Harry Potter and me.

The people that know me know that I have an issue or two with Harry Potter – not the book, the film or the character (So why? For that you’d have to read my next book – there’s an incentive for you). However, my husband once made a promise to one of our nieces that he would take her to see each of the films as soon as they came out. As he couldn’t keep his side of the bargain this time, I reluctantly stepped in…and really, really enjoyed the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I was surprised…not just at how engrossed I was, but at how expensive it was to go to the cinema these days (god, I sound old!) I got a few pence change from £24 for two adult tickets and one child!!! No wonder I’m a couch potato… Anyway, I would recommend the film, although I think small children may find it a little scary (and jumpy thirty-two year old woman might, too).

I’ve also had a little browse on the internet and found that the local Libraries Service has some copies of Karma in stock (one in the Reference section) and are waiting for quite a few more. I thought that was a bit cool – I used to LOVE going to the library as a child! Yes, books were my friends when everyone else was still playing outside at 8pm and my parents thought that 8pm was a good bedtime “for a school night” – I used to read with the lights off, until it had gotten so dark I could no longer make out the words. I love the way that a good book can take you away from reality for a little while – and along those lines can recommend A Tale of Two Sisters by Anna Maxted and Amy’s Honeymoon by Julia Llewelyn. I needed some escapism and these two books really hit the mark!

Oh and Holly’s picking up a bit – thanks to all who asked. Both her and her sister are lying beside me as I type.

Poor Holly!

14th August is the date my ‘letter’ will appear in Best magazine…maybe I shouldn’t have told you that until I’ve seen it myself. Wish I’d known that before I sidled up to the magazine rack in the Co-op and tried to casually skim through the pages – I bet all the security cameras were trained on me! You now think I’m really cheap, as I could’ve just bought the magazine for 78p, but to my poorly dog, 78p is a contribution towards vet’s bills. Yes, my oldest girl, Holly, is poorly and I’m worried sick about the little mite – back to the vet’s tomorrow, with fingers crossed. Our vet is fantastic and my dogs love him – they actually fight to get IN to his surgery, rather than away from it. No matter what he does to them, he’s always rewarded with a lick and a cuddle (from the dogs, not me – I just say thank you)!

What else’s happening? The delightful Natalie has confirmed that the nice man at Borders is still interested in me doing some kind of signing – not sure when, but it’s still a positive, isn’t it? I was beginning to think they’d forgotten about me! Perhaps the local press might finally consider reviewing the book. It’s a longshot, but you never know, do you?

I was also delighted to get a call from my Counselling tutor, Penny, this week (aside from the fact I have more work to submit, when I thought it was all over). She was telling me how much she liked my book and that her partner was reading it too…and having a bit of a chuckle! It’s always good to hear that people are enjoying the book, but more so when it’s a man or someone who ordinarily hates ‘chick-lit’ ie someone other than the target audience. Though I find it hard to accept praise as genuine and deserved, I do enjoy it!!!

Temporary insanity?!

In an attempt to take my mind off what I will now refer to as “The Troubles“, I think that I may have gone too far. In fact, I think I could admit to temporary madness (at least, I hope its temporary…) What have I done? That’s a good question – one I will probably ask myself a million times between now and…then! Well, I decided to apply to be on the quiz show In It To Win It – it seemed like a great idea at the time. Well, at the very second I submitted my application it seemed like a good idea…the very next second it seemed like a stupid, stupid idea. And it got worse…

I have a terrible fear of heights – when my bus travels over the Redheugh Bridge in Newcastle, my journey becomes a white-knuckle ride as I grasp the handrail and close my eyes tightly, praying I’ll get over in one piece! I get queasy when, on films, the camera pans over the edge of a building and shows the ground below. I once held up the Revolution ride in Blackpool, when I made them let me off the ride because it was a lot further off the ground than I thought it was. Why am I telling you this? I decided that I wanted to do something for charity – yes, things have been pretty lousy for me lately, but there’s always someone worse off, isn’t there? I couldn’t do anything too physical (for obvious reasons) but needed to do something that people knew would take a real effort on my part. So, after doing a little research on the internet, I decided to sign up for the Marie Curie charity abseil off the Tyne Bridge in March next year. I just missed the one that ME North East did this month, or I would’ve done that one. I will be scared witless, just as I was when I did the BDMLR’s Marine Mammal Medic course (fear of water, that time). Actually, maybe I’m not scared of heights, as such…just the falling…and then hitting the ground!

Of course, I had hoped something book-related would come up to take my mind off “The Troubles“, but it hasn’t yet. I can keep on dreaming…or I would if I could get any sleep!!!

The Book Club Forum

I got a message today from Michelle at The Book Club Forum (one of my favourite book-related websites) to ask if I’d be interested in being August’s Featured Author, alongside Sam Grosser. I couldn’t type my response fast enough! Its very exciting for me, as it’s a very interactive site – there are opportunities to talk to authors, discuss books/writing and even win competitions! I’ll be following in the footsteps of some great authors, including Carole Matthews (I asked her a question or two via TBCF site, and she was really friendly) so I can’t wait to participate!

Still not sure what’s happening with Borders, but I am going to be the Star Letter’ in Best magazine (date to be confirmed, but I will be sneakily checking the magazine every week to see if I’m in it).

By the way, there’s still time to book your place on the BDMLR’s Marine Mammal Medic course in Tynemouth (check the Links page on my website for their details).

Simply the 'Best'…

I’ve just spoken to a lovely journalist called Jacqueline (hope I’ve spelled that correctly) from Best magazine, and it looks like I may be getting a mention in there. I’ve read Best for ages, so it’s pretty cool to think I’m going to be in there – it’s going to be their ‘Star Letter’, but I think it’s the ‘Best’ thing that’s happened to me in a while. I said that they were welcome to use a photo from my website and am now panicking in case they use the one entitled ‘The Real Me’!!! I shouldn’t complain if they do, as that’s what I look like most of the time – I don’t think I’ll ever be described as ‘glamorous author, Holly A Harvey’…

The show must go on…

As some of you know, I’ve been having a bit of a cacky time lately, so haven’t really chased up any book promotion opportunities. Or done anything except feel a teensy bit sorry for myself. However, the show must go on, and I’m hoping that I’ll soon hear from Borders with regard to a book signing – maybe that will take my mind off current events (oh please, something good come along to take my mind off bad things)!

Today, I was at the shops with my mam (in another taking-my-mind-off-things attempt) and I saw Clare Carroll (sorry Clare, don’t know your married name) and her lovely baby. I’ve known Clare since I was little and it was weird when she told me she’d been looking at my website – I just can’t get used to the fact that people I know (as well as people I don’t) are actually interested enough to read my waffle! Then, I treated myself to a dress just in case I am invited to do a signing at Borders (think positive, missus) which was reduced from £65 to the discount price of £10. I know it was a bit presumptuous, but how could I resist such a bargain??? I really hope that I get the chance to wear my dress for the purpose for which it was intended. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I forgot to say, if you know me, please feel free to contact me using the Contact Form – messages come straight through to my email address. Even if you don’t know me, feel free to say hello!

Life is a rollercoaster…

…it’s a white-knuckle ride that can make you sick! Who needs soap operas and the like when their real life is like an episode of the Jeremy Kyle show? I’m not going to elaborate at the moment, except to say that if I published a book about current events, readers will think it’s fiction rather than fact. Let me assure you fact can indeed be stranger than fiction.

I’m about to start working on a book (for my own sanity’s sake) that I had pretty much laid to rest. Recent experience tells me that the story is far from over and I can’t see how it could possibly have a happy ending (except with some wishful thinking on my part). I started to get all philosophical about this, and wondered about the point of me being a good person if it’s so easy for people to screw me over. Why be nice if all that you get in return is misery and heartache? The answer is, because that’s who I am. I feel. I think. I care. I don’t really want to change that, despite the upset it brings me.

Where’s that notepad – I need to start writing. Maybe it won’t make me feel better, but sometimes just consigning thoughts to paper can be helpful…

I'm ba-aaaack!!!

I’m back and while I haven’t been posting, some interesting things have been happening. Firstly, I took the bull by the horns and emailed Borders to ask why people weren’t able to order my book there. I got a reply from the General Manager, who I spoke to on the telephone and he was very helpful. He said I should ask my publisher to contact him, personally, and Natalie did so – Borders have ordered 20 books and will be in touch when they’ve arrived, with regard to a SIGNING!

You may remember that some time ago, I emailed a few authors who I really admire and had inspired me…well, didn’t I get an email from Pauline McLynn?! I was so delighted as I absolutely love her books, and her characters are so realistic, you feel as though you’ve known them personally. Anyway, she asked where she could get my book!!! I practically begged her to let me send her a copy – it would mean a lot to me if she actually read it. I was chuffed to bits to hear from her (is that just a Northern expression – it means I was really, really happy).

Today’s email came from Gateshead Libraries, who have finally been able to order the book. I’ve been invited to attend a Reader’s Group in September – as it’s in home territory, I’m both excited and nervous. Imagine the anti-climax for the locals hoping to meet a glamorous writer and then realising they’ve seen me at the chip shop, with no make-up on, or out walking the dogs in my old clothes! It sounds as though it’s a friendly group, so I hope they’re gentle with me.

I’ve also had a message from someone who said they were feeling a bit rough and read my book, and it cheered them up. You have no idea how much little comments like this mean to me.

Hopefully, I’ll be back to posting regularly about my attempts to make it in the book world. If you’d like to compare and contrast, take a look at Claire Allan’s site. She’s published through Poolbeg, a rather large publishing company. Radio campaigns, meetings with Buyers, newspaper articles and photoshoots – I’m not sure I would have coped well with that. I don’t think I would’ve slept for weeks! Anyway, I have no doubt that Claire will be a huge success. On the topic of book promotion, I read an interesting article on the Trashionista website about the true cost of promotion within some bookstores. It was such an eye-opener.

Finally (what a bumper post this was), I came across this blog just before my last BBC Radio Newcastle interview and we were intending to do a joint blog (but both of us were busy with other things). However, Jack contacted me to say he’d created a post called The Mike Parr Survivors’ Club. This guy’s site is really interesting, and the thing I love about it is that he isn’t scared to speak his mind. An entertaining, enlightening read from ‘The Web Chemist’.


Just a brief message to those of you who have contacted me recently and had no response: Sadly, my grandma Jones passed away today. I’ll be concentrating my energy on my family until after the funeral, but will reply to you soon. I’ve found this poem very comforting.
Sometimes even writers forget how powerful words can be…

Blaydon Book thingy

The organiser of the book event at Blaydon apparently got in touch with Sarah to ask if she was still attending the event this evening (in the capacity of book seller). This conversation was yesterday (very short notice indeed). Unfortunately, the organiser didn’t contact me, so I have missed out on participating in yet another local event. I probably wouldn’t have attended, given the current circumstances, but could have arranged for some leaflets to be left at the venue. To be honest with you, my heart isn’t in book promotion at the moment…it’s miles away with my grandma Jones, which is where it will stay for the forseeable future. So, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for putting booky-things on the back-burner for a little while.