Bridge House Publications
Meet The Authors...
Meet the authors...
Brothers was inspired by the children I was teaching in school at the time. After going to an exciting ferret race, I decided to make the story about ferrets, and got expert advice from young ferret owners in the village. I tried to make it exciting and funny because those are the sort of stories that I like myself.
I have always wanted to be a writer, and now all my writing is for children. My publications include picture books, first story books, novels, non-fiction and poetry. I read and admire many other authors, but I guess that Roald Dahl is my hero. He said that children love to laugh. He showed that stories for children should be fun.
My favourite place for writing is in the rocking-chair in front of the fire. If I do a good morning’s work I am happy, but I am very easily distracted. It’s so wonderful to be out walking in Derbyshire, and if anyone invites me to play tennis I drop everything else.
Every writer wants to be read. If a lot of people read your work, you become rich and famous. I could live with that. In the meantime, I enjoy writing. Above all, it is what I do and who I am. And when someone tells me how much they enjoyed a story it is all worth while.
For details of my novel about the legendary Chinese hero Monkey, please go to my website www.alanjamesbrown.com
I am a teacher of English in a large High School in
My story centres around a young traveller boy, Tom, who is forced to settle when he is orphaned and subsequently fostered by a couple in the
I’ve written fiction all my life – short stories, plays, adventures, and romantic comedies. My favourite children’s writers are Arthur Ransome, Julia Golding and Anthony Horowitz but it was Enid Blyton’s adventures that started me writing when I was about ten and I haven’t stopped since!
I'm a full-time writer now and just love creating new stories and making up lots of weird and wonderful characters. It gives me a very good excuse to daydream, read lots of books and watch lots of films.
Last year, my first novel was turned into a film and I got to be an extra in it which was incredibly exciting. I’m now working on my second novel for the
- What do you normally write?
Adult short stories, articles, a little poetry, children's stories and now trying novels for children and adults!
- Tell us about the story you've had accepted and what inspired it?
I was thinking about how children seldom have proper parties these days, with games and so on. So I started thinking about a planet like earth where everything is more futuristic and decided an old-fashioned earth party would be more of a novelty to such young people. And so Zandor and his friends were born!
- What made you become a writer?
I had always written bits of teen-angst, romantic poetry and enjoyed writing essays. I really 'became' a writer when I moved house, joined a local writing group and was completely hooked. Then I discovered I could get paid for writing and have been working towards doing it for a living ever since.
- Which writers do you admire?
Too many to mention, but most of the classics like Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Crime writers like Ellis Peters, Agatha Christie and such like. Romantic adventures and mysteries (for adults and children).
- Do you have a favourite place for writing?
A particular Costa coffee shop and my study at home where I have the computer. But I can write anywhere if necessary then type it up at home.
- What is your writing routine? Do you have to fit it around your day job?
I'm trying to write more or less full time now, but have to fit it around husband's time off, friends and family, and other writing-related commitments like the afternoon writing group, occasional adjudicating, giving talks on market research and producing a monthly church newsletter. Monday is the only full day I devote to writing and do the rest in half days throughout the week. It still beats going out to work.
- What do you hope to achieve through your writing?
Continued story and article publication in magazines and becoming a published novelist.
- Anything else you think we ought to know about you?
I love music and dancing. Have tried belly dancing and salsa but want to try tap. Love listening to appropriate music while I write. And I need my daily chocolate fix, though I try to keep to the 70% dark stuff as milk choc is too addictive - but strangely, I can't stand hot chocolate or chocolate flavoured ice cream.
I am a full-time freelance writer and have monthly features in Writing Magazine. My short stories have been sold to almost all of the
My first book, Racing Start, (Blackie & Son) was for children and I’ve had a children’s story, Dog’s Dinner, in a collection by Heinemann called Don’t Make Me Laugh.
I also have two writing guides out. The first, The Handy Little Book for Writers is published by The National Association of Writing Groups. The latest is published by How To Books and is called Writing From Life: how to turn your personal experiences into profitable prose.
Two years ago I appeared on Channel 4’s Deal Or No Deal, hosted by Noel Edmonds. Gambling between having 10p or £75,000 or accepting £22,000 from the Banker, I decided to take the gamble and won what was then the 4th biggest prize ever. Part of the money was used to buy a motorhome in which my husband and I have travelled around the entire coastline of
What other material do you normally write?
I write mainly for 9-11 year olds and for Young Adults, both fiction and non-fiction. I’m also experimenting with a bit of life writing. I love blogging. I hate writing marketing copy – I don’t have the patience. As I’m a university lecturer I also have to write academic articles. They’re quite difficult but not unpleasant. My real passion, I guess, is my Young Adult fiction.
What made you become a writer?
I always loved writing and I always had this vision of me being a writer. At one time I wanted to be the next Enid Blyton. Later, it was J K Rowling. It took me a long time to realize I could pursue that dream.
I used to be a teacher of foreign languages, mainly in comprehensive schools and took that as far as I could, having some success as Head of Department at a difficult school and getting better exam results and happier staff. Then I asked myself “What next?” A period at home with an ear problem gave me some time to get on with my writing. I loved it! So, that became the next thing to do.
Which writers do you admire?
Brooke Biaz, Maeve Binchy, Philip Pullman, Judy Waite, Tabitha Suzama, Aidan Chambers, Kate Atkinson, Charles Dickens, Emile Zola, Heinrich Böll, Beverly Birch, Jane Austen, Stephen King – oh and so many others. Anyone who can fascinate me and entertain me, or thrill me with their wonderful writing. Some of my students are great as are many of my unpublished friends. And of course, the other authors in “Making Changes” are absolutely fabulous. If anyone writes well enough that I stop editing their work, and get absorbed in what I’m reading, they’re winners with me.
Tell us something about your writing routine.
I try to write for at least two hours a day and I like to write at least 2,000 words or edit between 6, 000 and 10,000. And I’m always very happy if I have a deadline looming and have to write more. I do notice, though, that I really slow down after the first 2,000 words so the extra hours are often less productive. This morning, for example, I completed well over 2,000 words in one and a half hours then hardly anything in the last half hour.
For years, I’d do my writing first and then everything else started at about 10.30. Now, though, I’m full-time at the university and also have to commute and get on the car park by 8.30 or I don’t get a slot. Some of my university work is writing, anyway. Now, I do my writing at the end of the working day and funnily often have more than two hours available. Plus there is one research day a week and I like to get about six hours’ writing done on that day.
Do you have a favourite place for writing?
Well, I’ve got a cosy study at home and I quite like my office at work. I do like to write straight on to the computer, but on the other hand I like the feel of holding a pen in my hand and touching the paper with my words. Trouble is, I can rarely read what I've written afterwards.
I can actually write anywhere, but keep myself away from windows with views – especially ones of busy streets – much too distracting.
I was a primary school teacher for over 12 years, teaching 3 to 5 year olds. My career began in multicultural, inner city schools in
I married into a highly musical family (the ‘all singing-all-dancing Kellys’) and this has unleashed my rhythmical-lyrical side. When I was in school I had a song for every occasion, from lining-up to tidying-up, and this proved to be the best way to get children busy! Together, my husband and I have written songs for children such as ‘Mother’s Day’ and ‘Father’s Day’ (which our own little nippers sang and recorded for us) and also shape songs to help very young children learn 2-D shapes.
I am in the process of having a book published through Pegasus Elliott McKenzie, entitled ‘Cosmic Connection’. This is a fiction book aimed at 7 to 10 year olds, about a boy who discovers that his telescope has cosmic powers which can unite the forces of the universe and his own imagination to make the constellations come to life. As well writing the story I also penned the illustrations for this book. I am hoping that it will be published later this year (currently at the final proof stage).
Finally, I would like to mention that I also write children’s poetry (light-hearted and rather silly). I have had a poem (entitled ‘I’m Learning to Wink’) accepted for an online children’s magazine (e-zine) in
Leona Matuszczak is a Public Artist, Painter and Writer. She designed and constructed a series of Sculptural Seats, which are permanently installed in a
My story is about a young girl called Amber who has just moved from
The 'World We Cannot See" describes the landscapes of
I wrote this story because I wanted to record the places I’ve been to in the U.K in an enchanting and vibrant way. Because of my artistic background, I think I bring a good visual dimension to my writing. As a first time author, I plan to continue to write a collection of short stories for children, based on Amber and her mythical adventures.
I studied English Language and Literature at
The Best Holiday a story strangely inspired by my gran rather than my own children, my gran wrote stories all her life, and her favourite stories to write were children’s stories. We would talk about writing a lot and after she died she left all her writings in my care. The idea of a magic shell was hers but she didn’t have time to develop it, when I saw the call for submissions the enchantment of finding a magic shell on holiday immediately appeared in my mind. It was a beautiful moment of creativity and I wrote the story in one afternoon. I merged the fairy tale quality of a magic shell which allows you to see anything in the world with my own experiences of bereavement and that deep desire to be able to see the person you’ve lost just one more time.
I loved writing poems and stories when I was at school. Having studied music at university in London I retrained as an osteopath, qualifying in 1990. I work with patients of all ages, babies and children to the elderly. While studying I wrote a “roving reporter in town” column for the quarterly parish magazine, which I seem to recall was frequently a pub review! I also wrote their concert reviews for the local chamber music club. Once I was working full time there was no time for writing until in 2001 I started working with The Artist’s Way, and rediscovered my poetic voice. Since then I have written poetry intermittently. In 2007 I began to study Celtic shamanism, and the yearning to write some kind of children’s story hinting at how to begin shamanic journeying became stronger and stronger. Last year I discovered a local creative writing group and began to explore the short story form as well as poetry. The idea of stories to take on holiday, which might be read out loud, helped me find the shape for my story of Anna and how she finds the way into the Other World. This is the first story I have ever submitted to be considered for publication.
I wrote this story because I wanted to show children (and grown ups) how to begin journeying to the Inner Worlds, and to show what a profound difference this can make in our lives. The story wasn’t really written for any particular age, it was simply the story that needed to be written. I also wanted to write about those uncertainties and fears inside us that we hardly dare to admit
A little about me: when I was an impoverished music student I used to go busking, singing with my guitar, to earn some extra cash. I still sing, in the Chorus of the Academy of St Martins-in-the-Fields orchestra, and in the Tallis Chamber Choir in London and occasionally with other small local choirs. In the past I have also presented a one woman show: a mixture of folk and jazz with my guitar, plus piano and some poetry. In 2005 A guitarist friend and I recorded a short album of smoochy jazz songs, and I have occasionally sung with a jazz band which I really enjoyed and hope to do again soon!
I have been involved in writing and with writers for years. I used to work for the Beeb and Granada TV as a script editor, working on a number of police dramas (any procedural police questions, ask me – the caution trips off my tongue!) and other productions, including Pride and Prejudice. Now, I write short stories and scripts for the radio and theatre. Amongst other things last year, I had a radio script Laying Ghosts recorded for the Wireless Theatre Company last year (available to download at www.wirelesstheatrecompany.co.uk) It’s a bit more gloomy than I had anticipated when writing it, but has good drumming at the end! I often perform with live short fiction group Heads and Tales in
The story in this anthology, Oleg and Cornelia, is about the circus. I’d taken my daughter to see Giffords Circus, a tiny show which tours the Cotswolds in the summer. It’s a traditional circus (without the elephants) and has a miniature Big Top, painted blue inside and studded with gold stars. It’s enchanting – go if you can... It’s a circus I wanted to run away to, and that’s exactly what my character, Cornelia, does. She has her eyes opened to a very foreign world existing on her doorstep.
I was on a course not long ago when we were asked what writers we admired, and everyone was very serious until one of us (now a very successful writer) got flustered and said that the only writer she could think of was Jilly Cooper. It’s a question that makes me go blank too, although there’s nothing wrong with Jilly Cooper....but I’m more Margaret Atwood reader myself. Kate Atkinson (love her new crime series), Suri Hustvedt, Maggie O’Farrell, William Golding, Barbara Kingsolver – I could go on and on. I saw God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza the other day, a wonderfully written play. As for children’s books, I loved The Secret Garden and The Treasure Seekers when I was little. For children now, Morpurgo, Eoin Colfer,
I write in my study, which has a view over the hills of
What do I hope to achieve? I don’t know, really. I like telling stories. I always have, and I always will. If someone wants to publish them or put them on, all well and good. Otherwise it’s me and my own increasingly weary guinea pig.
As an adult I've published short stories, poetry, book reviews, journalism and e-books, at intervals, over a period of about twenty years. My work has appeared in a wide range of publications, from children’s magazines, Horizon and
The story that will be appearing in this anthology is Seshamaleh, the Cave God. It actually grew out of a story I wrote as a child. I had been through a period of severe illness which coincided with the development of a shamanic gift. I wasn't sure how to integrate my new experiences with the accepted material version of the world, and this was my first attempt to do so!
I never had any choice about being a writer. I remember, long before I started school, begging my father to tell me another good night story. He laughed and closed the book because I'd already had several. When he'd gone I lay there thinking about it. Someone had to make up stories... That must be a job... Someone must have a job writing stories! I was so excited I sat bolt upright in bed. That was what I'd do! I've never looked back.
Children's writers I admire are Joan Robinson, Philippa Pearce, Joan Aiken, Peter Dickinson, Alan Garner, Leon Garfield, Jamila Gavin... and many more! My favourite book as a child was When Marnie was There by Joan Robinson, closely followed by Tom's
I often write in bed with a space pen. I have an illness which makes me cough and gives me a very irregular heart beat. The only thing that puts me right is lying flat on my back for hours. Space pens are my lifeline!
I'm also running a small publishing company. (Fractal Publishing - see www.fractalpublishing.co.uk). Our next book, Some Missing Persons, by Gordon Thorburn and Paul Davies is due out in a couple of months.
My immediate aim is to find an agent as I am very bad at hunting out markets for my own work - mainly because I am too busy writing it!
What else? I am fascinated by scientific subjects and am working on some books that incorporate real science. Research chemist, Mark Lorch is helping me with a children's book (intended to develop into a series) and I also have done quite a lot of research towards a book about a botanical mystery. (This time for adults!)
And I love cheesey potato, with lots of onion.
What do I normally write?
I usually write novels, science fiction or fantasy for 8-12 years, but recently I’ve come up with some good ideas for short stories, and I’m beginning to write more humorous material too.
My story, Ripple is all about Joel and his best friend Teresa, who find a mermaid-like creature in a swimming pool. This seems amazing enough, but it soon becomes obvious that their discovery is even more incredible than they first thought. I got the idea from an article in the New Scientist.
What made me become a writer?
I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t writing stories. It’s a compulsion and I get very grumpy if I don’t get time to write.
Which writers do I admire?
Louis Sachar, David Almond, Roald Dahl, Philip Ridley, Eoin Colfer.
Do I have a favourite place for writing?
I carry a pen and paper with me everywhere and the moment I have any peace I write furiously, and keep going until I have to stop. My day job is looking after three children, one of them only 18 months old, so I write while she is asleep!
What do I hope to achieve through my writing?
If I’m taken seriously enough then I can justify spending more time writing! If I was lucky enough to get a novel published then there would be no stopping me – sharing my stories with other people is so fulfilling, I love it.
Anything else you need to know about me?
I write poetry, I like oil painting and I adore the colour turquoise.
What do you normally write?
So far my novel writing has all been set in Renaissance Italy but I’ve stored up loads of ideas for modern day fantasies and I am about to start work on my first full length fantasy novel.
Tell us about the story you've had accepted and what inspired it?
Behind the Mirror is about two kids who fall through a Chinese mirror, what they find behind it and how they get back again with the help of an item of high fashion footwear. It started out as one of those strange early morning dreams; the sort of thing you have when you’re trying to avoid getting up and facing the daily chores. I noted it down at the time and filed it away. Then, when I heard about this anthology I pulled it out and developed it into a short story. I couldn’t think of a way back from behind the mirror until I heard a line in a Kirstie McColl track on a CD in the car. Then it all fell into place. The line? ‘In these shoes? I don’t think so!’
What made you become a writer?
It was one of those weird accidents of history. I decided to go back to my unfinished PhD on a Renaissance artist, only to discover that a monograph on the same subject was about to be published. Left with the prospect of starting another subject completely or using three years of research for something else, I chose the latter and thought I would write a novel about my artist. That got me into writing novels set in Renaissance Italy and the rest...
What writers do you admire?
I have pretty eclectic taste: Dickens, Thackeray, Stendhal, Austen, Christie, Du Maurier, Orwell, Wodehouse, Waugh, Powell, Tolkien, Camus, Cocteau, Stevenson, Sterne, Roald Dahl, Pullman, Rowling, Joan Robinson, Chris d’Lacy, Stuart Hill, Michelle Paver, and so on. When it comes to kids writers my all-time favourite book is Le Petit Prince by St Exupery but that’s for entirely irrational reasons.
Do you have a favourite place for writing?
I write exclusively at the computer in the study, but ideas come to me all over the place. Whenever I have a plot problem to resolve, I go shopping. The walk across the beautiful Decimus Burton landscaped park next door to where I live usually does the trick.
What is your writing routine? Do you have to fit it around your day job?
I gave up work last November and now try to write, or paint, or both, every day. A typical winter’s day in the study starts with cleaning the grate and lighting the fire. Once the logs are blazing I can sit down at the computer and luxuriate in warmth and creativity.
What do you hope to achieve through your writing?
I think I need to get it out of my system. I started writing about four years ago, tried it full-time for about two years and then went back to work. All the time I was at work I was thinking about writing and painting, and I would find my mind drifting in long meetings and my notebook covered in doodles. I don’t think I’m really happy if I’m not creating something.
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
The ISBN number is now available: 978-0-9557910-7-9
And please welcome Pauline to the Blog- another author selected for the anthology but her details somehow slipped through the net.
I've been getting emails about what you are all planning to do and it's very exciting. Where possible I will try to get to some of the launches.
Feel free to post your ideas and plans for others to read!
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Once the editing is finished the book will begin to be put together.
Phil Thomas, from Making Changes and the adult suitcase has produced some really useful info about writing press releases and this will be posted soon, linked to the website.
So as soon as I have more updates you'll be informed!