Monday, 21 September 2015

Getting Out and About

One of two sentinel statues at the entrance of the walled garden at Bowood House, Calne, Wilts.

It was here that Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen. Capability Brown landscaped the parkland and there is a magnificent arboretum of global heritage. Napoleon's death mask lies in a glass case with other equally intriguing artifacts including a fancy-dress costume worn by non other than Lord Byron. Extraordinary.

Layers of history, story upon story, connections, collections and view points. 

A postcard through the letter-box... a snatch of conversation overheard... the particular choice of adjective... finding a discarded button... 

What is the story behind this beautiful statue?

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Publication Day

Published. Fancy that. I could buy my book. Friends and family could buy my book. Acquaintances, colleagues, strangers - you could buy my book. We could buy it in pounds or dollars; for the first month, in pennies and cents - a special promotion, don't you know. We could read it as an ebook or print-on-demand. 

Stuck in an airport in view of the departure board... at the hairdressers, you know, the long drawn-out tinfoil Medusa stage... in the queue, on your Kindle, in case of flu or insurance against long winter evenings. Imagine the ways, the context and settings. 

Before I get too fanciful, I'll remember my manners. Thank you to the publishing team at Rogue Phoenix Press where you can have a browse, read an excerpt from May, and buy the book:

Thanks to my coach, family and friends, I value your support, comments and worldly wisdom in this and all matters.

Amazon are also selling the book. Search for May by Alicia Stone:

Monday, 7 September 2015


This was the fun part of the process; as the author I could make suggestions for a visual wraparound of my words. Imagine. The equivalent of giving caterers suggestions for a buffet spread or choosing the fabric, design and finish for that special occasion dress.

Empathetic, inclusive and collaborative, Ms. G, the cover designer asked the right questions and crafted this dreamy, almost bridal concoction. 

The result is reminiscent of the opening credits of the eighties TV version of Pride and Prejudice - yes, the one with Colin Firth. The milk jug and tea cup are inviting and homely - an appeal to the reader to put the kettle on, pick up the book and settle back in front of the fire or curl up in a hammock. 

Soft colours and the romantic flowing font are in contrast with the fresh green of the young may leaves. Stark bare branches of a winter tree and the ancient cottage in the background, hint at the possibility of a bleaker narrative and the timeless universal tradition of storytelling. 

I can't invite you to tea, but feel free to comment here and do have a look at Ms.G's website:

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Oscar Wilde


“I'm exhausted. I spent all morning putting in a comma and all afternoon taking it out”

― Oscar Wilde

What a process! Subordinating clauses DO, co-ordinating clauses DON'T.
Relative clauses CAN, or maybe NOT. Restrictive relative clauses (otherwise known as defining relative clauses) DON'T take a comma, whereas Non-restrictive clauses (non-defining relative clauses) DO.
Then  there is the British/American thing. I'm a British author writing for an American publisher. The best I can hope for is that the reader, of whatever nationality, is not a pedant.