Moving Right Along

I’ve been dragging my feet a little. I loved writing about Princess Tess, but once the book was finished, I was terrified.
What if it’s no good?
What if no one likes it?
I’ve never written a children’s book before.

Now I’m a little more optimistic. My daughter LOVES the book, which means a lot to me. My editor enjoyed reading it and said there were “laugh out loud” moments. Laughing is good, and Princess Tess is funny.

So I took a deep breath and started moving right along.

The cover is being designed and I’m preparing my bio and a summary of the story so hopefully in May, this finished, fun filled book will be available on Amazon. There is an ebook of course, but also a print copy so if you need a smiling Princess looking at you from your coffee table, it will be available. This is the first book I’ve written in quite some time so this is an exciting moment for me.

Princess Tess and Her Mess is the book you’ll enjoy reading to your kids and grandkids, especially if they like animals. Book Two Princess Tess Tales is already in the works. I wouldn’t want you to have to wait too long now would I?

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for updates.

Princess Tess has a Birthday!

Happy Birthday Tess Mess

Princess Tess is Two. She had a a party. I couldn’t be there, but I’m sure she had fun. Cute little thing isn’t she!
My second Princess Tess children’s book is in the works. There are tales of her morning exercises, her adventures in the snow, as well as many other tidbits about Tess. Writing about animals is a blast. Lifts my spirits in these weird and wonderful times.

My first book “Princess Tess and her Mess” is being illustrated and will be released soon. I hope it brings fun to its young readers, and one or two older ones. Let’s face it, we all love reading about the goofy things animals do.

I hope you’re all staying safe and well and whether you have two legs or four, take care.

Stories to Tell

I started writing again just over 10 years ago. Not really sure what sparked it. I hadn’t written since I was in my early (troubled teens).
Suddenly, when I hit my fifties, stories began flooding my brain and screaming to be let out.
The first story to emerge was “Guy at the Bar”, which brought back lovely memories of a small village in North Yorkshire called Brompton on Swale. Tears flowed as I wrote about my parents, how I miss them. If there really is an after life, they’ll be looking down at me and shaking their head and saying, “Our Sandra, a rebel to the end.”
Guy at the Bar wasn’t a best seller, but it piqued my interest and more stories followed. I recently re-wrote Guy at the Bar, and bundled it into a collection of short, slightly scary stories, called “Ghosts on the Sand and other chilling tales.” It’s still for sale on Amazon, along with my second book “Dead of July.”
Ghosts on the Sand Dead of July – Amazon
Now I’m retired and have a little more time on my hands so I’m writing again. I’ve just finished a Children’s book, inspired by my daughter’s pup Tess. I took care of Tess for a short time while my daughter and her husband vacationed in Japan. I never knew dogs could be so funny, or have so much character. I adjusted my mindset to write for children. I also had to think like a puppy. It was a blast to write. “Princess Tess and her Mess” will be published sometime this year.
The pictures above are my mum and dad. I never stop missing them. On the right is the King William IV, where Guy at the Bar came to life.
Writing makes me happy!

Princess Tess and her Mess

Princess Tess

Grrrrr, snarl… The dog spat nastiness from its slack mouth filled with crooked, yellowing teeth. Tess and Sandra walked even slower. The menacing dog moved slowly, in time with them, but on the other side of the fence.Tess stopped in her tracks and looked at Sandra. Finally, Sandra was able to see the backyard gate, which was wide open.
“Oh, dear, Tess, this ugly old dog could have a collar on that keeps in in the yard, or it could come out and bite me.”
It would bite me first…
Sandra picked up Tess, who was shaking a little. “Let’s go home!”
Good idea.
Tess watched over Sandra’s shoulder until the snarling, growling creature was out of sight.
I like rabbits better!

My first Children’s book is finished. A short story about a small pup called Tess. A cute, but comical pup. My editor said the book made her laugh out loud in places. My daughter, who is the loving owner of this little bundle of cuteness, likes the story so much she is going to add some illustrations. Hopefully it will be published by the summer, so stay tuned. This is the first in a series of three short stories about Princess Tess. Children’s books are fun to write.

THE GREAT ESCAPE!

I started writing my children’s book in March 2020. At the time I wasn’t sure why. Princess Tess is cute, funny, and it was definitely fun looking after her, but why did I write about her? Looking back, I think I have the answer.
The world, as I knew it, was beginning to fall apart.
The coronavirus was slowly rearing its ugly head. My husband was in Italy, and I wasn’t sure he’d make it back, luckily he did.
As the year continued, the US suffered the worst racial problems I’d ever witnessed, and being married to a Jamaican, that worried me. I was scared for my husband and for my daughter. I’d never seen such hatred displayed in public. It was ugly and terrifying.
Last, but not least, there was Brexit, which threatened our move to the Italy as British Citizens. We hadn’t planned to move until 2022, but Brexit forced our hand.
When I look back at last year, and the stress of it all, I wonder how I survived. With the help of some great friends and colleges, I made it through some very tough times. We sold our family home, which to my surprise and horror, was snapped up quickly. We gave away, sold and donated all of our furniture. I left a job I loved and moved to Italy. Most of this was condensed into three months.
So why did I write a children’s book about a funny mixed up pup? It was my great escape!
Watch out for “Princess Tess Mess”, which is currently being illustrated by my daughter.

About Editing!

Yesterday I got my manuscript back from my editor. She has completed the first set of edits. For some reason I love reading through the stories again in edit mode. Not sure why. It gives me more pleasure with red lines and dots that it ever did when I read it prior to sending to her.
Maybe I’m reading the story in a different way.
Maybe subconsciously I’m happy it’s on its way to being finished.
Or maybe I’m just a freak, yes, I think thats more likely.
This book has been fun to write. I enjoy writing short stories, and this was surprisingly easy to pour from my brain onto the keyboard. Tess is a real living dog. She’s cute and funny, which coming from a “cat person” is a huge compliment. I hope to follow this first book with two more, and then what? Do I return to fantasy/thrillers? Or do I write another children’s series?
It remains to be seen!

Last Minute Nerves – A Writer’s Tale

My first children’s book is finished. I didn’t think about it much, just wrote. Finally finished it and re-read it, then I edited it and re-read it again…you see a pattern here? Finally I decided to jump in with both feet and send it to my editor. She responded immediately with
“What age group is this for?”
“What?”
I’d never given it a thought. I just wrote.
What was I thinking writing a children’s book? What do I know about children’s books. I was hit with about twenty minutes of nail biting anxiety. Then I took a deep breath and asked myself some questions.
1. Did I enjoy writing the book? – YES
2. Am I expecting to sell a million copies? – NO
3. Why did I write the book? – Because I had a story in my head that needed to get out
If nothing else, in years to come when I’m dead and gone, my daughter will be able to tell people I wrote a book about her cute little dog.
Writing is an addiction, but not a bad one.

Princess TessMess

My move to Italy slowed down my writing a little. Settling into a new routine took a while. Finally I’m there. As many of you know, writing isn’t something you can force yourself to do. It has to flow. As I re-read my book I realize I’ve rambled a little to much, it needs to be trimmed to 10,000 words or less, I’m currently over 11,000. Short stories have to be just that, short!
I’ve also changed the name. Originally it was “Queen Tess – a Short Shaggy Dog Story”, but after chatting to my daughter (Tess’s Human), I’ve decided the book will be called “Princess TessMess”.
This is a much better title. Tess is a bit of a mess and “Princess TessMess” is perfect for a children’s book.
Stay tuned, my work is progressing!
Writing will never make me rich, but it does make me happy!

Writing for Sanity!

I started writing when I was in my early teens. It helped me get through some very tough times. My early childhood was terrifying, but thats a story for another day.

I was born with at turn in my eye, I didn’t even realize I had it when I was a young child, but as I got older, it began to ruin my life. Back in the sixties there was a TV series called Daktari, which was about a vet in Africa. One of the animals in the series was a lion called Clarence It was crosseyed.
As an eleven year old girl I remember the boys in my village chanting “Daktari” every time I walked by. They never used my real name when they talked to me, but called me Clarence like the lion. It broke my heart. Luckily for me, during a routine visit to the doctor, he noticed the turn in my eye.
“Wouldn’t you like to get that fixed?” he asked.
“Yes please!”
I had the operation just before I started High School. Of course some of those kids still called me Clarence, but it didn’t really matter anymore because the offending eye had been straightened. My eye was red and scarred for a couple of months. The scars on the inside were there for a lot longer.
Life never lived up to my expectations back then and I rebelled against everything. I was obviously a troubled teenager, but back in the sixties in rural northern England, you just had to grin and bear it. Thats when I started to write. I wrote a different life for myself. I don’t have any of those stories now, but remember them well. They weren’t all about love and happiness, but they were about me, and I was strong.
Writing is my therapy. I’ve written a couple of books I’m fairly proud of, with three more in the works. I’m an old girl now so I hope I live long enough to finish them all.

Stay safe everyone, and always be kind!