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ISBN 978-0-9557910-6-2

ISBN 978-0-9557910-6-2
OUT MAY 13th £8.99

InThe Shadow Of The Red Queen...

"We hope you will enjoy this collection of short stories. They have been selected because we hoped that each one of them would either make you laugh or cry or at least muse a little about the glorious game that is life.

One of our authors introduced the Red Queen and it became apparent that she is a little like Jung’s goddess. If we use our imagination a little we can plot her trajectory in most of our stories. Hence our title. She can be bitterly cruel but also has a wicked sense of humour. Yet she has a sense of fair play and knows all about unconditional love.

We originally intended to include fifteen stories – one for each day of your two week holiday, including the day you depart and the day you came back home. However, we could not choose between four of the stories so in the end decided to have seventeen stories altogether. So, you may extend you holiday at both ends now, - start your holiday reading early and carry on for a while longer after you are back.

Bridge House continues to look for unusual short stories and welcomes new authors. This collection gives you the flavour of the type of stories we seek.


Meet The Authors

Teresa Ashby
Lilian Butterwick
Paul Freeman
Anne Goodwin
Lynne Hackles
Debz Hobbs-Wyatt
Linda Lewis
Susanne Martin
Michael O'Connor
Pam Pottinger (Annie Bates)
Julie Swan
Phil Thomas
Nesta Tuomey
Nurgish Watkins
Rachel Zaino

Teresa Ashby

What Happened To Gran
I Wish

What do you normally write?

I mainly write short stories and serials for women’s magazines. Occasionally I start a novel and have even been known to finish a few. I like to experiment with my writing and enjoy using different styles and points of view.

Tell us about the story you've had accepted and what inspired it?

I Wish.

I have often wished I was taller and was surprised when discussing this with a tall friend that she had often wished herself shorter. It got me thinking about how we would cope if we swapped places and what better way to try it out than with the help of a genie which is just what Dawn and Mia do. It was a fun story to write and I hope it will make people smile and perhaps think twice before thinking the grass is greener on the other side.

What’s Happened to Grandma.

Kirsten’s grandmother fails to meet her from school and suddenly she finds herself in the hands of a social worker. All she knows is that her grandmother is in hospital and Kirsten is convinced that she is going to die. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she’d had an argument that morning with her grandmother about her grey socks.

I enjoy writing from the point of view of a child and I can vividly remember worrying about things and keeping those worries to myself. As for the grey socks, I had a friend at school that had to wear grey socks and she hated them.

What made you become a writer?

I never wanted to be anything else.

Which writers do you admire?

So many. Stephen King, Anne Tyler, Bill Bryson and Deric Longden spring immediately to mind. Among my fellow women’s magazine writers, I admire Marilyn Fountain, Della Galton, Jan Wright, Lynne Hackles and Steve Beresford. I know I will remember more writers later that I’ll wish I’d included.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

On the sea front.

What is your writing routine? Do you have to fit it around your day job?

Writing for magazines is my job, but I don’t have a routine as such. I do it when I can. You could say my day job is looking after my small grandchildren, but I don’t look on that as a job because I enjoy it so much.

What do you hope to achieve through your writing?

It has always been and still is my ambition to write a novel – in fact several. I’d like to write “serious” fiction, light-hearted fiction, a children’s series, horror and ghost stories.

Anything else you think we ought to know about you?

I’m often so lost in my own world, thinking about stories and characters that I cease to be in the here and now. I’m sure people must think I’m very rude. I can look right at someone when they are talking to me and not see them at all. It’s a very peculiar feeling!

Lilian Butterwick (pen name Rebecca Holmes)

Storms and Teacups


What do you normally write?

Mostly short stories, published mainly in women’s magazines such as ‘The People’s Friend’, as well as stories and articles in Ireland’s Own, Leicestershire and Rutland Life, and the Leicester Mercury, among others. Even the occasional poem, which I enjoy as a change. I also had story in the previous Bridge House anthology, ‘Making Changes’.

Like many writers, my ultimate aim is to get into novels, and I’ve been writing a contemporary Lake District saga on and off for some time now. It’s presently on the back burner, though, as I tend to concentrate on short stories.

Tell us about the story you’ve had accepted and what inspired it.

‘Storms and Teacups’ is a seaside story set in a comfortable, slightly old-fashioned resort, about a young woman who feels stuck in a rut. It takes a crisis and the help of some unexpected new friends to learn what she wants from life.

The place I had in my mind’s eye when I wrote the story was a cross between Swanage and Lyme Regis, both in Dorset, though I can easily think of several little towns in Devon, Cornwall and Pembrokeshire that would fit the bill, and no doubt you can, too.

Swanage, especially, was one of my favourite childhood holiday spots. I loved the gentle feel of the town, the sheltered sandy beaches, and going riding among the Purbeck hills with fantastic views over Studland Bay. A couple of years ago I went back to Dorset with my own family and revisited my old haunts, including Swanage. Even thirty years on, it still retained much of its character. That night, with all the impressions still fresh in my mind, I started writing ‘Storms and Teacups’. Hopefully, everyone reading it will enjoy a breath of sea air.

‘Wishes’ is also set by the sea, but this time on the North Antrim coast of Northern Ireland – a total contrast.

My mother comes from Northern Ireland, and at the beginning of the Second World War was about to go to a teacher training college in Belfast. Because of the risk of bombing by the Germans, the college was relocated to Portrush, on the Antrim coast, which meant she spent her student days by the seaside. It also meant that, as well as visiting various Irish relatives, we also stayed a couple of times with one of her college friends in Antrim.

The beaches there are huge, sandy and wild. Apparently. if you can see Scotland in the distance, it means rain is on the way. We were lucky. Both our visits coincided with a heatwave. We went to a different beach every day – except the day we visited the Giant’s Causeway. I was ten at the time and, just like Kate in the story, unimpressed at the idea of wasting a sunny day that was tailor-made for spending on the beach. Still, I made a wish in the Giant’s Chair, and nowadays bore everyone by pointing and saying ‘I’ve been there’ whenever there is so much as a glimpse of the place on television.

Naturally, it’s a great setting for a story. So, many years later, this story was born, about an awkward, stubborn girl who grows up still to be awkward and stubborn, even if she thinks she’s changed. You’ll have to read it to see if she’s any wiser at the end, and to find out what she wished for.

What made you become a writer?

I’ve always read a lot, and enjoyed making up stories as a child, especially when I was going through my ‘horsey’ phase. At that time, I got 40p a week pocket money, exactly the right amount to buy a paperback by Ruby Ferguson or one of the Pullein-Thompson sisters to devour over the weekend. They were my substitute for a pony, as I knew I’d almost certainly never get a real one. Many of my stories involved girls rescuing humble, preferably down-trodden ponies, and going on to win the show-jumping class at the local gymkhana!

During my teens I was an inveterate letter writer. I had penfriends all over the world and exchanged long letters with school friends during the summer holidays. I suppose now we’d all be on Bebo – more limiting in so many ways.

As ‘real life’ took over, it was only when I was lucky enough to stay at hone to bring up my daughters that I started to write again, but that was the beginning of a long learning process. Joining the local writers’ group helped, if only to confirm I wasn’t the only ‘mad’ person around. Now I’m published in various magazines and anthologies, am current chairperson of that group, and a member of another, and hope to keep pushing on.

I don’t think anything ‘made’ me ’become’ a writer. There’s something settling about writing, even when it’s not going well. It helps me forget about problems, just for a while, and even cures headaches! If I was Peanuts, I’d say happiness was a new A4 notebook, a favourite pen and a mug of coffee. And chocolate.

Which writers do you admire?

Too many to put here. The Brontes were a huge early influence, as were Thomas Hardy, Graham Greene and Jane Austen, though the first ‘grown-up’ novels I read and enjoyed were the Rogue Herries books by Hugh Walpole. Nowadays I seize on anything by Anne Tyler or Anita Shreve, but I also love Daphne du Maurier, Maeve Binchy, Jonathan Coe, Colm Toibin, Sarah Waters, Kate Morton… The list just goes on, and the to-read pile spreads under the bed as if it had a life of its own. At the moment I’m reading ‘The Secret Scripture’ by Sebastian Barry, and have to drag myself away from it.

Do you have a favourite place for writing?

As I write initial drafts in longhand, I can write in different parts of the house. But I’ve sold stories that I’ve written on the shores of Coniston, and even sitting in the car in a Tesco’s car park. But it has to be quiet, or somewhere I can create my own cocoon. I can’t concentrate with the television on, for example.

What is your writing routine? Do you have to fit it around your day job?

I usually have several stories on the go, all at various stages. I’ll work fairly solidly at completing a first draft, then put it away and work on something else. It’s surprising what you notice when you look at a story with a fresh mind.

What do you hope to achieve through your writing?

Hopefully to keep improving and make a semi-reasonable income out of doing what I love, and maybe even one day find myself among some of the names I admire. I already know several established novelists through writers’ groups, etc, so I know it’s difficult but not impossible.

Anything else?

Just an update on the pet front for those who read ‘Making Changes’, in that we are now down to one elderly rabbit and a not quite so juvenile cat.

Paul Freeman

The Pharoah's Revenge

I normally write crime fiction or horror short stories with a twist in the tale. However, I do enjoy writing humorous tales on occasion.

The idea behind my short story ‘The Pharaoh’s Revenge’ came from an incident in Egypt in1988. I was living in Cairo at the time, and the Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz had just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His most well-known book, ‘Midaq Alley’, is set around a street in Old Cairo. I therefore made my own private pilgrimage to Midaq Alley, guided by a grubby street urchin, and got royally ripped off along the way.

Paul Freeman

Paul Freeman

From the age of about seven I knew writing was what I wanted to do. It was either that or become an astronaut.

In addition to short stories, I write a lot of narrative poetry, so I have a soft spot for Chaucer. I also enjoy H.G. Wells for his vision and breadth of writing. For their ease in creating three-dimensional characters though, none can beat Stephen King or Ian Rankin.

As for where I write, since I was brought up in an overcrowded semi-detached house, working at the living-room table with the TV blaring away in the background, I find libraries impossible to work in. My favourite place to work these days is the 3rd Avenue Pub in Abu Dhabi’s Khaladiya Sheraton Hotel. Twice a week I write there over a pint or two. The rest of the week I try working an hour or two in the evenings at home - once I’ve helped my kids with their homework.

It’s difficult to explain why I write. On the one hand, I like to entertain people. Yet on the other hand, a little fame or fortune wouldn’t go amiss.

Anne Goodwin

The Neck

My story The Neck is about a young woman who wakes up on the morning of her wedding to find that her neck has grown as long as her arm. It's a bit of a shock, to say the least, but what's the groom going to think when he sees her?

I usually know what inspired a particular story, but this one eludes me. It certainly isn't based on my own wedding: I got married in Las Vegas with about ten minutes notice, with only the registrar and the building doorman to witness the event. As for my neck, it's always been standard length but I must admit that I've become somewhat obsessed with it since starting lessons in the Alexander technique -- it teaches you to avoid strain on your body by keeping your neck relaxed -- but The Neck had been simmering away for several months before I ever met my teacher. In more general terms, The Neck is about body image and anxiety, which is a widespread concern in our culture, especially for women, and one that crops up here and there in my writing.

Anne Goodwin

Anne Goodwin

The physical impinges on the production, as well as the content, of my writing. I do my best thinking either lying down, often in the middle of the night when I'd rather be asleep, or out walking. I go for long solitary walks in the Peak District, a short drive from where I live, and come back brimming with ideas. Due to repetitive strain injury, I can't write or type much without pain -- which is where the Alexander technique comes in -- so I have to to rely on voice recognition software. I couldn't be a writer without it but it does mean that a lot of my writing time goes into correcting the errors it makes. Despite years of training the programme still resists my Cumbrian vowels.

Somehow this regime has enabled me to write about fifty short stories in the past five years, with over a dozen of them published so far. I've also written a novel The Neighbourhood Watch which is a satire on the Bush-Blair relationship. I started a few other novels but lost my confidence and abandoned them. This year I am concentrating on revising the first draft of a novel about gender and identity, which I

hope to eventually get to a publishable standard

Lynne Hackles


I am a full-time freelance writer and have monthly features in Writing Magazine. My short stories have been sold to almost all of the UK and Australian women’s magazine markets.

My first book, Racing Start, (Blackie & Son) was for children and I’ve had a children’s story, Dog’s Dinner, in a collection by Heinemann called Don’t Make Me Laugh.

I also have two writing guides out. The first, The Handy Little Book for Writers is published by The National Association of Writing Groups. The latest is published by How To Books and is called Writing From Life: how to turn your personal experiences into profitable prose.

Two years ago I appeared on Channel 4’s Deal Or No Deal, hosted by Noel Edmonds. Gambling between having 10p or £75,000 or accepting £22,000 from the Banker, I decided to take the gamble and won what was then the 4th biggest prize ever. Part of the money was used to buy a motorhome in which my husband and I have travelled around the entire coastline of Britain. There has to be a book in that somewhere.

My grandmother had a two-spouted tea-pot but, as a child, I was never allowed to touch it as it was far too valuable, according to Gran. That’s where the idea for this story came from. I don’t know what happened to Gran’s so I needed to make something up. Was the tea-pot really worth a fortune? There was only one way to find out...

Debz Hobbs-Wyatt

The Red Queen

Debz lives in the mountains of Snowdonia which is a very inspiring place to write! She's been writing since she was a little girl but it's now her total obcession. She had her first publication success with Jigsaw in the Making Changes Anthology by Bridge House. She works full time as a scientist but dreams to give up her day job! She's delighted to have another story accepted for publication.

Her life is very busy as she also has to fit in 3 hours per day writing (short stories and her novel) and if she doesn't she goes insane, her part time MA in Creative Writing at Bangor University and her new role in publicity for Bridge House Press. But she loves it!

The Red Queen explores a world in which time is running out and animals are becoming extinct. It follows one scientists plight to save something very precious to him, the Oceolot. But it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. Will he win his battle to pursue The Red Queen... or is he too late?

Linda lewis

Going Going Gone

Hi, I’m Linda Lewis, or Catherine Howard depending on which magazine I'm writing for.

I’m a full time writer, and spend most of my working life writing short stories for magazines like Take a Break, but I’m always on the lookout for other ways to make money from writing.

I recently started writing books for children (great fun) and I’m in the process of approaching agents.
I also have a column in Writers Forum called Short Story Success in which I share my ups and downs and tips and techniques.
With my friend, Vanda Inman, I 'm involved in judging occasional short sotry competitions as well as offering a critique service (see for details).

A while agao, I wrote a novel (contemporary romance for adults) which was good enough to attract an agent, but when it didn't find a publisher, (several near misses later), we parted company.
That experience taught me a lesson. Next time (please, let there be a next time!) I want an agent I can actually talk to. It’s not that I’m a technophobe, I just prefer talking to people rather than emailing them, so if you’re an agent, and you want a new client who NEVER runs out of ideas, get in touch.

My story in this collection is based around an auction house. Not one of those posh ones, like Sotheby’s but the kind that deals in house clearances and bankrupt stock.

I like to use different settings for my stories. I’d already written an auction based story before, but this time I wanted to write a longer piece, concentrating on two people whose are drawn together thanks to the auction house.

The character of the auctioneer was inspired by a real life auctioneer who works at my favourite auctions rooms in Exeter, Devon ( I started to write the story while I was there, as it helped me to soak up the atmosphere.

Now a bit about me. I’m middle aged, and divorced my 4th husband in 2005.

I live in Paignton, and I’ve had my two bedroom detached bungalow on the market for 13 months.I have no family, and had grown thoroughly fed up with my life.

In 2008, I visited a hypnotherapist, hoping to gain more confidence so that I could get out and about and enjoy life more.

It seems to be working. In December 2008 I applied to go on The Weakest Link and sailed through the audition. In February 2009, I went to Pinewood to film the show. I can’t tell you how I got on as the programme hasn’t aired yet, but the experience taught me something vitally important - when fame does (eventually) come knocking at my door, I won’t be too scared to answer

Susanne Martin

Fortune Telling In Varanasi

I live with my husband, two teenage daughters and a mysterious grey cat in a wind-battered cottage on a small island of the Canadian Pacific Coast.

The cottage sits on a rock jutting into the sea and faces 270˚ of water. It was built as a summer home and has virtually no insulation making it hard to heat and susceptible to drafts and frozen pipes. Behind the cottage stands a tall fir that is the favourite roost of a couple of Bald Eagles. Facing the sea, a pile of driftwood provides shelter for an otter family. It is a magical spot to live, to write, wrapped in a blanket and with a hot water bottle at hand. Sometimes I long for the comfort of a warm house at a convenient location. But I know that I would miss the eagles, the otters, the seals, and the heron passing our cottage on his daily commute.

One would think writing comes easy in such a place. And in a way it does. I do write a lot. Unfortunately, the bulk of the writing I do is related to work and isn't as creative as I'd like it to be. I write ads, grant applications, reports, nominations, letters, e-mails, critiques, reviews, editorials, reader poll questions, promotional material, lesson plans, news stories, lists of things to do, notes excusing my kids from school or sports, personal essays, travel stories and yes, I am not a stranger to writing fiction.

I have published a couple of travel books (one on Prague and one on Nepal) and a substantial list of articles and opinion pieces.

My creative writing time is usually squeezed into in-between moments: between getting up and having to rush out the door, between deadlines, between meetings, between chores, between putting the kettle on and the water boiling. I stretch those in-between moments, sometimes to the limit, ignoring the whistle of the kettle, “serious work”, even my family.

Michael O'Connor

The Magical Stone Of Snod

I write in a variety of styles and use a variety of literary forms, but my favourite form is the short story, to which I return again and again. I used to concentrate on fantasy, but in later years have moved more towards magical realism, although I have also written horror and science fiction as well as non-genre pieces. "The Magical Stone of Snod' was written after a brief foray into a role-playing game society at university: I found it hard to treat the game with the immense seriousness that my companions did (some of whom had been playing the same game for three years), so I dropped out after a few weeks, but I always thought that it was a good way of devising a plot, and that set me off on the track of an unusual hero in a fantasy setting pursuing a pointless quest. Onto that I layered my love of language and some more serious musings about the nature of religion, and it all seemed to come together quite well.

I admire a great many writers, and have a particular fondness for nineteenth century English novelists, such as Dickens, Jane Austen and the Brontes. As regards more contemporary authors, my favourite is definitely the prolific and dazzling Michael Moorcock, closely followed by highly literary writers like Peter Ackroyd and the late Anthony Burgess and Vladimir Nabokov. I have the good fortune to have a room in my house that I term a 'study' (so much more literary than a 'home office'!) and it is there that I do all my writing. I don't really have a routine, as I tend to deal with my e-mails first thing every day, and what they contain might keep me too busy to do any creative writing at all. I suspect I need a touch more self-discipline!

The main thing I want to achieve through my writing is to entertain readers, but if I can give them something to think about as well, that is a very welcome bonus. I hope that "The Magical Stone of Snod' meets both these aims!

Pam Pottinger (pen name Annie Bates)

When The Soul's At Home

I have had various short stories published both on local radio and in an anthology called 'Traces'.

I have also won a competition in The Writers news which subsequently went on to be awarded 'winner of winners' in their annual prize-giving. Other than this I have had several stories shortlisted in national competitions.

I have no professional qualifications relating to the writing of fiction however I do belong to a very active writing group called 'Mungrisedale Writers'. I am also a member of a storytelling group and have recently been invited to Lancaster to perform some of my own work to 'Spotlight', an arts funded group that supports and seeks new writing in the county.

This story is all about the power of love and faith and goodness. It is also about a kidnapping. It is about a woman that in the face of tragedy, has to confront the truth about her relationship with her husband. It is about their daughter, who believes that she can make a difference...such is her goodness that she manages not only to touch those close to her but is able to reach out and touch many others, too innumerable, almost, to count...

Julie Swan

While Jeremy's Away

  • What do you normally write?

I normally write short stories. They are of various lengths from 60‑word stories (I had two published in an anthology, Misfit Mirror, by Earlyworks Press last year, sorry I forgot about that) up to about 6,000 words. I do have some chapters towards a couple of novels saved in my computer but never seem to find the time to work further on them.

With short stories I usually have to have the basis for the whole story worked out in my head before I can write anything. I also have to know the ‘voices’ of my characters and that comes as part of the pre‑writing thinking. If I don’t know the end or can’t put myself into the minds of the characters I can’t write. Once I have the complete idea for a story I do a brain dump into the computer, leave it a little while, then go back and add to it or edit it.

I write some poetry, but usually only in response to a task from my Creative Writing tutor. I prefer, and seem to be better at, poetry that has fixed guidelines, such as haiku, cinquains or minute poems.

  • Tell us about the story you've had accepted and what inspired it?

I wrote this story because I heard that a good technique for creative inspiration was to switch on the radio and write something about the first thing you hear.

When I switched on the radio I heard Ella Fitzgerald (I think) singing ‘Off with my overcoat’. This inspired the first section. My creative writing group enjoyed it so about six months later I wrote the section about Easter as a follow up. A while after that I joined the two bits with the section about Christmas and then thought I ought to carry it on. So the whole story has taken a couple of years to get to where it is now.

  • What made you become a writer?

I’m not sure that anything MADE me become a writer of fiction. I worked as a technical author for 10 years writing factual technical handbooks (in passive voice) but since childhood I’ve always had stories floating round in my head and never had the time or patience to write them down. It did become easier when computers were invented and became household items.

When I finished my Maths degrees I missed the challenge of specific tasks (not set by me) so I joined the Creative Writing class to see if I could actually write creatively and produce something saleable.

  • Which writers do you admire?

I’m an avid reader with a house full of all sorts of books, fiction, fact and reference, but I’m not a great one for high brow books and am not really into ‘meaningful’ or particularly deep novels. I like to lose myself in a saga. I suppose I have quite eclectic taste; I enjoy Rosamunde Pilcher’s gentle books and stories, Jilly Cooper’s Rutshire books, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, much science fiction/fantasy (especially Arthur C. Clarke), and nowadays I buy a lot of contemporary fiction such as chick‑lit and aga sagas by people like Cathy Kelly, Susan Lewis, Katie Fforde and Sheila O’Flanagan, etc. I usually buy the new books of authors I have previously enjoyed. My favourite books are the ‘Masters of Rome’ series by Colleen McCullough; I think her ‘Morgan’s Run’ is also very good.

  • Do you have a favourite place for writing?

Sat at my computer, looking out into the garden. I don’t have a laptop so my position’s fixed.

  • What is your writing routine? Do you have to fit it around your day job?

I don’t have a routine. If I have an idea for a story I usually have to write it straight away, even if it’s the middle of the night, else it whirls round my head and does my brain in. Once I’ve written it down I can think about other things more rationally. I do, however, have to fit any writing in around family, work and other commitments and I’m afraid it comes quite a way down the priority list, so many fledgling ideas never become complete stories as I can’t devote the necessary thinking time to them. Some stories won’t go away and those are the ones that have me writing in the middle of the night when I should be getting my much‑needed sleep.

  • What do you hope to achieve through your writing?

Something that someone else appreciates, ideally of saleable value. I would love to be able to sit at home at my computer and write all day and know I’d get sufficient income from it that I didn’t have to do anything else. If I’m totally honest I’d just say that I want to become a successful best‑selling novelist and never have to worry about money again!

  • Anything else you think we ought to know about you? (Can be as silly or as relevant as you like!)

My background is science/engineering so I’m quite prosaic and analytical about things, possibly too much so to be a decent fiction writer.

I have a part‑time job as Exams Officer in a local school which seems to take more time than I’d like, I tutor Maths privately, I have a (very) part‑time technical writing job (working from home), and I also occasionally help a friend make costumes for the West End stage and films, all of which I find interesting.

I haven’t had a particularly traumatic life, as I am told you need to be a good novelist.

My C.V. says:

Apart from my children, my main hobbies and interests are reading, puzzles and quizzes and handicrafts and DIY.

I have a keen interest in sports. I have played many different sports in my youth but, mainly due to mobility problems, I am mainly a (TV) spectator nowadays.

I enjoy board games and card games. I was a member of a bridge club for 5 years and captain of a local ladies darts team for 7 years.

I am currently studying Creative Writing and Pottery at evening classes. I enjoy my Creative Writing class for many reasons. I like the variety of people it attracts and consequently their different styles and experiences. I enjoy doing the set exercises (even the poetry ones) but especially I enjoy the fact that it makes me think. Having stopped work to have my children, I have missed having to use my brain. The class makes me do that.

Phil Thomas


My early career was as a journalist working in North West England, on the Wigan Evening Post, Wigan Observer and the Lancashire Evening Post. During this time, through the newspaper I researched and wrote a book on the history of Central Park, Wigan Rugby League Club’s home ground for 100 years (the book’s launch corresponded with the club’s move to the JJB Stadium and demolition of the old ground). I spent a week in Bosnia in 1996 following the peace-keeping operation and reporting on soldiers’ actions for the newspaper. I’ve interviewed Sir Ian McKellan about his Wigan upbringing, and former England bowler Angus Fraser on how he learned to bowl in his grandma’s garden in Leigh (near Wigan). I spent a night in the haunted cellar of a pub as part of a newspaper investigation, and to accompany it I was forced to pose as Wee Willie Winky for a picture on the front page!

I left newspapers (not because of that) to pursue a career in public relations, working for businesses to help them raise their profile (this inevitably involves the media). I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. I helped promote tourism for North Wales for two years.

Although my career-writing focuses on non-fiction, it is fiction that I love writing most. In school I wrote comedy spoofs involving my school friends. While I worked at a top law firm in Manchester I wrote and directed a play which involved the legal executives lampooning the firm’s partners, as part of entertainment for the Christmas party (it was company tradition for employees to entertain fellow employees). Not only did I keep my job(!), but everyone said at the time it was the best Christmas entertainment the firm had ever had. I write what I can in my spare time, but it’s never enough! I recently had a short story published in North Wales Living.

We will use these details for your press release. Please mention anything that would be of special interest to the media, especially your local media.

I was among the first few people to climb Snowdon following the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001. BBC TV got there first, and I appeared on the Wales Today news bulletin.

Nesta Tuomey

It Happened In Nerja

Nesta Tuomey is married and lives in Dublin with her family; educated at The Sacred Heart Convent, Leeson Street, Dublin and the National College of Art, she worked as an air hostess with Aer Lingus. She started writing for radio, and her plays and short stories have been broadcast by the BBC and RTE. A winner of the John Power Short Story Award at Listowel and the Image/Oil of Ulay Short Story Competition, her short stories have also been published widely in magazines. Nesta Tuomey’s one-act play Whose Baby won the O.Z. Whitehead Play Competition in 1996, and her first novel Up Up and Away, depicting life in an Irish airline, was published in 1995. Her second novel Like One of the Family was published in 1999.

Nesta is a member of the Irish Writer’s Union and Irish PEN. She was chairperson of the Society of Irish Playwrights 1980-1982, Treasurer of Irish PEN 2000-2005 and Secretary 2005-2006.

Her work performed on stage/broadcast on radio.

2 Stage plays ‘Country Banking’ and ‘Whose Baby’

2 Radio plays – ‘The Same Again’ and ‘One of these Days’

18 Documentaries broadcast by RTE in their Treasure House series, 30 minute plays based on the lives of famous people.

12 short stories broadcast by the BBC

Stories published in the Irish glossies including – U Magazine, IT Magazine (Irish Tatler), Woman’s Way, Woman’s Way Annual and Image Magazine as well as articles and short stories published in other magazines.

‘Ashes’ won the John Power Short Story Competition at Listowel and was later published in a book entitled ‘Writers’ Week’ along with 24 other award-winning short stories 1973-1994.

I have a great interest in anything to do with flying and own a fairly large library of books on the subject, an extremely useful source of reference when writing the relevant scenes in fiction. I’ve always wanted to fly a plane and some years ago actually went up in a Socata TB 9 (accompanied by a pilot, of course) which was brilliant, if a bit scary after flying in the sturdy Boeing 707s and 747s.

This story is about three young art students in Nerja on a working holiday where they find inspiration not only in the wonderful scenery in El Balcon de Europa and the spectacular bull fights but the local Spanish youths, especially Jose Luis who casts his spell on Millie who is, herself, a bit of a heartbreaker and whose pre-nuptial ambitions range from “climbing the Pyrenees and painting them at first light, to learning Japanese calligraphy.” And perhaps most challenging of all and with which her art student friends are in most sympathy, of “seeing her paintings hanging in the Royal Hibernian Academy.” Although, marriage is the last thing on her mind it seems that Millie has met her Spanish Waterloo in the shape of Jose Luis. Despite having her life and career firmly mapped out she finds herself falling for the good-looking, tempestuous young Spaniard who shows frightening signs of being truly serious about her and wanting to bring her home to meet his ‘madre.

Nurgish Watkins

Corrie's Choices

I have written stories and poems from as soon as I could hold a pencil and spell. I enjoy writing at a table set up in the conservatory overlooking the garden.
I am currently working on a children's fantasy novel and hope to have a (huge!!) success with it.
My story 'Corrie's Choices' came about through an exercise I was given whilst on a writing course. The 500 words didn't say enough and I felt compelled to write more.
Writers I admire are, Kate Atkinson, Margaret Atwood, Tolkien, Brontes, and probably a few hundred more but I'll stop there.
I work part-time as a hairdresser in a busy salon. My clients are lovely and take an interest in my writing. They seemed almost as pleased as me with my 'Making Changes' success and since its publication I have been asked into a school to do a talk on being an 'author', and to a scouts group to help with their reader badge

Rachel Zaino

Last Post

I began writing poetry as a teenager and was first published at the age of 18 in the anthology “Discovering Yorkshire’s Unknown Poets’; it was then that I began to see writing as more than a hobby.

I don't tend to stick to one style or genre for my writing, I write whatever motivates, inspires, or angers me. I also find I get bored very, VERY, easily, so working on many different projects of various styles helps to keep me motivated.

The influences on my writing are as varied as the styles I write; the first book that ever really inspired me was Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, & it's still my favourite book, although Charlotte's Jane Eyre comes a close second. Of contemporary writers, I think Phillippa Gregory's books are wonderful (well until Hollywood mucks them up!), and so well researched.

The short stories of Daphne Du Mauier and Roald Dahl have been a big influence on my short story writing.

My first love however was poetry, and this was sparked by reading Shelley's Love's Philosophy when I was a love sick fourteen year old! Nowadays my favourite poets include Wendy Cope and W.B Yeats

When I'm not writing I'm kept very busy by my full time job as a P.A to a Regional Director of English Heritage; and except for writing my other passions are: my family & friends, cooking, photography, cats, shopping, shoes, & all things pink!

I still live in my home town of York, with my two fish Finlay & Finnula.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Book Cover

So it's official- check out the book jacket and the Blurb!


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

ISBN number

It's all getting exciting now guys as we get closer to having a book to hold!

The ISBN number is now available: 978-0-9557910-6-2

In The Shadow Of The Red Queen will retail for £8.99. Mail shots to follow soon...

Feel free to post about all the events you're planning. I have had some good responses and where possible I will try to get some of the launches. We thinking of one in Nottingham in the summer for example, if anyone else wants to join in?


Thursday, 5 March 2009

Book Title!

Hi eveyone!

We have a title: A Suitcase Full of Adult Stories: In The Shadow Of The Red Queen... which is inspired by Alice Through The Looking Glass.

Debz :)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


So hope you're all enjoying the Blog. The editing is just about complete, I'm sure most of you will have heard from Gill and been working with her on that. The book jacket is being designed as soon as we have anything you'll get to see it.

Once the editing is finished the book will begin to be put together. OUT MAY 13th!!!!

Phil Thomas has produced some really useful info about writing press releases and this will be posted soon, linked to the website.
So as soon as I have more updates you'll be informed!

Get posting!
Debz :0)

Saturday, 28 February 2009


Welcome to the Blog for the Adult Suitcase Anthology!
Feel free to subscribe to the Blog and post as you feel fit!!! Debz