Victoria Wood


Apart from writing about the supernatural or old buildings about to be pulled down, I thought I would reignite this blog with some comedy. I am highly recommending that you attend the Victoria Wood exhibition at Bury Art Museum and Sculpture Centre.


*apologies for the slight blur

You will be met by a huge yellow banner hanging outside the building. It has a famous quote on it from ‘Victoria Wood, As Seen on TV’

‘We would like to apologise to viewers in the North … it must be awful for them.’

If you’ve never seen the show then you will be scratching your head, if you have then you will give a laugh or maybe a smile. It’s a cracking quote and whoever thought to cover the museum with this is a genius.

The exhibition contains costumes from her shows, scripts , awards … loads of them and photos. Some of them were poignant especially ones from her work with Julie Walters and her time on New Faces, (there are nostalgic pics of a very young Lenny Henry and a glamorous Marti Cane). There is lots of theatre paraphernalia,certificates, degrees and even her C.B.E. is there.


Theatre programme.

Along one side of the room, there are seats set out, and on the wall one of her live shows is playing. When she began to sing ‘The Ballad of Freda and Barry’, the whole roomful of people gravitated toward it. I had a genuine lump in the throat that someone who could generate so much laughter and joy had passed too early.

I considered having my photo taken in the yellow beret and orange coat (they’re stacked by the wall at the bottom of the stairs) but I didn’t think the hat would fit my giant head. I loved this exhibition.Details below. Please attend. It’s free, but buy something in the lovely gift shop and see the other shows. Ta.



Women in Horror Month 2018


Blimey it’s been a while since I was around here. It could do with a clean …


Anyway, I am very proud to point you in the direction of Sirens Call ezine, freshly released for Women in Horror Month 2018. My story called ‘Lakeview Wayside Chapel Conversion’ is squeezed in it. There are more stories, illustrations and interviews and they’re FREE. So please download and also have a peruse of the books for sale while you’re there.


Also, here’s a link to a review of Alan Garner’s ‘The Owl Service’ that I wrote for Spooky Isles last month. The novel has stayed with me from childhood. I remember the TV series as well although I don’t think I should have been watching that so young … I’m still looking for those plates.

Twelve Days


I have finally got my hands on this lovely book. It’s called ‘Twelve days’ and was released by new publishers, ‘The Patchwork Raven’. Each story in it is linked to the twelve days of Christmas song. OK !  I know I’m late, but I’ve just seen this book and you can read it any time of the year! It’s not just Xmas exclusive! I have a story in it called ‘The Coterie of Magic’.


The art book. 

Each story has it’s its own art work, which was available to buy separately.


I love magic, love it, especially the close up, sleight of hand stuff. That wonder that comes from seeing something happen right before your eyes and no matter how close you look you don’t know how it’s done is terrific. I saw Barry and Stuart at the Edinburgh Fringe a few years ago perform their show. They made a Rubik cube disappear right in front of me, while twirling it! Not that impressive you think, not like making the Statue of Liberty disappear, but this was better, close up magic at its best. My story is, I hope, a funny look at this and at a women’s roll in magic and the lack of female magicians. We need more!


The paperback is available here. We all need a little magic at the moment.

Credit to the internet for the fab pic above.

Deadhead Miles


I have a short story in this very book, Deadhead Miles (Vol2) from FoF Publishing, edited by Jason R Davis, who is also one of the authors.

My story is called ‘Fast Food‘, and is about serial killers, kidnapping and cannibalism. The usual. Actually, it is much more explicit horror than the weird, psychological fiction I usually write.


Cool cover

It’s available in paperback and on kindle. Please enjoy!



Holly Lodge House R.I.P


They’re knocking my old school down. So what? Many old buildings are flattened now. It’s cheaper to demolish and build new, than it is to maintain the up keep of some of these old places… it’s just that, where I live, the older buildings, those with character and history get dumped!  I’ve written on this blog before about my love of local history, so I thought I’d have a rant on here.

Holly Lodge Girls school began in the early 20th century as a paying school for young ladies. They stayed in the house, slept in what was to become the library when I was there. Over the years the larger houses surrounding the school, Victorian places called Freemont, Sandheys and Uplands, became part of it as they took on more girls. There were (was? I don’t know if they’ve filled it in?) duck ponds, trees, benches, hockey pitches and tennis courts. It sounds idyllic, sometimes it was. On winter days though, the rooms could be freezing and lessons were taught while you wore your coat and gloves. Rooms could be damp and pathways treacherous. Roofs leaked and the showers never worked in the changing rooms.

But, I loved it there. When I found out they were going to build a new school, I thought well, that’s progress etc etc Schools now need wifi and actual heating!! But I never thought they would knock Holly Lodge House down. The other houses have been saved to be turned into apartments, but the original building was not thought of value to even be listed. Apparently all its historical references have gone. The grand wooden staircase, the stained glass window (moved to the new school when it was built), the library, the tower … yes we had a tower, the source of many ghost stories. The rumour was, an original Holly Lodge girl had hanged herself up there, and if you were brave enough to go up and close the door behind you, she would appear! All gone.

So the land was sold off and despite peoples best efforts, history and character have been sacrificed for ugly new houses. Below are a few pics of it being demolished all taken by myself, the postcard was found on the internet, I could not find a name to give credit to, but it’s lovely. R.I.P. Holly Lodge House. 20160124_103745


Through the archway to the main entrance.


The tower, nearly gone.


How it was.


Women in Horror Month 7



As part of ‘Women in Horror Month‘, Sirens Call Publications have released their 25th ezine ‘Things That Go Bump In The Night‘  in its honour! My short story, Bats in the Attic & Rats in the Walls is in it along with many other short stories, flash fiction, poetry, photography and an interview with Karen Soutar. There is also a collaborative interview, involving all the authors in there.

Download it here:

And it’s FREE  you lucky people! Tell all your friends!



Shirley Jackson


I went to a talk last night at the Liverpool Playhouse, way up in the studio at the top of the theatre, which was lovely. It was a discussion about ‘Quiet Terror’ between Jeremy Dyson, writer of a favourite of mine, ‘The Haunted Book’ and much more, (Yes!The League of Gentlemen, but he must get sick of fans like myself mentioning the radio/TV series.) and local horror/science fiction/fantasy writer Ramsey Campbell.

There is a theatre production of ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ in production at the Playhouse until the 16th January, so the talk was in conjunction with that. Each spoke about how she had inspired them, when they had seen the film of ‘The Haunting’ (the good one, not ‘the other one’)  which for most people is how they come to appreciate Shirley Jackson, and how she had influenced horror since. I did feel a hackle rise when she was described as ‘delicate horror’! Don’t think ‘The Lottery’ can be described as ‘delicate’ can you ? But the phrase was quickly  and thankfully reversed to ‘Quiet Terror’.

There were readings by both authors, and the Q&A at the end which I always look forward to. Those few seconds of silence before a hand is raised really can be a ‘quiet terror’ for an author. They were asked if they had ever put themselves in any danger to write, supernaturally or otherwise; a cracking question. Ramsey Campbell explained about the house he lives in being haunted (‘scares off the burglars’) and it helping with his stories. Jeremy Dyson spoke more about ‘dangerous situations’ he had been in influencing him, which chimed with me. Real life is much more scary I think!!

Also, a member of the audience mentioned ‘The Loney’ by Andrew Michael Hurley, with its ‘Quiet Terror’, winning debut novel of the year at the Costa Book Awards recently, which made me very happy indeed, being a fan.


The time went quickly, the conversation came to an end. I bought myself another copy of ‘The Haunted Book’ (This won’t be getting borrowed by a friend and never seen again!!)  and had it signed by the author. A good evening had, but any would be discussing Shirley Jackson.