PPW and Nicci French

I haven’t been posting lately because I was suffering a minor case of PPW: Post-Publication Withdrawal.

This is a condition where the newly published author is overcome by a sense of What have I done   How did this happen   I’m just an average boring stay-at-home old hag and now I have a book out and soon it will be discovered that I’m not actually an author at all but I’m just writing stuff and now I got it published and I need to go hide in a deep dark cave.

So that’s where I’ve been these last few weeks. In my cave. It’s a good cave too, with computer games, cats, tea, and hot and cold running water.

photo of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French
Nicci French go Dutch

Today I stepped out of the cave to announce a thing that my number one fan (aka Mum) has done.  She went to a book signing in the town where she lives, in the Netherlands. The signing was by Nicci French, one (or rather two) of our favourite authors. Nicci French is the pen name of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who together write thrilling crime novels.

Mum bought me a copy of Nicci French’s latest book Day of the Dead, and went to the signing to have it signed for me.  But not only that, no. Being a mum, she also took with her a copy of Gwithyas: Door to the Void to show to them, and she had a nice chat with them about it too.

So now those two massively famous authors have seen my little novel, and heard and read my name. I don’t know yet if that thought makes my PPW better or worse, but for now, I will proudly share what they wrote in my copy of ‘Day of the Dead’.

'Day of the Dead' by Nicci French, signed with message: Congratulations on your book! And Good Luck with your future writing! Sean French Nicci Gerrard
Signed for me by Nicci French

Thanks Mum!


I write novels and short stories, mainly in the genre of speculative fiction. A quick online search offers me the following definitions of this term:

1. Speculative fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements.
2. Speculative fiction is a broad umbrella genre denoting any narrative fiction with supernatural or futuristic elements; this encompasses the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, science fantasy, and superhero fiction, as well as combinations of the previous genres.

My novel ‘Gwithyas’- Door to the Void, published by Kristell Ink publishing, falls neatly in that category. It’s kind of horror, but not really. It could also be labelled paranormal fiction. Or even dark fantasy. At least, that’s what I think.

Here’s the ‘blurb’, and a glimpse of the cover art.

Zircon Gwithyas just wants to be a normal teenager, preferably one with a girlfriend. If you’re a spotty nerd with glasses as thick as jam jars, that isn’t easy.
It’s even harder when you live in a derelict manor on a haunted hill with a bunch of spooky eccentrics for a family, and the object of your affection is an irritable sword-wielding college student.
It becomes virtually impossible when you are dragged into a dark, chaotic semi-reality where your moderately-deceased ancestors expect you to save the world from a horde of grotesque demons with a fondness for torture.