Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Time

Goes so fast, there is not much of it when you come down to it.

Life

Life is like a faded blossom, as petals of a rose, we bloom, we prosper, we fade and die.

The colour goes from us.
There is no strength in us.
Just memories of who we once were.

Young, strong, beautiful, long limbed with armfuls of laughing children. Busy important jobs, taking breaks for sunny beach days.

Now there is no fight left.
Our arms and homes are empty - like our purses.
We can keep our experience and our intelligence - but not our jobs.

Pain and despair filter through on even the sunniest beach days. No running on the warm sand scooping children into our arms.

Our feet drag along through time, pulling our pain with them,
I do not want to say goodbye.
I want to live again.

Renewed. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Jane Austen


In 1804 Jane Austin stayed in a tiny flat over looking the sea at Lyme. She wasn't happy with the choice her mother made, the landlord was slimy and overbearing. The rooms were not particularly clean. She argued over a broken jug. 

Even out of season (she was there in November) she did walk on the Cob, dance at the local Assembly rooms, and enjoy the quaint views of the town tumbling down to the sea. She even unwisely, indulged in some sea bathing.

Persuasion was published after Jane's death in 1818, but who can forget the wry little smile and tip of the hat from a young handsome man that thrilled Jane so much as she walked off the beach? So much so that it made it into her book.

Surfers in the cold waters of Lyme Bay. Unwise I think!


Black Ven and Golden Cap where Mary Anning made her living collecting fossils.
Image result for mary anning 
Poor Mary has become the latest in a line of extraordinary women who have had their life turned into a film. Not a film about her achievements, not a film about the first female palentologist who paid to learn French, so she could communicate with the top men in the field. Not how she supported her brother after her father died, or how she died of breast cancer at the age of 38. No. It is a fictional story that tells Mary's life as a nanny (she wasn't) and as a lesbian. (She wasn't). It's another fiction to titillate men into watching a history film about a strong woman.

Being a woman is hard enough. All my life I have fought for women's rights and been called frigid, and a lesbian. I am a happily married hetrosexual woman, with one son. I have had a wonderful career in television behind the camera, and now as a writer. Being a hetrosexual woman is not a crime.

Changing history to suit modern life is.



Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Book Pirating

I'm supposed to be taking a break. Taking part in the real world, enjoying the rough sea as it sweeps over the cob at Lyme. Listening to the cold wind whistle through the trees. 

However, I can't leave my smartphone alone. So I have heard Joanne Harris talking to Travis McCrae on Radio 4 about the way he steals peoples books to make himself a billionaire.

My last book nearly killed me. Literally. Rewrite after rewrite. Honing the words, the dates, researching the personalities of the real people involved in my fictional history book, so that the reader could follow one woman's life from beginning to end.

Publicising the book, bookshop visits, fielding critics and admirers (no, I do not give after dinner talks free), brought me to a point where I have been so ill that I had a mini stroke, nearly went blind, and was so exhausted I couldn't move. 

I did not do this so that Travis McCrae could pirate books and put them on his website for free.  I checked today - I can't find any of mine - but I did find the whole of Winston Graham's life's work. I did find two of Phillippa Gregory's books. 

I met Winston Graham in the 70s at a Charity Function for the late Ralph Bates. He was a kindly old gent.

I have seen Phillippa Gregory in passing when I worked in Oxford. Neither of them deserve to have their work pirated in this way.

I work for the National Trust one day a week, and when I started one of the Guides told me that someone will always try and take something.

It is true, they did.

If you have anything of worth, or beauty, intellectural, or even your own personality, someone will try and steal it. Such is the world we live in today. That in itself is a stressful situation.

What do I do it for ?   Originally, I wanted to make history, specifically women's history, accessible to today's women. Long neglected, and now a trend, one I'm glad to have been part of. 

When I was at Art College, I never realised, as no-one told me, that as stupid as it may seem now, that there were women painters who were the contempories of Caravaggio or Van Dyke.

It is still not there yet.

Travis McCrae should not steal other peoples' copyright. If you see a book on his site from a famous author you can bet they did not put it up there.

By the way, "A Farthing for Oxforde" has been given 5 star reviews and the nicest thing anyone has said about it was "The best thing Margaret has ever written."

On that note back to my "holiday".


 

Friday, 22 February 2019

Time

There isn't really enough of it. 

I have been going through my notebooks of research and have found more than enough to do "More Women of the Civil War."

I am also writing a 17th C recipe book.

Then I have got The Kings Men in development. Telling the legend of the Rollright stones.

Oh yes, I have bookshops to visit, money to chase.

As for the Hilary Long mysteries, Hilary can't lie low for a moment - so there are two notebooks for "Hilary Long and the Straw men" - as a working title.

The only thing I don't have is time.

I have been told there is a possibility of my having ME (used to be called the Yuppie disease).  No-one knows what Yuppie means any more do they?
Young Up and Coming Professional Entrepreneurs, basically a fashionable young middle-class person with a well-paid job.

I suppose I should be flattered, if I wasn't so exhausted, I would be.




 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Good News!

There will be a reprint of "The Women of the Civil War" with colour portraits, updated and refreshed.

These musket ball holes at head height are more impressive in colour. This was the "reward" for Lady Jane Ingilby holding Cromwell hostage over night. As soon as he was freed he took the Cavalier prisoners and shot them against the Ripley church wall. 


 Queen Henrietta Maria as a young woman.

When the photos are properly cropped and colour corrected, you will really start to see the woman behind the story.

Exciting times for our little publishing house:

We have sold out of all our stock of books, we will be having some new stock printed soon, but they are still available from Amazon and in the following bookshops:
The Commandery, Worcester
The Nantwich Bookshop
Blackwells Oxford
Gardiners Wholesalers
Waterstones
The Mad Hatter Bookshop, Burford
The Woodstock Bookshop


All photos on this blog are copyright of Margaret Cooper Evans and cannot be reproduced, re-sold, or used without the copyright owners permission,

Money Money Money!

Well, I have finally been paid by one of the bookshops (thank you) for the books sold over the Christmas period!  

The yacht and the Lamborgini have been put on hold, and I won't be buying my Castle just yet.

£56.00 

Some stock has been lost and some stolen. Some had been taken down so that Celebrity Autobiographies could be sold over Christmas.

I have had trouble with my eyes brought on by a stress migraine - hence the huge letters!   I'm also fighting with exhaustion.


Maggie O'Farrell a famous author said recently that working without an Agent, Established Publisher, Publicity Manager,
PA, or an accountant - was like shouting in the dark.

I know what she means, you know you're there, but who else does?  We (hubby and I) worked ourselves into the ground to get Nuova Stella working, and we still are.

But the eye thing means a short hiatus is in order for me at the moment.  

Perhaps there's a vacancy in the Pirate Community - I have 
the outfit - all I need is an eye patch. 
 Ooops not a parrot! Perhaps I need two eye patches!
 

Friday, 1 February 2019

OKAYYY

So here I am again typing away but trying not to look at the screen. This time last week I was scarily blind in my left eye after a stress optical migraine. So please excuse my typing it many not be that brilliant today as my sight is still damaged.

As I had time to think/worry/fret I mahde a list of all my writing achievements/courses to boost my ego I suppose - to help me lead back to some form of normally.

At the age of 15 I used my Saturday Girl wages from Woolworths to pay £200 for a correspondence course called "Writing for Pleasure and Profit."
I was insulted when Mirror Columnist Marjorie Proops told me to work for the Hackney Gazette as a trainee.
Around this time I wrote a spoof spy novel that I sent to Penguin, and I'm sure when they had finished laughing their socks off and wetting their collective pants, they said it wasn't for them, but don't stop writing.
I had short stories published in Bunty and Jackie Magazines, and in my 20s wrote short stories and poems for Woman and Women's Own
When working for the BBC I had articles and cartoons published in the staff magazine Ariel and the BECTU (union) magazine.
I attended the BBC Creative writing course and the BBC from Script to Screen writing course.
I had articles published on the BBC website under "A sense of place." about living in Cornwall.  I also wrote lifestyle articles for the Guardian at this time.
Then I was put on the BBC "Breaking Barriers in Creative writing" course.
After this followed another Guardian article on how I got my son away from his drug problem. Also published in "Parenting" magazine.
It was through the Chiplit Festival writing course that I met the Ampersand Agency, there followed 9 Hilary Long Cosy mysteries, one book called 1955 requested by the Agency
then followed The Women of the Civil War, one of my best sellers, along with "A Farthing for Oxforde" my first historical fiction. Now in the Amazon 100 best sellers list.
We started Nuova Stella Publishing last year as our own platform for book sales, and have two books currently on the go, The Kings Men, a Legend of the Rollright stones and The Clothing of the National Trust.
Recently I completed another on-line BBC Creative Writing course - boy how things have changed since the first one.
Yes it was Stress that made me lose some sight. So I must stop now.