My novels are for 9 to 12 year olds, and are sometimes known as ‘young adult novels’ (or YA). Most of my published work has been written for a company called Working Partners, who come up with fantastic ideas for series fiction and then work closely with writers who can breathe life into the characters and story. Writing like this is hard work but great fun, and I’m fortunate to have been able to work with some wonderful, talented editors and be part of two amazing series: Vampire Plagues and Sisters of the Sword. Check them out in the My Books section of this website.
One of my novels, Sisters of the Sword 1: The Warrior’s Path (written as Maya Snow) was shortlisted for the Solihull Children’s Book Award 2010. The winner was Frank Cottrell Boyce with Cosmic. Maya Snow was represented at the ceremony by Karen Ball, an editor at Working Partners.
In 2011, I self-published my novel The Black Banner a swashbuckling pirate tale for 9 to 12 year olds. The book is available in paperback and also for Kindle. Publishing my own book was great fun, and I had a wonderful time launching it at a big pirate party in Bristol’s historic docks. We sailed on the replica ship The Matthew and had a pitched battle with ‘pirates’ from The Bristol Old Vic and local charity The Long John Silver Trust. The Black Banner is getting some fantastic five-star reviews on Amazon. If you’ve read it and enjoyed it, please add your thoughts. If you haven’t read… what are you waiting for?
I also run an author services company called SilverWood Books. We offer a range of services to help writers get their work into print – from writing classes or manuscript appraisals through to full self-publishing assistance.
For three years I was involved with the Bristol Short Story Prize, an exciting international competition sponsored by Waterstone’s. In 2009 I was selected for the 2010 and 2011 judging panel and very much enjoyed reading the longlist and discussing the best entries with my fellow judges. The standard of entries is always extremely high, so choosing the winners is a hard task.
In 2014 and 2015 I’m on the judging panel for the Kobo Writing Life and SilverWood Books Open Day Competition, along with two other writers. You can read more on the SilverWood site and the Kobo Writing Life news page.
I’m also often asked to list my favourite books. Click here to read about my personal top titles.
For several years, I read and reviewed self-published and indie novels for the Historical Novel Society’s HNS Indie Review pages. I thoroughly enjoyed receiving advance copies of new historical fiction. There is an amazing wealth of talent among the self-published and indie writing community, and it’s a privilege to see that at an early stage, and also help to improve the image of self-published books.
As well as teaching a publishing course at Marlborough College’s residential
Summer School, I speak at a range of events including SilverWood Writing &
Self-Publishing Open Days at Foyles Bookshop, and literary festivals including Bath,
Cheltenham, Kingston and Bristol’s Unputdownable.
For several summers I was based at Marlborough College Summer School teaching a week-long residential course on ‘How to Publish Your Memoir or Family History’. The course typically covered everything a writer needs to know about how to professionally produce a high quality book, from basic manuscript preparation through to working with specialist printers and taking delivery of the final product.