Glit-er-ary

Don’t you just love it when WordPress goes all Christmassy and falling snowflakes appear across the page.

Eeek, can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted! And I’ve published another novel since then too. Failing Flynn Matthews is available on Amazon now and only 99p! It’s “totally addictive reading” and apparently an “‘Effin’ awesome book!!! This is every bit as gripping, enthralling and at times frustrating as the first book.
You won’t want to put it down until you get to the end.” Thank you dear reader 🙂 and thanks to all the other 5 star reviewers too for Ordering Flynn Matthews and Failing Flynn Matthews!

I’m in the middle of formatting Working Flynn Matthews so you never know it might be published before Christmas. Move over Ellie, there’s a new girl in town.

A short story of mine, The Stuff of Fairytales, has been published in Bridge House Publishing‘s anthology, Glit-er-ary and is available in book and kindle form. There’s a wonderful variety of stories, some sad, some funny and some glittery 😉

I love the cover of the Anthology.

Click on cover to take you to Amazon

A little teaser from The Stuff of Fairytales:

I’ve been paid a mighty sum to kill her. It would cost the villagers nothing to do it themselves but they are simple god-fearing folk who don’t want her blood staining their hands…darkening their souls. Still I’m not complaining as their fear gives me work.

I collect her from the gaol, shackled at the ankles and wrists and wrapped in an oversized cloak. People never cease to surprise me. They want her dead but still they give her protection against the winter cold. A tiny slip of a thing, possibly no more than seventeen winters old, she is easy to bundle in the back of my cart. I make sure her chains are secure so there’s no means of escape. She doesn’t struggle. How this girl evokes such fear astonishes me. True her kind exist but I refuse to believe that she could tear me to pieces and rip out my heart – that is the stuff of fairytales.

It’s usual to provide some proof of death, the body for instance but not this time. Not one single drop of her crimson blood is to return to the village. I’m an honourable man so I’ll do as they ask. I will earn the bag of gold that’s stowed away in my cart.

As I drive the horse along the track it clears of people, dust flying up as they hurry towards the safety of their homes. Doors bang shut and the scraping and rasping of furniture being pushed up against them echoes out. As we round the corner and disappear from view a breath-like breeze ruffles my hair as if the villagers sigh in collective relief.

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Happy New Year!

Nine days in and finally I’m posting you a Happy 2017! I’m hoping for and wishing you all a year of love not hate, inclusion not exclusion, peace not war.

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since September last year. Baubles was published in November and is available in paperback and eBook if you fancy reading an interesting selection of short stories including mine, We’re Off To See The Wizard. Go on, you won’t regret it!

Late October we decided to move house in 2017. I have been preoccupied with that and you all know my inability to multi-task so the publishing date of Failing Flynn Matthews has been delayed. It is about to be sent off for proof reading. Fingers crossed for a February publication date. I will be doing a cover reveal soon!

Meanwhile Ordering Flynn Matthews is still available on Amazon and has wonderful reviews. Thank you to everyone that has read it and also if you’ve taken the time to write a review. I really appreciate it.

New Year 2017

London’s New Year fireworks! ©lgflannigan

We’re off to see the Wizard

I’m coming to the end of my holiday and had some good news waiting for me when I got back from Rome. My short story We’re off to see the Wizard has been accepted for Bridge House Publishing’s 2016 anthology ‘Baubles’.

It’s dedicated to my mum and is another story about dementia – although it’s fiction I’ve drawn on my relationship with her and my experience of working in a dementia unit. Losing a person to dementia is sad but there are real moments of joy. It helps to remember them.

Here’s a photo of a cobbled street at the Roman Forum – not yellow bricked though!

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Extract from Murmuration

Since December 1st Bridge House Publishing have been posting on their blog interviews with the authors from the Snowflakes anthology along with extracts from each story. Yesterday was my turn. To see it click here or see below.

From Bridge House Publishing Blog:

Day 15 – Murmuration – L.G. Flannigan

What gave you the idea for your Snowflakes story?

Although it is a work of fiction its storyline is a personal one. My mum has dementia and I’m aware of how much my dad has to do for her  on a daily basis. I hope Murmuration gives a little insight into being a carer and shows some of the symptoms a person in the latter stages of dementia may experience, and how precious moments of recognition are a joy for their family.

How would you describe your normal style of writing?

You won’t find long descriptive passages in my writing. I use a conversational style with dialogue driving the plot. I tend to write my novels in the first person and the present tense. My short stories are written in the third person and the past tense.

Have you published other material?

I emailed my first short story Trojan to Bridge House Publishing’s World Stopping Events competition. It was a runner up and was published in On This Day anthology in 2012. My novel Ordering Flynn Matthews was shortlisted in Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition in 2015. I’ve had an offer from a US Indie digital first publisher to publish it but I am also looking at self publishing as an option. Either way I hope it’ll be published in 2016!

Do you have a writing routine?

I used to have a very structured writing routine but recently I’ve started a new part time job in a library and, along with my daughter, have taken up two new hobbies knitting and sewing.  However  I am writing on Monday and Thursday and every other Wednesday. The ideas keep flowing outside those times so my notebook is filling up.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

In the dining area of our living room. It means I’m not hidden away from my family even if I am absorbed at my laptop. My children have learnt that they can ask for anything while I’m writing and I’ll say yes! The table looks a mess most days and I have to confess to tidying it up for the photograph.

Writing Space

Tell something quirky about you. 

I have notebooks I don’t write in as they’re too gorgeous to use! See the Owl notebook in my writing space photograph above.

An extract from Murmuration:

Gwen retrieved the Christmas decorations from the back of the cupboard praying it would keep Fred occupied for at least half an hour before he was yanking at the front door wanting to go out. This need had been manageable a couple of weeks ago when it had been unseasonably warm but now a bitter Arctic wind blew and she was tired of being cold or maybe she was just plain tired.

As Gwen walked into the hall Fred was making a grab for his woolly hat that hung over the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. Nodding to the over flowing box she said, “Fred dear fancy helping me with the Christmas decorations?”

He rolled his eyes. It was his new thing. His way of expressing his dissatisfaction at anything he was unimpressed by. He pulled his hat on. “I want to go out. You can’t keep me here.”

Gwen kept her sigh inside. It didn’t help matters expressing her exasperation. “I know I can’t Fred. We’re going out in half an hour so help me while you’re waiting.”

Fred tugged back his jumper sleeve and stared at his watch. He circled its dial with his index finger. It broke Gwen’s heart. He’d lost the ability to tell the time over eight months ago.

“It won’t take long. I promise.” Deliberately she staggered a few steps and tilted the box as if she was about to drop it.

Tutting he said, “Let me take that. Where do you want it?”

It was at times like these, when the old Fred kicked in, that Gwen had to remind herself that there was no point saying ‘in the lounge’ as he wouldn’t know where that was. “Follow me.”

With thoughts of the world outside their front door momentarily forgotten he did as she said placing the box in front of the real Christmas tree that had been delivered yesterday.

Still wearing his hat Fred prodded a branch, “Where did this come from?”

“Bill dropped it off.”

He frowned, “Bill? Do I know him?”

“Yes. He owns the grocers in the village.”

Fred rolled his eyes and shook his head. “You’re wrong. Herb owns the grocers.”

He didn’t, not anymore, not for thirty years but Gwen knew better than to argue the point. “Of course. What was I thinking?” She forced a smile. She spent most of her time pretending to be wrong to placate him. “He chose well didn’t he?”

“Herb’s always had a good eye.” Fred leant in and sniffed the needles. “I love that smell.”

His words warmed Gwen. It was one of his favourite scents. Maybe, just maybe, this would jog his memory for a while. She knelt down and opened the box. “Tinsel first, then the baubles.”

“Fairy lights first.”

Gwen leant over the box and flicked the plug switch. “I put them on last night.”

Fred took a step back and grinned, “I like them. They’re new.”

They were the same lights they’d had for the last decade but they shone as bright as when they’d first bought them. “They are.” She handed him a long piece of tinsel.

His eyes crinkled as he stared at the gold foil touching his fingers. Gwen took a handful of tinsel and got to her feet. She proceeded to weave it between the branches. Out of the corner of her eye she saw her husband watching her hands. Copying, he put his tinsel on the tree. He surprised her by reaching for more and adding that to the branches.

Murmuration - Somerset Levels - Love Alice Photography

Click on the Snowflakes cover below if you like to continue reading Murmuration along with 23 other stories.

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Bridge House Book Launch

On Saturday, courtesy of my chauffeur (husband) I made it to Bridge House’s launch of Snowflakes and Cafe Lit anthologies not far from Leicester Square in Waxy O’Connors. Such a cool place. Should’ve worn a cloak!

Waxy O'Connor's

While my husband and son hung out in London my daughter and I had an interesting afternoon chatting with the other writers, listening to readings and finally meeting Debz, my wonderful editor! Her critique of my early novel writing was and still is invaluable. I’ve learnt so much from her.

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Me & Debz

Sometime during the afternoon her handbag was stolen right from under our noses. Amazingly she didn’t let it ruin her day. Check out her post about the day here: When Writers Meet

Snowflakes Book Launch

This Saturday I am going to London for my first book launch. It should be my third. I missed my first one in 1995 as I was about to give birth to my son and had feet the size of an elephant’s. Wearing shoes was tricky!  I couldn’t make it for On This Day‘s anthology launch so am very excited to be able to go to this one. I’ll get to meet my fellow Snowflakes authors and the lovely people at Bridge House Publishing especially Debz whose editing services have been instrumental in developing my novel writing skills.

From tomorrow up until Christmas Chief Editor at Bridge House Gill will be posting daily excerpts from each short story in Snowflakes plus interviews with the authors. So look out for those at Bridge House Publishing Blog.

Murmuration Somerset Levels, Love Alice Photography

Murmuration – Love Alice Photography (Tina Huckle) – © 2015

Murmuration

Snowflakes – an anthology by Bridge House Publishing was published at the weekend.

Snowflakes Small

Click on the cover to go to Amazon UK

My short story Murmuration is in it. It’s about a married couple where one partner has dementia. Although it is a work of fiction its storyline is a personal one.

My mum has dementia. She hasn’t known who I am for a good few years but there are times when she will look at me, smile and say, “I know you don’t I.” For a split second there’s that connection with her, with the past, with what might have been, what we’d be sharing now if she didn’t have the disease.

And then there’s my dad who despite his own health issues cares for her with patience, love and understanding. It can be exhausting however he still finds the time to be there not only for her but for others too.

Murmuration is more heart warming than hard hitting but I hope it gives a little insight into being a carer and shows some of the symptoms a person in the latter stages of dementia may experience, and how those precious moments of recognition are a joy for their family.

A murmuration is a flock of starlings. A talented friend of mine Tina Huckle at Love Alice Photography supplied the beautiful photograph for Murmuration in the book trailer. It was taken on the Somerset Levels.

Book trailer: