Friday, 2 August 2013

The last Writers' Holiday at Caerleon July 2013

The main University Building. Photograph taken by Mike White

View of the University from my room on campus

It was 11 o'clock on Sunday July 28th when I arrived at Caerleon. The first thing I did was sign in with Gerry who, with his lovely wife Ann, sets up and hosts the amazing Writers' Holiday.  Gerry was in the main hall, which is also the book room.  I wanted to get a good spot to display my novel, Foxden Acres, so I lugged them along with me. I set the stand up and was pleased with the result. I sold 8 books in five days, which I was very pleased about, because some of the books on sale had been written by much more experienced writers them me.  Oh, and I bought 8 books.  Bonus! 

Foxden Acres in the Book Room

 Friends and fellow writers that I had met at Caerleon last year, 2012 -
and new friends that I met this year, 2013

Lovely lady, Francesca Reccomini, buying Foxden Acres

Fiona McFadzean and me

          Kevin, Me, Della and Sandy in the bar 


Pulling a pint with the lovely barmen.  We had a lock-in that night. Shush.... 
       I was bought up in in a pub, so I was quite at home.  You know what they say?
You can take the girl out of the pub, but you can't take the pub out of the girl.

        The Cwmbach Male Voice Choir           

The Cwmbach male choir usually perform on the last night of the Writers' Holiday, in the main hall.  This year they were going to Brittany, so came to us a day early.  But they still stayed afterwards for drinks.  They were fantastic.  They work their socks off performing, and then afterwards they sing for pleasure in the bar.  Each has a favourite song that they sing. 
It was such fun.


                                                                       Choir member singing to lovely Maria.

On the last night at Caerleon, the talented poetry students performed poems that they had written during the week.  Some were funny, some were sad, but they were all good.


                                                                      Six Poets who shall be named anon                                                             

                                               Viv Hampshire(right), and friends from her writing group

Let's get serious
My main course was, Advanced Novel Writing with Lesley Horton. I didn't get chance to take a photograph of Lesley, or of Jane Pollard (Jackson).  Both author's had given me help and encouragement last year at Caerleon.  However, I did give them each a copy of Foxden Acres.  ((Blushes))  Looking back, I wonder how I dare, they are such brilliant writers.

In May of this year I sent the synopsis, and the first and last chapter of Applause, to Lesley Horton.   She wrote lot's of brilliantly helpful notes, which we discussed in a one-to-one session.  She was also kind enough to read and critique the prologue and a chapter in the middle of the novel.  That particular chapter is one of the most important, because it's where something major happens. I'm not going to talk about it now.   Suffice to say, Lesley was very helpful and very encouraging.

My second course was,Writing Romantic Fiction, with author of 61 romantic novels
Kate Walker.  

As my third novel, China Blue, is a love story (set in WWII).  I'll be doing Kate's course on the Writers' Holiday at Fishguard in 2014.  I'm already waking up with ideas for China Blue buzzing around in my head.  They don't want to go away, but they really have to until I've finished writing Applause.  So I put them in the drawer with the notes and hand-outs that Kate gave us. 

When Applause is written and published, which I hope will be at the end of this year, I'll let the characters of China Blue out of the drawer.

The hotel at Fishguard where the 28th Writers' Holiday will be held in 2014



  1. It was a great time,wasn't it? Now we're moving to Fishguard and there's loads to see and do in your spare time (although there won't be much of it!)

    I hope to see you there!

    1. Hi Mal. Yes it was great. And this year will be just as good. Writing and the sea? What a combination. I can't wait. Look forward to seeing you in Fishguard at the Writers' Holiday 2014. (Squeals with delight) x