Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lakeland photos

If anyone ever wondered why we moved to the Lake District (full of tourists, rains all the time) then you could do worse than check out this link to the winners of the annual Wainwright Society photographic competition.  To say they're stunning is the understatement of the year!  I feel very privileged to have this beautiful landscape quite literally on the doorstep.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Haunted houses?

I was rootling around on Google yesterday doing a bit of research for the ghost novella when I came across a link to this article, eye-catchingly headed "8 Houses That Are Actually Haunted".

Needless to say, I just had to go and have a look, but perhaps unsurprisingly the content failed to live up to the headline.  Not only were many of the details vague and unproveable (footsteps in a supposedly empty house could so easily be someone who'd got in unseen), but 'actually' hardly applies to Borley Rectory since it burned down in the 1940s!

I remember seeing a much longer description of both Borley Rectory (which does sound as though it had a thoroughly unpleasant atmosphere, whether you believe in ghosts or not), and those faces on the Spanish floor, in a book I had as a kid.  Back then, the faces really spooked me.  Now I can't help thinking they look very much like medieval tiles, which would, of course, hardly be out of place on an ancient floor. 

Ah well.  It's still an entertaining read, and good source material if you're looking for a creepy setting for a story or three.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

I'm back!

Like a bad penny I've turned up after a short break, and am busy scribbling again.

At the moment I'm polishing a ghost novella which I first write a few years ago, but which has needed some re-jigging.  I've know for some time *what* needs changing, but not *how* to do it.  Inspiration finally struck the other week and I'm now deep in final edits, chasing down the changes that need to be made thanks to other changes further on in the story.

The story is a complete romp set in an English country house which is reputed to be the most haunted in the entire country.  It's home to heroine Emily, a struggling artist who lives hand to mouth, never quite sure where the next pay cheque will come from or what will need fixing next, and an impressive collection of ghosts.  Tempted by the money, Emily agrees to let Angelic Productions film at the house for their hit tv show Got Ghosts?, which leads to chaos when the show's resident medium Stella stirs up more than she bargains for, and Emily has to go on a treasure hunt for a collection of missing paintings.

It's always been one of my favourite stories and was a complete blast to write.  I'm very hopeful that I can get the final polish done and (forgive the pun) dusted in the next few days, and get a few query letters winging their way to publishers.

Do keep checking back for news; I'll try not to leave it as long without an update this time!