Author Interview with Sheila Crosby.

Welcome, Sheila Crosby.



At last, I’m so glad to bring you the interview with the lovely Sheila, the one which should have been published in January. Here it is, and hope you enjoy it and find it, like all good things, well worth waiting for.

Blog about La Palma:
Main site: (which should be getting some love in the new year.)
Online shop: They make great Christmas gifts!

It’s my great pleasure to welcome author and my also, one of my writing group friends to my blog today. Sheila Crosby has written stories set on the Island of La Palma, where she lives, and also, Dragon stories, and stargazing tales from the observatory.

Sue/ Congratulations on making it to the shortlist of Alfie dog international story competition recently, Sheila. Where did the idea of the April fool story come from?

Sheila/ Thanks. And thanks for inviting me to your blog. It’s often hard to remember afterwards, but I think that one started off as a conversation with my adult son about how mobile phones have changed things. These days you can take a selfie with whatever-it-was and people are much more likely to believe you. Then I got to thinking about when it would be really important and really hard to be believed, and the answer was an alien invasion on April fool’s day. I mentioned the idea to a few friends, and got great snorts of laughter every time, so I knew I was onto a good one.

Sue/ You write a lot about La Palma in the Canary Islands where you live. How did you wind up living there?

Sheila/ I originally came to the island with a six-month contract to work as a software engineer in the astronomical observatory here. That was in 1990 and I’m still here! You see, I met a tall dark handsome local in the Isaac Newton Telescope and we wound up getting married. Luckily for me, the island is beautiful and inspiring.

Sue/ I especially love your dragon stories, and you have a book called….The Dodo Dragon and other stories. What is it that draws you towards dragons?

Sheila/ Actually, I don’t think I write many dragon stories. The Dodo Dragon is the only story in the anthology about a dragon (although it’s one that keeps selling) and it’s a very unusual dragon. Although everybody knows what to expect of a dragon, and I do enjoy subverting that. Dragons don’t have to be baddies.


Sue/  You have Thrice upon a Time, in the book of the same name, published by Alfie Dog. I’ve read that story, and I’d describe it as fairy-tale with humour. Is this a genre in which you would write more stories? Or was that a one off?


Sheila/  I’ve written a few humorous fairy tales. For example, “Some Day My Prince Will Go”is a parody of Rapunzel. Rapunzel is ridiculous – so the prince finally manages to climb up into her tower – that doesn’t mean that she’s rescued. She’s still up a tower for pete’s sake. Why didn’t she cut off her hair and climb down it herself, years ago? I’d definitely like to write more – I suppose it’s partly that fairy tales make a lot of assumptions which strike me as daft. I mean, what if a gay man slays the dragon? Does he still have to marry the princess? What’s she going to think about that? What if the dairy maid rescued the prince?


Sue/  Where did you have your first story published? And how did you celebrate?


Sheila/ My first sale was “The Dodo Dragon” to Jackhammer ezine in 1998, and they paid me $19. I was at work when I got the email (text only emails in those days) so I went into the ladies where I could literally jump up and down without anybody seeing me.


Sue/  You’re busy showing tourists round the observatory, on La Palma. When do you find time to write?

Sheila/ For the last few weeks I’ve had extra guiding work and I’ve been very busy trying to market books. So I haven’t had time to write anything except blog posts and it’s making me bad tempered. But I don’t work as a guide full time – I probably average about four days mornings a week. Then there’s housework, dammit, (I have a very messy family, and that includes me.) But for most of the year I probably get anywhere between 15 minutes and 2 hours a day, squeezed in wherever I can manage. It’s completely chaotic, but it sort-of works. And occasionally I get a fit of enthusiasm, ignore all my responsibilities and just write for a couple of days.


Sue/ I know you send stories to Women’s Weekly, People’s Friend and other magazines. Which magazine to you find easiest to write for?


Sheila/ Actually the easiest places to get published for me are SF and fantasy webzines, but of course they pay a lot less. It helps that there’s a lot of them, so when your story’s rejected from one place, you still have plenty of others to try. If any of your readers write speculative fiction, I recommend as a great list of potential markets.


Thank you Sheila for a glimpse into your world, which looks exciting and great fun. Glad that you’re a critique buddy as well.


Next month, interview with Patsy Collins…


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Beginning a new story.

Some of my followers will know I’ve been away from the computer for a while. Now I’m starting a new Redington story, and it begins with Ivy running up the street to talk to Janice who works in the local grocery story. She has some disturbing news to tell her.

This is a bit different to my normal Redington stories, and I’m now getting in to part two.

It’s great to be back writing, as I don’t feel right when I don’t write. I’m grumpy and it feels like something is wrong. So, I’m at that fabby desk, and if you missed it last time, here it is again, along with some pictures I took on a country walk the other day. It was quite a brisk walk, to help lower the cholesterol, in between admiring the scenery. Shame I almost walked in on a transaction of the dodgy kind, but that’s another story.

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Glam Gran’s blog.

Hello blog followers, I’m now sitting at my new desk, and using my own computer rather than going into our lovely library. It has made me realise how important that service is though, so next time you’re near your local library, pop in and get a book or two.

Digital imageNow the sun’s shining, it’s time for me to get the toenails painted, and get those feet looking neat. The giggle blog will be having a rest for now, and instead I’m going to call it Glam Gran’s tips to keep looking good. This is obviously taken with a pinch of salt, (oh, no it’s not, I have to cut out salt!!) as following a routine check up at the doctors, I have to lose some weight, get the blood pressure and cholesterol down a tiny bit.

So, I’m now on the mediterranean diet. Lots of fruit and veg, and excercise and using olive oil instead of marge or butter. I’m allergic to dairy stuff, so I don’t eat butter anyway. So isn’t ice-cream Italian? And I think crusty bread is alright in moderation. Here’s me at my new desk, isn’t it great. So far I’ve sent out two letters written at it, and they’ve said they will let me know nearer the time if they’re published. One for the funnies section of That’s Life, and one for Take a Break’s Brainwaves. Not sure what I sent, but it’s a rare moment when I get a brainwave so fingers crossed.


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Spring is on it’s way.

Digital imageDigital image

It’s great to get up early and have it light for going out to work. And the eclipse was great looking at it through a welding mask that a passing welder happened to lend me. There are lots of advantages to an early morning cleaning job, the main one being money in the bank at the end of the week of course, and also having the rest of the day after morning coffee to yourself.

Another benefit is saving on gym membership, as the physical nature of the job keeps you more than fit. Also, and this one should come first really, I work with a merry mix of colleagues who are delightful, and great fun. Today I was with my Sunderland buddy, and we’re more like Sisters than work mates, as we laugh at the same things, which is mostly everything, and we work hard together to make the places shine like sunshine on a sea=shore…. she says something else, but I’ll leave that to your own imagination.

I’ve almost finished decorating the writing space, and we took more books to the charity shop today. I’ve made more space, and soon there will be a funky desk in place, and a new computer. Photos will appear soon, and I still want to do Sheila Crosby’s interview, and also Patsy Collins has a new story collection out, so hoping to talk to her about that on here soon as well.

Enjoy the springtime sunshine, and keep smiling, you know it makes sense.

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March Giggle blog.

I do realise I’m a bit late with this, but now I’m here and have a couple of giggles for you this merry month of March.

Our little grandaughter, loves looking at her mummy while she’s drinking her milk, and dropping off to sleep. So this one night, she was studying Ann’s face, and then she looked up to her hair where she’d tied a huge bow, after having a bath. The little girl looked at those two big flowery ears on her mum’s head and frowned as if to say, ‘why has my mummy sprouted ears…. it was so funny, Ann had to turn her face away so as not to burst out laughing at the cute expression.

Me and my Sunderland work colleague turned up to clean a house. Nothing funny in that, as it’s what we do. They have a three legged cat who wouldn’t move out of the way, so I mopped round him and he was playing chase the mop…. then I leaned the mop up against a cupboard, while I bent down to unplug the hoover. When the mop banged on my back, I thought it was the cat attacking me for teasing him and screamed out loud. Too bad there was a chap asleep upstairs after working night duty somewhere. Then she cleaned the gas cooker and set the gas off. Such a good job we’d blown out the candle that the house-holder had left burning in the kitchen to disguise the smell…. We lived to tell the tale, and such fun, I’m out with her again tomorrow.

If you want to read a story that has a touch of humour, tune into Creative Frontiers, all this week to read Three Little Words. Hope you enjoy it if you read it, and what’s been making you smile lately?


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Catching up.

Jan in a hatcanal It’s been a bit busy round here lately, doing up furniture, and re-inventing my writing space. I’m going to have a proper desk, and then I’m sure the writing will start to flow from the pen. At the moment, I write anywhere, although I’ve been knitting more lately for the new arrival, who is beautiful. We’ve painted a brown bookcase cream, and a table is cream with a blue top. Will post photos later, when I’m up and running. Did you read my latest serial on Creative Frontiers? Hope you enjoy the change to West Africa, from being in rural Norfolk. Enjoy the sunshine, and talk again soon. That’s blog buddy Jan in her hat, and the canal in Warwickshire, to remind me to get on with Hats off to Love.

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February Giggle blog.

Recently, on a walk around the block; (it’s cold, so long walks can wait until springtime), we bumped into a lady with a bijon frise dog.  I’ve seen pictures of cakes that look like these dogs, they’re cute.

So when I said in my doggie talking voice, ‘Oh, you look like a cake’ the owner and dog jumped back. The dog started barking at me, and the lady looked at me as if I’d landed off another planet. It wasn’t until me and Ann were walking away that we realised I’d just called her lovely dog a cake and she hadn’t a clue what I meant. We knew though, and it was funny.

Another funny thing happened lately. Someone called Glamour forever started following me on twitter. How nice, and it’s a beauty lounge in Sutton, so maybe it’s because they saw my latest header on twitter. Boy/girl nails blue/pink. Anyway, from now on, maybe I’ll have a glam blog going on once a month. I haven’t forgotten Sheila, just that I’m a bit topsy turvy at the mo, and reinventing my writing room, and Annie Sloaning things. Pictures will follow later.

I put a baby reminder on my phone, and on Sunday at half past three, when I switched on, a message came up telling me, Ann’s baby is due between 16:00 and 17:00. which gave us quite a shock as she was sitting on the settee, eating sausage rolls at half past three, so that was a bit of a howler, and baby is quite happy where he/she is.

Last giggle, was that for our Sunday tea, we had salad and home-made sausage rolls and all things that go with it. I used plastic disposable plates, that we had left over from Christmas. Alan collected them up, and I said, ‘Don’t wash up remember, they’re disposables.’ He replied, ‘They’ll be alright to use again, they’ll rinse off, and they aren’t dirty.’ Ann suggested that as a giggle, because not only do we wash up in the traditional way, we re-use disposable plates……..

Until next time, keep on giggling……. you know it makes sense.

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