I’m in a magazine!

Well, sort of. I entered a short story competition for The University of Nottingham alumni magazine, Connect, all the way back in February and genuinely thought I didn’t have a chance of getting shortlisted (because I almost never do for these things). Shock of all shocks, I did! My story was picked as one of the top 6!

All entries were initially judged blind by a panel of 8 Creative writing and English students and graduates, and assigned scores for: creativity and premise, characterisation and dialogue, plot and structure, presentation and grammar, style and tone. Then three  prestigious judges cast the deciding vote.  I know I didn’t win but I really don’t care. It’s just nice to know that my rambling makes sense to other people out there. And I get featured on the online version of the magazine.

The final judges with the casting vote were:

Jon McGregor – creative Writer-in-Residence, whose latest novel Reservoir 13 is currently on the longlist for the acclaimed Man Booker Prize 2017.

John Miller – celebrated BBC television and radio producer, who has published books on many famous actors including Dame Judi Dench, Sir John Gielgud and Sir John Mills.

Lauren James – British Young Adult author of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and popular The Next Together series.

This is the link! Don’t be thrown by the fact they’ve called me Kenny on the website. Hope you enjoy it!

The Conversation – The University of Nottingham – The University of Nottingham

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Sing when you’re winning…Wembley!

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So, I sang at Wembley Stadium a couple of weekends ago for the rugby Challenge Cup Final. It’s weird because when I found out we would be doing the gig a few months back I was like, sure, singing at Wembley, whatever, it’s not that big of a deal. No biggie, except…oh my freaking word, I SANG AT WEMBLEY STADIUM!!!! WHAAAAAT!!!! That was pretty much my level of elation as we queued up at 9am to get our passes and go through security checks with about 200 members of my amazing non-audition community choir, London City Voices.

I was so nervous I could feel my rushed breakfast sitting heavily in my belly, but I knew I was with friends who were as equally excited and anxious as I was so the panic somehow subsided as we walked into the venue and settled into the press conference room. Then we had to wait around for a little while before walking on to the pitch for our sound check with the brilliant competition winner, Kathleen Greene, who got to sing the soloist bit for Abide With Me. Okay, so it was actually just the AstroTurf as Continue reading

Pilot Episode – Short Story

I am actually enjoying participating in random short story contests on Freelancer, partly because I get to post them here when I don’t win (silly, but true). This entry was a little bit more challenging than the last. A Swiss luxury cosmetic brand was looking for a pilot episode (700 to 1000 words) for future episodes of their serial online novel which would help promote their products and have characters their customers could relate to. They wanted the protagonist to be likeable, charismatic, lead a desirable avant-garde lifestyle, differentiate herself from her peers, travel regularly in style and luxury and lead a global, urban lifestyle. I figured, hey, I am a female architect and I feel like I could tick all those boxes (in a fictional world where we actually make good money, obviously) so…you guessed it…my story was about a female architect on site. Which is probably why I didn’t win, heehee. Well, this was my entry. Hope you like it more than they did.

Pilot Episode 

“That’s definitely not going to fit.”

Annie cocked her head and examined the enormous claw foot bathtub which sat in the hallway. The tub was a thing of beauty with a matt ruby exterior, gilded gold feet and a shiny porcelain interior. It complemented the other fittings in the bathroom perfectly, something Annie had obsessed over for weeks to get right. But there was no way it was going to fit through the doorway.

“I wish I could say this isn’t our fault but…”

The remark came from the frowning foreman who stood to the other side of the bath scratching his stubbly chin.

Annie’s brow rose slightly in disbelief. She had been expecting a snarky comment about how she should have designed the hotel suites with smaller practical tubs. But, at the same time, she wasn’t completely surprised.

Joe wasn’t like most builders she’d met. His clear grey eyes never seemed to miss a thing and he actually seemed to think about resolutions to problems before offering his views. She couldn’t count the number of times she had sighed with frustration on other building sites where nobody cared to hear her design opinions. The way her comments were dismissed, you’d never guess she had studied for nearly a decade to qualify as an architect.

“What’s done is done, eh? I think we need to rip out part of the wall and rebuild it afterwards to avoid wasting more time. It’s a good thing you insisted we set up the showroom flat first. We can’t possibly get rid of this lovely bath because of one oversight.”

He winked and Annie felt herself blush. Try as she may, she couldn’t stop herself from reacting like a school girl whenever the man standing before her showed her any sign of warmth. It had to be those eyes. They twinkled when he smiled, hinting at a cheekier side to the lean dark haired man. Or maybe she had a thing for stubbles.

No, it was definitely his eyes.

Annie tried not to dwell on the wink as they finished their inspection and headed back to the site office in silence. She quickly stripped off her hard hat, high vis jacket and steel toe cap boots. She hated the utilitarian boots as they always hurt her toes, but health and safety always came first. Besides, hard hats and stilettos didn’t really go together. Shame the hats never did her curly brown hair any justice. She loosened the braid she held her hair in to fit under the hat and fluffed it gently with her fingers.

When she looked up, Joe was watching her intently. If he felt any guilt at being caught, he certainly didn’t show it. Continue reading

Broken Ties available in Spanish – Lazos Rotos

It feels a little like I do nothing except post about book translations, but I’m still so excited about having my work available for so many more people to read in a multitude of languages. So much work goes on in the background to achieve this and I have to say thank you, thank you once again to Eva María Medina Cabanelas and Patricia M Begona for all their help on this. They translated Aversion and Other Slipper into Spanish and yet found time in their busy schedules to read through this and provide invaluable support. And, of course, a massive thanks to Vanessa Marisol Vargas Trejo for getting the job done!

Spread the word people, and I do hope you enjoy the story!

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Broken Ties - SPANISH

“No hubo nada diferente la noche en que todo cambió. No había luces centellantes en el cielo, no sentía fuego en mi panza, no hubo ninguna señal que sugiriese el cambio que estaba por llegar… Nora Brice provocaba cosas extrañas en mí. Extrañas y horribles cosas…”

Paul Colt tenía un problema, y no es uno a los que la mayoría de los adolescentes se enfrenta. Sí, le gusta una chica; una por la que está convencido haría tonterías si se diera la oportunidad. Pero no puede ir tras ella o tras cualquier otra chica con ese propósito. Eso es lo que obtuvo al ser un avertor, obligado a conformarse con la propagación de la colectiva. Él sabe que algunas reglas pueden pasarse por alto, y hay otras que nunca deben ser rotas. ¿La más grave de todas? Nunca te enamores, jamás.

Esta novela precuela de la saga La Mentalista puede ser leída antes o después de Aversión, el libro uno de la saga La Mentalista.

It’s May And We Love It – Mentalist Series Sale!

I’m always a little bit over excited about the lovely month of May (birthday month, say whaaaaat?) and this year is no exception. This time I’ve dropped the price of The Mentalist Series Box Set to $0.99 (from $4.99) for the next two weeks.  Now’s your chance to read all the books in the series for next to nothing. Bargain or what? Click away and spread the news! And most of all, I hope you enjoy Gemma’s story.

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Dissuasão – Aversion in Portuguese

It’s that time again! Thanks to the wonderful world of Babelcube, the (Brazilian) Portuguese version of Aversion, “Dissuasão”, is now available to purchase at all major online retail stores.

The process began with Nathalia Carvalho’s 2016 translation of Broken Ties, Laços Rompidos, where she aptly coined the word Dissuasão for Aversion (since Aversão didn’t quite feel right), and then translated the first chapter, paving the way for Bárbara Bressan to continue with the series. I am so pleased Bárbara was able to work on this story because she showed so mush resilience and dedication even when we faced a number of setbacks. I truly look forward to working with her again! I also can’t thank Jose Serranito enough for taking out time to read through both books and making corrections at the end stages. His help has been brilliant and his generosity will never be forgotten. And finally, a huge thanks to Tom Jay for providing the updated cover for this version, once again.

So what are you waiting for? Time to click away and spread the word. Thanks again everyone. Next stop, more from the series in Spanish!

DISSUASÃO

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Aversion_portugiesisch Kopie

Para a primeira vez de Gemma Green, as coisas deveriam ter sido óbvias. Encontre seu alvo, mantenha contato visual e empurre um pensamento para sua mente para salvá-lo de um desastre no futuro – Dissuasão completa. Um processo bastante simples dado que o alvo não teria lembrança nenhuma da experiência. Mas Russ Tanner parecia não querer esquecer. Na verdade, quanto mais ela tentava evitá-lo, mais ele se empenhava em tentar conhecê-la. Gemma sabe que tem um problema, mas estaria ela encarando os efeitos colaterais de uma Dissuasão mal feita ou o campeão de tênis da escola tinha realmente se apaixonado por ela?

2017 Translations – The Other Slipper in Español

Last year I mentioned I have a few more translations in the pipeline for release this year. The good news is, as well as Spanish, German and Portuguese translations, I’m branching out into Italian! Really excited as the first Italian translation will be for The Other Slipper, which hasn’t had a lot of mention recently with all the buzz around the Mentalist Series. But I really do think it’s worth sharing in other languages as I love Jo’s adventure story.

 

So, to start off the year I’m pleased to announce the release of The Other Slipper in Spanish – El Otro Zapato. This is the first translation of The Other Slipper and I am immensely grateful to Patricia M. Begona for carrying out the translation. And, of course, to the fabulous Eva Maria Medina Cabanelas, who translated Aversion into Spanish and spent time helping Patricia edit this book – what would I do without you? Also a special thanks to Ruth Benitez for all her contributions with this too. You guys continue to amaze me with your generosity.

 

Well here it is! As always, please spread the word and I do hope you enjoy the story in whatever language you discover it.

EL OTRO ZAPTO

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¿Qué sucedería si Cenicienta no fuera la única que terminara con una zapatilla de cristal la noche del baile?

Cuando Jo encuentra una solitaria zapatilla de cristal la noche del baile real, se da cuenta de que en ese objeto común hay algo más de lo que puede verse a simple vista. La búsqueda de su dueño, la conduce al palacio donde la princesa la envía en un viaje que la lanza de forma inesperada a un mundo de magia y de ilusiones. Pronto estará claro que esta misión encierra mucho más: descubre secretos sorprendentes sobre su pasado y lucha por abrazar su destino.