Archive for January, 2017

As tradition requires, I’ve been looking back at all the lovely literary/writery things I have done in 2016 (sorry I’m a bit late)

January – Planning for the Unique Writing Workshops I run twice a year at Gunton Hall Coastal Village (April and November). Unique as I cover everything from getting started on your first writing project to publishing and marketing your finished work. These are interactive and fun-filled days – but you can pick and choose, come for any or all of the sessions.

February – Began the month with a writing holiday to Tenerife.

Author gig at Woodbridge Library in Suffolk.

March – On Southwold radio.

Author gig at a women’s literary festival in London.

April – Author gig at Chelmsford Library in Essex.

Ran my Unique Writing workshops and met some inspiring writers.

May – Two author gigs this month in Suffolk, one at Kesgrave Library and one at Bury St Edmunds.

June – Arranged an evening Beach read. Weather a bit blowy but everyone had fun.

Author guests on blog were: Sandra Delf, Ellie Holmes and Tricia Cass.

Ran a writing competition. Winning entries and those highly commended would be included in a published book and sold on Amazon. All royalties would go to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Cover change for Books 1 and 2 in my Chatty Cat series: ‘Chatty Cat: My Purr-fect New Home’ and ‘Chatty Cat: Spring into Summer’ (books for children and adults read them too). Designed by Rachel Lawston and I love them, hope you do too.

chatty-front-cover-from-amazon                                  chatty-book-twofront-cover-on-amazon25th-june-2016

ISBN-13: 978-0995484436       ISBN-13: 978-0993493447

 July – I ran the 2nd East Anglian Festival of Culture (#Eafoc)  at the Coconut Loft, Hatfield Hotel and The Clyffe Hotel.

Two author gigs this month, Great Yarmouth Library (Norfolk) and at Saxmundham Library (Suffolk)

Author guest on my blog: Lynda Stacey.

Book release: Book 3 in the Chatty Cat series: ‘Chatty Cat: My Purr-fect Friends’

front-cover-on-amazon ISBN: 978-0993493454

Book endorsed by children’s authors Terry Tarbox and Wendy Leighton-Porter.

August – Author gig at Gorleston Library (Norfolk)

Published an anthology of stories written by writers from the writing weekend in April, ‘Dreaming on Paper’, under my imprint ‘East Anglian Press’, edited by Jo Wilde. All royalties to Alzheimer’s Research UK

dreaming-on-paperfront-cover    ISBN-13: 978-0995484429

September – Author gig at a Lit Fest in London.

I ran writing workshops at Woodbridge Library and met some inspiring writers, some who aim to publish their work.

October – On Southwold Radio.

Planning the writing workshops ready for next month.

November – This month, author Jane Lovering came and did a ‘Writing a Novel’ workshop for my company, ‘Get Writing’ (www.getwriting.co.uk)

First planning meeting for the East Anglian Festival of Culture #Eafoc 2017

Planning a writing retreat for Jan 2017

Published this anthology (poetry and short stories) under my imprint East Anglian Press. ‘View of the Sea’, edited by Jo Wilde. All royalties to Alzhemier’s Research UK

view-of-the-seacover-on-amazon   ISBN-13: 978-0995484467

Although I had new covers for Chatty Cat books 1 & 2 I found that children liked the new covers and older readers, including people who wanted to purchase a book for their loved one who had suffered a stroke and just getting back into reading, preferred the covers with Chatty Cat actually on them and both are now available

chatty-catsuzan-collins    chatty-front-cover-from-amazon    Chatty Cat~Spring into Summer~draft FRONT cover    chatty-book-twofront-cover-on-amazon25th-june-2016                     

              Book 1                                               Book 2                      

December – The final month of the year 2016 sees my book, ‘Chatty Cat: My Purr-fect Friends’ in the WINTER 2016 Collection. It would make my day if you could vote for it please (voting is open until 28th Feb 2017)  http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1474

During the Autumn I had the wonderful opportunity of running writing enrichment sessions at the Ormiston Denes Academy. I worked with young inspiring writers and illustrators and have offered contracts to two young illustrators who will see their work in print very soon.

Writing plans for 2017:

The Get Writing Buddy

Second novel

Chatty Cat book 5, ‘Chatty Cat: Autumn into Winter’

Izzy Cat book: ‘Izzy Cat: New Family New Home’

Two individual books to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Thank you for your fabulous support in 2106 which was greatly appreciated.

If you would like to keep up to date with Chatty Cat and Izzy Cat here is the link to Chatty’s blog: https://chattycatno1.wordpress.com/

And if you would like to follow me on FB or Twitter here are the links:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Suzan-Collins-author-page-186401074847655/

Twitter: @suzancollins

May this year, 2017, be a good one for you.

Until next time

Suzan  x


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I met Carol at the People’s Book Prize Ceremony in London a couple of years ago and I am delighted that Carol is the first author on my blog in 2017.

Welcome Carol E Wyer…


Can you tell me a little about yourself? (inc if you use a pen name and why)

I hate talking about myself but here goes: I became a full-time writer in 2010 when I turned my attention from writing children’s educational books as a hobby, to the adult market.

My first two novels Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and Surfing in Stilettos won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, I’ve appeared on numerous BBC radio stations, several international radio stations, NBC television and BBC Breakfast television, and Sky television discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Grumpy Old Menopause’. In 2015 I won the prestigious People’s Book Prize Award for Grumpy Old Menopause.

I’ve written articles for, and featured in several national women’s magazines, including Take A Break, Choice, Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Own who also wrote about my journey to becoming a best-selling author.

Having written ten humorous books –three non-fiction and seven fiction, I changed direction this year, and am writing a series of psychological thrillers, and published by Bookouture, featuring DI Robyn Carter. The first, LITTLE GIRL LOST released in January 2017, has had some rave reviews and shows I have found my true niche. (Pause for an evil laugh.)

Even though I’ve changed genre my publishers felt it was important to keep my own name and not take on a pen name. I had already built up a reputation for entertaining reads and we decided many people who read light-hearted comedies might also read thrillers. It meant I didn’t have to start new Facebook pages, new websites and build a brand all over again.

I can understand why authors take on pen names, as they might be catchier, easier to spell or remember, and allow authors to slide into a new genre without being prejudged on past works. However, keeping my own name seems to be working for me even though no one can remember how to spell WYER.

What is the title and genre of your book?

My latest is the first in a series of gripping crime thrillers featuring DI Robyn Carter and is called LITTLE GIRL LOST


How did you come up with the story?

It’s a very long story and there are many reasons why I chose to write this book, but suffice to say I have always been fascinated by human frailty and psychology.

Many years ago I had a friend who fabricated an entire life/boyfriend/family. She spoke endlessly about her boyfriend and when she got engaged we were all excited for her, especially as we were invited to the engagement party. We clubbed together and bought them a present. We hadn’t met the groom to be and were very keen to do so. Two days before the party, she fell over and claimed she couldn’t move her neck or walk, and an ambulance was called. She was whisked away and didn’t return to college. Her mother wouldn’t answer the door to me when I visited and the engagement party never happened. None of us had any idea she was living a lie until very soon afterwards, when one of our group, discovered a photograph in a waiting room magazine that was identical to the one she had shown us of her boyfriend. She had cut it out from the same magazine. There was no boyfriend and just about everything else she had told us was a lie too. She disappeared shortly after we uncovered it all and we never heard from her again.

The episode remained with me all my life. I honestly believed we were good friends and was astounded she had fabricated a web of lies. I wondered why someone would feel they had to make up an entire life and later when I studied a psychology module, I began to understand how complex we humans are.

LITTLE GIRL LOST is about how a traumatic incident in your childhood can alter the way you think and behave and how we are very good at hiding the past – or at least we think we are.

It has a lovely cover; did you have any say in what you wanted the cover to be?

Bookouture has a team who work on the covers and they have a selection from which they choose the most appropriate. I don’t get to see it until they are happy with their choice. I was over the moon with the cover for LITTLE GIRL LOST. Richard Augustus who has also designed covers for Wilbur Smith and Bernard Cornwell created it.


Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Hundreds but let me just say, be patient, believe in yourself and never be in to great a hurry to get your work published. It must be in terrific shape when it goes to print and by that, I mean it must be edited, edited and edited.

|What is your writing routine?

Plotting and planning take a completely different format and I fit them into my ordinary schedule but once I begin writing the book, I start writing at about 8 in the morning and have a break from 11-3, during which time I do all my chores, shopping etc. From 3-6, I work again and then once my husband is fast asleep I skulk off to my office and work most of the night until about 4 or 5. Insomnia really has its advantages.

Do you have an editing process?

Again, Bookouture do my edits. After I send in a script, they work on structural edits. I then get a few weeks to rewrite any areas of the book they are unhappy with, change plots, add sections and that sort of thing to make the book more appealing. Next come line edits and I get a couple of weeks to go through all the typos and errors that have been picked up and change them. I also have to go through carefully myself to see if there are any others that have been missed. It goes back to the editor and onto a proofreader and then is returned again. This time the proofreader might have picked up on repetition of words or factual inaccuracies. It is corrected and returned and comes back twice more for me to check through before it goes to print.

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

Creating surprise, twists and turns that will astonish and entertain my readers. I get a genuine buzz out of that. I hate editing! My eyes are usually so tired by the time I finish writing that I miss loads of typos. Thank goodness for Bookouture!

Where can people find you on the Internet?

I’m on quite a lot of sites:

Amazon UK Author Page:


Amazon US Author Page:


Website: http://www.carolewyer.co.uk

Blogs: www.grumpyoldmenopause.com


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=116225863&trk

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carolewyer/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj5O-lvkAYO19S0AMW8VqJQ

BBC Interview http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m709f

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

I am passionate about writing and spend all my days behind my laptop but my success would not have come about had I not had good fortune on my side and without the help of those willing to read, review and blog about me and my books. I owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

Congratulations and thank you for taking some time out to talk to me .



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