Chapbook.  Put me Down, I’m Terrible. Katie Lewington. 

Physical copy.  62 pages of poetry. I am very proud of these poems. Put me Down, I’m Terrible was published by Ugly Sapling Press. Available on Amazon or 

Cursor |||| 
cursor ran away with the N 

computer keyboard screamed –

get your greasy fingers off of me! 

the N halts, the cursor blinks

as if strangers

watching an argument taking place in the street

awaiting further pressure to move on and forward (like from the police)

my hand hovers

 removed from the board.

Book Review: Franny the Fearless Firefly.  Christina Murphey. 

Franny the Fearless Firefly is a book for children, written and illustrated by Christina Murphey.

My favourite part of this book are the full colour illustrations. I especially like the children. 

I like the story of Franny and her wont to needlessly put herself in harms way. This is an excellent book for teaching children a lesson that isn’t immediate and obtrusive. 

Franny the Fearless Firefly also concentrates on the letter F and that makes the book an additional educational supplement.
The bonus content lists the words in the text that begin with the letter F, as well as definitions, questions to open discussion on the story and firefly facts. 
I hope there will be more books in a similar vein forthcoming from Christina Murphey, Franny the Fearless Firefly is a promising start. 

A copy can be purchased on Kindle from Amazon 

Poem. Camden. Katie Lewington.

The morning after
traipsing back across town, with laddered tights and hangover
carpet burn on elbow, bites on her flesh
from her lover
she had met on Valentine’s night,  the worst of occasions
In search of now a cafe, warm, bacon and this morning’s newspaper
she hoped she hadn’t killed him, he had been flat out
had left him
snoring, curtains open, in the bedroom
coffee at the bedside
not her number scribbled on a scrap of paper
which she couldn’t remember anyway
he had a wife, he had taken her to his mate’s flat
he and his wife lived in Camden.

K.L 2016  ©

Guest Post. Yellow Hair. Andrew Joyce. 

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. I would like to thank Katie for allowing me to be here today to promote my latest,Yellow Hair, which documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage I write about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in my fact-based tale of fiction were real people and I use their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, I can get down to what I really came here to talk about: the research that goes into writing an historical novel or an action/adventure novel that uses an historical event as a backdrop.

I want to say that I learned the hard way how important proper research is. But it wasn’t really that hard of a lesson. In my first book, which takes place in the last half of the 19th century, I made two mistakes. I had the date of an event off by one year and I had my hero loading the wrong caliber cartridge into his Winchester rifle. I would have gone blissfully throughout life not knowing how I had erred if not for my astute fans. Both mistakes were quickly pointed out to me in reviews of the book. One guy said he would have given me five stars if not for the wrong caliber bullet mistake. I had to settle for only four stars. Lesson learned!

Before I get into telling you about the year-long research I did for Yellow Hair, I’d like to tell you how I researched my second and third books and describe what that research entailed.

My second book was a western and the protagonist was a woman. The research took about three months. I had to know everything from women’s undergarments of the late 19th century to prison conditions for women in those days. (I sent my heroine to jail.) That kind of research was easy. Thank God for the internet. But then I had to do some real research. Molly (my protagonist) built up her cattle ranch to one of the largest in Montana, but she and her neighbors had nowhere to sell their beef. So Molly decided to drive her and her neighbors’ cattle to Abilene where she could get a good price. She put together the second largest herd on record (12,000 head) and took off for Abilene.

That’s when I had to really go to work. I wanted my readers to taste the dust on the trail. I wanted them to feel the cold water at river crossing. I wanted them to know about the dangers of the trail, from rustlers to Indians to cattle stampedes.

This is how I learned about all those things and more. First of all, I found old movies that were authentic in nature. I watched them to get a feel for the trail. Then I read books by great authors who had written about cattle drives to soak up even more of the atmosphere of a cattle drive. That was all well and good, but it still did not put me in the long days of breathing dust and being always fearful of a stampede.

That’s when I went looking for diaries written by real cowboys while they were on the trail. After that, I found obscure self-published books written by those cowboys. Then it was onto newspaper articles written at the time about large cattle drives. That’s how I had Molly herd the second largest cattle drive. I discovered that the largest was 15,000 head, driven from Texas to California in 1882.

My next book took place in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. Here two new elements were added: an historical event as backdrop and the extreme weather as adversary. I have seen snow only three times in my life and I have never dogsledded. I had no idea what it was like to travel across a wilderness on a dogsled at seventy degrees below zero. I also had to learn about the dogs themselves, especially the lead dog. I learned about all that by doing the same things I did for my Molly book. The old diaries were the most helpful. As to the gold rush, there was plenty of material in the form of self-published books by some of the participants. Some were never even published, but I found copies of them in the archives of universities and historical societies.

Now we come to Yellow Hair. As I mentioned above, the book is about the Sioux Nation from 1805 to 1890. I had to know both points of view, the white man’s and the Sioux’s. Getting to know the whites’ take on things was easy. There are many, many books (non-fiction) that were written at the time. I even found a book written by Custer detailing his strategy for wiping out the Sioux entirely. That was hard reading. And, again, there were universities and historical societies whose archives were a great help.

As to the Sioux’s point of view, there are a few books that were dictated to newspapermen years later by the Indians that took part in the various battles that I weave into my story. I found a lot of material from Native American participants of the Little Big Horn, written twenty to thirty years after the fact.

But I wanted to immerse myself in the Sioux culture and I wanted to give them dignity by using their language wherever possible. I also wanted to introduce them by their Sioux names. So, I had to learn the Lakota language. And that wasn’t easy. There is a consortium that will teach you, but they wanted only serious students. You have to know a smattering of the language before they will even deign to let you in. I had to take a test to prove that I knew some Lakota. I failed the first time and had to go back to my Lakota dictionary and do some more studying. I got in on my second try.

I’m running out of space, so I reckon I’ll wrap it up. I hope I’ve given you a little insight into the research process. It’s time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. But it is also a blast. Every new discovery is like finding the motherlode.

If Katie will allow it, I’d like to sign off with another commercial. The three books I alluded to above are:

I would like to thank Katie once again for having me over and you good folks for tuning in.

Andrew Joyce

Buy Yellow Hair 



Barnes and Noble 





Author Bio:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and fifty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

 Author Website