show you the darker, sexier side of our favourite British seaside resorts!

You can find Catherine in the following places:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpookyMrsGreen

Author blog: http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen

The Pagan Housewife Blog: http://spookymrsgreen.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spookymrsgreen/ 

[Vampire Month] Catherine Green Interview

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This year’s Vampire month is opened by Catherine Green, who I met last year at the Sandbach signing event and shared a panel with. Coincidentally (or not), our other participant this year was also on the same panel.Spooky Mrs Catherine Green

She is the author of the Redcliffe Novels and more recently the contemporary English Gothic novel, the Vampire of Blackpool. Both of which certainly qualify her for inclusion here.

Here is Catherine’s interview. Her blog post will follow before the end of the week…

  • What is the earliest memory you have of writing? What did you write about?

 

My earliest memory of writing would be when I used to copy the text from my favourite story books into notebooks. I remember lying on my bed, happily scribbling away as I practised my handwriting and dreamed about being a real author like my heroes! I probably copied The Famous Five and Mallory Towers by Enid Blyton, although I can’t remember exactly.

  • When did you decide to become a professional writer? Why did you take this step?

 

I decided to take the leap into the professional writing world at around the time I got my first novel published back in 2011. I got all caught up in the excitement and thrill of finally being a published author, and I naively thought that my fortune was made. I needed time to write, so I quit the day job. But I forgot the fact that I had a young baby to care for at the same time!

  • What would you consider to be your greatest strength as a writer? What about your greatest weakness? How do you overcome this weakness?

 

My greatest strength as a writer is my resilience. I never give up. Even though I have had many knockbacks and my fair share of publisher and agent rejections, I keep on going. I suppose you could say that determination is my greatest weakness as well, because I refuse to give up on my dream, and I will focus all of my attention on it when my children allow.

  • Tell us about the place where you live. Have you ever derived any inspiration from your home or from anywhere you have visited?

 

Oh yes! All of my novels and short stories are inspired by places that I have both lived in and visited. I currently live in mid Cheshire, and while I have not yet published a novel set in my local area, I am working on a collection of vampire hunter novels that are set in and around Middlewich, Winsford, Knutsford and up into Manchester.

The Redcliffe novels are set in Cornwall, and my fictional town of Redcliffe was inspired by visits to the real tourist town of Looe and the fishing village Polperro. I spent many happy days wandering around the area on various visits when our friends owned a hotel in Looe, and the inspiration stayed with me all these years later.

  • Which book, if any, would you consider to be your greatest influence and inspiration?

 

Which book? Oh, that’s a tough question! I have been largely influenced by the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series of novels by Laurell K Hamilton. They showed me that what lurked in my imagination could actually be received by a reading audience, if I dared to write it down.

  • What drove you to write about Vampires?

 

I honestly don’t know! All my life I have been fascinated by the supernatural world. I would devour any and all story books with a paranormal theme as I grew up, and always jumped to attention when somebody spoke about ghosts and monsters. Vampires have a certain charm about them. They are both incredibly attractive, and incredibly dangerous. And yet, they look just like the rest of us, mostly…

  • What do you think is the attraction for Vampire fiction? Why is it such a popular topic?

The Vampire of Blackpool english gothic noveI think because it always seems relevant to the collective fears and desires of the culture. For example, back when Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published, we had a world that was evolving and developing at a fast rate, and the older generation were frightened of the change. Today we are more relaxed about vampires, we can use them in jokes, and yet still they represent a fear of something unknown, something dangerous, something attractive.

  • In a fight between all the greatest Vampires of fiction, who do you think would come out on top?

 

I think Lestat would always win, from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. He is a survivor.

  • What about in some other contest such as sexiness or dress sense? Who would win that one?

 

Hmm, maybe Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris? I rather enjoyed reading those!

  • How well do you think one of your characters would fare against the winner(s) of the above?

 

Oh, my vampires would win every time, no contest! Jack Mason has the support of his identical twin brother, the werewolf alpha, Danny Mason. Their combined supernatural power is a force to be reckoned with. And there is my secret love affair with Marcus Scott. He is a bit like Lestat in that he is a survivor, and he can talk himself out of (or into) almost any tricky situation.

  • Tell us the basic premise behind your latest novel.

 

My latest novel is slightly different to what I published before. It pretty much does what it says in the name: The Vampire of Blackpool. It is a contemporary Gothic story about a female vampire who is pursued by a lone male vampire hunter. She is old, powerful, and bored, so she relishes the opportunity for a fight. But then she doesn’t reckon on the charms of a young, female witch that moves into the area and accidentally seduces her… not quite a love story, but very passionate.

British Paranormal romance by catherine green

[Vampire Month] Late awakenings…


Fans of this blog may have been somewhat confused that there hasn’t yet been any sign of Vampire Month posts. I realise we are late this year, this is entirely my fault and is due to various and sundry real world issues like changes in job and the fact my house has been a building site for most of February. Now things are settled down on both those scores, I can focus on the important stuff like bringing you lot interviews and blog posts from writers of Vampire fiction.Vampire

We have a reduced content this year. Again, the disruptions mentioned above meant I had less time to find contributors. However, we do have two awesome writers to showcase for you and I will be doing a post about some vampire related photography.

This month you will be seeing posts from Lucy Felthouse and Catherine Green, both of whom are British based writers I met at last years Sandbach Authors event.

There is still time if you think you can contribute to Vampire month this year. We are looking for anyone who does anything vampire related. Simply send me an email with a blog post (any topic, does not even need to be about vampires – click this link to see some example posts), the answers to the standard Vampire month interview questions (click here to see them) and some appropriate photos (which must be copyright free or owned by you and should include at least a head shot and an image of one of your book covers). The deadline is the last week of March. Any sent too late will be held over for next year.

Expect our first post soon…

Cover reveal: Darkness Surrounds (Part Two Living A Lie Series) by M.L. Kacy


# DarknessSurrounds # M.L.Kacy #CoverReveal

Cover designer: Obsessed by Books Designs https://www.facebook.com/obsessedbybooksdesigns

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33851864-darkness-surrounds
M.L Kacy Darkness Surrounds

Blurb

Darkness surrounds me, a dreary, cold, place with no escape.

Feeling lost, alone and confused I’m sucked deep into my own mind.

A place I soon became comfortable in, a place where I can hide.

The darkness becomes my respite, my shelter.

A buffer from the devastation of my own broken dreams.

Trapped in my own mind I search in circles for
answers.

Surviving but not living, my heart bleeding and broken from my loss.

Torn up by guilt, thoughts of being punished for some perceived fault.

Confusion and turmoil become my only companions.

I need to start living again they tell me – but could I?

Do I have the strength to crawl my way out of my own mind?

Then again, do I really want to?

If I do escape the void will I still be me and if not, can I accept the person I’ve become?

Follow my journey in part two of my Living A Lie Series.

***Disclaimer- Some of the content in this book can cause triggers for some. Also, contains profanity, erotic scenes and only suitable for readers 18+***

M.L Kay Darkness Surrounds Cover revealAuthor

I have been involved in the indie community for several years and have always loved how everyone comes together in support of each other.
I love writing and reading, living life with my family, and always coming up with new ideas and putting then in to practice.

Words have a way of healing someone, so I will carry on writing, included events that have happened and taking you all on a journey with me.

Social Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MLKacyAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MLKacyAuthor
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014565672688

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Freebie Blitz: Volkov Mafia Series and Secrets & Whispers by Samantha Harrington Jan 30th – Feb 3rd

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Samantha Harrington Author giving away free booksI met Samantha the night before the Manchester Author signing event in August last year. She dragged me out to a pub near the venue and there was entertainment galore. This week many of her books are on free as she builds up to her attendance at the West Midlands signing event.

*´¨✫)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨)
✮ (¸.•´✶ (¸.•` 🔫Freebie Blitz: Volkov Mafia Series and Secrets & Whispers by Samantha Harrington Jan 30th – Feb 3rd 🔫

💕

@ Author_S_E

#VolkovSeries #SamanthaHarrington

Obsession (Volkov Mafia #1)

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25842236-obsession?

 Faith

I had it all, friends, designer everything and money.

With my degree in the bag it was my time to shine, a new beginning just for me. To live my life my way and not to conform to anyone else’s plan.

One day changed all of that and everything I knew was taken away from me.

When It happened that one catastrophic event, the person I was before was ripped away from me in the blink of an eye.

How could I deal with the pain of betrayal?

Will I ever be able to deal with what happened? To find my inner strength to get me through or will the person I once was cease to exist?

After everything that happened and everything I learn, can I ever go back to who I was before?

Who can you trust, when you lose yourself?

 
Purchase Link: books2read.com/u/mV7WJP

 
Unexpected Christmas (Volkov Mafia #2)

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28115780-unexpected-christmas

Faith

We have been to hell and back, So our love is treasured. We have overcome so much. We are stronger than ever. As we wait for the impending arrival of our baby, and the joy of spending our first Christmas together. Will it all go to plan? Or will fate have other ideas.

Damien

The past Six Months have been bliss. Watching Faith bloom everyday, knowing that she is carrying my child. Doesn’t get better than this. She is strong. She is mine.

I fly back out to Russia, end up stuck here longer than I expect, will I make it back in time for Christmas, or will I miss more than just that?

Join Faith and Damien as the celebrate the holidays, will it turn out how they hope? Join them in this little holiday treat..

Mature readers only 18+ due to graphic and sexy scenes 

Purchase Links: books2read.com/u/mqzQJO

 
Fractured (Volkov Mafia #3)

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28423555-fractured

 Malcolm

She destroyed me, she fractured my heart too many times. I still need her, I still want her, now all I have to do is go get her. Show her I’m the only man she needs.

Camilla

I’m lost, I’m broken, I’m ruined.
Through the torment and the suffering he brought me back from the brink, then I took our son and ran from the only man who ever loved me.

I can’t be in his world, I’m not strong enough to fight for him, the only man I will ever love.

Can Cami and Malc overcome everything that has happened, to get their happy ever after, or is the past and present to much to fight against.

18+ due to mature content. some parts of this book maybe difficult for some to read. may have triggers. and lots of steamy content.

 Purchase Link: books2read.com/u/m0z1Z0

 
Redemption (Volkov Mafia #4)

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30532203-redemption

Synopsis

Alekzander

Guilt eats away at your soul. Pride makes you foolish. I want to be more for her.
Scared to try and petrified of failure.
She came into my life showing more fight and courage than anyone I had ever meet.
Through my wrong doings, she was saved!

As time goes by, she brands herself on my heart.
I have to walk away, I have to say goodbye.
But having her once will never be enough.
Redemption comes at a price and I’m just scared that’s it’s going to be Emma!

 Purchase Link: books2read.com/u/mvY0J8

 
Secrets and Whispers (Club Secrets & Whispers Book 1)


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29479217-secrets-and-whispers 

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors?

Well now you don’t have to.
Follow the journeys of the members of club Secrets & Whispers.
See how they really feel about their clients, and who they enjoy most.

These little shorts will leave you wanting more, needing more. craving more.

Are you willing to go behind closed doors?

18+ due to adult content, scenes of a sexual nature, may cause triggers

 Purchase Link: books2read.com/u/bOrWY0

 
Author Bio

I wouldn’t say that I wanted to be a writer from when I was little.
I only really started reading often when I had baby number five, as he was born very early and spent thirteen weeks in special care. It was then that I discovered my love for reading.
From then on, I was hooked. I read all types of romance books.
It dawned on me that I wanted to be more than a mum/reader/blogger. I wanted to write, as I have a very active imagination, so I put pen to paper.

I write romance – contemporary, dark and erotic.

I like to write about loss, pain and love, and what it’s like to fight for your happy ever after. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SEHarringtonAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_S_E

New Year post (belated)

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warriorprincess

I’d like to say that this first post of the new year is late because I have only just finished partying. That would, however, be a lie. It is late because I have just been so busy doing other things.

No, that is also a lie.

I have simply not been sure what to write.

Which is odd for me because I am not usually that bad at thinking of things to write about. The main reason this blog gets neglected is usually because of one of the other two things mentioned above. OK, I admit, mostly the second one – I get too busy with other things, my days of constant partying are I feel in the past :). However, the nature of 2016 has been such that I am overall not sure what to think about it and I do not feel I am alone in this.

It was the year of celebrity deaths. A year in which when we thought George Michael might be the last of the shocks*, it hits us with the sad passing of Carrie Fisher and then William Christopher (of M.A.S.H fame). Though, it is worth pointing out that the Wikipedia page on celebrity deaths does have Robert Taussat (French historian and author) listed last for December 2016. However, I am not sure if this means he was the last one to go or if the list is in no real order.

D.A Lascelles, Alex Campbell, NinfaHayes and Dianna Hardy

The Urban settings panel at Sandbach

On the subject of Carrie Fisher, I did spend a lot of time browsing through this site of tributes by artists. I was first of all amused by the fact it is actually a hell of a lot more than 10 tributes (last I looked it was over 100) and also by the many different views artists have of her. There are ones here that play on her famous quote (“No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”  which was her response to George Lucas’s quite sexist remark about there being no underwear in space because of some nonsense about pressure), ones that show her love for her dog and ones that show her as she was before she died – i.e. not just focussing on her as she was in her best known role. I am not linking or showing any of the art here as I wish to respect the copyright of the artists but I do encourage you to go check out that page and wallow in all the bittersweet.

This was also the year of politics gone wrong with Brexit and Trump throwing the UK, US and a chunk of the rest of the world in to shock. We are now facing a year in which we have to deal with the consequences of those decisions, good or bad. There are naturally concerns about the rise of the right in both cases and I am not sure that those who voted for either will actually get what they were expecting to get.

On a more personal note, this was a mixed year for me. In terms of my real world job I lost one not very secure position that I was hoping to make more permanent by December but very quickly gained one that is, while technically less secure, still seems to have more promise of permanence in the near future. So, overall not too bad, if a little uncertain on the career front.D A Lascelles Gods of the Deep Kindle Fantasy Swashbuckling

In terms of creative stuff, I have been really ramping up the photography in the past year and feel I am improving massively in both taking photos and editing them. This has been partly down to some epic mentorship from Ste Manns of Quattrofoto on the ins and outs of photoshop and partly down to the efforts of the JW Creative network – a group of photographers, models and make up artists who collaborate on some crazy projects. They have given me the chance to practise shooting with experienced models and photographers in an open and friendly environment where I can get helpful advice and support. I have posted one of my favourite shots from these gatherings here and you can see the rest on my Flickr account…

Finally, in terms of writing this has been a good year. I completed Gods of the Deep (finally… its only taken 6 years from conception to birth…) and attended a number of events including EasterCon, the Manchester Author signing and the Sandbach author signing. All of these I considered successful events in terms of my personal goals and I am looking forward to more of the same next year. Not only that, but I have had at least two people tell me how much they enjoyed reading Gods of the Deep which was a real boost to my ego.

I guess the one downside to my creative year was not doing what I promised to do and revamp this website… I’ll get round to that soon, I promise…

So, I am not usually one for resolutions but I am going to make myself a promise for the coming year. That is to do more creative things – try to advance at least one creative project, even if only by a little, each day. Whether it is take a photo, edit a photo, write more of a story or edit more of a story. At the moment, in terms of writing projects, I am currently skating on the edge of the void that is about to become ‘The Silver Tower’ – a SF tale set in Manchester which is looking like it may well be aimed at a YA audience. I’ll keep you all posted on that and hopefully this one won’t take six years to write…

*In what is possibly the most ironic timing of all time – the artist famous for ‘Last Christmas’ dies on Christmas day… even in death the man had a talent.

[Review] A crack in everything by Ruth Frances Long


I interviewed Ruth a short while ago when her latest book (The Darkness Within) was released. Having talked to her and heard of her tales of alternate Dublin (or Dubh Linn) I decided to check out the first book in that series – A Crack in Everything.

Isabel (Izzy) Gregory is just an ordinary teenager growing up in Dublin.  When she decides to check out some unusual Angel graffiti, she accidentally ends up in Dubh Linn, the dark underside of the city inhabited by the fey, and is catapulted into an adventure that leads to her finding out that she is in fact not as ordinary as she first believed. Before too long, she is accompanying a Sidhe Warrior called Jinx, originally sent to kill her, on a quest to find a grail she can use to heal her ailing father and figure out what is going on with the strange voice in her head.

With this book it is very easy to make comparisons to Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. The concept of a shadow city, inhabited by strange creatures, is definitely reminiscent of that concept and you can easily see comparisons between Dubh Linn and London Below. However, Long’s interpretation of the reflection of her home city is darker and grittier than Gaiman’s  more whimsical approach. Her hidden city is populated with night clubs and grungy musicians. Where Gaiman’s London Below inhabitants are playful in their malice, Long’s Dubh Linn residents give the impression of serious danger in their dealings. You feel that the characters are at serious risk of death throughout their adventures. As Izzy explores the politics of the fey, we get a whistlestop tour of a gorgeous feast of Dublin and Dubh Linn sights, demonstrating ably that if you want to write a story about the fey Ireland is where you need to be writing it.

Five get literary in Sandbach

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So, last weekend I was at the Sandbach Author Signing event (SASE). I may have mentioned this event a few times over the last few months, most recently here, because I was incredibly excited by it. Turns out I was excited for good reasons.

#SASE Sandbach Author Signing event at Sandbach town hall

Sandbach town hall (c) Nellie Simpson

SASE was the first event of its kind in the Sandbach area, though it followed a pattern similar to many other events (like the Manchester signing of August this year). A group of authors getting together in a location and a bunch of readers wandering around the tables looking to buy books and get them signed.

I travelled to Sandbach from Manchester in the company of Ninfa Hayes and Alex Campbell, two members of the Tea Society and Vampire Month posters. We weren’t the only members there either, there was also Dianna Hardy and Elizabeth Morgan (who was also the organiser of the event). We were only missing Alex James, Miriam Khan and Russell Smith but we did have leaflets from all of them so they did not miss out too much. We set up our tables in the lovely, modern interior of the Sandbach town hall (nicely contrasted with the older exterior of the building) and awaited the arrival of the public.

D.A Lascelles, Alex Campbell, NinfaHayes and Dianna Hardy

The Urban settings panel  (c) Nellie ZSimpson

There were also some panels throughout the day on a number of topics ranging from Women in Fantasy to Fangs and Fur (vampires and werewolves in fiction). I was asked to moderate two of these – ‘Fangs and Fur’ and one on settings in Urban fantasy. Turnout for these was low (a handful of people) but the audience was keen and the discussions were wide ranging and interesting. From talking to another blogger, it seems that panels are not a common thing in her experience of signing events so this idea is both a way of distinguishing this event from others and also something new that the attendees may not have been too sure of. Personally I feel Alex Campbell’s reminiscences of  the tales of Northumberland to be worth the entry fee to the event by itself. Catherine Green and Lucy Felthouse joined myself, Ninfa and Dianna for the discussion on Vampires and Werewolves and we tackled the age long issue of why vampire fiction never seems to die. In the urban fantasy location panel we explored the idea of the location as a character (something I touch on in Gods of the Deep), how some stories are location dependent while others are not and what locations in our stories were influenced by places in our real lives. There may have been some discussion about trying to set a Batman story in the countryside but I have no idea who came up with that mad idea. As moderator I also posed the question about overuse of location – are certain locations (London, Chicago, New York etc.) overused in contemporary fantasy fiction and should other sites be given a chance to shine. There were excellent arguments from both sides there, with an overall conclusion that the common sites are used for recognition purposes – more people know about London than they may know about Newcastle – and so are likely to remain popular. However, there is scope for stories set in other locations, especially ones with their own myths and legends – Alex Campbell’s use of the Northumberland Lambton worm story being a case in point.

Throughout the day there were visits by some journalists and the event made it into theSandbach Chronicle authors hold masterclass local papers (Sandbach Chronicle headline: Authors Hold Masterclass) and Elizabeth was interviewed by Stewart Green for Sandbach Soundbites. Click the link to listen to the interview in full. This all suggested that there was quite a bit of media buzz about this event which is the first of its kind in the town.

It is to be hoped that Sandbach will return bigger and better next year with more people risking attending the panels and getting involved in discussions. I know the organisers have big plans for next year and any success of this new event would be well deserved.

The photographs in this article were taken by Nellie Simpson.

D.A Lascelles is the author of Lurking Miscellany, Transitions (Mundania Press) and Gods of the Sea (Pulp Empires) and Gods of the Deep. He lives in Manchester UK. You can sometimes see him writing about Zombie porn on http://www.dalascelles.co.uk but he mostly blogs about books, vampires, science fiction and Terry Pratchett. He is inordinately proud of the fact that one of his Pratchett articles was referenced on the French version of the author’s Wikipedia page.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaLascelles

Twitter: @areteus

Buy Lurking Miscellany (paperback)

Buy Lurking Miscellany (Kindle)

Buy Gods of the Deep (Kindle)

Buy Gods of the Deep (Paperback)

Judy Bagshaw

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 Sometimes Facebook can be a right bitch and hit you so hard in the feels with something so innocent as a birthday reminder. Judy009cropped

This morning it decided to tell me that it was Judy Bagshaw’s birthday. The feels came because Judy died in 2015, leaving behind a writing legacy that includes me and a hell of a lot of other people who are trying to follow her. She wrote romance stories that included female protagonists that were not ‘standard size’, positive stories in which their size was not part of the plot nor the subject of comic relief. From her I learned a number of things – how to stay positive in the face of adversity from your own self esteem, how to edit effectively and how to approach publishers. It is thanks in part to her (with Skyla Dawn Cameron taking credit too) that I got published in the first place.

OppositeAttraction_AuthorCopy_revised I never met her in person, though I always wanted to, but she was my mentor, a cheerleader and a self confessed fan of my work. She owned one of the ten ‘limited editions’ of Lurking Miscellany that came out of the first print run with the error on the cover. I would have sent her it for free (she helped edit parts of it) but she not only insisted on paying for it, she insisted on me signing it and sending it to her despite the fact she could have got it cheaper by Amazon. She even told me to add the international postage cost to the invoice (which I didn’t… I owed her at least that much).

That Facebook reminder this morning woke all these feelings in me again so I just had to share. I urge you to do her the honour of looking up one of her books and buying it. I feel it is the best way to celebrate her birthday.