Author of THE GIFT. A trilogy for readers of Gothic and Historical Military fiction who don’t mind a good fright now and again.

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Odds & Sods

Posted on November 6, 2021

What’s in an object? What is an object? An object to one writer, a memento to another. And what’s a memento but an object kept as a reminder of an event or person. To this author they’re bits & bobs. 

When my publisher informed me it was due time to establish an author webpage I was refereed to Bookswarm. And it was wise advice. Simon Appleby is top of the game. He understands authors and is well capable of capturing the spirit of them digitally.  It was my personal wish to have a homepage the digital representation of my writing desk. And Bookswarm’s designer Susie has done a brilliant job of it by including personal objects. 

Some authors prefer a minimally cluttered desk. Others, piles of tot to help them with their creative process. I fall somewhere in the middle. So long as I have a window to the sunrise, my creativity piques. But.

Always there is a “but”.

I keep near at hand what I refer to as bits & bobs, clues to my motivation —or perhaps more pointedly — my motives. 

Tin of Fortnum & Mason tea. Cricket jumper. A well used bat and ball. Old postcards of Folkestone. Propaganda and Howard Jones albums. Are these the mementos of a Gothic writer? 

But of course. 

As you will soon see, for this writer, it’s the little pictures that are more interesting, and at times terrifying, than the big picture. 

I’ve received several inquiries asking the significance of my personal bits & bobs. To that end I thought best to give an explanation of why each is included on my homepage. Simon deemed others not pertinent enough and do not appear.

The teabag coaster at the top left of the homepage would seem self-explanatory. However, as with any good yarn, nothing is as it seems. So, let me clear out of the way the idea it’s for teabags. It isn’t. It’s a true object. It’s significance is as much where it was acquired as to why — the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne in Kent. It came from the gift shop. Not only is the memorial a wonderful tribute to “The Few” who fought off the Luftwaffe and thus prevented Operation Sealion, the German invasion of Britain, I discovered this important memorial in 2010 whilst on a tap along the North Down Way trail skirting  the white cliffs between Dover and Folkestone. It’s one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. In fact Lonely Planet rated it the 4th Best for 2022. 

The gold pin in the coaster I admit to being one of my most cherished mementos. And proudest achievement. It’s a gold medal from a miniatures concorso called Euro Militaire. I won it in 2007 for a diorama I spent three years constructing and painting. It was my greatest wish until then to win a gold at Euro. The Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone, where Euro Militaire calls home, is often mentioned in Book 2.

That’s all for now. I’ll do my level best to post as time permits, explanations of my other bits & bobs.

As always. May the road rise with you.


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