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  • Sharing the journey

    28th May 2020 by

    It’s eight years since I started writing ‘Lily’s War’. It was a reaction to a couple of things-firstly, to try to rediscover my mum after she died at the age of 90. Anyone with an elderly relative will understand that in the last few years of life, you can lose sight of the younger person… Read more

  • Groundhog Day

    27th Apr 2020 by

    Welcome to Monday. Hang on, is it Monday? Is it still April? Are we still in this grim parallel universe? I feel like asking in a mystical, deep voice: “Is there anyone there?” I remember at University doing philosophy as part of my English course and the theory of solipsism ( had to look it… Read more

  • So it’s official!

    17th Aug 2019 by

    I am a published author! Well, it’s on e books at the moment, the paperback version is coming out on 23rd Jan. The publishers emphasised this was a soft launch so I didn’t really get too excited but then everyone around me started to make a fuss and I suddenly thought: “No, this is a… Read more

  • Want to know Marion’s backstory?

    11th Jun 2020 by

    You remember Marion, the stuck-up one in ‘Lily’s War’? Well, I was commissioned to write a short story for Woman’s Weekly last month and I thought Marion had had a bit of a bad press so I wanted to give her a back story that might make you find her a little more appealing. I’m… Read more

  • Talk and Q and A

    5th May 2020 by

    Right, I’m confident you’re bored with Lockdown, you’ve watched all the box sets, you may have even done all the ironing so I thought you might like a change. Tonight ( Tues 5th May 7pm) I am doing a talk and Q and A on my book ‘Lily’s War’ and the good news is, you… Read more

  • Has it really only been five days?

    27th Mar 2020 by

    Why does last week seem like another era from a different universe? I think we all feel we’ve gone through a time warp and, just to let you know, Captain Kirk, I’d like to go back now. Now, is that strictly true? I’m guiltily aware that we are very lucky to live where we are… Read more

  • Keep calm and carry on

    12th Mar 2020 by

    We’re all doomed! Apparently. Oh help, so what do we do? We’re supposed to be going on holiday at the weekend to Cyprus and although I’m packing, I’m not sure we should be going and the Whatsapps are coming in thick and fast from our daughters as to why their very elderly parents shouldn’t be… Read more

  • Now what?

    13th Feb 2020 by

    I sent off what I hope are the final re-writes of novel #2, Bobby’s War yesterday, so what do I do now? Novel #1 is published but for the past seven years, I’ve always had that ‘homework’ sword of Damocles hanging over me. Now, there’s just a blank screen. I feel bereft! It was such… Read more

  • Happy New Year to all my readers!

    7th Jan 2020 by

    Oh, I can’t tell you how I’ve always longed to say that and this year, I think I can finally say it. Apparently, the e book of ‘Lily’s War’ has been selling really well and I’ve certainly been thrilled by the reviews so I can honestly say, yes, I have some readers! It was the… Read more

  • My name is Shirley and I am a social media addict

    25th Nov 2019 by

    OK, I’m exhausted! I deleted my life-long career website last week and finally accepted I am a proper, ahem, author and since then, every superior comment I’ve made about people spending far too long on their phones has come back to bite me! I’m now so ‘down with the kids’- and news-obsessed husbands- constantly scrolling… Read more

  • Impostor syndrome

    22nd Nov 2019 by

    That’s it, then, I’ve left my old life behind and I’m being let loose on a new one. Apparently, I have to stop being in shock at 1.writing a novel 2. getting an agent 3. being published. The quote was ” You have to start owning it, Mum.” ( You knew it was a daughter,… Read more

  • The suspense…oh, the suspense

    29th May 2019 by

    Do you remember that feeling when you’d done your exam and you were waiting for your results? Well, I’ve just sent off book 2, hopefully to be called ‘Bobby’s War’ ( following ‘Lily’s War’ ..see what I did there? Talk about creating your own brand) to my lovely agent and I’m now waiting to see… Read more

  • First gigs!

    1st Apr 2019 by

    So this week, I’m doing two panels in my new official role as an author apparent. I’m not sure I’m ready for this. I mean I don’t get published for another nine months so I feel a bit of a fraud really, but at least I have nine months from now to convince people I’m… Read more

  • A dress for all panels

    31st Mar 2019 by

    So, what have I learned from my first two panel appearances as a soon-to-be-published author? Don’t wear a dress that is straight and above the knee, that’s what. The first panel was at the trendy Pot Kettle Black in Manchester and as soon as I spotted the lofty, steel, boy-band stools, I knew I was… Read more

  • Shirley Mann-published author-apparently

    8th Jul 2018 by

    So, the toe in the water of getting an agent ( the wonderful Kate Barker) very quickly led on the exciting but terrifying offer of a two-book deal from Bonnier Zaffre publishers. The first one, ‘Lily’s War’ will be published in January 2020 and the second one, “Bobby’s War’ will follow a year later. This… Read more

  • A leap towards publishing my first novel?

    17th Jun 2018 by

    So, I’m feeling a little dizzy. I have had some lovely feedback and advice from a publisher and I now have an agent. I can’t tell you how exciting this is. It is as if I’ve been given validation as a writer. When I made that leap from factual, journalistic writing into fiction with a … Read more

  • My secret life. Am I really an author?

    17th May 2018 by

    So, I confess, I’m an author. Well, a sort of unpublished author but I’m determinedly optimistic. I’ve spent four years writing a novel very loosely based on my parents’ war careers. A parallel story of a WAAF and a Desert Rat, to say I created problems for myself, would be an understatement- it took two… Read more

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