Nicola's Persistence

The Magic Makers has proved to be very successful in Primary Schools, especially with Year 6 classes. As all self-published authors know,...

Magic in Schools

One school in Bradford decided to add to my 'Reading and Writing Poetry' workshop, by incorporating linked sessions on art and drama into...

Flora

Flora is the third of my Magicians. For the Romans, Flora was the goddess of flowers and of the spring; for me, she expresses a deep love...

Mercator

Mercator is the first of the Magicians to appear in The Magic Makers. I chose the name for two reasons: firstly because it is the name of...

Molly my Muse

Molly is my constant companion except, as she would be the first to point out, when I choose to abandon her and go on holiday. Her nose...

Writing for Children

Moving to the hamlet of Skyreholme in the Yorkshire Dales had a big impact on my writing . Perhaps the most significant aspect of my new...

Meanwhile, in Dorset!

In July 2015, quite unexpectedly, I received a message on Facebook from Nicola Dennis, whom I had known as Nicola Hill when I taught her...

Beastliness to Magicality

When Jackie and I were working at Oldham Sixth Form College, we had a one-hour car journey each way every weekday. One of the ways in...

Powder your wig, sir?

Wycoller Hall, as mentioned in a previous blog, was probably the model for Charlotte Brontë's Ferndean Manor where Jane Eyre is finally...

Shadows (2)

Shadows also fascinate me because I often sense that they (and what attaches to them in my perception) are somehow images of lurking...

Shadows

There is a mysterious moment when shadows no longer lend their enchantment to an autumn evening, "light thickens" and what had started as...

Scarecrows Past

I've spent about half an hour this morning looking for a scarecrow image which reminded me of the ones I used to see on the Isle of Wight...

Kettlewell Scarecrows

Kettlewell is probably best known as the setting for the film 'Calendar Girls' but its fame also rests upon the annual scarecrow...

India

Friends occasionally ask me how I come up with ideas for stories. The curious truth is that they often 'visit' me while I'm sleeping and...

A Twist in the Tale

Several things motivated me to write The Boy with Four Hats: my love of Dickens, the Dickensian Festival which takes place annually at...

Assault from Battery

All images and text subject to copyright 2018 The hazards to marine life from waste plastics are becoming well-publicised; in...

Marlin Mourned

Nicola has always had a passion for the sea and, for Metamorfishes, has created a remarkable gallery of illustrations to draw attention...

Plastic Oceans

Nicola and I are about to publish our sixth book. Metamorfishes draws attention to the torments suffered by marine creatures affected by...

Reflections

Beautiful. Upside down. Taking on the texture of the woodland pool. Left becomes right and right becomes left. More wonderful than the...

Gawthorpe Hall

On Sundays, I work as a volunteer room guide at Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham. The architect was almost certainly Robert Smythson, who also...

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