I live in Essex in the UK with my son and two cats, Puzzle and Bud. Like so many people I've always written and had lots of ideas for stories but never thought I would ever be published. In January 2011 I helped to set up a writing group (Writebulb) and found out about Smashwords from one of our guest speakers, Penelope Fletcher. I remember being totally blown away by the fact it was possible to self-publish and a couple of weeks later finished a book that I started some years ago.
I've now published 3 books and two short stories in the Burly & Grum Tales one one story, 'Unlucky Dip' for young adults. One of the books in the Burly & Grum series 'The Secret City' is now a finalist in the People's Book Prize Awards so keep your fingers crossed! I will continue to write and self-publish - it's been hard work, but I've learnt a lot and met some wonderful people along the way and I have a great sense of achievement. If anyone loves to write and is hesitating about self-publishing I would definitely say give it a go!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was in the Air Force so I travelled quite a bit when I was young. Looking back, moving so much gave me a sense of the sheer variety of life; I met new people from different backgrounds, adapted to different learning styles as I moved from school to school and I really enjoyed the new challenges. I'm sure it's influenced my writing as I learned to observe before plunging into the deep end with people and still to this day I love people-watching and learning about the stories behind the person.
When did you first start writing?
I started to keep a diary when I was about 8 and although I loved writing even at that age, I know the diary gave me the confidence to say what I was thinking and feeling. As I became older I was lucky enough to work in news and current affairs on BBC Radio 4 and then The Economist newspaper and I learned to write concisely and to edit heavily only bringing out the salient points. I still edit heavily and I have to keep reminding myself I no longer work in news!
By Kate Tenbeth
Published: April 1, 2013.
There are always high stakes to play for in the world of gambling, but it’s a world 15 year-old Holly Maddon knows nothing about until her step-mother tries to kill her. The race is on as she tries to discover what her step-mother is up to and whether her father was murdered.
Burlington bear, Grum the groblin and Titan the tiger are relaxing playing Twister on a warm summer's day when Professor Simon Clutterbug ventures into the Great Forest. The Professor is trying to help tigers but Titan doesn't trust him. When wee Morag, a young porcupine, becomes ill they all try to help her - but will they succeed and will the Professor earn Titan's trust?
Burlington Bear (Burly to his friends) and Grum the Groblin go trick or treating for the very first time. Not only do they collect lots of candy they make friends with a fairy and come across a chilled out creature of the night!
It's Burly's birthday and he's decided he'd like to have a lazy day on the beach with his friend Grum the groblin. Little does he know however, that a bank robber is also there trying to hide some gold coins he's stolen. Throw in a detective and his daughter Tara, a crab with attitude and the Toolkit Gang and poor Burly has more than his fair share of surprises!
Burlington Bear, Grum the groblin and Max (the human) are best friends. Burly and Grum show Max a Secret City in the the middle of the forest but hunters are tracking them down. They knock out Burly, capture Max and want to turn the Secret City into a tourist attraction. Throw in some big cats, Grum's mother and brothers, Mike the Angel, a deer and a few ducks and the day becomes very exciting!
Grum the groblin has been thrown out of his home by his two brothers and has to prove he is brave or he won't be allowed back. As all groblins think that humans only exist in scary stories, Grum decides the best way to prove he is worthy is to go and find one and bring it back home. He meets Burly, a mellow kind of bear, who takes him under his paw and together they go to town!
This book is lovely, nicely written and the different animal characters were delivered well. It has an old fashioned feel about it, but far from that being a negative comment I mean that in a very positive way! I loved it, my neighbour's son (who is 6) had it read to him at bed time and he loved it and you can't ask for much more than that! Well done Edwin.
I really did enjoy this story. I started reading it whilst waiting at a train station for a friend to appear. She missed her train and when she finally appeared two hours later I was quite put out because I had to put the book down! There are so many vampire stories out there at the moment but his one is in a class of its own - the characters are engaging (especially Amber and Cass) the plot is well paced with a strong story line, it's amusing and all in all a great read - go and buy it!
This short story was not only macabre, but it made me feel really uncomfortable because it confronted how 'normal' people can change when they get together as a group and make their minds up about something. It delivered as a suspense thriller and I found myself reading faster to find out what the end result would be (even though a great part of me didn't want to! The main character is well developed and sufficiently flawed to make you wonder whether he is going to be the root of the problem - but I can't tell you too much or I'll spoil it! The story is well worth reading, and certainly kept me occupied on the train journey into work!
I read Ziggy on the commute into work and trust me, you need something quirky and fun when you're squished on a train and can't find a seat! I really loved this story. It was well written, well edited, observant and made me smile a lot (it made me smile because although my son doesn't move as fast as Ziggy, he usually leaves a trail of chaos in his wake that he's blissfully unaware of!). It's full of twists and turns that keeps you enthralled and I would definitely recommend this story!