Thursday, 30 December 2010


Happy New Year to any one following this blog. Like the greeting shows I hope all my writer friends fill their books with new projects and get their novels, short stories and poems published in 2011 and everyone enjoys peace, health and happiness always. As I have stated before I am not making any resolutions at all but just taking stock as we all do and hoping to be a bit more disciplined this year. FB and Twitter have been fantastic for friendships and lit information but has also been a very addictive distraction. So in January I hope to open my new book of the year and fill its pages with something worthwhile. A small plea to friends if you are following this blog please acknowledge when you can either in comments or click following. So many of you tell me 'I read that in your blog' but I never knew that you are a follower. The other plea is this. As a new writer I would be grateful for your reviews of my book on Amazon. I had so many emails to me personally on how much you liked 'Twice Born' but a few lines on Amazon, if you use it, would make a tremendous difference to a new writer.
A new beginning in 2011 is full of promise to look forward. I hope reading about Isabel Allende's literary routine kick starts in me, a new disciplined way of approaching my writing life. She starts a new novel every year! From Wikipedia:

"Allende also holds to a very methodical literary routine. She writes using a computer, working Monday through Saturday, 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. "I always start on January 8," Allende stated; "a tradition she began in 1981 with a letter she wrote to her dying grandfather that would become the groundwork for her first novel, The House of the Spirits." Allende is also quoted as saying:

In January 8, 1981, I was living in Venezuela and I received a phone call that my beloved grandfather was dying. I began a letter for him that later became my first novel, The House of the Spirits. It was such a lucky book from the very beginning, that I kept that lucky date to start.

Happy reading and writing to all my blog followers and the all the best for 2011.

Friday, 3 December 2010

World in Books Series- India

Fantastic evening at the Milngavie Bookshop with Prose Punch and Pakora. Well punch is from India as most people are aware, the five spices(The word panch means five) added to the wine gave a special flavour to the evening. Twenty people came along wrapped up against the chill and enjoyed listening to a short extract from my new novel 'Bombay Baby' and a couple of poems on Diwali. Even the Lord Provost of East Dunbartonshire, managed to attend the event.
To the strains of Ravi Shankar they watched how to tie a sari, marvelling at the six yards worn so elegantly by the women in India, though the mannequin was a bit tricky to keep up straight and we all had a laugh as it fell once and was rescued by a gentleman sitting beside it. Some had their hands painted with henna and liked the fact that the herb tattoo would wash away in a couple of weeks and not taint the skin permanently. The evening ended with everyone tucking into a delicious meal provided by Cafe Review's Gillian. Such events add a bit of culture and fun to book readings and authors who have participated like the change from a formal book reading to a different format that has elements of music, food and other aspects and it attracts more people. Anyway a freezing evening was warmed up wonderfully by the bookshop that serves the local community with unique new events.

A Spanish/tapas evening is next on the cards at the shop. Hola!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Milngavie Library

On a snowy afternoon at the library where the fountain outside, still sprinkled in the fading sunshine I listened to the fascinating story of Elenor Kasrils. She was a remakable woman born in Kilmarnock,'the best Scottish export' as the Hon Consul Brian Filling described her and most certainly an 'Unlikely Secret Agent'. An affectionate tribute to his wife, Ronnie Kasrils has written this wonderful tale set in the short period between 1960 to 1963, just after the 'Sharpville' uprising that is indelible in all our minds. Her courage was second to none. Most of us have heard of Ruth First, Joe Slovo and other brave South Africans who participated in the struggle against Apartheid but unaware of the silent few who gave so much to the liberation of the majority. Their work together in the Natal province and mainly in Durban achieved massive success against the Apartheid Government as they ducked and dived from the Special Branch and took part in clandestine actions, even involving bombing some government offices and disrupting electricity pylons but never taking any lives.It was a privilege to hear of their life together and to meet the writer a former Minister in the South African government till 2004. The book is a slim paper back but I am sure a sequel would follow.

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