Saturday 15 March 2014


Hercules killing the hundred headed HydraI have been absent from this blog, and from Trifolium Books, for far too long. Family affairs, my own writing, and my involvement with two local Wigton organisations: the Fountain Gallery and the John Peel Theatre, have consumed nearly all my time for the last five months.

I sometimes have the feeling that emails and paperwork are a sort of hundred headed Hydra monster- deal with one and another hundred spring up in its place. Flag another email and it simply pushes the other important emails down the list! I was well on my way with this post yesterday when just such an ugly head popped up. I chopped away with a will, and finally I am back here!

The first book of the Northern Kingdoms Trilogy is back in my sights and from today, I aim to proof-read at least 10 pages a day until it is done. The cover is nearly ready, and I am about to draw the name of the person who gets the prize of the first copy off the press. (Reminder of what that was all about here)

Monday 9 September 2013


I haven't written a blog post for ages- but I have been writing! Rehearsals are underway for a new play specially commissioned by Wigton Theatre Club to celebrate 60 years of uninterrupted productions. I was very excited when they asked me to write a comedy to celebrate this!

Last year I headed up a team of writers  to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the town's Market Charter. I wrote about it here,  as I had a lot of enquiries about the team writing process. This year's team is smaller- just three of us from North Cumbria Scriptwriters; and we have honed our team-working skills to the point where I feel I can pass on some tips- hence the title of this post. However, you will have to wait for a week or so, as, having co-written the play, I now have to direct it!

For those of my readers who are far away from this beautiful north west corner of England, Wigton is a small, lively town in the centre of the Solway Plain, just north of the Lake District and south of the Anglo Scottish border. I am privileged to live in what my Canadian cousin calls The North Country Far.
PS Who was Jeremiah?

Saturday 6 July 2013



I have just found this great- and fairly recent- review of Bride of the Spear on Library Thing. I'd like to be able to comment on it but can't find how to do it- help anyone?

This gripping tale, the first novel of a trilogy, is realistic historical fiction, obviously based on sound scholarly research. That is the finest kind. The setting is the north of England 180 years after Arthur. The Angles are invading from the south, and the Picts from the northwest. A prince learns to be a true man and a true king, and a princess learns to survive and to forgive, as well as to be a great healer. It is a convincing personal story set, accurately and believeably, in a fascinating place and time. You can go and visit the places in person; you can visit the time by means of this novel.

Yes, the title is lurid, and the cover art is both lurid and non representative of any scene in the story, but then, those were lurid times. It's tough work building civilization.                                           

I'd love to reassure jzdro - who has impeccable taste in literature- that the new edition will not have a lurid cover, but I can't do anything about the title, as this is the one by which the book is known, despite it not being the title the author originally chose. A great deal more about how the story evolved, as well as plenty of extra historical notes will be added to the text of the new version.

Bride of the Spear by Kathleen Herbert

Monday 1 July 2013



From this ....

..... and this

To this:

To be entered into the draw to win one of the first copies of the new edition, leave a comment on this cover below. The photograph, by Ian Carroll, is meant to capture the atmosphere of the following passage:

He looked up and saw a figure in a grey gown, gold hair streaming across its shoulders, watching him with wide grey eyes. It was as if sunlight, clear stream and grey stone had shaped themselves into a girl. He had the wild thought that the Goddess herself, the Lady of the hill circles and the holy springs, had risen from the stream to his aid.

Previous reader comments have already affected the design, but it will not be fixed for another week or two, so you have a chance to make your influence felt. This is of course, just my rough idea- proportions of back, front and spine will be decided by the number of pages, and graphic designer Kate will work on exact positioning, style and colour of text.

I have decided to reduce the price of the following three e-books too on Amazon for a limited period only: you can now buy them for around a pound, or under two dollars. That's cheaper than a cup of coffee! Hurry before I change my mind!

The Boy with Two Heads                   Paths of Exile                             Moon in Leo 

If you go to our website, and buy your copy from the links on each author page, we get a tiny proportion of your payment! The more we get, the more we can pay our authors!

Monday 24 June 2013


To celebrate the imminent re-publication of The Northern Kingdoms, we will be reducing the price of all our ebooks for a limited period. Watch this space! I have set the prices of Moon in Leo, Paths of Exile and The Boy with Two Heads to go down to under two dollars- about a pound in the UK. I will post links on here as soon as the price change comes into effect- so keep an eye out, then be quick as it will not be for long!

Saturday 22 June 2013


And to have a chance of winning one of the first copies!
Designer Kate (also my daughter) is due to come and stay with us for a nice long visit bringing our new granddaughter for her first visit to the North Country Far. She will be doing all the design work on Bride of the Spear cover in exchange for some baby sitting!
Thank you to all who have commented so far: you have shown us that we are on the right track, but criticisms and suggestions have been noted too- especially about readability of the text. Here is the cover- front and back, in its newest incarnation (I can't desist from tinkering) - with cooler colours for the text- suggested by an earlier commentator!

Sunday 26 May 2013


The final images- the moon pendant, Princess Taniu with her golden hair, and a warmer autumnal tinge to the landscape. Many thanks to photographer Ian for amazing work!

The lettering is a very crude attempt by me- ultimately it will be left to designer Kate to work on the layout, typography and manipulation of all the elements.

However- you still have a chance to win one of the very first copies of the new edition of Bride of the Spear- by leaving a comment on this blog, or on Trifolium Books' or Kathleen Herbert's Facebook page.

I'd be particularly interested to hear what potential readers have to say about the moon pendant, since I made it many years ago for Kathleen- to celebrate the original publication of the trilogy.