Goodreads book giveaway!

We’re holding a book giveaway on goodreads, the winner will receive a copy of the paperback book signed by both Bret and me. 

Ends sunday July 27th!

Good Luck!


A Christmas story for Lucy Lick-Me-Not

Being 'allowed' to watch Christmas films in July feels very indulgent to me. Of course I am only doing this to get into the feel of the winter holidays as I polish the last draft of Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins. Honestly!                                                                                                

The first draft of Lucys Christmas story began in spring 2011, and it was born out of a craving I was having for a cold winter day. I had been in the Los Angeles area for a year and a half and was feeling bored with the seemingly eternal summer I was trapped in, which is a little how Lucy is feeling in the beginning of this wintertime tale. Having grown up with real seasonal changes in England and trying to adjust to minimal temperature changes in Southern California was, and still is hard to get used to.

So instead of grumbling about the lovely sunny weather, I decided to create a cold winter world in my imagination. A seasonal story promptly appeared, and who better to star in it than Lucy Lick-Me-Not?

As I polish this last draft I am happy because it will be a real book soon, but there is a bittersweet feeling too because I think it is my favorite of all the Lucy stories. However, all endings bring new beginnings…

And now I get to do a few more rewrites on Lucys next story and I also get to wait with anticipation for the beautiful wintry pictures Bret is creating right now.

Hes kindly allowed me to share some character concepts as a sneak peek at whats to come in Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins!

Arent they cute?!

For a synopsis of Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins, visit our News page over at

More soon,


Dr. Frankenstein and self publishing Lucy Lick-Me-Not

Many years ago in Geneva - I mean Bournemouth - Bret and I worked together in a beautiful old art gallery. That's where we met and he taught me to be a picture framer.

Banished to the cold, gloomy basement, our days were spent cutting and constructing frames and slicing menacing sheets of glass, all to encapsulate various artists' creations.

Some days were bloodier than others... one afternoon remains particularly vivid in my memory when I sliced through to the bone of my thumb with a box cutter. Needless to say there was a lot of blood which almost led to a triple fainting of Bret, myself, and our friend and gallery co-worker Ursula.

There were also many jokes, fun conversations and always lots of music. Not much has changed as we work on Lucys adventures.  The camaraderie from the basement is still present in our work emails, and I'm pleased to report typing is much less catastrophic for my fingers and thumbs.

Creating and self-publishing our first book has felt a little like pretending to be Dr. Frankenstein, but much less monstrous and with a happier ending.

As in picture framing (and monster experimentation) we gather the parts for our creature from separate sources, and then carefully fit and sew them together until we form one unique and more robust creation.

My side of this union is creating the story, collecting feedback, and polishing the rhythm. Then working out which stanzas should stay together on which pages, to see how much room there is for pictures.

Next we collaborate on the picture list with a goal to show more than is being said in the text. We are very much on the same wavelength which makes it feel easy and fun, and not like work at all.

After that, Bret works his magic and creates the beautiful, expressive and humorous pictures you see in the finished book. And finally he expertly interlaces images and text into one large PDF file.

But we can't do every step ourselves, we must wait for our lightning storm - the printing process - the step that injects life into our collaboration of carefully constructed parts, generating a seemingly living, breathing world for our readers to escape into for however long is desired or needed.

Well, that is our goal anyway.

The finished book:

A picture from the old gallery days of Bret and our friend Jo:

More soon,


My writing cupboard

As I write my first blog post I am sitting in my writing cupboard. It's not really a cupboard, but it is very small and cozy. In the 1920's when our apartment was built it would have been a little dressing room connecting the bedroom to the bathroom; basically a little walkway with two modest built-in closets, and a built-in vanity with drawers and a mirror. 

When we first saw the apartment I knew that was where I would write. It's worked out quite nicely, a little creative space I can close off from the rest of the world. I've filled it with paintings of the ocean, masks, lists of goals to keep me on track, and favorite photos. 

I seem to be unable to have just one project on the go and it's rare that I do. At the moment I am polishing the last draft of the second Lucy Lick-Me-Not story - Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins - which Bret Burkmar is beginning to illustrate. 

I’m also fleshing out a poem about my dog, Murphy, jotting down notes for two other children's stories (more to come on those soon), and attempting to find time in between to finish a feature-length screenplay I started last year (it’s over half way there).

One day it would be lovely have a larger room to write in, perhaps with an armchair and a window to look out of. But in the meantime my writing cupboard seems to be performing more than adequately with almost Tardis-like proportions, as multiple worlds filled with assorted characters, each with their own stories, seem to fit quite nicely within these four small walls.

More soon,


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