Monthly Archives: December 2015

That was the year that was.

2015, goodbye.  Thanks for my son’s 40th, my daughter’s wedding and graduation, and the publication of ‘Shadows of the Trees‘  and of my article in ‘Journeys and Destinations.’  I drove single-handedly to the west of Eire, to Suffolk, to Lancashire, Kent, Ewell, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Dumfries, Crianlarich, the Isle of Lewis.

2016 is going to be quieter in terms of travel, but I’m hoping family and friends will take up the invitation to visit me instead.  I have a new article on Tolkien to edit for submission, and work has started already on the third novel in the Skorn series.  Look out in November for ‘The Dry Well.’DSCF9280.jpg

11015466_10152877984917273_4364686941832943246_n.jpg40th birthday outing01



Jan Hawke INKorporated

Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY here at Jan Hawke INKorporated!

Location ~ somewhere near the lair of the Beast of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, UK


Here’s What I’m Giving Away Today:
(will ship anywhere)


signed Dreamless drRoads paperback

Dreamless Roads T-shirt (Zazzle)


Dreamless Roads Mouse mat (Zazzle) 


Dreamless Roads Desk calendar (Viking)

# of Winners for this stop: 4


Click below to watch my book trailer for ‘Dreamless Roads – a fantasy anthology’ 

(be sure to switch to full screen and crank the quality settings to HD/max resolution for the best possible view! 😉 )

If you enjoyed it, please click the ‘thumbs up’ button and share it on your social media pages. To win one of the prizes listed above, leave a comment on YouTube as well.

CLICK HERE ~ to go to the other listings on Rave Reviews Book Club’s HOLIDAY TRAIN…

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What planet are you living on?

During my perfectly wonderful Christmas break, the phrase at the head of this post has been slightly on my mind, as someone on FaceBook asked me that shortly before I went away.  I didn’t know something that the questioner felt everybody should surely know.

Two images arose to help me express what I was thinking and feeling about this, and about how wrong we are to assume that we all know what each other knows, or that people who don’t know what we know are somehow lacking. The first is that British Gas TV ad with peoples’ homes described and pictured as their ‘worlds’ – each family lives on a tiny planet just big enough for one house.  The other image has to be the Venn diagram, which even my non-mathematical mind recalls as a series of overlapping circles denoting areas of commonality between individuals, groups, ideas, just about anything.  This latter seems the better of the two to me, as it expresses the importance of sharing.  The circle is an enclosing and protecting shape, but not necessarily exclusivist or solipsistic.

The answer to that original query, at its most basic, has to be;

  • I live on the same planet as you, but the two of us know different things about it. Some we both know, some only one or the other of us knows, and some neither of us knows.

In fact my rather flippant response when the question was put to me was ‘Skorn.’  I do spend a lot of time there considering it’s imaginary, but as one of the people who imagined it, I rather need to.  However, that makes me guilty of assuming that ‘everyone knows’ what ‘the planet Skorn’ is.

If we are going to use the metaphor of planets to signify ‘areas of interest’ one of the important things is to remember that we all flit from planet to planet in the course of each day.  In Staffordshire on my way North this month, I was invited onto the planet of one of the country’s most expert historians and modellers of buses.  I would not seek to live there, but my learning and sharing time there was immense.  Each of our friends, however close, travels daily across the faces of planets unknown to us, and where we would do well to sojourn for them for a time, now and then.  It’s not about sharing only with people who live in the exact same planetary system as yourself.  Take a rocket-trip now and then, and see the sea, the sky and the stars through other people’s eyes.Bigbury sky for Rita

Nearly time to go

I’ll be off tomorrow heading north for my Christmas visit.  Weather looks slightly more bearable for tomorrow, I’m going to be beating my way through rain and mist a bit later today to get the ancient mog to the cattery.

The thought of travelling north reminded me of yet another book I should have read but haven’t; The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

I must add it to a list.  I’m not sure if the M6 is quite what Flanagan had in mind, though.

niðr ok norðr liggr Helvegr – downward and northwards runs the road to Hel.

Quoted from This interesting discussion on The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza about how different cultures have seen differing directions as good or evil.

If my daughter sees this, I hope she won’t take it personally!

Season’s greetings, everyone!




Winter Trees

Rosemary Trees
(c) Rosemary Wilman Hon FRPS

The trees reflect my sister-in-law’s photographic genius rather than the scene outside my window.  Here it is a little brighter than yesterday – indeed the cat has just been out for ten whole minutes, so it must be quite nice!

Why the fuss about the weather?  It shows my preoccupations differ enormously from those big corporations who keep boasting online about how they are staying open to sell people things they don’t want or need right up until Christmas. (Employees getting double time? I do wonder.)  Frankly I find my own interests narrowing just now – will I get everything into the boot, will the weather/roads be dreadful on my Christmas journeys, will the incredibly aged cat survive another stay at the cattery (the are wonderful and caring, but he is ridiculously old and frail.)

Yes I do want you all to buy my books and recommend them to your friends – here’s my Amazon Author page.  But when I am away on any holiday, I do not take a device with me, do not check my emails, do not aggressively market my wares.  OK, I’m getting on a bit, but however old or young you are, you need a break.  Take one.

I can see

the other side of the close today; although it’s raining still, it’s less heavy and nearer the vertical.  The mist has transmogrified into cloud and is up in the air where it should be.

I’m hoping this is a symbol or portent, signifying that next year I shall be able to navigate through the mists of my brain and bring the next book to completion.

Title? – yes it has a title.

Skorn? – yes, it’s set in Skorn.

But you can’t expect me to tell you everything at once…….

Though you might find some clues when you read Shadows of the Trees…..




Outside my window there is rain, beating out of the mist and bouncing horizontally off my house-walls.

By this time next year you will be able to read of lands so far south in Skorn that the scene is more likely to be;

desert sandstorm


Two African Stories

Today I want to  sing the praises of two fellow-writers; Jan Hawke and Cyndi Barker-Botha. Jan’s novel, Milele Safari,  is a powerful story set in the times of genocidal civil war; a disturbing read but a compelling one, tracing the stories of several people caught up in those times, and showing their gradual recovery of hope for their futures.  The book is enjoying great success and can be purchased HERE; read the reviews and then try it for yourself.

Milele cover

Cyndi’s biographical work, To Trust, an African, is still being prepared for publication – it tells of the realities of life under Apartheid in South Africa. I’m so excited by this brilliant first book that I have taken the liberty of entering it on Good Reads in order to alert other readers to it. Follow THIS link to see my brief summary, and contact Cyndi here on LinkedIn to show you are waiting to read her work.


What you should do next

Now that you have bought your copies of Perian’s Journey, Shadows of the Trees, and Dreamless Roads, what should you do next? Here is a simple step-by-step guide.

  1. Read each book from beginning to end
  2. Buy more copies for all your friends
  3. Tell your local library staff that they must stock all three
  4. Tell your local bookshop the same
  5. Write a review of each item on;
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads
  • WordPress
  • LinkedIn
  • Your own Blog
  • Facebook
  • Other people’s Blogs
  • And anywhere else you can think of.


empty sea