Apart from running the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, I also take part in lots of events around the UK and abroad. These include giving talks about writing, self-publishing and book marketing, reading my stories before an audience, and selling my books at fairs and festivals. I really enjoy meeting new people and old friends at these events, and it’s a bonus that many of them take place at inspiring settings.
If you’d like me to speak at your event, please feel free to contact me.
I lead two monthly writers’ groups:
- The Bristol Authors’ Alliance meets on the first Wednesday of every month, at Foyles Bookshop, Cabot Circus, from 6pm till 8pm
- The Cheltenham Authors’ Alliance meets on the third Tuesday at 10.30am at the Suffolk Anthology Bookshop, Suffolk Parade
Prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was a regular panelist on the BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s monthly Book Club, part of Dominic Cotter’s lunchtime show alongside Caroline Sanderson, local author and associate editor of The Bookseller magazine.
Scottish Association of Writers Conference (Saturday 20th March)
I was pleased to be invited to judge the Barbara Hammond Award for best self-published book and to present a workshop on How to Self-publish Successfully. Due to the pandemic, the weekend conference will be online this year.
(Delegates: please click here to download the notes from my workshop.)
Wrexham Carnival of Words (Monday 19th April)
I’ll be answering key questions about writing in an online session for this delightful festival just over the border into Wales.
Gloucestershire Writers’ Network (summer)
I’ll be judging the GWN’s 2021 prose writing competition.
Stroud Short Stories (autumn)
I’m pleased to have been invited to co-judge this autumn’s event, in partnership with its organiser John Holland. I think this is the fourth time I’ve been judge for SSS, and it’s always great fun for the judges, as well as providing a great showcase for new and established local writing talent.
MYVLF – an online literature festival (Saturday 28th March)
I was part of a crime panel for this online event in the early days of the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Crediton Lit Fest – an online event (Saturday 6th June)
It was a pleasure to be part of a panel of crime and thriller writers at this festival hosted online by Crediton Library.
Publishing Talk Masterclass (Saturday 9th February)
I was a panelist on The Business of Self-publishing session, representing the self-publishing sector, as an excellent one-day event organised by Jon Reed.
Art Workers’ Guild (Thursday 21st March)
I gave a seminar on how to self-publish to a group of about 20 London writers in the inspiring setting of their Georgian house in the heart of Bloomsbury.
Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival (Saturday 27th April)
Another brilliant action-packed one-day event, directed by me, with more than 60 authors, poets and artists taking part.
Wrexham Carnival of Words (Thursday 2nd April)
It was a pleasure to speak about my books and my writing life at Wrexham Library.
Oakwood Literature Festival (Saturday 18th May)
I chaired a crime panel and gave a reading at the second annual Oakwood Lit Fest.
Bleddfa Arts Centre (Sunday 16h June)
I led a one-day workshop on how to self-publish at a gorgeous retreat in Wales.
Evesham Festival of Words (Thursday 27th June)
I chaired a lively crime panel with guests Angela Buckley, David Penny and Barry Faulkner.
Meet the Author Event (Friday 13th April)
I joined other authors giving a brief talk about my writing life and a reading from the fourth Sophie Sayers Village Mystery, Murder by the Book, as part of the Evesham Festival of Words.
Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival (Saturday 21st April)
The fourth annual free festival of which I’m founder and director, featured dozens of authors and artists with a packed one-day programme of events to appeal to all ages and interests.
Oakwood Literature Festival (Saturday 12th May)
I was delighted to have been invited to launch the first Oakwood Book Festival in Derby, where I also chaired a panel on fiction, sharing my cosy mystery novels, and speaking on behalf of Read for Good about encouraging children to read for pleasure.
Romantic Novelists’ Association Summer Party (Thursday 17th May)
I met fellow RNA members at this annual reunion. Although I’m a new member of the Association, I’d previously spoken at two of their conferences before and know lots of its members already, including its President Katie Fforde, who kindly provided a cover endorsement of the first novel in my Sophie Sayers cosy mystery series, describing it as “A cracking example of cosy crime”.
Launch of Evesham Festival Bookshop (Friday 15th June)
I was delighted to have been invited back to the Almonry to read at the launch of the Evesham Festival of Words pop-up bookshop.
Local Writer Talk at the Cotswold Edge Literature Festival (Friday 22nd June)
I was in conversation with other local authors Ali Bacon (chair), Anne Corlett and Alice Jolly, talking about our writing lives and answering questions from the audience, at Yate Library.
Talk for Authors: How to Market Your Self-published Book (Friday 29th June)
On behalf of the Alliance of Independent Authors, I gave a talk and Q&A for aspiring indie authors keen to reach more readers.
Ness Book Fest (Saturday 6th October)
I had a great excuse to return to one of my favourite Scottish cities, Inverness, as part of their festival line-up this autumn. I gave one talk about self-publishing, and another about writing my cosy mystery series, the Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries.
Crime, Thriller & Horror in the Cells (Saturday 20th October, 1-4pm)
This fun book fair took place in the highly atmospheric setting of the old police cells at Bridewell Street in the middle of Bristol!
Stroud Short Stories (Sunday 11th November, 8pm)
I co-judged this spoken word event with organiser John Holland, at which the Gloucestershire authors of the ten stories we’ve chosen from this event’s submissions performed before a live audience.
Writers’ Unchained Story Sunday Sunday 19th March
I was glad to have been asked to perform my short story “The Emperor’s New Wall” as part of a special evening taking as its theme “Another Country”.
Artful Stories Thursday 6th April
Kicking off an exciting new series of spoken word events in the new Cheltenham art gallery, Chapel Arts, I was pleased to have been invited to read my short story “The Impressionists”, taken from my flash fiction collection Quick Change.
Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival Saturday 22nd April
As well as directing this free one-day festival, I launched my debut novel, Best Murder in Show at this fun event in my home village.
Novel London Friday 2nd June
I held a London launch event for Best Murder in Show at Waterstones in Tottenham Court Road, in tandem with fellow novelist Jill Marsh
Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival – Summer Pop-up Event Saturday 26th August
We had our usual stall at the Hawkesbury Upton Horticultural Show to spread the word about our main April Festival, and I also launched the second in the Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries series, Trick or Murder?
Novel London Friday 6th October
Having read from my own novel, Best Murder in Show, at a previous Novel London event, I was invited to compere the next in this fun reading event at Waterstones, High Street Kensington, where Clare Flynn will read from The Chalky Sea and Joanna Warrington from Holiday. Book your free ticket here.
Bleddfa Writers’ Day Sunday 22nd October
In an idyllic retreat in the heart of rural Wales, I was a guest speaker to a packed house at this friendly and informative event aimed at any authors looking to publish their books.
How to Be Your Own Publisher Saturday 28th October
As part of Bristol Literature Festival, Bristol authors A A Abbott, Lucienne Boyce and Michael MacMahon and I will be speaking about the joys of self-publishing, and sharing lots of brilliant advice.
Bristol Literature Festival Book Busk Saturday 28th October
In the company of local Bristol authors, I’ll be having fun giving public readings from my short stories and novels on Bristol’s buzzing harbourside.
Stroud Short Stories Sunday 5th November
As co-judge for the autumn submissions, as I was in 2017, I’m looking forward to attending the evening at which the ten stories are performed at the Strouds Valley Arts centre by their authors.
Taunton Literature Festival Monday 13th November
I’m looking forward to being on the crime panel alongside festival organiser and novelist Lionel Ward, proprietor of Brendon Books, and Sanjida Ray, psychological thriller writer longlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger Award.
Highlights of 2016 included:
- discussing the future of the industry as part of a panel of experts at the New Generation Self-publishing Summit
- offering book promotion advice to the Wrexham Writers’ Circle
- reading a short story from Marry in Haste at Writers’ Unchained spring event, the St Valentine’s Day Hangover
- speaking on the topic “A Relative History” about using self-publishing projects to capture local history in the making and to preserve it for future generations to the Tetbury History Society
- joining three other local authors, A A Abbott, Lucienne Boyce and David Penny, in the first of Foyles’ new Local Author Reception events talking about our work, giving brief readings and chatting to guests over complementary refreshments, at Foyles Bookshop, Bristol
- organising the 2nd Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival to include a new Children’s Festival section as well as a wide range of events to appeal to adults
- speaking about self-publishing at the annual Troubador Self-Publishing Conference in Leicester
- speaking about self-publishing to the Writers in Oxford Group
- talking about promoting self-published books at the May meeting of Novel Nights (Bristol)
- reading from my short story collection Marry in Haste at the Evesham Festival of Words’ Festival Bookshop launch
- returning to Dublin to speak at BooksGoSocial Writers’ Conference for authors, alongside a terrific line-up of speakers including Laurence O’Bryan and Catherine Ryan Howard
- leading a self-publishing workshop Evesham Festival of Words answering all the “who, what, why, where, when and how” questions you need to know, and also reading one of my short stories at their Open Mic session
- giving a talk to the Hawkesbury Upton Women’s Institutecalled “Reading – Past, Present and Future” about how changing technology has affected and will continue to affect reading habits and opportunities for writers
- giving a talk to the Romantic Novelists’ Association on how to deal more effectively with bookshops
- describing the Author’s Journey in the 21st Century to the Sopworth Ladies Group
- performing at Cheltenham Literature Festival, the biggest and longest-established lit fest in the UK, reading my short story “The Alchemy of Chocolate” as part of the Stroud Short Stories showcase
- judging the autumn Stroud Short Stories night
- being on the monthly panel of BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Book Club presented by lunchtime host Dominic Cotter
Highlights of 2015 included:
- speaking to the MA class about self-publishing and blogging at The Publishing Project, Winchester University
- taking part in a special one-day conference entitled “Is Everyone Now a Publisher?” at Dr Alison Baverstock’s Kingston University Author Conference
- speaking at IndieReCon live from Foyles flagship bookstore on the Charing Cross Road, London
- speaking at Whitstable Literature Festival alongside novelist Hattie Edmonds
- being part of a panel organised by New Writing North at Newcastle Writing Conference at Northumbria University
- giving a quick-fire sessons on self-publishing at Winchester Writers’ Festival
- talking marketing in parallel with Catherine Ryan Howard and Laurence O’Bryan at the Dublin BooksGoSocial Writers’ Conference
- leading a seminar in Watford on book promotion and marketing at the Get Writing! Conference
- organising and running the first ever Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival in April, followed by a mini pop-up edition at the Hawkesbury Village Show in August
- being on the monthly panel of BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Book Club presented by lunchtime host Clare Carter
Highlights of 2014 for me included speaking at the Cambridge Literary Festival, the London Book Fair and Chorleywood Literature Festival’s Indie Author Fair and SilverWood Books‘ Open Days.