Monday, 18 September 2017
Monday, 11 September 2017
Monday, 4 September 2017
Reader's Review of Sophie's Quest: "I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and all the carefully researched details regarding their quest. This book would be a great read for children and also an excellent read-a-loud book. I highly recommend it."
Reader's review of Rooster Street: "I started this novel on new year's day and was so glad to have read such a great book to mark the start of a new year. The story of Althea's brave bid for freedom seemed just right for emphasizing new starts. The modern story, of Jennifer who while investigating Althea's past begins to make some important discoveries about her own life, is also very well developed. I can whole-heartedly recommend this book. "
Sunday, 27 August 2017
The point with a blog is that it doesn't have to be about the author's books; in fact, it is better to avoid constant reference to them. A blog is a great way for readers to get to know something about the author's life, opinions, activities and interests. Of course, blog posts about writing with tips and ideas are always well received, but in principle, an author's blog is best used for the readers to learn about the author as a person.
Several of our authors are active, regular bloggers and their followers love to read their posts and give comments. While Twitter and Facebook are not designed for lengthy posts and articles, a blog is where authors can expand on a theme, reveal ideas and present themselves to their readers in a more in-depth way than they can on the other social media platforms.
Themed blogs are often popular too. Bloggers who focus on a specific aspect of their lives will often attract loyal followers and readers who enjoy the topic or approach. For example, some bloggers concentrate on writing humorous posts about their daily lives; others will write about art or music or faith; still others might focus on health, life as a senior citizen, or parenthood. Our author, Tonia Parronchi usually writes about her family's life in an Italian village; Michelle Heatley gives readers a taste of living in Devon within a fishing community; Stephanie Parker McKean's posts are rooted in her faith but usually have amusing analogies to her life in Scotland and Sonja Anderson mixes posts on her faith with others about her writing and her books. Lastly Val Poore writes about travelling on her barge as well as her life in a Rotterdam harbour. The point is that each author has become known for writing blog posts on certain themes and this can encourage a loyal readership of followers who are then more likely to read their books.
Blogs can also be promoted easily on other social media sites. Links on Twitter and Facebook can result in hundreds, if not thousands, of views. Google + is also a worthwhile site on which to post blog links and the value of having posts shared through the various social media networks such as Tumblr, Instagram and Reddit means that although not everyone will comment, there is a strong chance that an author's readership will grow as a result.
Blogging is therefore a hugely worthwhile addition to an author's marketing arsenal, and not only that, it is a great creative outlet for those writers who value the self-discipline of having a weekly or monthly blog to produce.
For those interested in our authors' blogs, see the list in the sidebar at the top right-hand side of this page. We know that all of them would love to receive your comments!
Monday, 21 August 2017
Monday, 14 August 2017
Monday, 7 August 2017
|Debbie Roome's New Zealand|
Another of our writers who has transplanted herself to a new continent is Stephanie Parker McKean. Of Texan origin, she travelled from her home of searing heat and magnificent arid landscapes to live in the north of Scotland with her Scottish minister husband. Her entertaining and funny murder mysteries, Bridge to Nowhere and Bridge Beyond betrayal have such a strong sense of place, the reader can tread the dusty roads and feel the burning heat of the Texan landscape. Stephanie has a special attachment for rocks as a result: "I love rocks and am endlessly fascinated by them" she says and she finds great solace in building structures and walls from natural stone.
|Stephanie Parker McKean, a Texan transplanted to Scotland|
|Tonia Parronchi with her husband on their sailing boat|
|Suzanne Cordatos in Greece|
|Janet Purcell's Cape Cod|
To enjoy a taste of our authors' experiences and the countries they love, visit our website at www.sunpenny.com and see our books for some wonderful novels and memoirs set in glorious and exotic destinations.
Monday, 31 July 2017
"There will be many who don't know and might be wondering how I have come to be living on an old Dutch barge in Rotterdam at a somewhat advanced stage in my life. Well, I suppose I wasn't so 'senior' when it all started, but I was definitely on the wrong side of forty five, so it wasn't exactly a youthful sense of adventure that drove me to this wonderful floating life.
I first left my home in South Africa at the end of 1998 to follow my husband to the Netherlands. He was working for a film company in Amsterdam at the time but was living in Rotterdam. He'd been gone for a year and decided he didn't want to go back to SA, so being ready for a new adventure myself, I agreed to shut up shop, leave my job and have a go at life in Europe again. No thoughts of boats and barges ever entered my head. I'd been living so long with SA drought and water restrictions the only boats I knew were the canoes on the puddle-that-used-to-be-a-lake in the park. But then when I arrived in Holland, I discovered this whole new world of life on the water. I was like a child in my own wonderland.
|The hold of the Hoop with Sindy as a puppy|
In any event, we bought an old barge that needed renovating some time that year - I forget exactly when. By that time, we'd got to know some people in the Oude Haven, a harbour designated for restoring historic barges and we managed to find a place there. However, this all took some time, a great deal of stress and more money than we'd ever imagined. The strain took its toll and to cut a long story discreetly short, we as a couple didn't survive.
Rescue for me came with an invitation to go back to South Africa to work at my old company. So in the course of 2000, I found myself back in Johannesburg. I loved being in my old home town again, and I was lucky enough to travel all over the country too, but as time went on I knew I had to make a decision about life. I had nothing of my own in SA anymore; I was staying with friends; and the end of my contract was looming.
|The Hoop as she is now. Still in Rotterdam, but|
a different harbour
At the beginning of 2001, I headed back to Holland. This was, I thought, my chance to make something new for myself and of myself. I'd also found myself missing the boats and the barges, so I had a plan. It was to work, save money, buy my own boat and go to France.
A Godsend had come in the offer of a barge to rent. My dear friend, Philip, who saved my day rather often in those early years, had one I could rent. It wasn't very luxurious, he said, but it would be a roof when I had none. It was also a floating home. Since I hadn't had much chance to get a feel for life on the water before I hotfooted it back to South Africa, I wouldn't have cared if it had nothing of life's luxuries at all. As it happened, it didn't, and that's where the story of Watery Ways begins.
|The wheelhouse of the Hoop - where the toilet remained|
throughout my residence
The lovely Hoop on which I lived for a year and a half had no running water, no electricity, and no toilet when I moved on board. The electricity was my first challenge, the water came later, and the toilet remained where I found it for the duration of my occupancy - upside down on the seat in the wheelhouse. But that was all part of the charm.
And I never did get to live in France - although I haven't given up that dream yet...
Thank you so much, Val. You don't do things the easy way do you? If you'd like to read more about that first year of Val's watery adventure, my book is on Amazon.com.
Monday, 24 July 2017
In "The Melting of Miss Angelina Snow" I have tried to keep his personality just as it was; grumpy, sarcastic, caustic, super-intelligent but also kind and very, very funny. I am giving him the life that he should have had, letting him recover his health, retire and move to a new country and eventually fall in love with his extremely daunting estate agent.
Thank you, Tonia. What a lovely tribute to your friend! For anyone interested in Tonia's books, you can visit her author page on Amazon, which is where you will also find her Sunpenny publication, A Whisper on the Mediterranean
Monday, 17 July 2017