Thursday, 14 March 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

I am grateful and delighted that two wonderful bloggers have nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award, namely:

Vikki at and 
Linda at

Thanks, guys.  Sorry it's taken me a while to sort it out. So here goes.....

I have to state 7 facts about me.  Rather than adopt my usual random approach, I decided to be more focussed about this and concentrate on things that are meaningful to me.  I thought about words, and this led to thinking about letters and letter writing.  So my 7 facts all relate to letters that have significance in my life.

1.     When I was a child in the 60s and 70s, I was in love with Superman (he was a cartoon series, long before the wonderful Christopher Reeves films).  So I decided to write him a letter telling him this.  For some reason I thought he lived in a cave, so I addressed the envelope as such and popped it in the post-box.  Not sure what the Royal Mail did with it but strangely I never got a reply.
2.     My teen heart-throbs were actors Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and Peter Cushing. The latter was my biggest crush and I wrote him several letters over the years, simply addressed to Peter Cushing, Whitstable.  I got a reply and a signed photo, a treasured possession which I still have.  I didn’t get to meet him in the flesh until very many years later, by which time I was married. It was at a book signing for his autobiography at Waterstones, Tunbridge Wells and was a surreal experience.
3.     I wrote my first (unfinished) pony novel when I was 8 or 9 (in pencil in a large exercise book).  It was about two sisters searching for their stolen ponies.  They were at boarding school and when they set off on their pony quest, they made sure they took lashings of food with them (my favourite childhood books at the time were Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven adventures).  I wrote to publisher Armada, who produced most of the pony books I adored,  and asked them how many words you needed for a novel to be published and they replied politely with the answer “at least 40,000”. I kept the letter and when my first book was published by Collins Armada it was like a dream come true.   
4.     As you will have gathered I was an avid letter writer and I still enjoy writing letters.  As a child I had several penfriends, one in New Zealand.  We kept in touch well into adulthood when we were both married and she had children, and we got to meet in the UK eventually.  Anyone remember penfriends?  Do people still have them in this age of social media?
5.     I love receiving letters.  Now we use email I get a lot less but I would become so excited when the postman appeared, wondering what he might bring, and disappointed if nothing arrived. If I had to leave for school/work before the post was delivered it was quite frustrating. (Anyone recall when the first post arrived before 7am?  When there was a first post?)
6.     If you remember the days when you submitted to a publisher via snail mail you will recall saving and re-using large envelopes and stamps and queuing at the local post office to send off your precious manuscript and wait months for that familiar thud as your SAE returned like a boomerang - with a rejection slip. Or, conversely, the occasional surge of joy if the response was positive!
7.     Every time I had anything published, whether it was a letter to the local paper, an article, poem, story or novel, I always sent a copy of it to my Mum and Dad, wanting to share my success, however small, enclosing a handwritten note on a postcard or decorated notepaper.  After I lost both parents to cancer and was sorting out their house, I found every cutting I sent and every letter I wrote, all kept proudly in a drawer.  

I am nominating the following fabulous bloggers for the award:


  1. I had a pen friend when I was in my teens and I'm still in touch with her :)


    1. Wow! That's very impressive! Did you get to meet her? I do enjoy the art of letter writing, even in this digital age.

  2. I used to love having pen-friends. I had one in Japan, one in France and one in Scunthorpe! I miss getting handwritten envelopes in the post.

    1. Hi Linda - I had several, too. One in Wales, who I got to meet, and a boy in Berwick, as well as my NZ pf. I used to collect postage stamps, so getting the NZ ones was a special thrill!