Interviews · Uncategorized

Seven things

No, this isn’t seven things you didn’t know about pacing, or using tea leaves to solve plot problems. But fear not, to be current I do mention football. In passing. And there is a nice list of great bloggers at the end.
 I’ve just been honoured with the Versatile Blogger Award, and so now I have a few obligations to fulfil.

A) Thank and link back to the person who gave me this award: thank you, Charity Bradford, whose blog My Writing Journey I regularly tweet.

B) Share 7 things about myself.

Self-portraits: I don't think they'll ask me to do one again

1. I am an exhibited artist. I took part in a self-portrait experiment at the rather smart
Twentytwenty Gallery in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. Purely as a laugh, because I can never make pens do what I want them to do. I had a few goes in rough first. The first one came out far too small and squished in the corner, but at least there was room for more.

After some time I had managed several versions of myself if played by Ruby Wax, Matt Damon or someone with the wrong nose and a beard. Finally I ran out of space and stamina, so handed in the rough with a title: A Writer’s Quest for Control Over Hand and Pen. Not sure what the gallery made of it…





These boots were made for exploring alien planets

2 Readers of this blog will know I adored Doctor Who when I was a kid. Not only did it feed my imagination, I think it also informed my dress sense as I cannot resist outlandish boots

3 My first published novel was Mirror Image, an MG horror romance in a series
under the house pseudonym Maria Palmer. It is credited as by Dave, but half-way through production the editors changed their mind about what they wanted for the series. Dave had a choice to cannibalise or give them a new book but he had no time for either. So I threw a plot together and wrote it for them. A few minor revisions … and I was a published author.

My first published novel

4 I’m constantly trying to iron out the wrinkles in my craft.

I wrote Mirror Image in 1992 and don’t dare look at it for fear of gauche discoveries.

5 I don’t believe it’s necessarily obvious what gender a writer is. Some of my ghosted titles are written as a man and no reviewer has ever spotted I am not in possession of a Y chromosome. And the ‘Maria Palmer’ project had several male authors pretending to be female. In the case of Mirror Image, no one guessed it was a female author pretending to be a male author who was pretending to be…  

The map from the front of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, showing the house I grew up in

6 I grew up in Alderley Edge in Cheshire.

Nowadays it’s famous for rich footballers, but it’s also the setting of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. I used to roam for hours in woods that were full of mysterious caves – the very landscape used in Garner’s Arthurian tale.





The truth is out there, or something is - Thank you JA Holland on Flickr

7 As a child I was obsessed with the giant radio telescope Jodrell Bank.

From my bedroom window I could see it, far away. Where all else on the horizon was a flat band of blue, there was this great structure of steel, softened by the distance to a fine spiderweb. It moved all the time, reacting to unseeable events in deep space. Sometimes it was a bowl facing straight up into the air. Sometimes a half bicycle wheel. Sometimes it looked directly at me, a giant white eye.

I used to stare at it through binoculars, trying to catch it move. Like one of those experiments that proves the earth is rotating even when you can’t feel it, Jodrell Bank showed the sky was only a thin veil. Beyond was a black wilderness teeming with asteroids, quasars and machines on heroic journeys to other worlds.

C) My third task as a Versatile Blogger is to give the award to 15 blogs I have recently discovered.
This is always hard as I discover great blogs all the time, but these are people I haven’t passed awards on to before or otherwise tortured for personal information. I really hope they play – and put the link in the comments!

James Killick
Victoria Mixon
Jan O’Hara of Tartitude
Stephanella Walsh

Livia Blackburne
Cath Ryan Howard

Jolie Stekly
Terry Odell

Jody Hedlund

Elizabeth S Craig

Paul Greci

Dominique at Doobla

Suzy Hayze

Realm Lovejoy

The folk at Strictly Writing – yes I know there are eight of them sharing one blog, but I’m sure they’re good enough friends to share.

And guys, do check out Charity’s answers – she had some interesting tales to tell!

30 thoughts on “Seven things

  1. Roz, thank you so much. I’m touched and honored.

    However, I am also at this very moment up to the eyeballs in preparing my year-long interview with Millicent Dillon, award-winning fiction author (she’s won five—yes, five—O. Henrys and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner) and biographer of both Paul Bowles and Jane Bowles. Guess what? IT’S REALLY LONG. And I can’t bear to cut any of it out.

    Can I do the Versatile Blogger next week? If I can think of seven things I actually want people to know about me?

    All I ever really think about is things I want people to know about fiction.

  2. Roz, how lovely. Thank you so much! And yes, you do have rather exotic taste in boots, but I’m glad you can enjoy them. My feet are too big to have much in the way of selection.

    I don’t have Victoria’s lofty excuse, but I haven’t passed on the last three blogging awards? *slinks away* No, seriously, I’m honored. Will see what I can do.

    1. @Candyland – thanks! You should see their wardrobe stablemates…
      @Terry @Jan @Victoria – no worries! It usually takes me ages to get round to these things but it helped that I had a big collection of smart bloggers I wanted to hand over to.
      @Stephanella – you are KIDDING! And here you are coming out with names like Wilmslow, Prestbury, Mobberley… and crikey there’s a Starbucks in Wilmslow!!! (I suppose there would be, they are everywhere after all…) Did you ever visit the Edge? Stormy Point? The Devil’s Grave? I think I will need your writing prompt as you have quite derailed me.

  3. Oh Roz THANK YOU I am thrilled! I thought that blog awards only ever went to ‘other people’ hahaha! I am also very thrilled to hear about your connections to Alderley, ‘cos that’s where I am (well, presently I am at Starbucks Wilmslow but anyway…), and this is an area that I love very much. The Alderley forest, the drive to Prestbury, riding in Mobberley and, YES, Jodrell Bank, I was only zipping past it last week when I hopped on to the M6! Who knew! But, of course, I am a fluke of Cheshire, because I have no footballing mega-rich connections (although I do have a Shaguar, but it’s a regular one, not a top-down sports thing, and neither have I ever crashed it at full speed in the tunnel between Wilmslow and Hale).

    I shall use this as a writing prompt for next week! Thank you again!

  4. I know, I know, I mean… what are the odds?! Honestly! It’s ridiculous! Yes, I go around with my dogs a lot, and of course before Merv retired I would go riding around Lindow (there’s a place with alpacas now, you can imagine the looks and half-spooks, but he was extremely good as I am NO accomplished horsewoman!), as he was staying at Great Warford. And the donkey’s bridle path was my favourite (bar the gates).

    So yes, it’s Starbucks or die here now, although Alderley has a Costa and sometimes I force myself to go there because it’s the only place (bar Harrods) where I can wear my printed John Galliano dress without feeling like a walking billboard. People will just assume I’m a WAG (even though I am too fat to be one) and don’t pay me a second glance. I am also very well acquainted with Tatton Park (well, obviously!) and Dunham and Lyme… miles and miles to walk…! Back to the Alderley Forest; oh my God, it was so marvellous with the ice and snow in January that just thinking about it makes me CRY! As you can see, I am also totally derailed now…

  5. Thank you, Roz! Was very fun getting to know more about you! I didn’t realize you’d had so many books already published! You’re an old pro at this business! 🙂

    1. @Jody – yes, I’ve been at this writing lark a while now! But I’ve never had anything out under my own name so I’ve always been kind of invisible to the reading public. Looking forward to your answers, when you have time!
      @Stephanella – this is surreal. Does Wilmslow still have Finnegans the department store? It was a very staid place when I was there. Definitely not trendy enough for Gallianno (you’re clearly a lady after my own heart!) And Lindow… I remember a lake like a dingy slick, full of dead fish. Alpacas, indeed!
      Next you’ll be telling me we went to the same school!

  6. Wow — thank you so much, Roz. This is my first award for my blog, so I’m really excited you thought of me! I’ll have to blog post the Versatile Blogger when I get the chance! Cheers!

    1. @Realm – can’t believe you’ve waited this long to get an award! Glad I’ve been able to set things straight.
      @Paul – thank you… and they are very OTT boots, I admit. Although MG horror romance isn’t necessarily my most comfortable genre, I can definitely populate them with nifty footwear. I’m looking forward to seeing what you say in your post, when you’ve got time. That goes for all my nominees.

  7. Roz, Thanks so much for the award:-) It was great fun to learn more about you and your writing, and your other artistic pursuits! And, I just have to say those are some intense boots!! I can imagine seeing a version of those in an MG Horror Romance!

  8. I’ll try this again: Roz, thanks so much for the award:-) It was really fun to learn more about you, your writing and your other artistic pursuits. And those boots. I could imagine finding a version of those in an MG Horror Romance!! thanks again for the award and for introducing me to some new blogs.

  9. No Finnegans, but Hoopers. It ain’t no Harvey, but they do stock Moschino and MaxMara and Alberta Ferretti (I’ve just returned…), so it ain’t all bad. There’s a super-tack shop in Alderley called POSH and it always makes me smile when I pass by. Posh indeed… it’s full of gilded MDF that only footballers would (and do) buy. Not too many though! They opened another one in Mobberley last year and it closed within weeks, bless. The only independent book store of Knutsford disappeared when Waterstone’s installed itself right opposite and there is a lot of talk of pedestrianising the place. Imagine that! Let’s try to kill commerce for good, shall we? Like the new St George’s development hasn’t been enough of a fluke already!

  10. Roz!

    Thanks so much for the shout out! I’m really honored.

    I haven’t been blogging, but I expect that once the summer comes to its unfortunate and inevitable end, I’ll be back up and running.

    Until then, here’s my humble gratitude in the form of a comment 🙂

    1. @Dominique @Jolie – don’t forget to let me know with a comment here when you do get round to it!
      @Charity @Jolie – and @anyoneelsewhohasmentionedthem …. Those boots are by Michel Perry and came from Bang Bang in Goodge St, London, which has to be one of my all-time favourite shops except for Amazon!

  11. Thanks so much, Roz. It’s such a compliment coming from you. I’ve been horriblehorriblehorrible about accepting/posting blog awards. I think I may be inspired to do so. OR…is that me putting off the re-entry into writing I mentioned on one of your earlier posts? *sigh* Must push through and find a way to make it happen.

    Oh, and those BOOTS!

    Thanks again!

  12. A belated thank you for the award. Sorry it took so long! I’m in the middle of a carpal tunnel flare up. Because of said flareup, I’m taking it real easy on the internets, but I do appreciate the award. So given that you’ve admitted to being good at pretending to be the opposite gender, how do we know you’re actually a woman? 🙂

    1. @Livia – ouch, carpal tunnel. That’s not funny. I have to be careful too. I got a Goldtouch ergonomic keyboard from Amazon and a 3M ergonomic joystick mouse – those have really helped me. Take care. Lots of love, Rozbert x

    1. @Claire – thanks! These boots are making so many friends they may well deserve their own blog.

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