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[email protected]   - editor David Wilson  07714772707 -   Journalist, [email protected]     07917730238

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Dodie Hamilton, The Spiritual Midwife, is known throughout the world for her work in psychic counselling and Healing, her particular interest being the Out-of-Body and the Near Death Experience. Over thirty years she's given countless private consultations and appeared in numerous Mind, Body, & Spirit Festivals.

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Dodie Hamilton

 

He was a wild Angel, a dangerous Angel, beautiful and proud. He was here on the Earth to learn. He didn’t want to learn. He wanted one thing and one thing only, the girl, His Other Self, and He would do anything to find her and to keep her.

Reluctant Angels is Dodie's latest novel. First of the Gabriel Templar Quartet it begins in 1934 and takes the Novice Angel through his early years until the day before he meets his Other Self, Adelia.

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"Daisy Bourne (Rose Griffin) is a creative writer, public speaker and the author of The Tales of Avalon series, a collection of nine fantasy books inspired by what may have happened after the death of King Arthur. Written under the pseudonym of Daisy Bourne, Rose has created an enchanting world of magic and adventure around King Arthur and the people of Avalon, Merlin, Lennox the Unicorn, magical beings and many more delightful characters. The first three books in the series are already published and the 4th and 5th were be published in 2018."  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daisy-Bourne/e/B077SL2JN5/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Daisy Bourne, Rose Griffin

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How did you manage with lockdown?

 

 I was really lazy during the last lockdown and didn't do much writing. It was such lovely weather and we spent a lot of time under the sunshade. Last year was hard going and it was nice to have the opportunity to "chill out"...of course we missed friends and family but we kept in touch online and via telephone calls. I learnt how to use zoom - so that was one achievement!

 

Did it fill you with despair as a writer or did it energize you?

 

 It was a relaxing time albeit it worrying. I also read the tarot and received a number of calls from nurses asking for readings. At that stage I only gave face to face readings so had to decline. Poor souls they must have been desperate.

 

Did you explore or renew talents in that time?

 

Not so sure about "renew" but I did do a free Amazon advertising course and as I said uploaded zoom and also updated skype. A few more pot plants arrived in the garden and some time was spent painting pebbles and hiding them in Page Woods. Another couple of wizards received coats of paint.

 

Being a writer, I am told it can be a solitary pursuit, did you embrace the situation, or did it stifle creativity?

 

No, I should have taken the opportunity to write. I am on the last three chapters of "Edward's Story" Book 6, in the Tales of Avalon series. I am resolving to complete Book 7, the final book in the series before November 2021 - so I am definitely taking advantage of the next few weeks and what I believe to believe to be much longer.

 

As with most of the arts, projects and productions have been put on hold, has this been the case with you?

 

 My reasons for putting on hold have not been due to the lockdown - purely personal. We suffered some vandalism in our community woodland, of which I am a Trustee, and it is unbelievable how long it not only took to deal with the police but also how long it has taken to look for a grant to complete the subsequent work recommended by the Tree Protection Officer. It is really depressing that, what turned out to be grown men, could cause so much trouble. https://www.facebook.com/groups/209371539828526

S.C.N

Daisy Bourne

David Wilson, the editor of Southend Community News

has asked several local authors who has regularly contributed to our authors pages.

 The following are Q and As

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Daisy

Last year I published the third book in my ‘Eye Spy’ series of children’s detective stories, Lady in Red, with a cover designed by my friend, local artist, Gaynor Solly. She also designed new covers for the first two books in the series, and the plan was to relaunch the series in 2020 at lots of local book and craft fairs, working as a team to promote each other’s work.

 However, lockdown scuppered all those plans, so instead I did a lot of online promotion, including a very successful blog tour for Lady in Red in October, which helped to create a buzz.

  Writing proved more difficult, however. I was all set to start a new novel in March, but unexpectedly began to find real problems with both writing and reading fiction. So instead I wrote the first section of a family history book about my mother’s family, whilst reading lots of non-fiction books like The Five by Hallie Rubenhold, which won the Baillie Gifford non-fiction prize this year.

 As we came out of the first lockdown, I managed to get back into writing fiction again, and am now working on a Young Adult thriller set in London. This is much more ambitious than anything I have done before, so it is a real challenge, but one that I am enjoying!

I was born in Surrey in 1950. I was the baby of the family, as it was second time round for both my parents, who each had a son from a previous marriage. With no brothers or sisters my own age to play with, I spent an awful lot of time reading and making up imaginary worlds. We lived in Epsom, near the Downs, and my friends and I ran wild in the fields near our homes. We watched the racehorse trainers exercising their horses and explored the derelict house which had once held their jockeys. Best of all, every Derby day we got the day off school to go to the races.

   When I was nine, my father got a promotion, and we moved to a flat in a converted Edwardian house in Wimbledon. Suddenly we seemed to have gone up in the world. The house had a huge, semi-wild garden and – even better – an empty house next door with an even wilder garden for me to play in. I was sent to a local private school in a side street off Wimbledon Common. It was a throwback to the Edwardian era. Most of the teachers were over retirement age, and the headmistress had taught there since my mother was a pupil, forty years before. It was the Swinging Sixties: the age of the Beatles, mini-skirts and satellites and I was stuck in an institution straight out of a book by Dickens. I couldn’t wait to leave.

  At seventeen, I found myself a job as a secretary in an Architect’s office. I became fascinated by the work that went on in the drawing office, and eventually decided to go to Art College and study Interior Design. Over the next fifteen years I worked for many different Architects and Designers. I loved my work, but most of it was very technical; I never seemed to get the chance to use my creativity.

  In 1989 I was forced to give up work when, shortly after my daughter Louise was born, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At the time, it was a big blow, but eventually I realized that I had been given the ideal opportunity to do what I’d always wanted: to become a writer. With nobody telling me what to do any more, I could be as creative as I wanted. That was when I started to write my first children’s novel.

About Tessa

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Tessa Buckley

Life under lockdown

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 How did you manage with lockdown?

 

I was fortunate because I'd already had one month's practice at lockdown, due to problems with my left foot which meant it was not possible for me to wear any shoes (on my left foot). So, I was already working from home.

 

Did it fill you with despair as a writer or did it energise you?

 

No effect either way. My day time is focused on my day job, and depending how mentally exhausting that is, directs how my evening writing goes.

 

Being a writer, I am told it can be a solitary pursuit, did you embrace the situation, or did it stifle creativity?

 

This new world order of confinement has certainly led to thinking about situations one would not normal experience, so, for me, it has been a boon to creativity.

 

As with most of the arts, projects and productions have been put on hold, has this been the case with you?

 

For me, being a writer, the writing never ends and is still going strong.

 

Did you read a book or watch a film that you always wanted to, but never got round to it?

 

The role I perform for my day job has not been impacted at all by lockdown. Working in IT it's been easy to continue, and at a better desk I must say. So, no extra time on my hands.

 

Have you found any new talents, or taken up old ones?

 

The lockdown has totally cast asunder the myriad of book fairs one to take part in, in order to promote one's books – so we (Writers Anonymous) needed a different tactic.

 

The group decided to launch a YouTube channel to showcase the group's flash fiction works and use the YouTube algorithm to propagate news of our works.

 

We decided to have an actor read some of our stories in a series called "Anonymous Tales" and have digital narrators read out other flash fiction works in a series called "Even Stranger Stories". New episodes from each series are released every Saturday morning at 12.15am, on alternating weeks.

 

Creating the digital narrators has been the toughest new talent I've ever had to learn Anyone can check out the YouTube channel, it's called Writers Anonymous UK, and can be accessed via this link - https://tinyurl.com/WA-UK-YouTube

 

For the coming year have you got a book that will be due to be published or, hopefully, a book launch?

 

Writers Anonymous is currently working on an anthology of seven novellas called "Morbid Appetites" due out on Amazon in February 2021.

 

Simon Woodward

S.C.N

Simon

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Q & A Local Authors

I lived in Pitsea for 20 years and Southend-on-Sea for 40. Although I now live in Lavenham in Suffolk I share my house with Clare, my partner of 40 years, and also spend much time in her home in Chalkwell. My formative experiences were of the marshes, creeks, saltings and coastline of the Thames Estuary and I can now spend half of my time there and the other half in the Suffolk countryside - the best of both worlds in fact.

 

We are now in a bubble whereas in the first lockdown we couldn’t see each other face to face for three months and that was something of a trial. I have lived on my own, apart from the time I share with Clare, since I was a teenager so fortunately I don’t really get lonely. I have so much to keep me occupied as an author, poet and publisher of a not-for-profit small press.

  I am a member of the Basildon Heritage Society who meet at the Green Centre in Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea and I publish the occasional book of local interest for them. I publish other poets and my own prose and poetry.

 My latest collection is entitled Poems for the Planet which is in A4 format and consists of some 350 poems in 196 pages. I am still running the yearly Littoral Press Full Collection Poetry Competition - deadline 30th November 2020 - and will be starting a quarterly online magazine of poetry, prose, artwork, photography, reviews and anything else of interest. It will be called: Littoral Magazine - Nature and the Spirit - Unity in Diversity - and the first issue is due online on 21st December 2020. My next prose work: The Incidental Marshman is likely to be published in 2021 by the Campanula Press of Wivenhoe. The book covers areas of my formative experience from Mucking Creek all along the estuary past Leigh-on-Sea, Southend and Shoeburyness and on around the coast to places such as Paglesham, Barling, Foulness and Wallasea Island.

   For anyone who’s interested Littoral Press’s website is: littoralpressuk.jimdofree.com Submission details for the online magazine and the poetry competition can be found there. I was involved with The World After project at the Focal Point Gallery next to the University and the Library in Southend. It was an environmental project concerning the failed Occidental Oil Refinery of Canvey Island which is now a nature reserve run by the RSPB and Buglife. It is one of the most biodiverse sites for invertebrates in the UK. My part in this project created by the artist David Blandy was to do some of the voiceover for the video and I was also commissioned to write a number of poems for the book complementing the installation. We were supposed to do it all again in the Wysing Arts Centre in Bourne, Cambridgeshire but covid-19 put a stop to that. Nevertheless we managed to share the experience on Zoom.

 So as you can see I haven’t had time to be lonely or depressed but at the same time realise that it’s not that easy for everyone. If I do get down a little I go fishing - which is now allowable exercise. There is much inspiration to be had beside the lakes and rivers of North Essex and South Suffolk.

Mervyn Linford

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I am an author, poet and small press publisher (Littoral Press). I write mostly about nature, both in prose and poetry. My country journals concern themselves with such subjects as natural history, farming, country pursuits, the weather, poetry, the arts, local history, country life in general and much, much, more……. My poetry is also nature orientated but not entirely. Some 30% of my poems are satirical and concern themselves with the socio/political and economic world we inhabit.

Daisy Bourne

Tessa Buckley

Mervyn Linford

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Rose Griffin writes the Tales of Avalon series under the pseudonym Daisy Bourne

The New Land - 4* Review from Pacific Book Reviews and their "Book of the Month" January 2017

The Land of Twydell & the Dragon Egg - Eric Hoffer Award Finalist 2017 - 4* Review from Pacific Book Reviews

The Exchange of Rings - A "Recommended Read" by the US Review of Books

A Story Never to be Told - Published April 2018

Lennox's Story - A "Recommended Read" by the US Review of Books