My Blog

P is for Patron of Reading

Working as a patron of reading to help children explore and discover new ways to enjoy reading is one of my favourite author related activities. The students at the school that I am currently based as a patron of reading have responded really well and this is measurable in the …

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O is for oboe

Our number 3 son (11 years old) started playing the oboe in September 2012.  He also plays the recorder and the guitar, and  I used to play the alto saxophone when I was in my teens so I thought I would have a go at learning to play my sons’s …

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N is for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It takes place between 1st – 30th  November with the aim of writing 50,000 words during that time.  People have mixed views about NaNoWriMo but I have done it a few times and found it really useful for forcing me to sit …

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M is for My Mini Midwife

Holding a paperback copy of My Mini Midwife for the first time was quite an emotional experience. My Mini Midwife started out as a self published ebook  and I hadn’t intended to ever do any more with it myself.  However, as luck would have it a publisher discovered it online, read it, …

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L is for lemon

Here is my favourite gluten and dairy free lemon cupcake recipe. This versatile recipe works equally well with dairy and gluten too.     Ingredients: 125g butter substitute 125 sugar 125g gluten free self raising flour 2 eggs 3 tbsp lemon juice Method: Cream together butter substitute and sugar add …

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K is for Kirkby

D.J. Kirkby is the name I chose to write with. In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best choice to use D.J. because it kicks up ‘disc jockeys’ first in search engines and sometimes sends music lovers rather than readers to my website. However, I chose D for my first name …

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J is for joop

Yes, I know there is no such word as joop in real life but the joops are very real in my Portal Series. These creatures are first introduced in Queendom (book three) and  made an appearance early on in the plot line for Hoardland due to popular demand. The joops …

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I is for injustice

Today I wanted to mention a form of injustice that women suffered until the late 50s / early 60s in England: workhouses for unwed mothers. As a midwife / mother / human being the subject is of interest to me….so much so that I wrote a novel about it called …

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H is for Hoardland

Book four in my Portal Series for younger readers has a working title of Hoardland. As I write each chapter I post it in a password protected portal on my children’s website so that the students of the school where I am a patron of reading are able to read …

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