Writing is usually a lonely business, but for five pocket novelists, it’s a much less solitary experience since they met online during video meetings three years ago.
Philip Shaw, writing as Philippa Carey; Alan Williams, writing as A.C. Williams; Niddy Reece, writing as Enid Reece; Sandra Mackness, writing as Jill Barry; and Dawn Knox, writing as herself, have notched up fifty-six published pocket novels between them for The People’s Friend and My Weekly.
And collectively, they have seven more pocket novels so far that have been accepted and will be published in the coming year.
The members of the group are widely spread across the country, ranging from Wales in the west to Essex in the east. However they meet online most weeks when their normal lives allow.
However, they’re in frequent contact via Messenger, providing support and encouragement to each other.
Finally their paths crossed…
The five pocket novelists are all members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) and last year, all but one met up in person for the first time at the RNA summer conference in Newport, Shropshire.
Philip, Alan, Niddy and Dawn met face to face, but they missed Sandra, who was in the middle of preparations for a trip to Australia to stay with her family.
One day, they all plan to meet up together – and a trip to Dundee, home of The People’s Friend and My Weekly publisher DC Thomson, has been suggested!
Since then the ‘Pocketeers’, as Alan – the joker of the group – refers to them, have been there to offer ideas and tips, as well as to celebrate any new successes.
So, what is their news?
Philip’s latest The People’s Friend pocket novel, Get Me To The Church On Time, is coming out at the end of March and another will be published in the summer.
Look out for his signature dance! There’s always a dance in each of his books.
He is now working on An Outback Christmas, which characteristically includes an explosion!
Her previously published titles have been set in a variety of locations, such as Malta, the West Midlands, and the Commonwealth Games.
Sandra’s forthcoming pocket novel for My Weekly follows the fortunes of a young indigenous couple during the American Civil War.
She’s also working on her next pocket novel aimed at The People’s Friend, having had her synopsis approved.
This one takes place in England in 1980, and is a romance with a royal flavour to it.
The story is set in the 18th Century, in the Foundling Hospital, London and the penal colony in Sydney, New South Wales.
She’s currently working on another historical story set in the East End of London and Essex in 1943.
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