Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas book signing... there'll be books, there'll be sheep...

While bedlam ensues on the high street  this Saturday I'll be enjoying the Christmas  party atmosphere at York Flea Market , so why not come along and buy a unique gift for someone for Christmas, and enjoy some festive food and drink.

There'll be books - there'll be sheep. one sheep free with every purchase of But I'm Not Sleepy while stocks last...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sheep production line... and new colours on the way!

Sheep production has become a bit of a production line this week, after running out of black wool, I knitted 4 sheep bodies in one evening, but only one had a head and they were all legless ad earless - so last night I knitted the other 3 heads and attached them, and did a line a ears which are all still connected like a a line of spaced out punting... So that means tonight must be faces and legs night. I think I prefer knitting one sheep at a time...

Sheep production is about to branch out into other colours - I've just been knitting cream sheep with black faces and legs so far, but I now have some black wool and some grey wool ordered, and I might even branch out into rainbow sheep - if there is a demand - views anyone...?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Don't panic it's nearly Christmas

Is it just me or is Christmas sneaking up on everyone this year...?

...and I still have one more book signing to fit in before Christmas - Lost in a Book will  be at York Flea Market this Saturday signing books and giving a free sheep away with copies of But I'm Not Sleepy (while stocks last)

I had a wool crisis last night when I ran out of black wool, resulting in a number of legless and even some headless sheep being knitted, but this has been remedied with fresh wool for York market, and sheep production will continue tonight.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How not to write a blurb...

So my task of the day is to write a blurb for my forthcoming book...

I made a start, I made some notes, then I remembered that there is a formula for writing blurbs - buzz words, and ways of making a blurb stand out, so I googled it...

I read some advice about how to go about it, the best one seemed to be to read the blurbs from similar books to get inspiration, which lead me to a well known on line book seller, and that's when inspiration turned to distraction - after reading some blurbs, I then progressed to the 'look inside' option, and I was soon totally absorbed in reading some first chapters, and now have a short list of 3 books that I simply have to read...  so what now - well maybe I should analyse what took me from market research to need to buy... or maybe I should just get my head down and write my blurb...

Friday, December 06, 2013

Book signing at Christmas fair this weekend near York

This one has to be one of my favourites of the year - a Christmas fair in the beautiful Tithe Bran Nether Poppleton near York. 7th Dec 10am - 4.30pm

And what's more - tomorrow is Support Small Business Day, and my business can be fitted into a fewer boxes and bags, although I did invest in a crate on wheels this summer so that I don't enter every event staggering under the weight of my books and a flock of sheep... well they are only small sheep, but sheep can be quite unruly, especially without the help of a sheepdog...

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Stormy day in York

It's stormy in York today, the perfect day to write a blurb and design a book cover, if I can just stop looking out at the roof felt as it makes its bid for freedom from the shed roof...

The cats are in danger of becoming stir crazy, they don't like the wind either, when Captain insisted on me opening the door for him, he got caught in a gust of wind, blowing his ears flat against his head and making him hunch his head up into his shoulders.

A water butt lid just blew past the window, and there's a mini lake under the front door...

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Free gift

Everyone loves a free gift, and since my knitted sheep have been such a hit at Christmas fairs, I've let some of them lose in my website bookshop, where they're running a amok and getting into mischief.

So if you'd like to give a good home to one of these woolly characters, they're £3 each, or free with a copy of But I'm Not Sleepy

One hand knitted sheep
approx size:
nose to tail 12cm
width 7cm (some are fatter than others)
height 7cm (when on tip toes)

Each sheep is hand made and therefore slightly different. They were inspired by the characters in the book But I'm Not Sleepy, and can be purchased individually or free as a gift from me when you buy a copy of the book.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Lost in a Book, knitted sheep and book signings...

Well on Friday I got totally lost in a book, and all mundane jobs and worries went out of my head, in favour of editing ready to  get a print quote for my next book. There are a lot of photos despite my best efforts to edit some out, so I think I'll be taking a deep breath before opening the quote, and hope I don't have to edit out any more.

Meanwhile... sheep production is back in full swing to promote But I'm Not Sleepy at my Christmas book signings - the next one is in the beautiful Tithe Barn in Nether Poppleton near York on Saturday 7th Dec 10am - 4.30pm There'll be one free knitted sheep with every purchase of But I'm Not Sleepy, while stocks last.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Confessions of a scatterbrain

I seem to be taking multitasking to a new level lately, and working at the kitchen table is quite possibly a harder place to work than hiding in the loft - jobs seem to call to me from the kitchen table - and so, finally I sit down to work with the background noise of the dishwasher, and where do I start...?

Well emails is the obvious place, after all I might have a big book order waiting there... but today I don't, I have a notification from facebook, so of course it'd be rude not to pop along and check my messages there..

I have a notification that several people like my status from yesterday - about me getting distracted by woolly hat patterns instead of getting on with some work. ...oops. I remind people about a Christmas shopping evening I'm attending and wander over to my blog. so "Hi" everyone who wondered over with me (Are you getting distracted by social media too?).

I don't like lists, I find them stressful - that all started many Christmases ago when I made a Christmas list, and it was very long... not the sort of thing that needs to be viewed all at once, but tucked discreetly into corners of my mind and tackled gradually.

And so without the aid of a list I throw myself at each day hoping to get to end of the things that absolutely have to get done that day, and decide I can forgive myself for leaving the rest for tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Signed 1st edition

I have a few signed 1st editions of The Monster Under The Bed available while stocks last.

These were my very first books, which I published through Trafford Publishing, and fewer than 450 copies were printed before I brought The Monster Under The Bed out in 2nd edition under my own imprint: Lost in a Book.

So why not pop along to my Etsy shop and grab one while stocks last

Book signing

Another week another Christmas shopping evening - this week it's at Knavesmire Primary School in York. Thursday 7 - 9pm where I'll be inviting everyone to get Lost in a Book this Christmas.

I have new stocks of Lost in the Christmas Post - the second print run arrived just in time for the Christmas rush...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Supporting small business

We hear a lot about supporting our local shops in the community, which is great, I like to support local small businesses, but what about supporting small online business?

We could be a business you've met at a local show or fair, you probably even picked up a business card, or in my case a bookmark. But do you ever follow it through...?

I get a wonderful response when I go out and do book signings, I even get asked if I'm there every week at some events, well the truth is I'm not there every week, I lack the time, and the money it costs to have a stand at such events every week, but my website is always there, and I've now got a shop on Etsy, both of which are my online book signing, and I don't even add postage, so you pay the cost of the book and get it delivered to you free of charge.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Successful book sigings

I had a very good weekend signing books. My little flock of ten sheep have all gone out to new homes with copies of But I'm Not Sleepy, the book that inspired them.

The customer of the day on Saturday had to be little Annabelle, who went away in her buggy cuddling her new sheep and saying "Baa", her copy of the book tucked into the shopping tray of her buggy for later :)

York Flea Market proved to be an interesting and successful day, and one I'll definitely be going back to.

Whixley Winter Craft Fair was a lovely traditional village craft fair with an array of hand crafted gifts. I met some lovely people who share my passion for books, and enjoyed browsing and buying my books, many for Christmas presents.

So what next...?
Back to basics with some proof reading - and then tonight I'll be knitting more sheep for my next event on Thursday: A Christmas Shopping Event in Wilberfoss.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Christmas gifts - books for kids

What could be better for a Christmas gift than a book?

Books are timeless, and I can't ever remember a Christmas without a new book to read.

They're escapism, when you just want to curl up in a quiet corner and disappear into a world of your own.

They're to share, when you read a special  Christmas book to children. My favourite has always been The Night Before Christmas. I can remember the paperback copy I had read to me every year throughout my childhood, there was a Santa on the cover and his hat was all fuzzy - it's faded now, but it's still bright red in my memory.

We had a hardback copy for my children, and it was joined every year by new festive reads. I remember reading Mog's Christmas for the first time, I had to keep stopping because I was laughing too much to go on as Mog described the Christmas tree as it came up the drive, and then made itself all pretty.

I like to have at least one new festive read every year, and this year Just for Christmas is already sat on my bookshelf awaiting my attention. I'm not sure if I'm quite ready to slip into Christmas yet, maybe I'll give it a week or two, I don't want to peak too soon...

Pictures from my Christmas book: Lost in the Christmas Post

"What are Christmas cards?" asked Iver Jumping into one of the cards. He sank up to his knees.
There was something not quite right about the cards...
Iver No-Idea doesn't mean to disrupt the Christmas preparations, but he does seem to cause his own brand of chaos.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book signings in York

I've got a busy weekend coming up, with two days of book signings:

Saturday: I'll be at York Flea Market, this is a brand new venue which started last week, and from the pictures on facebook it promises to be a good one. With an eclectic mix of crafts on display, it's the perfect place to do a bit of Christmas shopping for things that you just can't buy on the high street.

I'll be doing a book signing, with the added attraction of my little flock of sheep. inspired by my bestseller But I'm Not Sleepy.

Sunday: I'll be at Whixley Wnter Craft Fair, a craft fair with a Christmas theme, at a village just outside York - I'd better get my Christmas hat and fairly lights ready for this one, and hope for a mince pie or two, between signing books.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First edition first print run

When I first published Lost in the Christmas Post I thought it might only sell in the lead up to Christmas, how wrong I was, I have sold Lost in the Christmas Post throughout every month of the year.

Lost in the Christmas Post was the very first title published under my own imprint Lost in a Book, and is currently being reprinted as my stocks have nearly sold out. But there are 4 books left of that original print run, on the shelves of my Etsy shop Lost in a Book at Etsy  and in my website shop.

Monday, November 11, 2013


The little printer in the corner is busy chugging away, printing off my revised manuscript. I think it was hoping for a lunch break, it had a bit of a chew on the corner of a sheet of paper a while ago, but it managed to drag it through and carry on. It's just as well it doesn't have to print out the final books, or it would go into meltdown.

Talking of books, I have a new print run ordered of Lost in the Christmas Post that should be ready later in the week, but I still have 4 of my First edition, first print run left if anyone would like to snap one up while stocks last...

Friday, November 08, 2013

Online Book Signing

My list of Christmas events is still growing, I've just booked in to York's latest venue - York's Flea Market, which sounds like too much fun to miss. but if you can't make it to one of these events why not stop by at my Online Book Signing and grab yourself a signed copy, still postage free.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Where are the geese when I need them...?

Where are the geese when I need them, when I went into town to photograph them... ?

Granted I hadn't made an appointment with them, there was no commitment on their behalf to be there just because I needed them.

And why did I need them...? Well... I'm doing a piece about York, and I think there are quite enough pictures of York Minster and the city walls already circulating, so I wanted to illustrate my article with a peaceful scene of geese chilling out by the River Ouse. But I think they may just have got a bit too chilled, and gone to find somewhere warmer to hang out, last time I saw them they had their heads tucked under their wings against the cold.  ...or maybe they just went off to do some sightseeing.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

National Novel Writing Month

Last year when my writing seemed to be grinding to a halt, I took part in National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo I did a power hour for every day in November, when  I sat down and wrote, and my word count kept growing. By the end of November I had produced the first draft of a book.

The year seems to have flown by, but now that book draft has matured and is almost ready to publish. So amid the chaos of selling books and knitting sheep (yes that's right I've diversified into knitting the characters from But I'm Not Sleepy), and all the other things that pulled at my time, I have still managed to produce a new book... watch this space!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Multi tasking

So... what have I done today?


I've knitted a sheep - this is becoming quite a habit... the flock is now 8 strong and growing.

I've done some editing for my new book - just a few more corrections to do and then I think I'm done :)

I've received an email to say that my reprint of Lost in the Christmas Post will be ready in time for my Christmas fairs - this is great news as my stocks were getting very low.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Counting sheep

Counting sheep... it's the tried and tested way of getting to sleep - but what happens to all the sheep once you've finished counting them? I bet you didn't think about that...?
Here at Lost in a Book things are in danger of getting out of hand. 
It all started with a notion to merchandise my book But I'm Not Sleepy.  One sheep took shape and sprang from my knitting needles, then one sheep lead to another until it is fast becoming a flock of sheep...

And where are all these sheep heading? Well they'll be making an appearance at Christmas fairs around the York area. The first one is Huntington School this Friday - who knows how many they'll be by then...

Friday, November 01, 2013

Christmas fairs

It's November, which means it's Christmas fair season.

My first event of the season is next Friday 8th November 7-9pm at Huntington Primary School in York, where we'll be getting festive at a Christmas shopping evening. I'll be signing books and inviting everyone to get Lost in a Book.
I can't imagine a Christmas without a book to disappear into at some point...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reprint ordered

This morning I ordered another print run of Lost in the Christmas Post, the second in my Doodle series, all about how Iver No-Idea and his dog HB manage to cause their own brand of festive chaos...

Eric’s doodles are on the rampage again. Iver No-Idea and his dog HB are no ordinary doodles, they’re alive; and stories and pictures come alive around them. When Iver No-Idea jumps onto a Christmas card and sinks up to his knees in the snow it’s just the beginning of Eric’s troubles.

Eric comes up with an idea to control Iver No-Idea, but it only makes matters worse, and soon Iver and HB are running through the Christmas cards, knocking things over and jumbling things up. But when HB goes missing, and Iver No-Idea sets out to find him, Eric is afraid he might have lost his doodle friends for good.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Knitted sheep - inspired by the book But I'm Not Sleepy

Meet the sheep...
You must always remember you saw it here first...!

This is the first sheep in the flock, the prototype you might say for the ones to follow. And follow they will, as now I have a pattern, written down as I knitted, on the plain side of the paper band from the ball of wool.

Where, you might ask are all these sheep headed? Well they could follow each other around the kitchen table, get lost in the knitting bag, but ultimately they're  headed for Christmas fairs around the York area to promote the book that inspired them But I'm Not Sleepy.

So next time you are tempted to count sheep as an aid to going to sleep, bare in mind the chaos that could ensue when a flock of sheep start rampaging around the bedroom, not to mention the knitted sheep that will inevitably follow...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Special

Nestled inside a virtual bookshop (but actually in my stock cupboard) is a book, or rather a box of books, created in my imagination, with a little bit of real life inspiration. The story was captured and printed onto paper for me to share with little monsters everywhere.

Still at special Halloween price of £4.99

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Merchandising a book on a shoestring

OK so I seem to do everything else so why not merchandising too...? and so production has begun on a flock of sheep to go with my best seller But I'm Not Sleepy. And when I say production has begun I mean I have knitted a sheep's head... but the rest will follow I'm sure, after all following is what sheep do best...

So, after two false starts, where I realised that 11.30pm is not the best time to start a new creative project, I set off again with knitting needles and wool, and made a start. What was that, do I have a pattern...? No of course I don't, that would be far to easy... after all the wool started off as a sheep, I just have to turn it back into a smaller sheep - I don't think I'm quite ready for a life sized sheep to take along to fairs with me, I do have a wheelie crate now to take the strain, but that might be taking things a bit far.

As soon as I have a completed sheep I will post a picture  - oh dear, I do like to put pressure on myself don't I...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Editing... it should be a quiet activity... but not with a house full of furry hooligans...

I had a quiet morning planned, sat on the sofa editing my manuscript... but the stars of my story - a house full of cats had other ideas. They say never work with children or animals - well what about when your animal has children...?

So, there I was reading through my story about the antics of a litter of kittens, while the cats they grew into start a running battle around the house. I blame the weather, not just because it's a very British thing to do, but because if the weather hadn't been cold, wet and windy, then the cats would have run all their energies off in the garden, and not around the house.

In the end several doors were closed, thus separating cats who just wanted a nap, from the ones who wanted to pick a fight. The situation was defused, and I managed to get some work done, shut in the sitting room with Bumble who just wanted a nap.  zzz

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book signing dates, York area... come and Get lost in a Book

Shopping evenings and Christmas fairs 2013

Get Lost in a Book at:

8th November 7-9pm Huntington Primary School Christmas Shopping Evening

17th November 11am - 4pm Whixley Village Craft Fair

21st November 6.30pm Wilberfoss & District Playgroup &Toddler Group Christmas Shopping Evening

28th November 7-9pm Knavesmire Primary School Christmas Shopping Evening

7th Dec 10am - 4.30pm Tithe Barn, Church Lane Nether Poppleton Christmas Fair

Is it too early to be feeling festive?

So, after getting a little carried away, buying Christmas hats and booking Christmas fairs, and breaking into Christmas song (that was the step too far that I got told off for...) I thought I was being really early and organised when I went to stock up on dried fruit to start the Christmas baking - but apparently I wasn't as ahead of the crowd as I thought I was... some of the shelves were already bare and a locust style shopping seemed to be in full swing...

...and there was me thinking everywhere would be quiet on a rainy Monday in October. When everyone should be tucked up somewhere warm and dry with a good book - either reading one or writing one.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Getting our heads turned by springy Santa hats

It's all go on the kitchen table this morning with my daughter and Nails Inspire at one end and me with Lost in a Book at the other... both egging each other on and booking more Christmas fairs.

New nail polishes have been created and a quote for a new print run has been requested, and all was looking very grown up and professional until we got sidetracked onto Christmas hats... Now sensible business women's heads have been turned by springy Santa hats, which we simply must have to get in the festive spirit at the Christmas fairs...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Book signings and Christmas fairs

Here I am in October and a festive feeling is sneaking in as I book a few more Christmas fairs - list to be posted when I have the confirmations.
So out with the fairy lights and Christmas sparkles - and bring it on... it's always lovely to know that some of my books are out there being lovingly wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper and nestling in Christmas stockings and under Christmas trees. :), where's that Santa hat?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Read me a story. Please... See if you can find the monster.

Read me a story. Please...

Let me share a little snippet  of my book The Monster Under The Bed with you, so that you can share it with your own little monsters... 

“Mum... Mum... There’s a monster under my bed!”
Billy sat up in the dark... something was moving around under his bed.

There was a creak from the stairs, then the sound of footsteps.
The door opened, and Mum switched the light on.
“There’s no monster Billy... now go to sleep.”

Billy listened as his mum went back downstairs.
He lay in the dark, with his duvet pulled up so that just his eyes peeped over the top.
He heard a bump on the floor.
Something was moving about in the dark.
“Get back into bed Billy,” called Mum.
“I’m in bed Mum. It was the monster.”

If you've spotted  the monster in the pictures, and want to see more, why not buy a copy to share with your little monsters at the Halloween price of £4.99

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Writing, editing and following dreams

True to my plan I did make a start on editing my manuscript, OK so it was in the afternoon and not the morning, but I did make good use of my morning too... I had a play on adobe and managed to trick it into doing what I wanted! Here is the result:

 Check out Lost in a Book on facebook and share if you're following your dreams and putting your product out there.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Draft copy printed

Well I've done it now - I've printed out a draft copy of my book

I had two little helpers, one cat was sat in the comfy chair next to me, and one was sat on the desk, she had a dab at the flash drive sticking out of the side of the laptop - well it is in the shape of a penguin, so she probably thought it was fair game... luckily she didn't manage to knock it out, or the printer would have had a panic attack and then anything could have happened...

So... now I have a lovely crisp manuscript to read through in the morning.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Progress on the cat book v being cats' doorkeeper

There was definite progress this morning, despite having to keep getting up to play doorkeeper to the cats. The cat flap is currently blocked - yes that's right blocked, not locked, the locks have proved inadequate on previous occasions and we currently have a cat confined to the house until his stitches have a chance to mend an injury caused by a recent fight.

But between answering the door, and other never ending 'stuff to do' I have moved on to the extras such as insert pages for the beginning of the book. Tomorrow, cats, horses and cars permitting I'll be printing out a draft copy  - oh yes I should have added home printer permitting, as that is the most likely hiccup to try my patience tomorrow...

Then I should be able to decide exactly where the colour pics are going to fit into the book, so that I can get a print quote from the professionals -   they're the guys with the big printers that turn out beautiful books.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A week of horsing around...

Lets hope this week is going to be a bit less hectic, with no cats needing to go to the vets(apart from the one I took today for his check up), or cars to the garage. And if I can just keep a stir-crazy cat indoors long enough to ensure his stitches don't split open, then all should be well...

Last weeks highlights saw me riding an ex-racehorse and going to The Horse of the Year Show - The Horse of the Year Show was planned months ago, but the ride on the ex-racehorse wasn't - or at least it wasn't on my plan for the day... though my daughter has probably been planning it for a while.

This week has already started well, I've been invited back to a Christmas event at the Tithe Barn in Poppleton. This was a lovely event last year, with the barn decorated for Christmas and everyone feeling very festive.

So... after all that excitement... in the morning, bright and early (or as close to mid-morning as possible), I'll be getting on with my cat book...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trying to fit some writing into my writer's day...

Well I made it to a computer by 10am this morning, this is progress...

The cars seem to be behaving themselves, well one of them went away for a min break at the local garage this week, so it should be rested up and ready for some trouble free driving...

The cats have all gone to sleep - how many cats I here you saying, well that's all going to be revealed in my new book if I ever stop thinking of more things I simply can't miss out, and declare it finished. But only this morning I found a chapter that just had to have some more detail added about how one of the cats got involved in some home decorating...

But when is a book finished...? and when should the promotion start? it's enough to make my head spin...

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Leisurely start...?

It seems that getting to a computer earlier than 11am just alludes me...

This morning it's true I did have a bit of a lie in, followed by a leisurely sit down with a cup of tea - jumping up between gulps to pursued cats that they really shouldn't be wondering about behind the TV and threatening to chew wires...

But yesterday I did make some headway on my next book, and it's shaping up nicely. This is my first book aimed at adults and consequently it's going to be a thicker book - my first one that's going to be fat enough to put the title on the spine. I'm not sure I can talk about my book shaping up and then say it's fat in the same post - but I don't think it's listening...

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Forced early start

Well who'd have thought you could get so much done in a morning with a forced early start...?

So far I've:
Taken one car to the garage, given a lift in another - no I'm not a taxi driver... I've set the laundry off (normal activity) dug up some garden (very unlike me...) and bought a book (now that's more me...) but I haven't done any work on my book, or sold a book... and so, even with an early start I'm still only sitting down to work at 11am - I could have had a lie in and started at this time... ah well I have got a lot of stuff done...

Monday, October 07, 2013

Apologies to home printer

Apologies to my home printer, and note to self not to take on technology when I'm tired  - or it will win!!

It took me a few days, and a bit of distance from the problem, but I finally figured it out - I added numbers to my pages between printing the odd pages and the even pages, thinking that the numbers would nestle nicely in the footer without taking up any extra space and throwing the whole document into disarray...  they didn't.

But aside from all of that, the editing and formatting of my next book is coming along nicely - and one of these days I'll risk approaching the home printer again to see it all in  print, for final checks before sending it off to the professionals to get a proof copy printed... ready for final final checks.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Home printer with a warped sense of humour...

I decided that today was the day to commit my latest book to print on paper for the very first time, but my home printer had other ideas...

OK so the printer doesn't get the same amount of attention it once did, when I printed out everything for fear of loosing a day's work to technology. But you'd think that would make it all the more keen to please when it does get used...

I set it off printing all the odd pages, all well and good, then I set it to print all the even pages, the result should have been a stack of neat pages with my book printed out. But this is where the printer decided to get creative and miss chunks of text out, I can only imagine where it's put them - they'll probably turn up on some unsuspecting and important form that doesn't need to include snippets of story about a house full of cats.

It's enough to send a digital file running off into the depths of a computer never to be seen again...

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Monster Under the Bed Halloween special offer...

“Mum……Mum…..There’s a monster under my bed.”
Billy sits up in the dark, he can hear something moving around in his bedroom. When his mum puts the light on there’s no monster to be seen. But when Mum goes back downstairs the noises start again.
“Get back into bed Billy,” calls Mum.
Something is making a noise, and if it isn’t Billy – who can it be? Find out in this full colour picture book that’ll keep you guessing till the last page.

Now on special offer until Halloween - for the little monsters in your life...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Book signing this weekend

I'll be at the  Poppleton Centre this Saturday 10am - noon, inviting everyone to get Lost in a Book at the Autumn fair in aid of Poppleton Under Fives. Come along and flip through some books and see what takes your fancy, I'll be signing and personalising them too.

Get Lost in a Book on Etsy

Here's something new... I've now got 2 of my books listed in my shop on Etsy so why not pop along and see which books are there... Not see the one you want - try my website for the full range.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Story time - read me more...

So, a week ago I posted a sample of my book Doodle Mayhem on my blog, and plenty of you have been checking in to have a read... So what did you think?

If I get feedback from at least 10 people over the weekend I'll post the next sample of the story. So what are you waiting for, get commenting and you can find out what happens next for free!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tell me a story please

Chapter 1

Doink! Something bounced off Eric’s head. He looked up with a start.
“What’s the matter Eric?” asked Miss Roper.
“Nothing Miss,” said Eric, rubbing his head.
“What’s wrong with your head?”
“He’s got nits Miss,” said Miranda, and everyone laughed.
“No I haven’t. Someone threw something at me. I bet it was you.”

“Eric… Stop disturbing Miranda. Bring your book here and show me what you’ve written so far.” Eric could feel every eye in the class on him as he went to the front.
“What does this say?” said Miss Roper.
“Once upon a time, Miss,” muttered Eric.
“Once begins with an ‘O’,” said Miss Roper, writing one in with red ink.
Eric stared at the page as he went back to his desk. He knew he’d written an ‘O’. It was a big capital ‘O’, he remembered writing it. He remembered going over it again while he tried to think of something to write. He might even have drawn a face on the ‘O’. So where had it gone?
Something else hit Eric on the head. He looked around angrily, getting ready to throw something back.

“Once upon a time… what?” Eric looked up to see who was talking to him.
“What’s the matter Eric?” asked Miss Roper.
“Nothing Miss.”
“Well get on with your work then.”
Eric wished he could draw a picture instead of writing a story. He had all his best ideas when he was drawing. He never had any trouble thinking of what to draw. Right now he was simply itching to draw Miss Roper; did she have any idea how funny she looked when she pulled that face?

“You haven’t written anything in the last five minutes, I’ve been watching you, and stop doodling,” Miss Roper’s voice cut into his thoughts again.
“I’m thinking Miss.”

He turned his attention back to his work, just in time to see the red capital ‘O’ being ripped off the page in front of him. Eric rubbed his eyes and looked again.
“Oh so I’ve got your attention now have I?” said a little voice. Eric looked around to see if anyone else had heard, but the rest of the class was still hard at work.
As he looked down at the little man stood on the page in front of him, he looked very familiar. From his unruly spiky hair, to his trainers, with their over long laces, trailing untied behind; he looked just like one of Eric’s doodles.


“Ow…” something else hit Eric. It was red, he noticed, as it rolled across the desk and onto the floor.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What time is story time?

What time is story time?

It could be bedtime, the perfect end to the day, or in the middle of the afternoon when the wind is blowing and the rain is lashing down...  or on a hot sunny day, sat in the shade of a tree.

It could be when you should be doing some chores, but your child is following you about with a book, waving it in the air saying "read."

Anytime is story time, a little bit of escapism in the middle of a busy world, to open up a book and let the characters draw you in ,until you're there with them, sharing their adventures and disappearing into other worlds...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Books about monsters

My first book: The Monster Under The Bed never fails to get attention at fairs and book signings. most people say the title out  loud with a bit of a chuckle, and after that reactions are split.

Some people can't resist picking a copy up to flip through or even read the whole story, and others back away saying that they couldn't possibly buy a book about monsters, fearing terrified children and sleepless nights.

For some, no amount to reassurance that it's not a scary monster will change their minds, and yet when I did a book reading last week to under 5's many of the children homed in on the monster book first. They enjoyed the story, and pointed out the eyes of the monster peeping out from it's hiding place. They were excited, not scared by the idea of the monster, and when the identity of the monster was revealed on the last page they laughed, and went away happy, not in the least bit scared.

Monsters can take many forms, and even small children enjoy the suggestion of something scary as long a they feel safe and are left feeling that all was well in the end.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Books to encourage kids to read

I often hear that children are either too young for books, or they don't want to sit and listen to a story... but is that because books are being offered in the wrong way?

Put books in the hands of little ones - start with rag books and board books, but don't be afraid to put paperback picture books in the hands of little ones, don't make books into something that has to be held out of reach in case they get creased or ripped. A battered book is a loved book. You wouldn't try and keep a teddy bear out of reach in case it got damaged, so why keep books out of reach?

Let children choose a book that they want to read or look at, and share that book, read it and enjoy it together. Allow yourself to be distracted and talk about the pictures as you go along - just go with the flow and get lost in a book together.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Read me a story...

It's nice to know that my books can hold the attention of the under 5's even in a play barn with all those distractions... one little boy went off to play before the end of a story, but came back because he wanted to know what happened to all the sheep in Lucy's bedroom...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Author reading

I'm hoping to encourage lots of new readers to get Lost in a Book tomorrow at Creepy Crawlies in York by reading a selection of my books to anyone who cares to listen...

Come along and join me between 12 - 2pm and find out about the monster under Billy's bed, or what happens when Lucy can't sleep and starts counting sheep, and as for what Basil is making of the flappy thing...?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Promoting an indie book

Book promotion is one of those things that lots of people have a theory about. There are books on how to do it the right way, foolproof ways of selling a book...

The internet is full of advice on how to sell books, some seem more complicated than writing the book, and nothing seems to bring on an attack of writer's block like trying to figure out a way to bring more views to a website. So maybe the answer is to hide away and get the book finished... then just spring it on the unsuspecting readers, all shinny and finished and ready to read...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coming soon...

They say you should never work with children or animals, well what if your animal has children...?

Well the result was large chunks of time when I didn't manage to get to a computer, let alone do the ongoing blog that I intended, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow, enjoy the moment and write about it later... 

What I did have time for was to write kitten diaries - it's easier to write with pen and paper when kittens are climbing all over you, than it is to try to type. And from these kitten diaries - which have paw prints and chewed edges, a book is emerging... 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Stats monster puts its head up...

The Stats monster reared it's head to have a look about after its mention in my blog... so now it looks even more like the Lockness Monster. Yesterday there were just the humps, but today there's a long neck and a head... I wonder what it will be doing tomorrow? Maybe it will get up and run away... or just grow and grow...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The stats monster...

Looking at the viewing stats for my blog over the past few days, the graph seems to go up and down much like the humps of the Lockness Monster. Maybe my next book should be about this illusive creature, the stats monster, that seems to have a life of its own, rising and falling as people out there in the cosmos click their mice. But is the stats monster a the prey or the predator of the mouse...  

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Procrastinating or researching?

Surfing the web - is it really research or are we all just procrastinating?

I sit here typing into the abyss instead of getting on with the book that I know is nearly finished, but just needs a bit more editing.  There's so much advice out there about how to make amazing sales online, when really getting out there and mixing with people in the real world seems to drive more sales. And so we wander about the virtual world liking each others pages, and following each other to who knows where... but who is really selling the most books...?

It seems that writing a book about how to do something is the trick, but are they just full of hot air and more fluff? I've read about optimising my  website and twitter power, but still my book sales are coming from book signings.

And so my top advice to myself and anyone else who may be reading this: Turn off the internet and put on a CD that inspires and sets the right mood... and WRITE

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Yorkshire Day and Birthday

Happy Yorkshire Day 1st August and Happy 4th Birthday to my bestseller But I'm Not Sleepy

One look at this cover brings a smile of recognition to so many faces - it seems that everyone has a Lucy who just doesn't want to go to sleep.

But does everyone have a Downboy the sheepdog to help round the sheep up if the age old method of counting sheep leads to a herd of unruly sheep crashing around the bedroom...?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Weekend book signings

A busy weekend ahead, I'll be at Creepy Crawlies Play Barn on Saturday, trying to resist the temptation to go and play on the slides, as I invite everyone to get Lost in a Book. And what could be better in the heat of a Yorkshire summer than sitting back and reading a book and inspiring a new generation of book lovers.

On Sunday it's up to Yarm, to a Baby and Toddler fair, where I'll be reading from my books, and doing a book signing.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Book signing

So what is it about the title book signing that attracts lots of page views but doesn't lead to links to a website and the purchase of a book...?

People like to meet an author in person in a bookshop or at a craft fair, and browse the books for themselves, and that's where the sales seem to lie. And yet the internet is the ideal place for buying and selling books...

A buyer can shop around, and read blurbs and reviews to their hearts content, and then order from the vast choice out there.

A seller can reach a vast potential readership that would never be possible to achieve by trying to go around meeting every customer.

An author can sell directly to the customer, and sign copies of their book.

So why the indie shop...? Because you might just find a gem of a book that either isn't available in the big shops and outlets, or is listed as out of stock, with a 6 week wait for a book.

So go on Get Lost in a Book... you never know what you might find there.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Book marketing - when to start...

So here's the thing... I've written another book, but it's not quite ready. Then I start reading alarming articles about how I should start marketing it already, in fact I've already left it a bit late... it's enough to send an embryonic manuscript leaping off the computer screen and back into the safe recesses of a writer's imagination...! It's like a wild animal (it's even about animals who can get a bit wild at times... especially if supper is late). It has to be coaxed into a book, not just caught while it's looking the other way, and the book slammed shut on it.

So... patience. There's a new book on the way, but it still needs a bit more nurturing, then it'll get wrapped up safely in a cover bearing its name, and sent out to caring homes.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Come back paper and pen, all is forgiven.

Let's hear it for the paper and pen - you don't have to remember to save when writing with a pen, the ink stays on the page without further instruction. A note book doesn't tell you you're not authorised to make changes to your own work, if you want to add more to the work you wrote yesterday... I've never heard of a notebook driving its user to the point where they want to throw it out of the window.. Technology - its a love hate thing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book signing

Book signing in York this Saturday at Poppleton Road School Summer fair 1-3pm

I'm hoping for a nice sunny day for this one, as it's an outdoor event and I don't have a gazebo, or an ark...  If I had a big enough table I could always set out my stall under the table with a tarpaulin over the top... but I'm sure the sun will shine, and the clouds will see what we're trying to do and float off somewhere else - while I keep dry in  my bubble of optimism :)  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Author book signing dates

Lost in a Book is venturing forth to do an outside a book signing at Poppleton Road School Summer Fair on 22nd June 1-3pm - what's the worst that can happen: wind, rain, floods... sun burn? It's summer in Yorkshire - I'm sure it'll be beautiful :)

On 21st July it's up to Yarn where I've been invited to do a reading and signing.


On 28th July I've got another exciting venue - yet to be confirmed...

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Good homes needed for well behaved books

Could anyone out there offer a good home to well behaved books? All they require is someone with a little time to open their pages from time to time and share the story within, with the young, or young at heart. And in return they'll give you unquestioning service and be ready at any time to transport you and your imagination    on a journey into fiction and fantasy... so go on get Lost in a Book you'll be glad you did.

Visit my indie bookshop now and I'll post your choice of books out to you, post free.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Round up a Bestseller from Lost in a Book

Round up a Bestselller while its still at its promotional price for May.

 But I'm Not Sleepy - It'll make you think twice before you start counting sheep to get to sleep, unless you already have a sheepdog to hand that is...