As spring arrives eventually in Alberta, we look to the signs of spring. Animals emerge from hibernation, green shoots are foraged and the green blush of new leaves makes the landscape so much more pleasant to look at.
As many of you know I wrote a children’s chapter book to educate, as well as inspire and generate fun. Ockleberries to the Rescue centers around two magical sprites helping their forest animal friends. Each chapter is the adventure of a different animal, or the sprites themselves. Easy to read independently or as a bedtime/vacation traveling story.
To accompany reading the book I created this word search to add to the fun. Feel free to use it.
Hardest thing about being a writer: Finding time to write around full time work, and other commitments. Easiest thing about being a writer: Letting the words flow just like a movie in my head. I follow my characters lead, enjoying the unexpected twists, turns and surprising tangents.
Things you never want to run out of: Tea – I’m English it is an essential and vital part of everyday. (Black tea with milk – no other kinds. Not flavoured stuff.)
Things you wish you’d never bought: What I can only describe as ‘fake’ cheese – rubbery and bendy blocks in Canadian stores. (Sorry) It’s not cheese as I know it!
Favorite places you’ve been: Apart from home – England, I have a longing to go back to Rome. My soul connected to the place in such a profound way, I am certain I lived there in another life. Places you never want to go to again: This is a hard question as I enjoy visiting and exploring new places. However, I would not want to revisit losing my father – it was the hardest thing I have ever endured – my heart literally broke into a thousand pieces.
Favorite books (or genre): Goodness, as I constantly read multiple genres, there is always a new favorite. However, I always buy the latest Stephen King as he is my hero. And I reread Ferney by James Long on quite a regular basis, as it is the quintessential reincarnation story. Books you wouldn’t buy: Anything about politics.
People you’d like to invite to dinner (living): Stephen King, Viggo Mortensen, Diane Keaton, Dame Judi Dench, Michele Morrone and the Princess of Wales – Kate as we are both from Bucklebury. People you’d cancel dinner on: Any and all politicians, Elon Musk, Kayne West, and any Kardashian.
Things that make you happy: Time with my grown kids, my writing friends and writing group, and my little rescue dog, Sammie. Exploring on road trips, walking in nature and holidays in England. Things that drive you crazy: The fakeness of social media, many ’I am famous for being famous’ celebrities and self-serving politicians.
The coolest person you’ve ever met: The most ‘famous’ person, I have met is Princess Anne. Such a wonderfully down to earth woman. Also, on my list is Davy Jones (The Monkees), David Essex (UK pop singer), George Young, Baron Young of Cookham, Nigel Havers (actor), and Groot! Yep, the movie launch had characters in major cities, and he was in Edmonton. I ran down Whyte Avenue to cuddle him, much to my offspring’s embarrassment.
The celebrity who didn’t look like he/she did in pictures/video: George Harrison (The Beatles) – much older than my teenage memories, but still a thrill.
The nicest thing a reader said to you: I checked out every one of your books from the library.
The craziest thing a reader said to you: Several readers contacted me asking for a sequel to my fantasy series. I wrote it as a standalone – then found myself writing a sequel to make my readers happy. I am now in the midst of a prequel. Never say never!
Things you always put in your books: Strong, independent women and unexpected and unusual viewpoints. Things you never put in your books: Child or animal abuse. Violence for the sake of it.
Favorite smell: There are several – Brut aftershave that reminds me of my Father, Obsession perfume by Calvin Klein ( I found it in my early twenties and have not worn any other perfume since), cut grass, ocean and mountain air. Something that makes you hold your nose: Inner city smells. (a country girl at heart)
I accompanied my publisher, Dream Write Publishing to Jasper, Alberta on Saturday for booklovers weekend. Most weekends are book lovers weekend’s, I’m sure you would agree, but this was a special event and I was happy to participate.
Our generous host, Habitat for the Arts arranged our tables in the foyer. We had some fantastic chats with visitors and book sales too. Marianne also gifted us ceramic lanyard’s made by local artisans.
I donated my books to the library and received a lovely thank you card and chocolate! Remember, you can always request any of my books from your local library.
As secretary of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, not only did I help plan, set up and tear down this event, but also attended as an author. It was an early start at 7 am to ensure the volunteers and all the display items were organized and in place prior to the opening at 9 am. As they say many hands make light work and the set up and tear down were completed in record time. The event celebrated it’s 15th year, which is a great milestone and this was the first in-person for 2 years.
It felt good to get my author table set up once again, and have the interaction with readers, and local authors too.
Another part of the day was author readings, and all the local authors delighted us with chapters of their chosen book to read. I read part of The Rython Kingdom – it felt good to reading out loud again after so long.
Of course, as a reader, I couldn’t resist buying a few books! So my TBR is now quite an impressive height! It will be difficult to pick which novel to read, after I finished Fairy Tale by Stephen King. Maybe I can write the titles on slips of paper and pick one out of a hat?