Monday, 28 October 2013

The Long & Short of It....!

The above picture is of Lowestoft seafront. Lowestoft is the most easterly town in the UK. We were there last month visiting family and friends and since our return home our feet have not touched the ground. We installed a new kitchen, but before the nice part could happen, the floor had to be dug up and a new sewer pipe installed. Following this, the walls had to be chased out along with what was left of the floor for new electrics. Plumbing came next, then new floor tiles, new plastered walls and  and then it was time for the kitchen! Today, we are left with a few tidying jobs, but it all looks fabulous and amazing.

In between everything, I have written a short story for Christmas which will be published on Kindle in time for the festive season, titled, Next Christmas will be Different. My editor, Jo Field sent back her comments over the weekend and said this about my short story…  it is filled with atmosphere, and like all your stories has a thread of pathos running through it, which is thought-provoking as well as entertaining.” 

The cover is being designed by Cathy Helms from Avalon Graphics and as soon as I can, I will reveal this to you.

Publication date is set for 6th December and to help promote Next Christmas will be Different, I have been invited to a few fabby Blogs. I will list names and dates as soon as the cover is ready. Exciting and busy times.

This is all my news for now. For those of you in the UK, I hope that the storm that is whistling its way across the British Isles leaves you safe and damage free. Take care!

Thanks as always for taking time to visit and I look forward to seeing you again very soon.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Sitting Round my Pool is the Amazing Multi-Talented Madalyn Morgan

Today I am so pleased to have Madalyn Morgan sitting round my pool. I met Madalyn a few months ago on Social Media and from the first moment we exchanged comments I felt I had known this wonderful lady for years. Madalyn is a very talented lady in more ways than one, so without dropping names, please sit back, relax, enjoy a glass of bubbly and meet my lovely guest.
          Thank you for inviting me to relax by your pool, Pauline.

Q: You are a multi-talented lady and amongst your many bows you are a successful actress please tell us about some of the parts you have played

I’d like to think I was multi-talented, Pauline, but I’m probably more a Jack-of-all-trades.  Having said that, I have played some great female roles, most of them strong characters, and appeared in some wonderful productions.  The plays range from ensemble pieces written after a week of improvisation at the University Theatre, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where I worked with Alfred Molina, to three weeks of rehearsal and beautiful costumes in the world premiere of Noel Coward’s, Semi-Monde, at the Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow.  During my time there, I worked with Pierce Brosnan and Ciaran Hinds, to name but two extremely talented actors.     

Semi-Monde by Noel Coward at The Citizen’s Theatre

One of the happiest years of my career was spent at the Young Vic Theatre in London.  I played a variety of roles including, the prostitute in Godspell and Olivia in Twelfth Night.  I have toured and worked in Rep, played in comedies by Alan Ayckbourn and classics by Ibsen, Middleton and Shakespeare.  My television credits range from commercials to soaps including, Angels, The Bill, two children’s series for Chanel 5 and several plays for Independent television companies. 
I’ve been thrown in at the deep end a few times.  I was in, A Clockwork Orange, on the London Fringe, when I was asked to take over the female lead in George Orwell’s, Down And Out in Paris and London, at The Latchmere.  I had from curtain down on Saturday night, until the dress rehearsal on Monday afternoon, to learn the lines.  I opened word perfect and grew into the character during the week.  Being a method actor it wasn't the way I liked to work, but it was a wonderful play and a great experience.  The News Review was the fastest turnaround.  We were given new, satirical, sketches every morning, written to reflect what was happening in the news.  We learned them during the day and performed them the same night.  I couldn’t do that now.

 I love Shakespeare and was over the moon when I was asked to play Iras in Antony and Cleopatra with Vanessa Redgrave and Tim Dalton in the lead roles.  With more than sixty characters in the play, and a company of only twenty-six actors, everyone had to understudy at least one character.  I was given the job of understudying Cleopatra – a massive part and a huge responsibility.  “Don’t worry,” the actor covering Antony said, “Vanessa’s never off.”  We did a six week run at Theatr Clwyd, Mold, where, in my free time, I learned Cleopatra’s lines.  I wasn’t going to wear egg on my face, if the worst happened.

Madalyn Morgan, Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton in Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra transferred to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.  And three weeks later Vanessa was off and I was on.  I had two hours warning.  The Equity Rep said I didn’t have to go on, because I hadn’t rehearsed as Cleopatra with Tim Dalton and the company.  But I was young and ambitious, and saw it as an opportunity.  The dressing room before the show was like Piccadilly Circus.  My fellow cast members called in to wish me good luck, and give me cards and flowers.  That night I played one of Shakespeare’s biggest female roles, in a famous London theatre, to an audience of thousands, and I was given a standing ovation. 
 The Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London

As in many professions, luck plays a big part in an actor’s career.  The night before I played Cleopatra, Cubby Broccoli was in – and Tim Dalton became the next James Bond.  The night after, Barbara Streisand and her entourage were there, and the night after that, Morgan Freeman and the director of the film he was making.  However, the night I played Cleopatra, there was only a friend from my amateur dramatic days in the audience.  Don’t get me wrong, it was lovely to see him, but I couldn’t help thinking how different my career might have been, if a film director had been in the audience on the night I played Cleopatra.  

Q: Earlier this month you performed at the Leicester & Rustland AGM of the Women’s Institute, I believed you brought the house down with your rendition of Joyce Grenfell. Would you give us a little snap shot about the evening?  (also add the link back to your Blog so that readers can read the full evening)

          It was a super night.  I chose Joyce Grenfell, because I thought the ladies would know her work, and they did.  I hadn’t done stand-up for years and I was very nervous, but the audience were great; they laughed in all the  right places.    

          I chose three sketches from Joyce Grenfell’s book, ‘George Don’t Do  That.’ I wore a black trouser suit, so I could change my appearance by adding bits of costume before and after each sketch.  Pearls and a black  sequin stole for Mrs Fanshaw in "Stately As A Galleon."  A spotted           headscarf, tied in a knot at the top, and a 1950s bibbed-pinafore (thanks  to ebay) for the cockney mum in, "Rainbow Corner.”  And for the final  sketch, a brown cardigan and brown-beige woollen scarf to play the  nursery school teacher in, "Story Telling."     

Q: As well as having many years successfully tripping the boards, you are a DJ on a London Radio station, what is this about?

The radio station, Raiders Broadcast, is in South London, where I lived for thirty-five years.  Ten years ago, it was a life-saver.  When my partner told me he no longer wanted me and moved into the spare room, my self-esteem and my confidence were at rock bottom.  I’d given up my acting career to get a mortgage, I was working in a job I hated, and the man I loved was seeing someone else, while still living in our home.  My life was a nightmare.  Apart from the personal heartbreak, I was desperate to do something creative.  I had done a writing Course with the Writers Bureau, so I began to write Foxden Acres.  Because it’s set in the Second World War I needed to do some research.  I visited my local bookshop, and while I was there I met the producer of Balham’s radio station.  He asked me if he could interview me about being a local actress.  And, while we were on air, he asked me to come back and talk about writing.  That night another presenter asked if I’d write a ten-minute profile on rock bands and present it on his show.  I did that for a year, and then one night the producer was a DJ short and asked me to present a show.  That was in 2003.  For seven years I presented The Madalyn Morgan Show, playing rock and pop every Wednesday at 7 o’clock.  Now I live in the Midlands I only go down once a month.  I still get a tremendous buzz out of it.

Q: And, if not being a successful actor and DJ is not enough, you are a writer too.  Foxden Acres is your first novel, by the way, I loved this book, but I am not going to give anything away, so please tell us all about it?

Thank you, Pauline.  I’m pleased you enjoyed it. 
Foxden Acres begins on the eve of 1939 when twenty-year-old Bess Dudley, who is training to be a teacher in London, bumps into the heir of the Foxden Estate, where her father works for as a groom. 
     Bess and James played together as equals when they were children, but now James is engaged to the more socially acceptable Annabel Hadleigh.
     Bess takes up a teaching post in London, but when war breaks out the children are evacuated.  James joins the RAF, but before he goes off to train as a bomber pilot, he visits Bess and asks her to go back to Foxden and organise a troop of Land Girls, because the estate has to be turned into arable land. 
     Traditional barriers come crashing down when Flying Officer James Foxden falls in love with Bess.  By this time, Bess has come to know and respect Annabel Hadleigh.  Can she be with James if it means breaking her friend’s heart?
     Besides, Bess has a shameful secret that she has vowed to keep from James at any cost…

Now for some quick fire questions, what is your favourite

    1. Colour - Red
    2. Food   - Salmon
    3. Drink – Red Wine
    4. Style of music – R & B, guitar based Rock
    5. Flower or shrub - Poppy

Phew! I am breathless with all you do and thank you so much for sitting round my pool, I think we have drank all those bottles I chilled!

You can find out more about Madalyn by visiting her links and watching her fabulous trailers

Actress Trailer  Madalyn Morgan Actress

Foxden Acres Trailer  Foxden Acres 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Time for Change!

I am going to start this post with a spectacular sun rise.  
I took this photograph yesterday morning around 7:30am (Saturday). Nature is so breath taking at times!

Away from snapping with my camera, this week found me making a big decision, not one that was taken lightly or made hastily. One that had me weighing up the pros and cons and finding the best way forward. I am talking about the Indie Author help / support Group I started two years ago, Famous Five Plus. Due to a number of reasons, I feel it is a time for a change, so as from Friday 18th October, FFP as it is now will cease.

During the two years FFP has been in existence, a number of new and up and coming authors have passed through the Group, all bringing their sparkling personality and great reads. Many of these authors are now well established and top sellers, but it is time for change. FFP needs to reflect what is needed for its members. The publishing world is changing for all authors and especially Indie Authors. Opportunities for Indie Authors have never been so good and as more and more writers take this route, pressure on authors has increased. These days it is not just enough to produce a professionally written and presented book that would rival any top mainstream author, but marketing and promoting are paramount if you are to succeed. It’s a daunting task to do it alone, but building contacts, joining support groups and supporting other authors will help.

The new Famous Five Plus will reflect the importance of support and the professionalism of Indie Authors. The new Group will be much smaller and focused on supporting and being supported. It will consist of a small number of authors who have a vast experience of marketing their publications and have a record of supporting others. Any author will tell you that promoting eats into valuable writing time, but it must be done. Changes always come with a heartbeat of doubt, but to move forward we have to move with the times. A person once said to me, ‘If you don’t bend with the wind, you will break!’ FFP has not broken or gone with the wind, it needs to adapt and be stronger. I see the changes as an exciting time and I will be sharing more about what is happening at Famous Five Plus very soon.

Famous Five Plus can be found at

As always a HUGE thank you for stopping by, I appreciate your company. I’ll put extra bubbly in the chiller for next week!

Until then, have a fabby sunny week.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sitting Round my Pool, Suzy Turner


Today I have the fabby Suzy Turner sitting round my pool, sipping bubbly and talking about her amazing new book, Forever Fredless. Let me pour you another glass and then we can chat!
Oh lovely!

  Q: What made you change from writing YA fantasy to YA romance?

  Chick Lit is my first love! I've read it since I was about 11 and it was actually the first genre I wrote in - my very first book was called Molly and I wrote it in my mid-20s. Although I got some positive feedback from literary agents, I didn't get any takers so I put it away. I've been working on Forever Fredless for years... I actually started it before I wrote all my YA books!

  Q: What is special about Forever Fredless to you?

   The fact that it was inspired by a very special holiday in the Azores.

  Q: The cover is fabulous, did you have input for its design?

  Thank you! Yes, I told my designer (Ravven) roughly what I wanted and she produced a number of options. This was the one I fell in love with, partly because it didn't have anyone's face on it. All my other covers have people's faces on for some reason!

   Q: Are we going to see more Forever Fredless style books from you?

  Absolutely! This was so much fun to write - I can't wait to get stuck into another one! But I need to finish my next YA Morgan Sisters novel first :)

  A few quick questions about you….

Your favourite song?

I have tonnes but currently I'd say Lana Del Rey's Born To Die.

Your favourite car, you don’t have to own this but you would like to?

I've always wanted a 4x4 so I'd go with the Range Rover Evoque... it's so cool! Especially in white.

Are you a lark or an owl – earlier riser or late to bed?

More of a lark (ish). I hate getting to bed too late.
Your favourite pair of shoes?

Oooh I'm shoe obsessed! I have so many but I do LOVE my tan leather knee high Timberlands.

Jeans or dress?

As well as being shoe obsessed, I'm also MAD about jeans. I drive my husband crazy lol

Suzy thank you so much for taking time out to join me, now let’s open another bottle….!

Thank you so much, Pauline. This was great fun! 

Suzy Turner
Chicklit & YA Author
Blogger at

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Digging Out, Digging Up & Digging Deep!

We are now into the second week of our re-build of our kitchen. The new sewer pipe is laid and the floors and walls have all been chased out for the new electrics. The wall tiles and floor tiles have all gone to the rubbish centre along with much of the old kitchen cabinets. Though we will keep a few floor and wall cabinets for the laundry room as it will tidy this room up. Mr PB and myself do all the donkey work because we know what we want and feel happier making sure that it will end up the way we want it. Though the specialist are brought in for the electrics, the sewer pipe laying and the replastering of the walls, the work is huge, but it will be fabulous when complete, I tell myself often!

Cooking is a challenge as I love to cook and make everything myself and with the aid of the slow cooker, the microwave and the wonderful outside gas BBQ / oven we are doing fine. And of course we are having a few meals out too! But keeping the rest of the villa clean is a bigger challenge!

Away from digging out and digging up this week I received some fabby reviews from unexpected quarters. Satchfield Hall and Storm Clouds Gathering both had new 5 star reviews on! Whilst Magnolia House received wonderful words from a lady I met for the first time in the hairdressers a few weeks ago. All served to keep me smiling even if I looked like I'd been working on a very dusty building site! So I hope you won’t mind me sharing these reviews with you.

"It's been ages since a book has affected me so strongly. I absolutely loved the book, could identify with so many characters/emotions in the book and very much look forward to reading more of your books." (These words were messaged to me on Facebook.)

Well, that's my news for this week, thank you for taking time to stop by and have a fabby weekend.