Welcome, Maureen Vincent Northam

To celebrate launch day of Trace your Roots, Maureen is here on my blog today to tell us about her new release. Lovely to welcome you here, Mo, and good luck with the book. I’ve got mine on order already.


New Trace Your Roots-med(1)

When I sat down to write Trace your Roots I had great plans. I wanted the book to be packed with loads of useful genealogical tips. More than that, I wanted to help those who found they’d reached an impasse – as so many do when drawing up their family tree.
So the tips in my book needed to cover less well known resources, as well as the more obvious birth, marriage and death records, parish registers and census data. To enable both novice and more experienced family history researchers to break though their brick wall I’d use the strategies that had helped me during my time as a professional researcher. These tips would work – after all, they’d been tried and tested.
Each family tree is a puzzle that’s waiting to be solved and like an old jig-saw, there will be pieces missing. Yet these missing segments can often be found when you look in places you hadn’t thought to explore, or didn’t even know existed. Strangely enough, some of the most rewarding finds can be discovered by travelling these unfamiliar routes.
Trace your Roots, published by Crooked Cat Publishing, was a joy to write and I’m very happy with the result. The fabulous cover was designed by Laurence Patterson of Crooked Cat.

Please join me on my genealogy blog, I’m always happy to post other people’s stories: http://trace-your-roots.blogspot.co.uk/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trace-Your-Roots-Maureen-Vincent-Northam-ebook/dp/B00Y2PFXYC/ref=zg_bs_362635031_44
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Trace-Your-Roots-Maureen-Vincent-Northam-ebook/dp/B00Y2PFXYC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1434284388&sr=8-3&keywords=Trace+your+Roots

Author bio
Maureen Vincent-Northam has written seriously ever since Father Christmas left her a Petite typewriter. Author of Trace your Roots, she also wrote Black Dog’s Treasure and co-authored The Writer’s ABC Checklist.

An editor with Crooked Cat Publishing, her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies and online. She has tutored workshops; judged online writing contests and a few years ago was winner of The Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books competition.

Maureen works part time in a residential home, is rubbish at cooking and, when not burning dinner, can usually be found surrounded by empty chocolate wrappers.


Welcome, Patsy Collins

It makes me so happy to welcome my writing buddy and one of my favourite short story writers, Patsy Collins to my blog this week.

Patsy Collins
Welcome to my blog, Patsy, and as I’ve just finished reading Over the garden fence, I’d like to talk to you about your latest collection.

Thanks for inviting me, Suzy … and for the very green milkshake. It looks … different.

Suzy/  The first story is unusual, almost like two stories in one – it works well; what gave you the idea to do that, as it’s something I haven’t seen before?

Patsy/  I’m interested in the way one small action, or a slight change of attitude can have a big impact on our lives because they influence everything which happens next. With Black and White, I was able to watch as Felicity made one bad decision which gradually resulted in tragedy and then to give her another chance to do things differently.

Suzy/  So far, this is the third collection of short stories you’ve published. How do you choose which to include?

Patsy/ Having a theme helps. I do write a lot of stories which involve plants, gardens or gardeners in some way, but sticking with those narrows down the choice a little. Some of the stories in this collection are favourites from those published in magazines or placed in competitions. Others were written specially with the collection in mind. I wanted to provide a good variety of subjects so that the reader didn’t need green fingers to enjoy it.

Suzy/ Some of these stories are a bit scary, others funny, and some happy or sad. One of my favourites is Picture Perfect, and they’re all lovely stories in their own way. How long does it take you to get a story ready to be published?

Patsy/ That varies a lot! I have come up with an idea in the morning, written it the same day and sent it off the next after a quick read through for typos. I don’t like to rush them like that though (I only did it because the story was topical – and it paid off!)
Often I have most of an idea, but it takes a few sessions to work everything out. However long it takes to write, I usually wait until I’ve written something else, then read through it again. That gives me enough distance to be a bit more objective. If I’m still not entirely sure, I put it up for our lovely review group to have a look at.

I’m glad you like Picture Perfect. That was inspired by real events. Gary, my lovely husband, is a professional photographer. Quite often peculiar things happen when he picks up a camera. On one job someone parked right in his way and began unloading piano pieces from a car. I can’t witness something like that and not note it down for a story.

Suzy/ Which is your favourite magazine to write short stories for and why?

Patsy/ That’s a totally unfair question! I absolutely love them all … but I love whichever one last accepted a story the most.

Suzy/ I like the quirky covers of the story collections. Do you design them yourself?

Patsy/ No, I have a man for that! Gary produces all my book covers, either from stock images we buy, or from his own photographs. The purple writing was my idea though. (You’d already worked that out, hadn’t you?)

Suzy/ Have you any more collections in the pipeline?

Patsy/ There will be more in the Garden series. Through the Garden Gate is next. I’ve considered doing a romance collection, but at the moment I’m working on another novel.

Thanks, Patsy for popping in for the interview. It’s great to learn more about you and your lovely stories.

You’re welcome, Suzy and I’m so sorry about spilling my drink … I hope it comes out of the carpet. No, no please don’t worry about mixing me another. I’m fine honest!

You can buy Over the Garden Fence here

To find out more about Patsy, visit her website gardenfenceGo on, go on, I know you’d like another,  here you go now, drink it up…..

spirulinaAnother author interview next month.

What’s in your bagesk?

Digital imageDigital imageDigital imageNo, not baguette, otherwise mine would be cheese and tomato, or ham and mustard, no, bagesk, that item that holds all you need if you’re on the move.

Here’s my latest bagesk. A present recently brought back from Mom and Dad when they had a week away; for looking after the house and garden, I had a lovely tapestry style (I love that kind of thing) bag. It’s got all in there that would be on my desk, so that’s why it’s the bagesk.

Digital imageNot only is it a smashing pattern, wild flowers ladybirds and butterflies, it’s got a waterproof lining, and pockets back front, side and inside as well. Perfect.

In it is my larger diary, page a day where I jot ideas and titles etc. Also the books I’m reading, ‘we that are left’ Juliet Greenwood, and A Country Affair, Rebecca Shaw. My folder of short stories fits in there, with the bike and cushions piled up sticker on the front, and in the back of there, I tuck any of those brown envelopes that come back, ready for when I take another look at them and send them elsewhere, or edit.

There’s a red exercise book in there for my o.u. course. That free one, begin writing fiction. It’s good. I’m at the stage where we need to write a short story now.

I posted this after reading on Diane Parkin’s blog, where she’s showing us her writing bag. Previous post from the DD one. Lets have a blog in of bags…. what’s yours like? And what’s in it. By the way, this is a new bagesk, so it’s quite tidy. I have a wardrobe full of others. And, sometimes they throw up an idea for a letter that pays well. This happened recently, so never throw anything away.

Digital imageDD veterans, thank you and we love you. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sweet things.

Digital imageOur daughter tells me I’m obsessed with sweets. That’s not entirely true, except on Saturday nights. Maybe a couple of other days as well, mainly only days with a y in them. So, I went swimming on Friday to make up for it. She came too, then had an energy burst and cleaned out a cupboard, planted cress and then went to sleep. Here she is reading her Miranda book. This is what she thinks of it.

Digital imageAmazing book for 30 somethings as you can relate to all the stories that are written in a diary style. She covers everything from beauty, diets, holidays to dating, weddings and culture. If you like the t.v. series, you’ll love the book.

Now I’m off to eat sweets, oops, I mean write, and talk.