15. May 2023
I'm so excited that Kathy Hoyle has agreed to be part of my People & Books blog. I've been following Kathy's writing activities online for some time. She likes to explore flash and short fiction, and her awards prove she has a talent for this genre, but what I also find interesting about Kathy's work is that she's involved in activities to encourage new and emerging writers. Kathy has a BA (hons) and an MA in Creative Writing, and has just started a PhD at the University of Leicester. She...
30. April 2023
Although Hamelin is in Germany, the tale is well-known in English popular culture and is widely read in primary schools. Just like a lot of children, I read the Robert Browning poem and the Brothers' Grimm story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, how he saved the town from a plague of rats and then kidnapped the town's children when he wasn't paid for his work. When we decided to visit Hamelin, I didn't know what to expect. Had the town embraced its Pied Pier heritage? Or was it something that,...
13. March 2023
I discovered Limestone Books by accident when I walked past it in the Grote Gracht. I immediately went in to say hello and to introduce myself and our writing group, Maastricht Writers Workshop. Now that I've made a connection with the store, I'm really pleased to be able to interview Chen Jhen, one of Limestone's founding team. From the start, it's clear that Chen is supportive of the local community and is working hard to create links with creative people in the area. Here she explains the...
27. February 2023
Photo by Frank Zhang on Unsplash
18. February 2023
I'm super excited that Stephanie Carty has agreed to an interview for my series 'People & Books'. I've been following Stephanie's writing for a while, and as well as the content and genre she explores, I've always been interested in how she's found a way to combine her creative writing activities with her work as a clinical psychologist. In her interview, Stephanie explains how she came to write fiction, how she makes this particular combination work and how she helps other authors to look...
14. February 2023
I'm not really a reader of 'romantic fiction' as a genre, but I do love to read stories that explore the high levels of emotion and passion in relationships - even better if they also have a paranormal angle too! Here's my top 5 choices of (what I see as) romantic fiction:
16. January 2023
American-born Christine made her home in the Netherlands with her author husband and fellow American, Val Karren. Together they created Fly-By-Night Press, a publisher of European travel books and also of Val's fiction. Christine is a member of the Maastricht Writers' Workshop and recently wrote her first piece of fiction for their Christmas story share. I'm really pleased to chat with Christine about how Fly-By-Night Press came about, and about its place in European small press publishing.
02. January 2023
Introduction The beginning of 2022 marked a year of stability after a number of moves during 2020 and 2021. We managed to move three times, including from one country to another and back again, while everyone else was feeling trapped by Covid, and it was a big relief to be able to sit down and say "Right. Now what have I got time for?"
18. December 2022
Ten years ago, in the autumn of 2012, I wrote a draft of a children's story and provisionally called it A Cat for Christmas. The inspiration for the idea came from an image I had of a young girl who was bravely facing up to a black panther. The panther I envisaged is actually a local legend in the Forest of Dean, a beautiful area of Gloucestershire where I lived for fifteen years. Over time, many people have said they've seen the panther or at least evidence of it. As I began to write, a...
08. November 2022
I first met Caroline earlier this year, when we were introduced through a mutual friend. She currently lives in Maastricht, where she is a member of the Maastricht Writers Workshop, but she has also travelled extensively and worked abroad for many years. These experiences have helped to shape Caroline's writing, and she not only writes in her native Dutch, but also in English and German. I'm pleased to be able to chat to Caroline about her books and her writing plans.

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