Monday, 26 July 2021

Movie that could be about me

 Okay, I'm going to admit I cheated with this one, because I honestly couldn't think of a TV show, book or film that could be about me. There have been quite a few that resonated with me in parts, but none that I could point to and say "That's so like my life!" So I picked a character from one of my books and the film I used as inspiration. It does, at least, have a small connection to me as it's about my imagination.

The film is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the character is Azure Wilder.

Some time after I watched this film, which is one of my favourites, I had a dream about two sisters (I somehow managed to play both in the dream - funny how that works). One sister had visited the chocolate factory and never came out, the other was left wondering what was inside this magical place and wishing for her to come back. 

I reworked this into a central part of the plot of Photograph



Tara and Azure, as children, have often visited the local theme park owned by celebrity Liam Wilder and Tara is obsessed with him, but as an adult Azure wins a competition to fly to the American branch of the theme park and meet him - and never returns, marrying him instead. The turmoil this creates in their relationship is the driving force behind the plot.

So do you have a TV show, book or film which could be about you?

Monday, 19 July 2021

5 items I can't live without

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews took some thinking about. I have a lot of things which are important to me, but what couldn't I live without? As a writer, a few things stood out straight away.

First off - my computer. The source of all my information for my stories (with the possible exception of my phone) and also the location of all my WIPs. I'd be lost without it.

Secondly - notebooks for writing. Whenever I have an unexpected idea I write it down, and when I'm working on something new I use them for planning.

The third item is my Kindle. I always have at least four books on the go at any one time and many more samples saved for the future, particularly as I'm working my way through classic American literature at the moment.

Then a little less serious - wine.


My favourite is Torrontes, but I can't resist a fun label, as you can see here.

And finally - my cats.



Dash and Spot are always available to be stroked whenever I'm struggling with a plot point.

So what couldn't you live without?

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Favourite holiday (and a recipe)

 Half of this topic from Long and Short Reviews was easy. My favourite holiday will always be Christmas. I love the decorations, the presents, spending time with family over a table full of food. No problem there at all.

But a recipe?

My mother wasn't a woman who followed recipes, and I tend to be the same. We just do whatever it says in the cooking instructions. However, she was famous for one thing - killer roast potatoes. So here goes.

Put a roasting tin or two in the oven and heat to 200C. It's best if the oven is big enough to take all the potatoes in one layer.

Peel as many potatoes as you need and cut them into fairly small pieces, as they'll be crispier.

Put the potatoes on to boil in a large pan and then simmer.

Put some duck or goose fat in the roasting tins and heat in the oven.

Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake them vigorously so they're nice and fluffy.

Some people sprinkle them with flour at this point but my mother never did.

Put the potatoes in the tins and turn them over so they're coated in fat.

Roast for 15 minutes, take them out and turn the potatoes over.

Roast for another 15 minutes and turn them again.

Give them a final 10 to 20 minutes, take them out and serve.

Whatever else we may have had left over after Christmas dinner, it wasn't roast potatoes. :)

So what's your favourite holiday?

Monday, 5 July 2021

Best biography or autobiography

 This topic from Long and Short Reviews was an interesting one, because I love biographies and autobiographies. Warwick Davis, Burt Reynolds, Agatha Christie, the Bronte sisters... I'll read pretty much anybody. Which is why I had to narrow it down to two favourites, in the end, as I couldn't stick to just one.

The first is The Brontes by Juliet Barker. It's thorough (this book will last you for ages), it's up to date and it deals with all of the Bronte family, as opposed to a number of biographies which only deal with one sister at a time and often get confused over who is doing what.

And the second? Gavin Maxwell: A Life by Douglas Botting.

I actually read this one before I even knew who Gavin Maxwell was, just because I saw on the back that he had worked with Terry Nutkins. He was a fascinating, if flawed, man and this is an excellent take on him written by one of his good friends.

So which is your favourite biography or autobiography?