Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s beginning…

I’m really thrilled to announce that last night I met with Watershed and the Festival of Ideas to start planning the next Bristol Women’s Literature Festival. Hurrah! 

We are planning on running the festival next March (March 2015). It sounds a while away but it will be here before you know it. 

I’m so excited to be bringing the festival back. We have an exciting and inspiring programme of events planned – so watch this space! Details will be added as we go…




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Happy World Book Day! Here’s a book you must buy.

It’s World Book Day! 

What a week. First pancake day, today World Book Day, Saturday is International Women’s Day – all my favourite days in one week! 

But today has a special place in my heart as it is my first World Book Day as a published author. Woohoo! 

Yes, that’s right, the first World Book Day since my debut novel, Greta and Boris: A Daring Rescuewas published by Our Street books. 

So if you fancy treating yourself to a fabulous read, I would heartily recommend you get yourself a copy toot sweet. 

But what’s it about, I hear you ask!

Well, it’s about a girl called Greta. On the first day of the summer holidays, she wakes up to find her cat, Boris, has been kidnapped by the Rat King. Why? Because Boris is no ordinary cat. He is the Prince of Cats! 

The Kingdom of Cats know that Greta is the only person in the world who can rescue Boris, as she loves him more than any other living thing. But they also know she can’t do it alone. So they send their bravest warrior, Kyrie, to help her on her journey. Together, the pair go on a magical adventure to rescue Boris from the Rat King’s clutches. They climb the staircase of autumn leaves, cross the Milky Sea, end the war between the mice tribes and face the terror of the millpond of truth. 

Sounds good huh? 

Here’s an excerpt to get you hooked: 

Swish, swish, was the sound that broke into the stillness of the night. Swish, swish, accompanied with scampering and scratching of claws and paws, rushing forward through grass and fallen leaves towards the palace. And if anyone had been awake to hear it, they would have heard that each scurrying paw-step was landing in time, in the rhythm of a march. A soft thud, thud, swish, swish, echoed through the sleepy kingdom, as only the moon looked down on the onward journey of an army that didn’t want to be seen.
The cats slept on, oblivious to the menace that was slowly surrounding them.
The pack of marching creatures started to head up the hill where the palace stood, imposing and magnificent. In the moonlight, the towering building looked even more beautiful and impressive. The rainbow-colored tiles glistened like tiny fairy lights, a blinding spectacle that illuminated the hills and villages below it. The army continued to advance. As the moonlight reflected off their furry backs, it became increasingly obvious which creatures of the animal kingdom were threatening the peaceful palace of the cats. And there could be no doubt at all, when one of the marching many kicked a stone and let loose a wild and pained ‘SQUEAK!’ before hastily being seen to and told off by the leader of the procession.
The moon could see the horrible truth below her now, yet from her lofty place in the sky was powerless to stop it. It was an army of rats. The rats had invaded the Kingdom of Cats. Under the cover of darkness, safe in the knowledge that every kitten, tom and queen would be sleeping soundly, they had made their cowardly advance, confident that no-one would be able to stop them.
I like it, but I wrote it. What do other people think? Well, journalist, broadcaster and writer Bidisha is a fan. She liked it so much, she wrote:
Greta and Boris is touching, exciting, cheeky and vivid, with wonderful characters, a strong narrative and sudden delightful details. It is an adventure that is both heartstopping and heartmelting, at once sentimental and comfortingly predictable. The story’s sprinkled with sparkling details, with each location fully realised and a joy to traverse.
So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself this World Book Day with a fabulous, feminist, fantastic, feline adventure. It’s got cats, it’s got peril and – most importantly of all – it’s got two feisty female leads who will inspire your daughters and your sons. 
Buy now from AmazonFoylesWaterstonesBlackwells, or download it for your Kindle
And one more thing…
Today is my friend’s first World Book Day as a published author too! What’s more, he’s my publisher stable mate. So if a Dantean journey through Victorian London is more your thing this World Book Day, and you’re a lover of beautifully written Gothic horror with a political edge, get yourself a copy of Ben Gwalchmai’s Purefinder. Look, I reviewed it, so you know it’s good. 

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Exciting events happening in Bristol!

Friend of the festival, Festival of Ideas, have asked us to let you know about these two exciting events happening this month. 

The first is TONIGHT so don’t delay…

Sally Magnusson: Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything
Tue 4 March 2014, 18.30-19.30, Foyles Cabot Circus, Bristol

Regarded as one of the finest journalists of her generation, Mamie Baird Magnusson’s whole life was a celebration of words – words that she fought to retain in the face of a disease which is fast becoming the scourge of the 21st century.

Sally Magnusson was Mamie’s eldest child. In her new book, Where Memories Go, she attempts to keep her mother’s spirit alive as dementia begins to overwhelm both their lives. Chronicling the sadness, the loneliness and the unexpected laughs and joys of caring for a loved one as dementia takes hold, Sally seeks understanding from a range of experts and asks penetrating questions about how we treat older people. Dementia numbers are exploding across the world – with the World Health Organisation estimating one new case every four seconds. If the disease were a country it would be the eighteenth largest in the world. Sally Magnusson presents a timely manifesto and an extraordinary memoir in one searingly beautiful narrative. In this event, she talks about the impact dementia has had upon her and her family and ways to manage this in the future.



Sally Magnusson is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. She has presented numerous programmes for the BBC on both television and radio, including Breakfast NewsReporting Scotland, the Daily PoliticsPanorama and Songs of Praise. This is her eighth book. Since her mother’s death, Sally has gone on to establish a charity, Playlist for Life (, aimed at encouraging access for every person with dementia to a playlist of personally meaningful music from their past life.

Book now


The second is next Thursday:

Faith and Belief: Women in the Christian Church

Thurs 13 March 2014, 18.15-19.15, Watershed, Bristol

 The role of women in the Christian Church is the subject of much heated debate. In her book Women in Waiting: Prejudice at the Heart of the Church Julia Ogilvy interviews 12 of the most notable Christian women of our time, providing a telling and at times shocking analysis of the situation today. In this special session, Julia is joined by one of her interviewees the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the first black female Chaplain to the House of Commons and the woman many people think could become the first female Bishop in the Church of England.



Julia Ogilvy is a businesswoman, social entrepreneur and writer. She won a number of awards for her role as Managing Director of Hamilton & Inches, including Scottish Businesswoman of the Year. She is the founder and Honorary President of Project Scotland, a revolutionary national volunteering organisation for young people and won the Ernst & Young Scottish Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She is an elder in the Church of Scotland, a trustee of Tearfund, Buttle UK and a number of other organisations. Her first book was Turning Points.

Book now 

The Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin was appointed to the role of Speaker’s Chaplain in June 2010. She is the Vicar of the United Benefice of Holy Trinity with St Philip, Dalston, and All Saints, Haggerston, in the London diocese. Rose combines this parish role with the position of Speaker’s Chaplain and as Priest Vicar at Westminster Abbey. In 2007 she was appointed a chaplain to the Queen, making her one of only a few who are occasionally invited to officiate and preach at the 400-year-old Queen’s Chapel beside St. James’ Palace. She is a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and has served as one of the Panel of chairs.


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