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NEWS RELEASE (sent out from Alzheimer’s Research UK)
Alzheimer’s Research UK to benefit from Suffolk author’s latest children’s book

An established author, from Lowestoft in Suffolk, has published a children’s book and all proceeds from book sales will be donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK. With more than 30 years’ experience working in the care sector Suzan Collins has met many people dealing with dementia, which has motivated her to support the UK’s leading dementia research charity and bring new treatments closer.

The book Little Kitty – the Cat Burglar is aimed at seven to nine year olds (and adults will like it too!) and follows the adventures of Little Kitty told through the voices of eight writers. The cover for the book has been created by designer Rachel Lawston who also worked on the covers of the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s children’s novels The Johnny Maxwell Trilogy. Sir Terry Pratchett was a patron of Alzheimer’s Research UK until he passed away with Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) in March this year.

Speaking about her reasons for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK, Suzan said:

“During my time working in the care sector I have come into contact with many people living with dementia. It is a devastating condition and one where there are still huge advances to be made in the understanding of the disease processes.

Alongside my career as an author and ex-manager of care homes I now specialise as a consultant and trainer in social care. The funds raised from this book will be donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK as myself and the other contributing writers all firmly believe that research holds the answer to dementia. It is vital that more money is invested in dementia research so that the treatments that are so desperately needed and can change the lives of so many people can be discovered.”

Jessica Hiscocks, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are very grateful to Suzan and all of the writers involved in creating this book and for giving their time (free) and donating all proceeds to Alzheimer’s Research UK. The money raised from book sales will help provide crucial resources for our scientists and fund many hours of pioneering research work, driving the next breakthrough.”

“There are 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, including nearly 12,000 people in Suffolk. Research has the power to defeat dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the charge. We rely entirely on public donations to fund our world class research and it’s thanks to the support of people like Suzan that we’re able to continue our crucial work.”

Joining Suzan in this marvellous project:

Local authors: Lucille Rayner, Ros Lyons, Ann Bowyer Jo Wilde.

Other authors (from across the country): JB Johnston, Tracy Terry and Tottie Limejuice in France.

Editor: Jaine Keskeys  Illustrator: Catie Atkinson.’

Authors (L-R) Ann Bowyer, Lucille Rayner and I met with Jessica Hiscocks, Regional Fundraising Officer last week.

 ann jess lucille and suzan 30th Oct 2015

When I first asked some of the writers to join me in this fab project I was delighted when people said they would, as time went on I was overwhelmed by just how many people were giving their time and skills for FREE! (I did shed a few tears fortunately no-ne saw). We didn’t know how the story would end, we just followed on from the chapter before and it is actually a very good book (but please don’t just take my word for it …)

Little Kitty – the Cat Burglar is available to buy now on Amazon in both paperback and ebook/kindle and costs £5.00 and … ALL royalties go to Alzheimer’s Research UK. Oh and there’s more … it’s an ideal Christmas present.

Jess and Ann five pound Little Kitty book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Kitty-Burglar-Suzan-Collins-ebook/dp/B017I34XEU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1446543305&sr=8-2&keywords=little+kitty+the+cat+burglar

LITTLE KITTY CVR FINAL

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As you will have read in my recent blogs Jo Wilde and I are in our third year of organising the local Memory Walk to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and this year we also teamed up with six other authors, one children’s editor, one illustrator and one designer to create Little Kitty, a children’s book. We all gave our time freely and all royalties will go to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

I invited Jo to come along and talk about her support for two charities close to her heart, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK (two different charities). Jo told me …

There’s so much going on at the moment, and life is getting very busy, what with all the writing and editing and publishing and fundraising.

I’ve just been involved in a really exciting project – writing a book to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, a great charity that is working hard to find a treatment for dementia.   It’s the first time I’ve written anything that’s made it as far as publication – and seeing it out there in print is fantastic!   I’m so excited, and sharing it with everybody!  I signed my first copy today, that’s when I realised that I’m now an author…and I just want to keep writing.

I can’t remember how I first got involved with the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, but I suspect it was because Suzan asked me, and she’s not an easy person to say no to.  Besides, I’ve always done various sorts of voluntary work, which I had less and less time for when my  paid working hours got ridiculously long, so it was nice to get a chance to do something that didn’t take up as much time, but was equally valuable to the community.

For the past couple of years, we’ve done all the organising locally, with some help from the local Alzheimer’s Society branch, but this year for the first time we registered as a community walk which meant we had involvement from regional and national offices.

We’re trying to grow the walk, to enable more people to participate, and raise more money so that more people can benefit.  This year for the first time, we had a whole committee to help organise, which has been great – there have been other people to do some of the work, and to bounce ideas off.  I’ve met new people and reconnected with old friends, and altogether had a blast.

I love organising things like this, and seeing the whole community come together to support a common cause.  As the day gets closer there’s more and more to do…and we all get busier and busier until the day. Our walk on Sunday 27th September was bigger than we expected. Would you like to join us next year? https://www.facebook.com/Lowestoft-Memory-Walk-25th-Sept-2016-1070431756308752/timeline/

My first book and my first book signing, Little Kitty – the Cat Burglar

Jo signing Little Kitty

LITTLE KITTY CVR FINAL

Amazon UK http://goo.gl/m84FTe

Amazon USA http://goo.gl/AAYYfR

Let’s find out about the authors who took:

Jo Wilde

Jo was born in Yorkshire, many more years ago than she cares to remember. She works in a theatre and a library, and fills up the rest of her time reading, writing, editing, proofreading, event organising, eating chocolate and drinking wine.

To find out more about Jo, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.scaryjojo.wordpress.com

Ann Bowyer

Ann is a retired Business Studies teacher. She has two sons and six grandchildren, and lives in Norfolk. After writing factual articles for magazines, Ann published her first fictional book in 2013. A Token of Love, which is based on the true story of her grandparents’ lives, has sold all around the world. She was featured in an article in the Hindu, India’s national paper, and, following numerous requests, is due to publish a sequel, Lost in a Homeland.

To find out more about Ann, or to follow her on social media, visit: http://www.annbowyer.com

Suzan Collins

Suzan is an internationally selling author who writes in various genres, both fiction and non-fiction. Her non-fiction includes textbooks pertaining to her work as consultant and trainer in Social Care and Management. Suzan also writes fiction – naughty, spicy and otherwise – under the pen name Zina Adams.

Finalist – People’s Book Prize, 2014 Shortlisted for Best Achievement Award – People’s Book Prize, 2014

To find out more about Suzan, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.suzancollins.com

Tottie Limejuice

Tottie Limejuice is one of the pen names of former journalist and copywriter Lesley Tottie. Lesley lives in France and now writes full-time. Her travel memoirs are published under the name Tottie Limejuice, and she also writes crime novels as L M Krier and children’s books as L M Kay. Her interests include organic gardening, camping and walking with her two rescued border collies.

To find out more about Tottie, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.tottielimejuice.com

Ros Lyons

Ros is interested in writing both fiction and memoirs. Her two cats provide much inspiration for creating stories. She belongs to two writing groups, where authors share their work and learn from each other. She enters the occasional writing competition and has had some success. As well as writing, Ros enjoys walking, the theatre and playing social bridge.

Lucille Rayner

Lucille is a Support Worker and assists and supports older people. She loves holidays in the sunshine, family get-togethers and walking in the Suffolk countryside. Lucille enjoys writing in her spare time and is currently writing a children’s book.

To find out more about Lucille, or to follow her on social media, visit:

www.facebook.com/pages/Lucille-Rayner/362171100645432?fref=ts

Tracy Terry

A Geordie lass, rumoured to have been born with a paperback in her hand, Tracy spends her days reading and reviewing books on her blog Pen and Paper. A lover of hedgehogs as well as cats, she also enjoys writing and receiving letters and is quite the movie buff. Her taste in films is almost as eclectic as her taste in novels!

To find out more about Tracy, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk

About the Artists

Catie Atkinson

Catie is an illustrator and designer based in Leeds. When she’s not drawing, she enjoys reading, cooking, acting, singing in the choir and attempting to play various instruments – although not all at the same time! She also loves crime thrillers and is convinced that in another life she would have made a great detective!

To find out more about Catie, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.catieatkinsonart.co.uk

Rachel Lawston

Rachel is a book designer who has worked with Penguin Random House, HarperCollins and Walker Books, to name a few. Rising to the challenge of designing books and commissioning artwork for amazing authors like Terry Pratchett, John Boyne and Malorie Blackman are some of her biggest accomplishments. She is a huge tortoise enthusiast, and is

secretly hoping that at least one of the fantastic authors who took part in this project might base their next book on

her two naughty Hermann’s tortoises, Daenerys and Om . . .

To find out more about Rachel, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.lawstondesign.com

About the Editor:

Jaine Keskeys

Jaine is a Senior Editor who has worked in Children’s publishing for over ten years. She has written and edited projects for many fantastic publishers, including Penguin Random House, Egmont, Parragon Books and Titan. She spends her spare time reading and writing, and hopes to one day have her own picture books – perhaps even a novel! – published.

To find out more about Jaine, or to follow her on social media, visit: www.editorjaine.com

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With my author hat on I attended the first East Anglian author fair at the end of July at the fabulous Coconut Loft Art Gallery on Waterloo Road. This gave locals an opportunity to ‘meet the author’  with twelve authors from across Norfolk and Suffolk, including: Helen Thwaites, Caroline Way, Hannah Precious, Ian Robb, Terry Tarbox, Pam Finch, Bronwen Grono, Jocelyn Blakey, Helen Milligan, Patricia Peters and Ann Bowyer.

All the authors~done with my camera

The centrepiece of the event were five newly published authors who had risen to a ‘get published’ challenge set by themselves during a writing workshops last November. They formed the group Waveney Author Group (WAG) and go on tour later this month.

Gina cutting my cake with the WAG authors looking on

I’m looking forward to The  2nd Annual event which will take place next July and an interim ‘meet the authors’ weekend will be held at the Coconut Loft on the 5th & 6th Dec.

Author places are selling well, with only a few places left. For more information pop along to www.getwriting.co.uk

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1st Annual East Anglian Author Fair/ Pop-up Bookshop 2015

Readers, writers, lovers of books, fiction, non-fiction, agents and publishers… come one, come all.

New and established authors, some reading their work but all showcasing their books.

Dates: Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July 2015.

Venue: The Coconut Loft Art Gallery, 8 Waterloo Rd, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0AA. Tel: 01502  521845

Time: 10 am – 4pm. And after a successful Saturday, why not join the authors and unwind with fish and chips on a Blue Flag beach just 100 metres from the gallery, and on the Sunday an Italian ice cream.

Pop up bookshop~The Journal 24th July 2015

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I know you don’t spell ‘writery’ like that but I say it so I wrote it. And it is an exciting time…

Last November I led a set of writing workshops and had the fabulous authors/tutors: Glynis Smy, Ann Bowyer, Rosy Thornton, Jayne-Marie Barker  and Jo Wilde run some sessions. 6 of the writers set themselves a challenge to write and self-publish before July 10th. I decided to join them in this challenge. We decided on the name Waveney Author Group (WAG) as we all live within the Waveney area.

Our first meeting was at The Coconut Loft Art Gallery and we were grateful for the support of The Journal newspaper who came to do an article on us and took this picture.

Group photo~24th Jan 2015

The Coconut Loft Art Gallery became our place to meet. Firstly on a monthly basis and now we meet on a weekly basis to enable the writers to achieve their goal. The Coconut Loft Art Gallery is a great place to write, an inspiring place that not only sells lovely food but also Richard and Gina, the owners, are always willing to help, whether it be to help one of the writer’s sort her blurb out or help another writer sort her page layout.

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The owners Gina and Richard watching new author Pam Finch press the button and upload her work to Create Space (and within a short space of time her book, Minho Moments, was on Amazon).

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Gina helping a writer with her formatting.

Helen and Enid~WAG Meeting Coconut Loft~11th May 2015

Helen Thwaites helping her mum with her tablet.

Helen, Helen and Enid~WAG Meeting Coconut Loft~11th May 2015

Enid and Helen Thwaites and Helen Meneghello.

Helen, Pam, Richard and Enid~WAG Meeting Coconut Loft~11th May 2015

Richard helping Pam Finch with her blurb (watched by Helen and Enid)

Pam Helen Enid and I at the coconut loft~June 2015

Helen Thwaites, Me (Suzan Collins), Enid Thwaites and Pam Finch writing in The Smugglers’ Gallery.

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Enid Thwaites, Helen Thwaites, Bronwen Grono, Pam Finch, Helen Meneghello, Me (Suzan Collins) and Jo Wilde.

All writers have either now published their books or will in the next week or so. #excitingtimes

The Waveney Author Group will be joining other authors at the pop-up bookshop at The Coconut Loft this July. For more info please go to www.getwriting.co.uk

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Welcome Ann Bowyer…

Ann Bowyer

Can you tell me a little about yourself? (including pen name if you have one)

At an early age, I was writing stories and drawing comics which I published weekly. Before I left school I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I already had the shorthand and typing skills but my parents were set against it. They considered it was an unsuitable occupation for a young lady – that was the 1960’s – oh, how things have changed! So I found myself becoming a secretary, then a Business Studies Teacher, then a freelance software trainer but, of course, motherhood came somewhere in-between all that.

What was the first story you wrote?

Probably something to do with horses – I was horse mad, as many girls are today, though riding them was not on the agenda until we moved further out of London and even then, I had to save up all my pennies as my parents couldn’t afford to pay for lessons.

However, my first novel was completed at 15 and the plot was around – you’ve guessed – horses!

Were you inspired by someone or something?

Very much so, I loved to read about show jumping and gymkhanas and was lucky enough to go to the Horse of Year Show for several years running with my best friend. I read every horsey book and magazine I could lay my hands on and my favourite author was Ruby Ferguson who wrote the Jill books. When I grew more mature I was inspired by Jane Austin, of course, and whenever I am ill, Pride and Prejudice is a comfort read and I’ve always been a Maeve Binchy fan.

What do you like about writing a story?

Plots and research are possibly the things I enjoy most. Creating an interesting plot and seeing characters react has always fascinated me because my characters always surprise me as they go off and do their own thing. But, since I set my novels in the past, research is my favourite occupation and sometimes I have to drag myself away from fascinating avenues of enquiry or the book would never get written.

Can you tell us about your newest book?

My latest book is ‘Lost in a Homeland’ and is a sequel to my first published book ‘A Token of Love – a family saga. Both are fiction but the first book is largely based on my grandparents lives.

Ann Bowyer~Lost in a Homeland

How did you come up with the story?

It was the book I never intended to write! There is a third book which is half written and I had every intention of moving to the next generation in this saga but, following numerous requests, I capitulated and wrote ‘Lost in a Homeland’ in order to fulfil my readers’ desires to know what happened when the family left Canada.

What genre best fits for the book?

Historical, women’s contemporary fiction, romance

Are you working on something new at the moment?

As already mentioned, there is a third book in this series and I have every intention of finishing this as well as, possibly a fourth but I also have several ideas for other books.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

It’s all been said before – read and write as much and as often as you can. Don’t let anyone put you off. You can do it!

Do you in a writing group?

Over the years, I have belonged to several writing groups and found them really, really helpful, supportive and encouraging. My regular writing group folded some time ago but I have been so busy with writing and travel, I haven’t yet joined another. But I will – no one else understands a writer like a writer.

Do you have people who will critique your work? (And if you do, do you acknowledge them in the front of the book?)

Yes to both, though I don’t name them specifically.

What is your writing routine?

That is a very difficult question to answer. I share my study with my husband and, unlike many authors, I do prefer peace and quiet with no interruptions. That can sometimes be difficult but if I have a deadline, after supper is best and I try to get a couple of hours in most evenings.

Do you have an editing process?

Editing does happen a little on the way because I try to write to a place where I know I will be able to pick up the next day – that overcomes what is often called writer’s block. When I begin the next day, I go back to the beginning of the previous scene and may edit it, though most of the editing is left until the end.

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

The satisfaction of reaching the end is possibly the most enjoyable part of writing but I love it all so maybe it’s the frustration of not having enough time to write.

How important is it for you to share your writing?

Very. My first novel (which I refer to as faction), as I mentioned, is based on my grandparents’ lives and I wanted to tell it because it seemed to me nobody knew of the horrendous drought conditions British people endured in the Prairies in the 1930’s. Everyone, but everyone has heard of the ‘Grapes of Wrath’ but this is a parallel story. Usually my stories are a comment on the times.

Where can people go to read your work?

My books are available through Amazon :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+bowyer

http://www.amazon.com/Ann-Bowyer/e/B00JCP6H1U/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1435630339&sr=1-2-ent

They are Kindle published also.

Also available at Jarrolds, Norwich as well as Diss Book Publishing in Diss, Norfolk.

Where can people find you on the internet?

My website:  www.annbowyer.com

Facebook:  Ann Bowyer Author

Twitter:  AnnBowyer2

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

The research for my first book took ten years and involved travelling extensively across Canada as well as Europe. I now give talks/slides on this, which includes some of the unusual and original documents and photographs which turned up following a family tragedy. Anyone interested in a talk can contact me through my website.

My family history has always fascinated me and when I have completed my present saga, I might well turn my attention to my maternal side – my mother was born in India at the time of the Raj.

To finish, thank you, Suzan, for hosting me.

I have enjoyed it, thank you, Ann.

NB: Ann will be having a Book Release Party on Facebook tomorrow, why not hop over and join in?https://www.facebook.com/events/816556811726199/

Ann Bowyers book covers

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We [Just Write It!] held our first writing workshop this Autumn and were delighted to see so many people, all enthusiastic and wanting to write. 

  20141122_105639                                                                                                     20141123_125122

 

 

 

 

 

The workshops included: Getting started, Planning, Researching, Editing,  Publishing and Marketing. I joined authors/tutors: Ann Bowyer, Glynis Smy, Jayne-Marie Barker, Jo Wilde and Rosy Thornton.

Jayne Marie Barker 

Rosy Thornton Jo and Denise

Feedback …

“I had a great time with some great people. Thank you for inspiring me to ‘Just Write It!”

“Thank you for the uplifting weekend. I take away renewed interest. These workshops have geed me up to move on with my work.”

“A lovely and inspirational weekend. It has been great to get to know more like-minded people and share time and ideas.”

“Thank you so much – I feel more alive than I have felt in months.”

“I absolutely loved this experience.”

“Thank you for a great weekend. I have enjoyed meeting other would-be authors and I feel truly empowered to write my book/s.”

Watching the fox and ducks

Watching the fox and the ducks tease each other.

20141122_110537                                                                                   Ann Bowyer and writersGlynis and Jo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the group have made a commitment to write and self publish a book [small, medium or large] by July 10th 2015. This group call themselves ‘Waveney Author Group’ [WAG] and will hold monthly meetings to support each other with their writing projects. I have agreed to be part of this WAG group and look forward to meeting up with the group in January 2015.

Wag

Just Write It offers a variety of writing workshops-

Getting Started and Planning Fridays

Editing and Different Styles of Publishing Saturdays

Pitching to Publishers/Agent and Marketing Sundays

If you would like more information on our writing workshops please click www.justwriteitworkshops.com

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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