A short science-fiction story (Kindle)

Freitous is just about habitable, if you are taller than the Pelsopher – but when a new ship lands in the middle of the night, Official Documenter, Garb becomes suspicious about the motives of the strange Earthling Captain and his plans to harvest the planet’s most useless resource.


This was the first long piece of writing that I did, and my first piece of science fiction.

I had decided that I wanted to write a novel, but having never written a creative fiction piece of more than a thousand words before, I thought it best to ‘do it by degrees’ and to start with 6000, then write bigger and bigger stories.

Why scifi? Well, what I really wanted to write was something about vampires or the paranormal (I have a very unhealthy obsession with this kind of stuff), but that seemed too obvious (I don’t know why, that’s just how my sadistic brain works), so scifi seemed suitably out of my comfort zone – although I am equally obsessed with alien conspiracies, I did not feel I had the ‘geek’ credentials to write authentic scifi – I did however, really like Star Trek.

You will probably get the idea, as you get to know me, that I tend not to take the easiest or most obvious route to anything.

So, anyway, I sat down one day and got writing, without a plot or any idea other than it had to be big and it had to be ‘off-planet’. I think it only took me about three days to write and edit (I’m a Virgo, I go back and edit every paragraph as I write – I don’t recommend it, unless you are also a Virgo).

I gave what I wrote to my husband to read (he really isn’t into reading, so if he liked it, that would be quite a thing. He is also super critical – he won’t say it’s great just to be nice, he is honest TO A FAULT). Well, his actual words were, “I couldn’t put it down,” and that wasn’t just because I stood over him and made sure he didn’t put it down!

I was pleased and decided that I wouldn’t bother with the whole idea of writing bigger and bigger stories and I would just go straight for a whole novel, after all, if I could write 6000 words, then ten times that probably wouldn’t be that big a deal.

I was such an idiot!

for your free copy of Journal of Freitous


My first book (a novel on Kindle and in paperback)

Teen science-fiction novel, set in Eastbourne.

What if everything you knew about human evolution was turned on its head?

When fourteen-year-old Gem loses her amber necklace at her new boarding school, in the sleepy sea-side town of Eastbourne, she and her friends are only concerned with retrieving the precious, family heirloom – little do they know they will be drawn into a world of conspiracies and cover-ups as old as mankind.

Together with archaeologist, Cessi, Americans Jack and Mac and a strange girl with an identical necklace, Gem and her new friends must keep the truth from being revealed – IF that is what they truly believe they should do


Having successfully managed to write a story of 6000 words (Journal of Freitous), I assumed that writing a novel of just about ten times more would be a doddle.

It took me five years.

I started out writing it for my then eight-year-old daughter (my eldest of three) and it was more of a ‘fairy-alien’ story idea, prompted by the famous Cottingley Fairy photos taken by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I didn’t have a plan, just a vague idea (which is not sensible), but I did have a rough sort of theme, which was, do people really want to know the truth, if the truth is not what they expect? As you can see, I really was a complete novice at the art of writing a novel.

As I have mentioned in other posts, I do love an alien conspiracy theory, and so I wanted to include some of these in my book, although initially, that was difficult to do in a story for an eight-year-old, but unsurprisingly, she grew up quite a lot during the five years it took me to write it and by the time I really got my teeth into it, she was a nearly fourteen and I managed to ‘shoehorn’ in a good number of alien-type conspiracy references – I actually did a sort of ‘mood board’ of all the weird stuff I referenced, which I have shared with readers at a number of book fairs:

I decided to set my story in a private boarding school (I read way too many Enid Blyton’s as a child: Malory Towers, St Clare’s, Swiss Chalet School, etc…). I also decided that I would give the school cafeteria a really interesting menu, which should feature quite heavily in the story (it seemed like a fun idea at the time).

Much to my daughter’s horror (now, not then), I based the main character on her, with her younger sisters also featuring in the story. The other two main characters were based on a collection of attributes from their various friends.

As you can probably see, my novel was mostly based on lots of good intentions and very little planning, which is why it took so flipping long to write! It actually turned out pretty well and I was very pleased with it, but the process of writing was laborious.

My big lesson from it was to plot and plan and not leave things to chance!


​​My second book (a novella on Kindle and in paperback)

This is the blurb:

Kinky, crime-comedy caper for older teens and adults.

Best friends Emily, Harry and Louella have just finished their A’ levels, are bored and in need of cash. They accidentally kill the pervert who is stalking Emily, secretly cremate him at Harry’s uncle’s crematorium and collect his stolen cash. This makes them realise that getting rid of bad people could be a great way to earn some money over the summer holidays – however, their efforts lead them into the paths of Satanists, fraudsters, the Russian Mafia and corrupt cops.

Will they get away with theft and murder and more importantly, will the super-hot postman think Emily is cute?


Crime and Cremation is completely different to my first novel FREEN in so many ways, and that is probably in part down to (what my husband describe’s as) my rather contradictory character. 

I wrote C&C in first person point of view, because I hadn’t done that before and it seemed like it would be a fun challenge. Plus, I hated writing dialogue and I knew that first person forces you to write more of the stuff. I also decided that I should try writing in present tense, (as in, all the action happens in ‘real-time’) because I knew that it was quite tricky to get right and I thought it would be fun to really test my skills.

Then there was the WHAT to write. Well… the brother of a good friend of mine makes a decent income from writing language books (I can’t do that!!), but he told me the genre that was selling really well was erotica (this was when Fifty Shades was really popular – and yes, my husband bought me a copy and I read it, reluctantly).

I wasn’t sure I could write anything really rude – not without a few drinks first, but that made it even more challenging, so I added it to the brief for Crime and Cremation (which didn’t have a name at that point).

So, I had to write an erotic story in first person point of view and present tense. I then decided that it should be a crime story and the main character should be quite un-likeable.

This was not the ‘text-book’ method for writing a novel!

Once I got started writing, I quickly realised two very important things:

1. I LOVED writing dialogue. That was a surprise.

2. Every time I tried to write a sex scene, it turned into a comedy situation – I’m not sure what that says about me, but oddly, my husband was not surprised. 

Anyway, unlike FREEN, C&C took less than a year to write and it became a ‘kinky, crime-comedy caper’. 

My parents read all the sex scenes (I decided that if I wanted to publish the book, I should get over the ’embarrassment factor’ and this seemed like the shortest route to that). My mum told me to write MORE of the sex scenes.

I read extracts of the story to my writing group and was told to slow down to give them time to laugh, and when it was finished, I gave it to my husband to read and he laughed his way through it and asked me to write another the same.

I haven’t – I get very distracted and ended up writing a creative writing course instead, but, I will be writing another one – eventually.

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