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Sabbie Dare and Friends

I have been writing fiction since my reception teacher, Mrs Marsden, put a paper and pencil in front of me. I can remember thinking; What? Do real people write these lovely books? I want to do that! I gained an MA in creating writing and sold my first books for children; Sweet’n’Sour, (HarperCollins) and Tough Luck, (Thornberry Publishing), both from Amazon. I also love writing short stories and they regularly appear in British anthologies. I now write crime fiction, published by Midnight Ink. The idea for In the Moors , my first Shaman Mystery came to me one day, in the guise of Sabbbie Dare. She came to me fully formed and said; “I'm a young therapist, a shaman, and sometimes I do get very strange people walking into my therapy room. Honestly, I could write a book about some of them...” I am a druid; a pagan path which takes me close to the earth and into the deep recesses of my mind. Shamanic techniques help me in my life - in fact they changed my life - although, unlike Sabbie, I’ve never set up a therapeutic practice...I’m too busy writing and teaching creative writing with the Open College of the Arts. I’m a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Although I was born, educated and raised my two children in the West Country, I now live in west Wales with my husband James. IN THE MOORS, the first Shaman Mystery starring SABBIE DARE was released in the US in 2013 and UNRAVELLING VISIONS will be out this autumn, but you can already reserve your copy on Amazon. Join me on my vibrant blogsite, http://www.kitchentablewriters.blogspot.com where I offer students and other writers some hard-gained advice on how to write fiction.


Sylvia Plath's only novel, THE BELL JAR, was a second-hand purchase from a lovely cafe we use as we head south east into Wiltshire...Dick Willow. I'd been meaning to read it for ever, and so enjoyed the wonderfully unself-concsious, almost artless tone which was lighter and funnier than I could have hoped. The story of a young woman setting out on her higher education and her life only to be beset by a dark emotional destruction of her mind and her subsequent incarceration in a mental hospital, it turned out to be a 'can't put it down' read. Like Angel at my Table,  Janet Frame's 3 part autobiography, (filmed by Jane Campion), it describes the desperate state of psychiatric care in the 50's and 60's. It has an upbeat end, which makes Plath's own end more poignant.