Wednesday, 5 February 2020

A DARK, DARK BOOK

THANK YOU


Many thanks to the lovely people who posted reviews on Amazon about my latest book THE GIRL IN THE ATTIC. They mean so much to me and are such an encouragement to go on and tackle my next book.
As you regular readers will know, I write for both children and adults, but at this moment I have a story developing inside my head which is a complete departure, very dark and definitely one for the grown ups only.

The provisional title is THE BODY SHOP. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

FREE! MY LATEST NOVEL FOR TWO MORE DAYS!


MY LATEST BABY AND I’M GIVING IT AWAY FREE!

I don't write to earn money. It's something I do because I feel driven to do it. It’s my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but it gives me so much pleasure. THE GIRL IN THE ATTIC (a ghost story for Christmas) is my latest baby and I'm quite proud of it!

On Amazon you can splash out on the paperback (£5.60) if it’s for a birthday or Christmas gift, but the Kindle version is available FREE for the remainder of today and another 2 days (Thursday and Friday, 28th and 29th November). It would mean so much to me if you would read it and leave a review. Writers crave readers and feedback. I would be so grateful if you would share this so I can reach as many people as possible.

For your information, very few writers make a living from their writing (with the exception, of course, of J K Rowling and maybe a dozen others). Most of us write because we can’t NOT write.

I started writing miniature stories at the age of seven and I’ve never stopped. I wrote and published my first full length novel (The Mystery of Craven Manor) in 2013 and it’s since become a best seller on Amazon – currently no. 6 in the Children’s Mystery and Detective genre, and recently selected for the new Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited programme.

Since then I’ve written twelve more books for children, adults and teens. I’d love to tell you they’ve all become best sellers but I’d be telling porkies. No one can define what makes one book a star but if you check out my Amazon page you can read the first couple of chapters of each and decide for yourself.

Thank you for reading this, and please be my guest and read THE GIRL IN THE ATTIC! While the free offer is still available, please share this post with your friends.




Sunday, 10 November 2019

BIG REDUCTIONS ON ALL PAPERBACKS!


I’ve just discovered that I can reduce the price on my paperbacks from the minimum set by Amazon’s publishing arm! The prices set originally were based on number of pages printed, cover cost, distribution, etc, and had increased considerably since my earliest books were published.

I don’t quite understand why I can amend them now, but I’m pleased to say that I have knocked down the prices of several, bringing them more in line with my earlier novels. This means a reduction of £2 or even up to £3 in some cases!

My latest book, published last month, is THE GIRL IN THE ATTIC, an emotional contemporary ghost story,  perfect for a Christmas gift and suitable for adults and teenagers over 14 years.

Here’s the list with their new prices:

THE MYSTERY OF CRAVEN MANOR £4.17
THERE’S A LION IN MY BED! £4.60
THE BOY WHO COULD FLY £5.17
CABBAGE BOY £5.48
THE FAMILY ON PINEAPPLE ISLAND £4.60
THE RELUCTANT BRIDE £4.93
ME, DINGO AND SIBELIUS £5.97
THE GIRL IN THE ATTIC £5.60


If price has been stopping you until now, I hope you'll now take a second look on Amazon, where you'll be able to read the first couple of chapters of each. 

Sunday, 29 September 2019

IT'S OUT - LATEST NOVEL BY JOY WODHAMS


THE GIRL IN THE ATTIC - A ghost story

THE GIRL IN THE ATTIC, Kindle version, is now available on Amazon. Suitable for adults and for teenagers, the price is £2.39. The paperback version, perfect for Christmas – and birthday – presents is also on its way (date to be announced).
A moving story about two girls, one dead, one alive. Seventy six years ago Marshbank was home to young Helen Aylsbury. When writer Abi and her family move to the abandoned Edwardian mansion the ghost of Helen longs to make Abi her friend, but how can she contact her, and how can she keep all the others away? As Helen becomes more possessive and her powers increase, accidents begin to happen. And through Abi's writing, Helen's terrible story begins to emerge.
Check it out on Amazon and read the first two and a half chapters.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

BEST LOVED CHARACTERS

YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE FAVOURITES


Giving birth to your books may not be quite as difficult as giving birth to your children, but, my God!, it's almost as hard work.
Naturally, once there you don't have favourites amongst your children, but it's a different story with your books.
Of my twelve published novels, THE MYSTERY OF CRAVEN MANOR (for middle range children) has been the most successful so far (around 13,000 sales),  but my softest spot is for Nick, the hero of CABBAGE BOY, a tragi-comedy for Teens and Young Adults.
Nick, going on sixteen, is a chronic worrier. He worries about his lack of height (sister Becca is already four inches taller), his cowardice, his virginity, his lack of friends, the fact that he's always the last to be chosen for anything - the list goes on and on. At last Nick finds a friend, an unusual one, and that's the biggest worry of all.
Not everything ends well. There's comedy and a touch of romance, but also sadness. Yet through it all Nick, despite his personal problems, behaves heroically.
I love him.


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

KEEPING SLIM WHILE WRITING FAT BOOKS


STAIRS ARE GOOD FOR YOU, CYCLING IS GOOD FOR YOU – BUT NOT DAYTIME TELLY


Writing is a sedentary unhealthy occupation. Bad for the eyes, bad for the heart, bad for the butt. They (the 'experts') say that having stairs in your house will give you an extra ten years of life. I hope it's true. I run up and down my stairs on average twenty or thirty times a day. I kid myself it's because I need the physical break from my writing, but it's usually because I've forgotten something that's at the top while I'm at the bottom, or vice versa.

However, it's not my only source for callisthenics. (That's a nice oldfashioned word. I don't think I've read it in a book dated later than the 1940s.) No, I also have an exercise bike (courtesy of a generous friend) and I do try to use it each day, although a little half-heartedly – meaning that I cycle until I've burned 10 calories (about 1 minute 4 seconds).

 However, I also have my old telly in the same room and I find now that if I switch on while I'm pedalling I'll cycle for much longer, and hence burn more calories. The problem is that daytime programmes are so banal I can't help feeling that while my muscles and my circulation are improving, my brain is turning to sludge.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

WHAT'S HEAVEN REALLY LIKE?


DOES IT EXIST?

Or is it all smoke and mirrors? Can you really get a Full English Breakfast> And how about shopping? And sex?
It's all a mystery to Zoe Harper. She's no idea how she got there, but she's sure of one thing. She has no intention of staying.

AFFAIR WITH AN ANGEL is a humorous but thought-provoking fantasy available on Amazon Kindle for just £1.29. To whet your appetite, here's how it begins:

PROLOGUE
I didn't believe him. Well, you wouldn't, would you?

A self important little shit with a clipboard tells you that you're dead, naturally you'd think you were dreaming. One of those weird but vivid early morning dreams you get after the alarm has gone off and you've hit the Snooze button. You know the sort. You're running down an empty street wearing nothing but a pair of skimpy knickers, or your bed is full of insects or you're snogging the Deputy Manager of Sainsburys. He's 40, balding and has the sex appeal of a lardy cake but hey, dreamers can't be choosers.

Or perhaps this was a monumentally cruel joke organised by a Channel 4 production company, a tasteless virtual reality programme.

But no, it had to be a dream, because it started in the middle, as dreams do.

I am poised on the gangplank of a cruise liner. Below is a quayside, seething with passengers. There are officials everywhere, ushering them into an enormous over-embellished building that looks like a movie star's wedding cake – or maybe the Scottish Parliament, except that it's pink. There's rather a lot of pink, more than one would expect, but then I am still dreaming. The blossom on the trees is pink, the mountains in the background are pink, even the open topped buses lined up alongside the wedding cake are pink, a bright strawberry shade, and the boiler suits worn by their drivers are a perfect match. Where am I? The Costa Brava? The Caribbean? Florida? It's hot enough for any of them. I can feel the heat of the sun on my bare head, smell the heavy scent of tropical flowers mixed with diesel, sweat and pine resin, hear a babel of languages from the crush of passengers at my back.

I'm not worried. A cruise? Enjoy it. I might never earn enough to afford the real thing, and any moment now Mum will be banging on my bedroom door. "Zoe, it's eight o'clock. You're going to be late again!"

Except that she doesn't.

"You there!"

Down below I see this little guy waving his clipboard as I hover on the gangplank, unsure whether to go down or to climb back up again. Not knowing where I am or why I'm there creates that sort of problem.

He's wearing a ridiculous pink boiler suit stretched tight over a short chubby body. It looks like a Babygro on an oversized baby but from the three stripes on his arm I guess he's the man in charge.

"Me?"

"Yes, you. You're blocking the way."

"Sorry. But what am I doing – am I supposed to be embarking or disembarking?"

"You are coming down, madam. Down. Now, hurry along please, you're holding up the queue."

Behind me there is a great forward surge and I'm jostled down the gangplank, almost into the arms of the man in the Babygro. The Boss Man.

"Follow me," he says, striding off towards the wedding cake. Inside I can see rows of chairs facing tables stacked high with folders, and behind the tables open shelves stuffed with what look like more boiler suits in a rainbow of colours. People everywhere, of all ages and nationalities, a clamour of voices, officials checking off lists, trying to create order out of chaos.

"Sit there until you're processed," orders the little guy. "Oh, and welcome."

Well, about time. I've had warmer receptions from the bouncers at our down town night club. What's biting him? If I'm going to be 'processed' I'd prefer one of his underlings. There's a guy a couple of tables away who looks pretty hot. Dark Mediterranean good looks and a flashing smile that gives the impression that he's taken the Customer Care course and is doing his best to be helpful. But as luck would have it, when my turn comes it's the Boss Man himself who takes the other side of the table.

"Name?" he asks, snapping open a file and scarcely glancing at me.

"Zoe Harper."

"Age?"

"Why d'you want to know?"

He points silently to the blank line on his form.

"OK, I'm twenty, although I don't see it's any of your business."

"Occupation?"

"I'm a journalist." I'm cheating a bit here, but the fact that I'm only three weeks into my training isn't his business either.

His pen hovers above the form. "Hmmm. Unfortunate. Still, you'll be in one of our holding camps."

"I beg your pardon! What's wrong with journalists? And what d'you mean, a holding camp? What d'you think I am? An illegal immigrant?"

Ignoring my questions he pulls another form towards him and pores over it for so long I wonder if he's nodded off. I'm pretty good with faces – which I know is going to give me a head start in my career - and as I study the Boss Man's face I decide he's a miserable bitter old bastard. The small suspicious eyes, the deeply etched frown, the downturned mouth are dead giveaways.

I'm beginning to feel this isn't such a pleasant dream after all. I take the opportunity to look around. I'm guessing there must be several hundred people here, and none of them look as you'd expect holidaymakers at the mercy of bureaucrats to look. Anxious, frightened, confused, yes. But bored out of their minds, no. In fact, there's definitely a hint of hysteria. And their clothes are strangely varied. Business suits, bikinis, pyjamas, leotards, even a few hospital gowns. I glance down to see what I myself am wearing. My navy blue office suit, and very hot it is too. If I'd been awake I would have been searching for reasons. A practice fire drill? An evaccuation following an epidemic on board? But as I'm dreaming I accept the strangeness. For the time being.

At the table on my right the interviewer is a young woman, pleasant faced and smiling, but at the moment she's trying to pacify the traveller sitting opposite. He's about fifty, overweight, flushed to the colour of a cranberry and in danger of exploding like a shaken up bottle of fizz. He's dressed as I'd imagine an affluent middle-aged middle-class guest on a cruise to dress: a navy blazer, cream trousers pressed to a knife edge crease, a blue and white striped shirt. And a cravat. His wife, quiet but obviously tense, wears a button-through beige linen dress, with hair and complexion to match.

"Now look here, young lady!" The man is practically spitting at the interviewer "I don't know what this is about but if it's part of the holiday cruise I shall be demanding a refund. This is disgraceful treatment. Wherever this is, it's not on our schedule and -"

The Boss Man's harsh voice makes me jump. "You''ll need to change," he says. He turns to the shelves behind him and moves a slow finger over the stacks, stopping at a hideous blob of dull reddish purple.

"This will do." He pulls out a boiler suit and shakes it open.

"What? If you think I'm going to wear a boiler suit you're very mistaken – and if I did, that's the last one I'd choose. What sort of colour d'you call that?"

He studies the label. "Puce," he says.

"Well, I'd call it puke and you can put it straight back on the shelf! And now I've answered all your questions, how about giving me some answers? For a start, where am I? What is this place? Not exactly welcoming, is it?"

He sighs. "All your questions will be answered by the proper personnel in due course. My job is simply to get you through here as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now, if you please, go and change your clothes." He shoves the boiler suit towards me and I shove it back.

"You know what you can do with that! It's revolting. I wouldn't be seen dead in it".

And then he leans forward. At last he smiles.

"But, my dear young lady, you are dead."