Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Building an ark...

That's it, I'm building an ark...! I've managed to trick the monster in the corner into doing a couple more loads of washing, though it's doing its best to create more washing than it washes as it dribbles out of a pipe at the front into a bowl. It's blocked somewhere. but refuses to let me pull the coin trap out to check, maybe there's enough money to buy a new washer in there - or at least to buy timber for the ark...

I'm getting quite taken with the idea of a an ark now...  ok if anyone needs me I'm sailing away in an imaginary ark, you may have to shout quite loud to get my attention...

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feeding the monsters in the kitchen... or just letting an imagination run wild...?

Write about what you know - well I know that there's something in the corner that has developed an attitude and is making some very strange noises - what sort of monster can it be - there I go, writing about  monsters again when I know people are too scared to buy the stories... First it was the monster under the bed, and now it's the monster in the corner of the kitchen.

The monster in the corner of the kitchen has an actual physical presence, it's of an era when it was decided that such appliances should have intelligence... it didn't need intelligence, it just needed to do as it was told, and now it's having some sort of brain storm. It's got more water in it than usual, and it's making some funky noises,as if it's trying to digest the clothes that it's meant  to be washing... if it ever gets to the spin cycle it may well set off across the floor and attack the tumble drier, or maybe join forces with it. The drier chews things and the washer sounds like it's digesting them... maybe I should stop feeding these monsters... or maybe... I should get some work done and stop letting my imagination run away with itself - but where's the fun in that?

Monday, April 27, 2015

A birds nest of Basils...

A birds nest of Basils is what happens when I try to save time by knitting a batch of Basils all strung together...  

But with a little untangling and stitching together they transform into the lovable little ginger cats, ready to go out in Basil gift packs.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New - Basil gift pack

Gift pack includes 1 book and 1 handknitted toy (Basil) cat: approximatly 7cm tall, 9cm nose to back end.
 Front view book and cat:   Back view book and cat: 

Book synopsis:

The door had always worked perfectly well, until the day that Mr Feed-Me cut a hole in it and fitted a flappy thing. Then the door stopped working and everyone started acting a bit crazy… Mr Feed-Me was on the floor using it as a window. 

Mrs Feed-Me kept calling to Basil through it instead of opening the door, and Small Feed-Me tried to post Basil through it like a letter through a letter box.

Then one stormy night Basil found that he had a use for the flappy thing after all, but it wasn't really what Mr Feed-Me had in mind…

32 page full colour paperback
ISBN 978-0-9560232-5-4
Lost in a Book

Monday, April 20, 2015

Get lost in a Book - author rambling on about stuff to anyone who cares to pass this way...

April at Lost in a Book

Over the weekend I've been knitting some more Basils  - what's a Basil? I hear you say (come on work with me here - you don't have to say it out loud - unless you want to that is... )

A Basil is a little knitted ginger cat - Basil, fromBasil and the Flappy Thing, in knitted form...

Here are are some I knitted earlier... 
Why? Because the new ones are still flat-pack... some assembly needed, I wonder if there's a market for Basil in kit form...  And what about this rather handsome tabby - no he's not knitted, but he is also a star in a book - Outnumbered by Cats     

Friday, April 17, 2015

Procrastination hits a new albeit tasty level...

April at Lost in a Book

Can you smell the bread...?

OK maybe that's going a bit far, but there is some fresh baked bread here... and a chocolate cake - so did I need to bake or am I just bringing procrastination to a new, albeit tasty level...? 

Well the alternative is to try new ways of promoting my books, and yes, I can find lots of useful stuff by looking what other authors have done, but it usually results in me adding yet another book to my must have list...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Outnumbered by Cats - breaking out of the box...

Breaking out of the box - my first book for adults or more competent young readers with a love of cats...
Outnumbered by Cats - breaking out of the box...

No, not that sort of box... I mean the idea that an author should stick to one genre - up until now I've written children's books, and though this one will appeal to older children, it is aimed at adults.
One for the adults - A true story bursting with colour photos of cats and kittens.
I'd like to get a female kitten and let her have one litter," I said to my stunned family when they raised the kitten topic. Not surprisingly a suitable kitten was quickly found...  and Mitzi arrived in time for Christmas, bringing her own brand of fun and chaos, and demanding friendship from our 5 year old cat Cleo.

By summer Mitzi was quite confused, she came into season and started calling shamelessly. But when a hapless tomcat answered her call, she was far from impressed; causing more than one cat flap drama, and a hole in the door where a flap used to be. 

Eventually nature took it its course and Mitzi had kittens. The first few weeks were blissfully peaceful, watching as Mitzi took care of their every need. We had a week of heartache when one of the kittens was poorly, and then not developing properly, and was destined to challenge and inspire us in ways we could not yet imagine. 

Then they grew big enough to escape their box, and the bedlam began... 

The story that emerged from the kitten diaries, written as kittens climbed on me and chewed the edges of my note books... 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Author - knitting and horsing around...?


Sheep production has resumed... this sheep seems to have its legs set ready to jump - could it be because I knitted it while watching the Grand National on tv...?

And what about the horse - no that one isn't for sale, it was knitted for a challenge to knit a thoroughbred. At least this one won't mug me for carrots, like the real life one it's modeled on. I feel there may be a horse story coming on at some point...   

So... enough of the knitting and horsing around, let's get back to some books - if you want a book thebookshop is always open - I'll be somewhere about painting the illustrations.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Passionate about picture books

Picture books are fun - yes I could go into all sorts of theories about how they introduce the readers of the future to books, and paint the pictures in their imagination that will later paint themselves as they read... but when you read to little ones it should be fun!

Picture books have to appeal to different age groups - it's usually an adult who chooses the book. The Monster Under The Bed never fails to draw attention at book signings, everyone has a story to tell about the monster under their bed, it's a bit disappointing then, how many people shy away from buying the book for fear of scaring their children. Children enjoy a story that's a little bit scary, when read in a safe environment. It's exciting to not know what's happening, but then find out that all is well by the end of the book.


But I'm Not Sleepy is still my bestseller - it seems everyone can relate to this title, and everyone has a Lucy, but few will admit to having been one when they were little.
And of course there's the added attraction of the sheep - people love sheep! It started with little card pop-up pictures of sheep on my table at book signings, but now the sheep are in danger of taking over. Since the sheep took on knitted form they've become a real talking point and have been bought by all age groups...

Basil and The Flappy Thing often makes people chuckle, and every so often a like minded person picks it up and totally gets it - if you've ever trained a reluctant cat to use a cat flap, then you'll know what I mean... if not, then you should probably read the book to see what you're missing...!
Oh, and Basil has taken on knitted form too!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

All my books at a glance - oh and some sheep to...

All my books at a glance - oh and a sheep too... can you guess from the covers where the sheep come into it...?


My intention is to grab unsuspecting surfers off the net - kicking and screaming, dripping wet if necessary - oh no wait... they're not that sort of surfers...
...and persuade them that they need a book:

I have picture books to share with the little ones in your life: 

I have the Doodle series  - chapter books, with black and white drawings, ideal for early readers, or just to read aloud. 

And my latest book, one for the adults, or more competent readers; a must for all the cat lovers out there - I think the title speaks for itself. It's a true story, illustrated with colour photos of cats and kittens. 

New, and each one unique - cloth busy books for babies. A riot of colour, texture and things to pull and grab.

Book Stockists:

Monday, April 06, 2015

Book signing - York

I've rounded up the sheep and counted out the books, all ready for the first book signing of the year at Clifton Library tomorrow - I'll be turning up in time for the 11 am coffee morning - now if I could just arrange all my book signings around coffee mornings, then that would be lovely...

Friday, April 03, 2015

Rummaging about in my online bookshop - Lost in a Book

April at Lost in a Book

3rd April

Well the snow has yet to arrive, so I'm feeling that A face Full of Snow maybe isn't the best choice to be displaying on my table at the front of my bookshop, so bare with me, I'll just have a reshuffle and put...

hmmm... now what else is topical? Well there are spring lambs being born, so maybe But I'm Not Sleepy would be the ideal feature book this Easter:'s got a Lucy who can't sleep, and a whole lot of sheep... what more could you want? 

Lucy isn't sleepy. She's feeling bouncy and full of energy.

She listens to Granny's bedtime stories, then jumps about pretending to be the characters.

Granny suggests counting sheep, but when the sheep start running around Lucy's bedroom, even Downboy the sheepdog can't round them up.

Finally Lucy gets tired, and finds her own solution to the sheep problem.

32 page full colour paperback

ISBN 978-0-9560232-1-6

Lost in a Book

For personalised signing give name of recipient in 'note to seller' box at checkout.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

What to do at Easter - read of course!

April at Lost in a Book (from the Little Bookshop with big ideas) 

1st April

A new month - and it's nearly Easter - now the DIY stores would have you believe that you should be ripping the house apart or digging up the garden every bank holiday, but with snow forecast for Easter wouldn't you rather be reading a book...? And given the forecast I think A Face Full of Snow would be an excellent choice.

If you live in the York area why not pop along to my book signing at Cliffton Library on Tuesday 7th April from about 10.30am
Third in the Doodle series:

As Eric crashes his way down the ski slope, totally out of control, his only consolation is that Iver No-Idea isn't there to see.

Iver No-Idea and his dog HB are doodles. But they are no ordinary doodles – they're alive, and words and pictures come alive around them. Iver No-Idea has been learning to ski in a ski brochure. He's been practising for weeks and now he thinks he's an expert, and can't wait to tell Eric how it's done.

But when Iver No-Idea and HB are left behind, they find a way to gatecrash Eric's holiday. They arrive at just the wrong time, causing their own unique brand of trouble.

50 page paperback

Black and white line drawings

ISBN 978-0-9560232-3-0

Lost in a Book

I see that the last time I featured A Face Full of Snow in the Little Bookshop with big ideas it was in February... oh well, the weather obviously has no regard for the seasons, so here it is again propped on the display table at the front of the shop. :)