I took half a dozen warm mince pies to my good friends Vittoria and Nino a couple of nights ago. It is the season of baking and we often exchange sweet treats. I enjoy Vittoria’s Italian dolce, and she enjoys my traditional British Christmas fare. We sat and talked for a while. She is very patient of my limited Italian, I’m getting better but slowly. During our conversation about my daughter and son-in-law’s upcoming Christmas visit, she got up and pulled my book “Princess Tess and her Mess” from her bookshelf. Tess of course is my daughter’s pup, and the furry four legged character in my book.
It made me happy and warm inside knowing my book is in their house. I don’t write to make money, but to share my stories. Knowing it is read and enjoyed in other countries makes me very happy.
Yes I love to write, but…when it comes to marketing, I’m useless! I’m a self published author and always have a story in my head. A story that needs to be told, and if I don’t let it out, it would surely drive me CRAZY! (I’m halfway there already) When I finish my books, and tell all of my friends about them, they faithfully support me so there is a flurry of sales for which I’m very grateful, then it’s up to me to continue my marketing campaign. It never happens because I simply don’t know where to start.
I’m no good at self promotion. I’m excellent at promoting anyone or anything else successfully, and with enthusiasm, but not myself.
I’ve written ghost stories, thrillers and, more recently, a children’s book. My editor thinks my books are pretty good, and as an old girl, I think I’m pretty interesting, but unfortunately I’m a secret to myself.
After over a year of writing and editing, and rewriting and doubts, my book is finally published.
I began writing “Princess Tess and Her Mess” before the world knew about covid. I think my writing became more urgent as the pandemic took control of our lives. I started writing in February 2020, while still living in Colorado, and finished writing in March 2021, after moving to Italy.
The last year of my life has certainly been full of adventure! Princess Tess is a Children’s story, but my editor enjoyed it too, so I think it’s a story for all ages, especially if you’re an animal lover.
If you feel inclined to support an old “budding” writer, I’ve included links to my Amazon eBook and paperback. If you enjoy my amusing little tale, please give me a review. If you’re not a reader and just follow this old girl for fun, thanks for stopping by, and send me some positive thoughts. Stay safe everyone.
Here she is! This little scoundrel inspired me to write my first Children’s Book. Finally it’s finished, edited, illustrated and ready to sell.
Now I’m terrified.
This was fun to write, and the idea of making kids happy with this story thrilled me…now comes the test. Will anyone want to read it?
Watch out for for Princess Tess and her Mess on Amazon in the “Children’s Book” category. It will magically appear before the end of June.
Below is a little bit about silly old me!
Sandra was born a very long time ago in the North East of England. She was outgoing and adventurous child with an overactive imagination. From a very early age her brain silently recorded the story of her life as it happened. At the age of thirteen Sandra realized she needed to write that story down. She’s been writing ever since. This is her first children’s book, but I know it won’t be her last.
Sandra is retired now and living in Italy, but still writing.
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 SandDead 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.