Welcome to my website! Please take a look around.

You’ll discover stories and poems, pictures of interfaith readings, of conversations with editors and readers. Especially with the children I met when I talked to schools about my writing. Or ran workshops to encourage them to write. They needed no encouragement- their stories and poems flew onto the page!

You’ll also  find me chatting about my novels: Babyday, women’s fiction with a touch of the unusual.

Then, How I Broke Mama’s Commandments, a story set in Edwardian London and inspired by Sophia, my Russian anarchist grandmother. 

And now to She Spoke with Her Eyes, a memoir of our beautiful charismatic daughter Vanessa, who had cerebral palsy but charmed everyone who met her. It will appeal to all those viewers and readers who love  Call the Midwife for it’s about mothers and fathers, babies and children, but Northern Style!

I must add my fantastically well-received middle grade novel, Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss Kid, the story of Rafi, a brilliant, dyslexic, eleven-year-old cartoonist and his friend, Candy Floss, who dyes her hair pink, and never goes to school. How does he do it?

 

I’ll  begin with a few thoughts about my memoir. I’d wanted to write this for years but it was only when I approached a significant birthday, I realised if not now, when? Putting  aside ( with a promise to finish it) How I Broke Mama’s Commandments, and using diaries, photographs and above all, talking to the family and people who knew Vanessa, I rediscovered the joys and sorrows of bringing up a beautiful, charismatic but profoundly disabled child. It has taken two and half years from the first to the final version to complete but I’m delighted to say that it’s finished, edited and copyedited, ready for publication!

Vanessa's Tenth Birthday Party February 1977

 

 

 

 

  

 

This photo was taken in 1977 when Vanessa was ten and her brothers were aged six and four. She adored candles, fascinated by the flickering, wanting to touch them.

 

My Wonderful Novel Writers group - Olivia, Anjum, Cath and me


My Wonderful ‘Novel Writers Group’ with Olivia Piekarski, Anjum Malik and Cath Staincliffe, holding  up  Mary Sharrat’s brilliant new novel, The Dark Lady’s Mask. 

 

And Mary with Ophelia, the Feminist Plague Rat who visited NWG that day!

 

 Smart 14, South Manchester Arts Festival

I’m thrilled to be presenting a workshop and selling books at the Festival of the Book@ Menorah Synagogue on Sunday 18 May. I’ll also be reading the first chapter of my latest novel Resistance  about a Jewish boy who joins the Resistance when his parents are taken. The reading will takes place at Drama Matters, on Thursday, 22 May. Do take a look at the fabulous website where you’ll find out about all the distinguished authors and contributors - Sherry Ashworth, Anjum Malik and Eve Harris, to name but a few… Heather Dickinson, illustrator of Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss Kid will also be there on Sunday 18 May, sharing the morning workshop and illustrating the title page of all signed copies with her marvellous mini-pictures!

 

Menorah Synagogue: My first ever reading on the bimah, the space in front of the Ark holding the sacred scrolls!

 

 

 Some lovely comments about Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss Kid

Adele Geras, distinguished writer of many books for children and for adults.

“I think this would be a good addition to any school bookshelf and I would urge anyone who has what’s called “a reluctant reader’ in their family to buy it too. It’s enjoyable, well-written, entertaining and about serious things that matter. I’m happy to be able to recommend it.”

Another great comment:

This was a fantastic read and once I had started it I could not put it down. I had to finish it in one go because it was such an awesome book. Mrs hegarty the evil school teacher reminded me of a teacher in my school. I also liked it becasue I knew the places in the book in real life because I used to live in Didsbury in Manchester. My favourite character was Rafi beacuse he bunked off school like I have always wanted to. This book is good for 8 to 13 year olds and suitable for boys or girls. I hope she writes another one soon because this one was epic.

Another wonderful review!

My name is Poppy and I loved Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss kid sooooooo much! When I started reading I got in to it so much I couldn’t put it down. When I was reading about Horrible Hegarty I thought she was the same as Zegabos (the evil queen in Rafi’s story) it is one of the best books I have read and I think everyone of my age and older will also enjoy it. The pictures in the book helped me imagine, together with the vocabulary what was actually happening.

And this…

My 10 year old daughter read this book in just a couple of days, because she enjoyed it so much. The characters are engaging and the plot entertaining and thought-provoking. She has asked for further adventures of Rafi and the Candy Floss Kid!

 

 

Our first reading and book signing at Didsbury Library 

This is RAFI BROWN AND THE CANDY FLOSS KID’S first outing at Didsbury Library’s after school reading. I hope they enjoyed it. I did. A lovely audience of three adults and a variety of children - and we sold five copies of the book! And our last reading of the year at Moor Allerton School.