Tag Archives: Open University


24 Jul

It has been a bit quite on my social media throughout winter/spring and I am now emerging wondering if anyone still remembers me. Back in October, I began the final module for my Open University degree. With the classification of my degree riding on this last year I decided I needed to focus my effort primarily on finishing my degree to the best of my ability.

My first novella, written over the summer and awaiting further edits, was put to one side. I took off my writer’s hat and fastened on my student’s hat.

Fast forward to last week and the degree results are in and my new book is ready to face the world. I am now the proud recipient of a BA Honours in Humanities (Creative Writing) 2:1 with a new novella waiting to be published!

2.1 is what I was aiming for so I was delighted when the results came in. While I was waiting for the results of my end of module assessment I had managed to half convince myself that I had failed it, that I had written the worst essay the examiners would ever have seen, that they would be shaking their heads at how I had the nerve to submit something so disastrous. Imagine in my relief when I got my results back and I’d scored the equivalent of an A and secured my 2:1 classification.

In regards to the novella, I am currently waiting for word from Feedaread that my book is ready to print and go live. In the meantime, the eBook is now available for pre-order with a release date of 18th August.

Below are the details for the new book. I’d be thrilled if you checked it out. 😀

“It was to be a summer of storms.”

A dark supernatural tale of love, obsession and power.

At the haunted auctions of Thornhill and Swift, where artefacts of the ghostly and the macabre are bought and sold, we learn of the statue entitled: ‘The Girl with the Roses’.


Charlotte Salt has always dreamt of marrying for love but when she receives a proposal she realises that romance isn’t always the deciding factor in the Victorian marriage market.

Married to the eligible but secretive George Avery, she finds herself cut off from her family and friends when her husband takes her to live in his isolated Derbyshire home.

Trapped in a loveless marriage, she finds her thoughts turning towards her brother’s newly returned friend, the handsome Charles Jameson. In failing health and increasingly troubled by strange sights and sounds, she cannot help recalling Jameson’s mysterious warning: “be on your guard.” What danger did he foresee?

As dark forces surround her, she contemplates the fate of her predecessor. What happened to the first Mrs Avery?

In a summer of storms, can anyone save her from the shadows?

A Gothic horror novella from the author of A Spirited Evening and Other Stories and The Haunted Chamber and Other Stories.

Read A Review Of –The Girl With The Roses: A Tale From The Haunted Auctions.

Where to Buy:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



What’s on the Horizon

25 Aug


Hello, all. Things have been a little quiet, empty and forlorn over here since I moved most of my reviews over to my other blog. I had intended to use this blog for the more free and relaxed life orientated posts. However, it turns out not a lot actually happens in my life *insert pity here*.

Seriously though, what is happening at the moment? This summer I finished studying my penultimate course towards my Open University degree. World U214 Worlds of English. Not my favourite course and there were others I would have preferred to take but circumstances dictated. It’s over and done with ad I’m looking toward my next course, my final module for my Humanities (Creative Writing pathway) BA.

The last course is one I’m quite excited about: A330 Myth in the Greek and Roman Worlds.

course books

My Set Texts for A330 Myth in the Greek and Roman Worlds

Excuse the out of focus shot. I took it in poor light on my mobile.

I have always loved mythology so this is one I’ve been looking forward to. I confess, though, that I am really nervous about getting the grade of pass that I want. If I don’t get the grade of pass I want I wont get the degree classification I want. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of my courses, and one in particular, that didn’t go brilliantly. so I have to do that bit better this time to make up for it. These are goals I’ve set myself, for my own sense of achievement, but as we all know we can be our own harshest critics.

The course doesn’t start until 1st October but they are sending the course material in about 2 weeks time. You know, because they like to give you plenty of time to get into a really good panic before the course begins ;). It’s actually quite handy because you can get a head start on the reading.


What else is new? Well, the horror anthology project I am part of has just gone on sale for pre-orders of the hardback. I’m also due to have a story featured early in the new season of The Wicked Library. (In September I think.)

In November I’m also making my debut in The Lift podcast. My story is episode 1 of season 2, the first one after the Halloween special. For those who don’t know The Lift is a podcast about a strange building that calls to people who need to make a choice. Inside they are met by Victoria a little Victorian girl with a music box who guides them on their journey in her lift.

So, all in all, it’s shaping up to be an active autumn/winter season. 🙂

The End of the Academic Year

19 May

Hello all! Well, I’ve made it I’ve finished my Open University studies for the year. Yes, I made it to the end. Despite suffering a nervous collapse and having to leave my job, losing all my confidence( not that there was much to start with) and panicking over my non existent book sales I did it. I finished the course. Of course I wont know if I’ve passed my end of course assessment for a few weeks yet but I’m hopeful.

So, I’m back. I’ve remerged from under my study books and I’m ready to start reading and writing fiction again. It’s a shame I can’t get paid for that as I now have 0 income. That’s a problem and I don’t know what I’m going to do about it.

Progress Update

12 Jan

I’ve got a few consecutive days off from work (hurrah!) So I’ve been trying to get some study done and hopefully some writing too.

On the study front I’m currently studying the invention of tradition in Irish nationalism as part of the Open University course, the arts past and present. I’m supposed to be doing the gothic revival this week and Ireland next week but I decided to switch them so that I’d have more time for note taking etc on Ireland because that’s the topic of my next essay.

As a half Irish, half English person this topic interests me a good deal, although, it isn’t necessarily comfortable reading. Definitely some mixed emotions going on.

In terms of writing I’m attempting to finish off the story I started a while back but had to put on hold due to my job and study taking up too much time. I dream of being able to quit the day job and just write and study but finances don’t permit. Trying to pick up the thread is proving tricky but I’m getting there. What comes next is harder; I need to complete two more stories but I don’t know what they will be yet! I have a few half ideas but no definite plot lines or outcomes in place. I need to have a bit of a brain storming session.

One more item of business. During my time at college I met a lot of creative people one of whom now does some graphic design work. He has now undertaken to design me some new book covers which I am quite excited about! It’s the same guy behind Captain Quasar which you might remember me blogging about the other year.

Oh well, back to work.

Richard III And Future Learn

18 Jun

Just a quick note. You remember I said I was thinking of signing up for a free online course about England in the time of Richard III? Well I made the decision, I did it; I signed up. It’s 3 hours a week for 6 weeks. I can do that, right? It’s starts on the 30th of June. I’m hoping it’ll help me warm up for my full OU study in October.

Wish me luck

My Return To Education

17 May

Following on from my previous post, I have signed up to continue my studies at the Open University. In October I start on The Arts Past and Present. I have mixed feelings about it; on one hand I’m excited to be doing something to stimulate my brain again. With the best will in the world I couldn’t describe my job as stimulating and debate, free thought and cultural exchanges are not exactly encouraged amongst the staff. On the other hand, given my previous difficulties, outlined in my earlier post, I am very nervous about trying again. I’m frightened of the same thing happening again.

Of course there are differences this time. I now work 4 days a week instead of 5 so I’ll have more time, I’m not going to try and force myself into a course with an exam, also I have now informed the OU of my mental condition so my tutor will be aware of my difficulties and why I don’t attend tutorials. I filled in a form online detailing my problems.

Of course I’d like to finish my degree but right now I’m thinking one course at a time. So wish me luck! 

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