Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview Battle of Britain Broadcaster: Charles Gardner, Radio Pioneer and WWII Pilot by Robert Gardner (@penswordbooks) For radio, aircraft and WWII enthusiasts

Hi all:

I bring you a book that appealed to me for a variety of reasons. I hope you find it interesting as well.

Battle of Britain Broadcaster. Charles Gardner Radio Pioneer and WWII Pilot by Robert Gardner

Battle of Britain Broadcaster: Charles Gardner, Radio Pioneer and WWII Pilot by Robert Gardner

In 1936 Charles Gardner joined the BBC as a sub-editor in its news department. Shortly afterwards, he was joined by Richard Dimbleby and together they became the very first BBC news correspondents. They covered everything from shipwrecks to fires, floods to air raid precautions and, in Garner’s’ case, new aircraft. Their exploits became legendary and they laid down the first principles of news broadcasting – of integrity and impartiality – still followed today. With the outbreak of war Charles Gardner became one of the first BBC war correspondents and was posted to France to cover the RAF’s AASF (Advanced Air Strike Force). He made numerous broadcasts interviewing many fighter pilots after engagements with the Germans and recalling stories of raids, bomb attacks and eventually the Blitzkrieg when they all were evacuated from France. When he got home he wrote a book AASF which was one of the first books on the Second World War to be published. In late 1940 he was commissioned in the RAF as a pilot and flew Catalina flying boats of Coastal Command. After support missions over the Atlantic protecting supply convoys from America, his squadron was deployed to Ceylon which was under threat from the Japanese navy. Gardner was at the controls when he was the first to sight the Japanese fleet and report back its position. Gardner was later recruited by Lord Mountbatten, to help report the exploits of the British 14th Army in Burma. He both broadcast and filed countless reports of their astonishing bravery in beating the Japanese in jungle conditions and monsoon weather. After the war, Gardner became the BBC air correspondent from 1946-1953. As such, he became known as The Voice of the Air,’ witnessing and recording the greatest days in British aviation history. But Perhaps he will best be remembered for his 1940 eye-witness account of an air battle over the English Channel when German dive bombers unsuccessfully attacked a British convoy but were driven off by RAF fighters. At the time it caused a national controversy. Some complained about his commentary being like a football match,’ and not an air battle where men’s lives were at stake. That broadcast is still played frequently today.

Robert Gardner MBE

About the author:

Robert Gardner, Charles Gardner’s son, worked as a journalist for four years before moving into public relations with the British Aircraft Corporation becoming Head of Publicity and later Vice President of British Aerospace and BAE Systems. He is the author of From Bouncing Bombs to Concorde – The Authorised Biography of Sir George Edwards. Robert Gardner, who is now retired, was appointed MBE in 2001.

My review:

I thank Rosie Croft from Pen & Sword for providing me a hardback review copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

What initially intrigued me about this book was the mention of Charles Gardner’s career as a broadcaster for the BBC. I am a fan of radio and as a volunteer at local radio stations for the last few years (first on Penistone FM, in the UK, and now on Sants 3 Ràdio, here in Barcelona), I wanted to read about an important pioneer’s experiences. When I read more about Gardner and his career, both with the BBC and also as a pilot and collaborator with the British Aircraft Corporation, I wanted to know more.

This is a book, written by the son of the protagonist, and as such, it has the virtue of including plenty of personal details and memories that are not easily available anywhere else. Charles Gardner wrote and published books about WWII and about aviation and aircraft, and we have access to many of his broadcasts and articles —and there are excerpts of those in the book as well— but the author has had privileged access to materials such as notebooks, letters, and also, of course, to stories he heard first-hand and lived, and that makes this a much rarer opportunity for those interested in the story of this pioneer, a man who loved the news, journalism, and also planes and flying, to the point that he decided to learn to fly and that would influence his later career in the BBC and also his time in WWII.

This book highlights some events, like Gardner’s life broadcasting of an air-battle between British and German planes in 1940 (a first, and somewhat controversial broadcasting), his friendships (Richard Dimbleby, New Zealand pilot ‘Cobber’ Kain, with Sir George Edwards, his connection to Lord Mountbatten…), his time broadcasting in France and following the RAF before enlisting as a pilot and being involved in actions in Europe and later in East Asia (Ceylon and Burma)…  There is also content about his return to the BBC after the war and a chapter about a royal secret and Gardner’s involvement in it (and yes, it concerns Elizabeth, a princess then, and Philip, her future husband. Yes, romance is involved as well). I loved the details about the beginning of Gardner’s journalistic career at the Nuneaton Tribune and the Leicester Mercury and also the account of the first years with the BBC, that reminded me very much of what is like to report on local news: you might be covering an anniversary even today, the opening of a new facility tomorrow, and interviewing some local celebrity the next day. The difficulties he and Richard Dimbleby had trying to broadcast from France and getting access to a broadcasting vehicle highlights how different things were (we were not all connected then), and I loved the inclusion of snippets of how the family was experiencing the same events (his wife and his growing number of children moved a number of times to follow him during the war, and those stories make for great reading material in their own right).

The book also includes many black and white photos of Gardner, his family, the locations… There is an index and detailed notes and resources for each chapter.

This is a great read and a book I recommend to people interested in Charles Gardner, in the history of the radio, news reporting, BBC and media in the UK, in WWII history, particularly the RAF, and in British aviation in general. 

You might want to check this article by the author where he talks about his father and about this book.

Thanks to Pen & Sword and to the author for this opportunity, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and especially, keep safe and keep smiling (even under the mask). ♥




Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books by John Wade (@penswordbooks) #sci-fi

Hi all:

I’m sharing a review for another of Pen & Sword’s books today, one that I think will delight many of you.

The Golden Age of Science Fiction. A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books by John Wade
The Golden Age of Science Fiction. A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books by John Wade

The Golden Age of Science Fiction: A Journey into Space with 1950s Radio, TV, Films, Comics and Books by John Wade. Wonderful illustrations, gloriously nostalgic and charming.

John Wade grew up in the 1950s, a decade that has since been dubbed the ‘golden age of science fiction’. It was a wonderful decade for science fiction, but not so great for young fans. With early television broadcasts being advertised for the first time as ‘unsuitable for children’ and the inescapable barrier of the ‘X’ certificate in the cinema barring anyone under the age of sixteen, the author had only the radio to fall back on – and that turned out to be more fertile for the budding SF fan than might otherwise have been thought. Which is probably why, as he grew older, rediscovering those old TV broadcasts and films that had been out of bounds when he was a kid took on a lure that soon became an obsession. For him, the super-accuracy and amazing technical quality of today’s science fiction films pale into insignificance beside the radio, early TV and B-picture films about people who built rockets in their back gardens and flew them to lost planets, or tales of aliens who wanted to take over, if not our entire world, then at least our bodies. This book is a personal account of John Wade’s fascination with the genre across all the entertainment media in which it appeared – the sort of stuff he revelled in as a young boy – and still enjoys today.

Author John Wade
Author John Wade

About the Author

John Wade is a freelance writer and photographer, with more than forty years’ experience in both fields. He has written, illustrated, edited and contributed to more than thirty books, plus numerous magazine articles, for book and magazine publishers in the UK, US and Australia. His specialities are photographic history and techniques, as well as social history. His most recent books include The Ingenious Victorians (Pen & Sword, 2016), and London Curiosities (Pen & Sword, 2017).

My review:

My thanks to Rosie Croft and to Pen & Sword for sending me a hardback copy of this book, which I freely chose to review, and I recommend to fans of the genre (the illustrations alone are a delight and worth recommending).

This is a book at very personal for the author (Wade explains early on why he chose the 1950s in particular, and although I agree with him, I am sure many might not) and at the same time packed with information that will delight casual readers and also those looking for anecdotes and a quick and easy catalogue of resources about the science-fiction genre in the 1950s. I am not an expert in science-fiction, and although I suspect that those who are might not find anything truly new here, there are nuggets of information and also the personal details and anecdotes collected by the author that help bring to life some of the lesser known facts about the individuals who played an important part in making the genre important and popular, especially in the UK in the 1950s.

The book is divided into five chapters that delve into science-fiction in different popular media: radio, television, films, books, and comics and magazines. As I have already mentioned, the book’s focus is on the UK, although it also includes the USA, but I felt the amount of detail included about British radio and TV programmes is one of the strong points of the book. Not having been around in the 1950s and growing up elsewhere, I was fascinated by the information about how the radio programmes came to be (I am a radio fan, and I’m always keen on learning more about it) and also how British television worked in its early years. Imagining trying to broadcast a science-fiction story life in a studio (in black-and-white, of course) makes one’s mind boggle in this era of computer-generated special effects and high-tech, and I loved the anecdotes and the pictures about it. It felt like travelling back in time.

I was more familiar with the information about films (although there are many mentioned I’ve never watched, and I’ll be on the lookout for in the future), and books (Wade chooses to talk in more detail about John Wyndham, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury, with mentions of many other writers as well), but even within those subjects I discovered things I didn’t know and kept writing down the titles of books and stories to try and get hold of. The chapter on comics and magazines talks more about the genre in the USA, the differences with the British scene (and the difficulties some of the magazines had due to the somewhat “lurid” covers, at least to the British taste of the time), and also the crossover from one medium to another (already evident when magazine serials moved onto the radio, or popular radio programmes ended up on the telly).

I’ve mentioned the illustrations, and as you can guess from the cover, these are wonderful. There are pictures, drawings, movie posters, book and magazine covers, comic strips… Although there isn’t a full bibliography (I suspect much of the information comes from the author’s own archives), there is detailed information about most of the illustrations, in case readers want to use them in their own research.

Wade has a conversational and easy writing style, and he is happy to share his own opinions and memories of programmes, books, comics, and his personal experiences with those involved as well, and it can easily and quickly be read from cover to cover, it would also work perfectly well as a book to pick up, look at the illustrations, and read about whatever piques the curiosity, or simply enjoy the imagination of the artists of the era and compare some of the images with later reality.

This is a book that will bring joy to many people, and not only to those who are into science-fiction, but also readers who want to relive their memories of the time, or who have become attached to the programmes or the stories in later years (Quartermass, Dan Dare, The Lost Planet, Superman, The Day of the Triffids, The Eagle and many others). And anybody who might be looking for a source of casual information (writers, for example) will also enjoy this easy-to-read resource.  I am not sure everybody will finish the book convinced that the Fifties were the golden age of science fiction, but I bet anybody reading it will be delighted.

And I leave you with the dedication:

For everyone who understands the true significance of the words ‘Klaatu barada nikto’.

Thanks to Rosie and to the author for the book, thanks to all you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and always keep smiling!

Book review Book reviews Rosie's Book Review Team Rosie's Book Team Review Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog SEAGULLS OVER WESTMINSTER by Richard Wade (@wadecomply). An amusing and fun read about UK local politics. #RBRT

Hi all.

I bring you a review I’ve completed for Rosie’s Book Review Team. I am back in one piece (I think) from my break, and it was fascinating although quite tiring as well. I hope to catch up on some of the reviews in the next couple of weeks, and I have something else planned once I’m organised.

Seagulls over Westminster by Richard Wade
Seagulls over Westminster by Richard Wade

Seagulls Over Westminster by Richard Wade.

A political thriller for our time, but with a strand of gentle humour woven through it, making this intriguing story into an entertaining page turner.

Its 2024. Popular TV chat show host, and former MP, Bradley Deakin is the man wanted by the Opposition Party of the day to lead them back to power, breaking the chain of endless hung parliaments and uninspiring political leaders. They just need to get him elected first.

Meanwhile, in Brighton, retired bank manager Harvey Britten is enjoying life with the three things he loves most – his family, the city of his birth and his beloved football team, Brighton and Hove Albion, (known locally as The Seagulls). His support for the team has led to a regular spot on the local radio breakfast show, which has turned him into something of a minor celebrity.

It proves very difficult to find Bradley a suitable by-election until one unexpectedly occurs in Brighton. But Harvey strongly objects to a big shot candidate like Deakin being parachuted into his city and is reluctantly persuaded by his family and radio listeners to stand against him as a protest candidate. But only in the knowledge that he won’t actually win!

The race is otherwise between Bradley and the Government party candidate, Alistair Buckland, a local Councillor with a big secret. But as the campaign is gradually engulfed in scandal and conspiracy theories, it throws the whole contest wide open. Can a high class call girl with a plan for revenge change the outcome? Just how far did Bradley and his team go to cause the by-election in the first place? Will Harvey’s worst nightmare come true, in that he might actually win? And how bad does it have to get for a candidate before their loyal party supporters will refuse to vote for them?

As each candidate increasingly has to defend themselves against more and more serious accusations, both they and the people they love soon realise that there’s far more at stake for them all than just who will end up winning the election.

Review of ‘SEAGULLS OVER WESTMINSTER by Dr Peter Critten

“At a time of political uncertainty, when politicians of all parties seem to have lost the public’s respect, the publication of this novel is very opportune and welcome. It revolves around the intricate relationships amongst diverse characters matched against each other as candidates in a local By Election in Brighton (which may give you a clue as to the title).

Richard Wade deftly gives us byte sized insights into each one and plays one against another on a stage of which he is in total control. One of the delights of this book is how he enables the reader to get inside the head of each character and admire or dislike each one. He has a knack of building up tension right up till the end, the night of the election. He is able to keep us guessing as to what happens next all the way through.

Nothing can take away the fact that Richard Wade is a born storyteller whose attention to detail makes the fast moving plot all the more credible.”

Author Richard Wade
Author Richard Wade

About the author:

Richard Wade grew up in Yeovil, Somerset, but has lived in London since he was 21. He retired in 2018 at the age of 60 and, having always wanted to write a book, started “Seagulls over Westminster” straight away and published it in February 2019. He now has the writing bug and is working on his next novel.
He lives in Ealing West London with his wife Trish.

My review:

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you are looking for reviews, check here), and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel.

This is a novel set in the near future (2024-5) in the UK, focusing on politics, although I’d say that it is the equivalent of what a cozy mystery represents for the mystery genre. It has a light and humorous undercurrent; it does not go to extremes or deals in the most serious aspects of the topic; it is unlikely to offend most readers, and it does not touch on any of the burning and most controversial UK political issues (Brexit, for example). The author explains his reasons for his choice, and you can make of them what you wish.

There is a mix of characters, some more likeable than others, involved in the political race. In my opinion, Harry is the most likeable of them all, probably because he is honest and sincere, he gets reluctantly involved in politics, and as a retired man, fond of his family and with no evident major character flaws, and it is easy to root for him. Alistair has good and bad points, but I think most readers are bound to feel bad for him, and he does not have the necessary traits to ever become a political success. Bradley is the least likeable, although at some points during the book one might wonder if he is not as bad as he seems (and he is far from some of the totally ruthless individuals we are used to reading about in hard political thrillers). There are some secondary characters that are not on stage long enough for us to get to know them well, but they give more variety to the novel and include some intriguing and even menacing elements. I don’t think an expertise on the UK political situation or institutions is necessary to read this book, although I suspect that the novel will be more enjoyable to people familiar and interested in UK politics.

This is a book of the time, and social media and media in general play a big part in the political process, seriously affecting the public’s perception, with revelations about the candidates being leaked as a way of trying to manipulate the results, secrets being revealed left, right, and centre (politically as well). But, as I said, this is a gentle book and even the revelations and the corruption that is unearthed is pretty mild compared to some recent scandals, and it is unlikely to truly shock or repel people (it is no hard-core political invective or exposé). Although some pretty dark goings-on are hinted at, it is never clear who was truly behind them and if any of the political candidates was truly involved, leaving this element of the story open to readers’ interpretations.

The book feels somewhat old-fashioned, even though it is set in the future, and although there are quite a number of female characters, most of them don’t play a central part in the story (and the one who does, and perhaps the most interesting of the characters, has doubtful motivations that stem from her relationships with a particular man), and either disappear early in the book or are part and parcel of a man’s campaign. Saying that, they come up quite well compared to most of the male protagonists, and they are often the ones pulling the strings from behind the curtains.

The story is entertaining, and having lived in Brighton and being familiar with the area, I particularly liked the local touch and the detailed background into local UK politics. I also liked the emphasis on the role of social media and media in general, Harry and his background in local radio (I love local radio and I also volunteer at a local radio station), and some of the most outrageous suggestions of future changes to politics (like the fact that rather than having names, the parties would become either the GOP or the OP, the Government Party or the Opposition Party, regardless of alliances or ideology, to ensure neutrality). It is also difficult not to read this book and think of possible candidates that would fit right into the roles, and worry that, no matter how humorous, what happens might be uncomfortably close to the truth.

The writing flows easily, creating a good sense of who the characters are, and in some cases making us feel touched and close to their experiences (I did feel pretty sorry for Alistair). The author has a light touch and is skilled at managing a fairly large cast of characters without causing confusion or overwhelming the reader.

An entertaining and gentle book that pokes fun at UK politics, unlikely to offend anybody with a sense of humour. An amusing and fun read for a day when we don’t want to take politics too seriously.

Thanks to Rosie and her team, thanks to the author for his novel, and above all, thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and please, remember to keep reading, reviewing and always smiling!

Book reviews

#Bookreview HOLDING by Graham Norton (@grahnort) Not a genre novel but an interesting story #TuesdayBookBlog

Hi all:

I keep trying to catch up on recent reviews, and here I bring you one that I must confess I was curious about because of the writer.

Holding by Graham Norton
Holding by Graham Norton

Holding by Graham Norton  (Author) 

It’s funny and wonderfully perceptive’ Wendy Holden

‘Poised and perceptive’ the Sunday Times

‘It is beautiful and yet devastatingly sad’ Daily Express

‘A considerable achievement … one of the more authentic debuts I’ve read in recent years … in such an understated manner, eschewing linguistic eccentricity … in favour of genuine characters and tender feeling…this is a fine novel.’ John Boyne, Irish Times

‘Deeply accomplished…brilliantly observed’ Good Housekeeping

‘An undercurrent of black comedy accompanies the ripples that ensue – but with a pathos that makes this deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling.’ Sunday Mirror

‘Strenuously charming…surprisingly tender’ Metro 

‘Heartwarming and observant’ Stylist

Graham Norton’s masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of­ two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former­ love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.
Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.


A Note From the Publisher

HOLDING is not the novel I planned to write, at least, not at first. But following the old adage to write about what you know, Ireland seemed a good place to start, especially rural Ireland. I did have in mind a cast of characters living in and around a small village where their lives would reflect the priorities and concerns – land, marriage, religion – that are so present in that area still.

I found as I wrote more about the characters of Duneen that each of them had in some way become suspended in time – due to grief, due to unhappiness, due to fear of failure – and that they were all holding on to their own secrets.

I am hugely excited that HOLDING is now heading out into the world, and would love to hear what you think. Please do let me know on Twitter@Grahnort using the hashtag #readholding. I will be watching!


See all 6 formats and editions





Not a genre novel but an interesting story

Thanks to Net Galley and to Hodder & Stoughton for offering me a free copy of this novel.

I have several confessions to make. Yes, I know who Graham Norton is, although I don’t watch his television programme often, and I don’t follow Eurovision (even when Sir Terry Wogan hosted the UK version of Eurovision, and I was a big fan of his, I didn’t watch it), although I sometimes catch bits of his radio programme on Radio 2. So, although I suppose I had expectations, they can’t compare to other people’s.

I haven’t read any of his autobiographical books, so I didn’t have anything to compare this novel to, other than the many books I read by other authors.

I must also confess that I had a look at other reviews before writing mine and I will mention them, although not in detail.

This novel is in many ways the Irish equivalent (if there is such a thing) of the small town thrillers that are very common in the US. We have mysteries, we have a dark underbelly (well, not quite so dark), we have secrets, and we have many people whose lives are not as they appear to be. The book is listed under General Fiction and Mystery (Crime, Thriller) but I’m not sure how well it fits in the second one, at least stylistically, not so much from the story point of view.

The story is told in the third person but from the point of view of quite a few of the characters in the novel. If one had to choose a protagonist, perhaps it would be P.J. Collins the large Sergeant who lives alone and always expects people to laugh at him because of his weight. When bones are unearthed at a local building site, suddenly some excitement comes into his life. Because the owner of the farm where the bones are found left to never return many years back, the suspicion is he might be the one buried there, and suddenly two women who had fought over him start thinking about him again. Of course, due to the nature of the crime, police officers from Cork come to take charge and there is general disruption. And of course, things get complicated.

I didn’t find it difficult to follow the different points of view as they tend to be clearly demarcated and the characters are very different, although I thought that in the last chapter before the epilogue the switches were a bit fast and not so well demarcated, and some people might not enjoy the head-hopping.

I’ve noticed that several of the reviews commented that the portrayal of small town Ireland seemed timeless, and it is true that other than mentions of DNA tests, mobile phones and i-Pads, there isn’t much that could not have fitted in any other era (although we assume it’s contemporary). Memories of the past by several of the characters appear more vivid at times than the present era and ring truer.

Although the characters do not appear to be very sophisticated or complex, there is enough background history to create a picture in the minds of the reader, although some might result very familiar to habitual readers (adulterous husband, unhappy married woman who drinks too much, three unmarried sisters still living together, the town’s busybody…). My main problem with the characters was that I never felt I truly connected with any of them and I’m not sure if that is perhaps because all of them seem to be observing themselves rather than living or feeling. They are all lonely, even the ones who are in relationships, and seem frozen (as the writer notes in his comments), unable to move on because of some loss long ago (be it real or imagined). It brought to my mind Carson McCullers’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, not because of the style or setting, but because of the feeling of the characters (although far less dark).

I read in some of the comments that there was humour. Perhaps it was my frame of mind when I read it (although I don’t think it was particularly dark) and some of the characterizations and the events could be funny in their own right, but combined with the characters and their circumstances I would not recommend it as a funny story.

There writing is fairly descriptive and the pace leisurely rather than the frantic pace of thrillers, and for me, there was more showing than telling at some points of the story that also gave it a more contemplative style than is usual in modern mysteries.

The plot was well built and the story and the details are interesting (with some minor surprises although the general gist is not that difficult to guess). It also ends on a more positive note than the rest of the novel anticipates but I won’t comment on it not to spoil the story.

Overall it is an interesting novel, easy to read although it perhaps doesn’t sit easy either as a thriller or a cozy mystery (none of the characters is weird or peculiar enough and the mystery itself is more realistic than in these kinds of stories) and that makes it a bit more challenging to recommend to genre readers.

Thanks to the publishers, the writer and to NetGalley for the novel, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Cooperativa SCOOP Ediciones Proust Entrevistas

#Entrevistasconescritores (@EDICIONESPROUST) Fascinantes y reveladoras Alberto Vázquez Figueroa, Javier Sierra (@Javier__Sierra) y Blanca Miosi (@BlancaMiosi)

Hola a todos:

Como recordaréis la semana pasada compartí mi reseña de la tercera novela en la serie de Ethan Bush de Enrique Laso, y os dejé un enlace a su entrevista en el blog de la Cooperativa International de Autores Independientes, y no me pareció bien no comentaros que iremos subiendo otras entrevistas, y hay varias que os recomiendo.

Alberto Vázquez Figueroa
Alberto Vázquez Figueroa

Alberto Vázquez Figueroa ha sido muy amable y nos ofreció una entrevista telefónica que podéis oír completa, si hacéis clic aquí. Nos habla sobre su carrera, lo que tardó en llegarle el éxito, y nos ofrece su opinión sobre la escritura. Bueno, escuchadlo y ya veréis.

Javier Sierra
Javier Sierra

Javier Sierra nos habla de las nuevas tecnologías, del tiempo que pasa investigando antes de escribir sus novelas, y de la importancia que los blogueros van a llegar a tener recomendando libros e influyendo la opinión de los lectores. Aquí podéis leer la entrevista entera.

Blanca Miosi
Blanca Miosi

Blanca Miosi una gran exponente de los autores que han conseguido un gran éxito como escritores independientes, nos habla de sus experiencias con las editoriales tradicionales, su interés en la novela histórica, sus métodos de investigación, y su programa de radio entre otras muchos cosas.

Aquí podéis acceder a la entrevista con solo hacer clic.

Y no os olvidéis de explorar el resto del contenido y de ir visitando la sección de entrevistas, porque hay muchas y buenas en preparación.

Gracias a Alberto Vázquez Figueroa y a Javier Sierra por su amabilidad, gracias a los compañeros de la Cooperativa por las entrevistas y a todos vosotros por leer, y no os olvidéis de darle al me gusta, comentar, compartir y hacer CLIC!

Promoción de libros

#Feriadelibros en Gales (Llandeillo) Y estoy en la #radio!

Hola a todos:

Os había comentado que iba a una feria de libros en Gales el día treinta de Abril. Quería compartir unas cuantas fotos (malas) con todos. Y deciros que la feria se repetirá por Navidades y el año que viene, por si acaso. Aquí os dejo el post de Christoph Fischer sobre ello.

Lo cierto es que la experiencia fue cansada.

I discovered my banner was the smallest one. Oh well, not good at blowing my own trumpet. Thanks to my friend Lourdes for the design!
Descubrí que mi banner era la más pequeña. ¡No hay que ser modestos! Gracias a mi amiga Lourdes Vidal por el diseño

Lo que más me gustó fue el conocer en vivo y en directo a escritores a los que había conocido en los blogs o a través de sus libros. Os recomiendo, si vais a una, que llevéis refuerzos si podéis, y eso os dará oportunidad de dejar la mesa e ir a hablar con la gente algo más de lo que lo pude hacer yo. También había charlas y lecturas que me perdí.

Me llevé dulce y desde luego sirvieron para atraer a gente, especialmente niños. No diría que ayudaran con las ventas, pero siempre es cuestión de llamar la atención. Y cuando nos íbamos, repartí los que quedaban entre los autores, para el camino, y ayudó a sobrellevar el cansancio.

Id preparados para cualquier eventualidad. Yo que no tomo té ni café descubrí que no tenían ningún tipo de colas, así que eché de menos la cafeína.

Llevad zapatos cómodos, ya que pasaréis de pie todo el tiemp.

Cuidad la voz y tomáoslo con calma. Yo casi me quedo sin voz antes del final (hablo demasiado).

Bueno, os dejo unas fotos:

The cake
El pastel


I was looking forward to catching up with Judith Barrow although we were both very busy!
Judith Barrow a la que tenía muchas ganas de conocer aunque no tuvimos demasiado tiempo para charlar
Christoph Fischer en el escenario anunciando los ganadores del concurso de historias para niños
Christoph Fischer en el escenario anunciando los ganadores del concurso de historias para niños

IMG_1103I loved this bannerIMG_1099IMG_1098

Ah, y tengo noticias. Os explicaré un poco más cuando pueda, pero ya tengo programa de radio fijo (más o menos) en Penistone FM. Es los jueves de una a tres de la tarde (hora UK). Aquí os dejo el enlace para escucharla en vivo en internet. 

¡Estoy en la radio!
¡Estoy en la radio!

Gracias a todos por leer, y si os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC!

book promo

#Bookfair at Llandeilo. Bad photos and some (non-serious) tips. Oh, and I’m on the #radio!

Hi all:

I know I’ve been talking about my first book fair in LLandeilo for a while. As usual, on checking my pictures of the day I’ve discovered they’re rubbish, but hey, I’ll share a few so you can see (or guess) how it was.

The good news is that the fair will carry on. There is one booked for Christmas time and there will be another one next April. Check Christoph Fischer’s post about it for more information, here. Oh!, and check his other posts about it as you’re there. We’ve even made the papers!

I discovered my banner was the smallest one. Oh well, not good at blowing my own trumpet. Thanks to my friend Lourdes for the design!
I discovered my banner was the smallest one. Oh well, not good at blowing my own trumpet. Thanks to my friend Lourdes for the design!

My own reflections about the fair (not sure this is advice or tips, but…)

  1. You might want to take reinforcements with you. It’s always handy to have somebody man (or woman, of course) the fort for you (there are so many people to talk to and books to check! And at LLandeilo there were interesting workshops and talks but I couldn’t go to any of them). Fellow writers kept an eye on the stall, but it’s not the same…
  2. Take supplies of drinks and whatever else you might need. There was catering on site, but I’m not a tea, herbal tea or coffee drinker, and there was no cola to be had there… No caffeine for me! (Of course, if you’ve followed the advice on number one, you can either go and leave the troops covering the stall or send them out for victuals).
  3. I took sweets that seemed to attract people, especially children. Yes, I’d recommend it. I wouldn’t say it helped with the sales, but it got some smiles. Ah, and at the end I shared them with the writers (and the staff working at the hall) when we were putting things away, and after a long day they were very welcome.
  4. Take comfortable shoes. You’ll be standing up most of the time. (The author next to me who was pregnant worried me no end, although she was very enthusiastic).
  5. Pace yourself. I worried that I might have lost my voice before the end of the day (yes, I talk too much). It was a close call (sorry, no luck!)
  6. Put your glasses on when you’re taking pictures!
  7. It’s difficult to find time to network with everything else going on, but it was great to meet the rest of the writers there, Hugh Roberts whom I knew from  blogging and hopefully will meet again at the Blogger’s Bash. I did collect information from everybody (I hope!) as I’m planning on featuring writers and books in my radio show.
  8. Of course have change and chat to people. In my case, as I publish in different genres, I never knew well what to open with (pitching 5 different books is not easy). But I tried.
  9. I took some extra stuff to give away (cupcakes book, notebooks…) I didn’t have much chance to give anything away, but of course, the Cupcake recipe book that I had bought for £1 got much more attention than my own books. (When I tried the local market once, the Christmas decorations I got for the table had more success than me. Perhaps I should sell something else).

A few more photos:

The cake
The cake


I was looking forward to catching up with Judith Barrow although we were both very busy!
I was looking forward to catching up with Judith Barrow although we were both very busy!
Christoph Fischer en el escenario anunciando los ganadores del concurso de historias para niños
Christoph Fischer announcing the winners of the children’s story writing competitions

IMG_1103I loved this bannerIMG_1099IMG_1098



Oh, and I’ve mentioned my Radio programme! Yes, I’ll tell you more about it, but now I have a regular (sort of) programme at Penistone FM, on Thursdays from 1 to 3 pm (UK time). I hope to talk about books and with a bit of luck bring in quotes and information about indie writers (although I don’t have much time to talk). Here is the link to listening online.

I'm on the radio!
I’m on the radio!

Thanks to all for reading, visit Christoph and Hugh’s blogs and don’t forget to like, share, comment, and CLICK!


book promo Muestra de escritura Promoción de libros video

Familia, lujuria y cámaras en Libretería (@piedegato). #videofragmento y post

Hola a todos:

No sé si recordaréis que mencioné una nueva página de Facebook, Libretería, donde autores indies leen fragmentos cortos de sus obras para sus lectores.

El cerebro detrás del proyecto, Pedro Araque, un gran periodista y un profesional de la radio (ahora que me dedico a la radio de forma amateur, todavía les tengo más respeto) se interesó por mi novela corta Familia, lujuria y Cámara.

Por si no recordáis esta obra…

Familia, lujuria y cámaras de Olga Núñez Miret (portada Lourdes Vidal, foto Olga Núñez Miret)
Familia, lujuria y cámaras Portada Lourdes Vidal, foto Olga Núñez Miret

Familia, lujuria y cámaras

¿Os gusta espiar a los demás? ¿Creéis que no se hace daño a nadie con ello?

Pat creía que había dejado atrás su pasado y empezado una nueva vida. Pero uno no se libra del voyerismo, las obsesiones y la familia tan fácilmente. A veces hay que tomar medidas drásticas para sobrevivir el acoso de un hombre, especialmente de un hombre como Herman. Y esta vez Pat está decidida a ganar la partida, sea cual sea el precio que tenga que pagar.

AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO           NOOK            APPLE           SCRIBD        


Aquí está el enlace al post en el blog de Libretería (que os recomiendo que sigáis para estar la día de las obras de fantásticos autores independientes… Vale, no sé qué hago yo allí pero…)

El canal donde están todos los videos en You Tube:

Y podéis ver mi video en la página de Facebook y los de muchos otros autores. Por si acaso, os lo dejo aquí también…

Y si preferís verlo en You Tube, aquí está el enlace.

Muchísimas gracias a Pedro Araque y a Libretería por su interés, gracias a vosotros por leer y escuchar, y si os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC!


@PenistoneFM participa en #PeoplesProject de ITV. Si estáis en Inglaterra, dadle vuestro apoyo

Sí. He estado a cargo de esto. Foto cortesía de Unsplash
Sí. He estado a cargo de esto. Foto cortesía de Unsplash

Hola a todos:

Si lleváis un tiempo siguiendo mi blog recordaréis que hace unos meses escribí un post sobre hacer de voluntaria y os expliqué que había empezado a trabajar en una emisora de radio local (Penistone FM). Por si acaso, y como el post estaba en mi blog de antes, lo he añadido al final de este para que podáis leerlo si os apetece recordarlo o queréis saber cómo me sentía en aquel momento.

Aunque algunas cosas interfirieron con mi formación, Andy Riley, mi mentor, ha sido fabuloso mostrándome cómo funciona todo. También fui varias veces al programa de Jo Ruston los domingos por la noche (‘Country Routes’ de 8 a 10 de la noche, lo recomiendo a todos los fans de la música country), y desde principios de este año empecé algunas sesiones con Steve Dobson, que me ha enseñado en más detalle la parte técnica y también hemos hablado de entrevistas. Es bueno ver los diferentes estilos de los presentadores para intentar crear uno propio en el futuro.

Bajo la supervisión de Andy y con el apoyo del resto del equipo, la última semana de enero y en febrero estuve a cargo del programa de tres horas (los martes de 5 a 8 de la tarde) sola (al menos en las ondas, aunque con mucho soporte técnico). El 16 de febrero fue mi último programa oficial con Andy, ya que le toca empezar a formar a otros voluntarios y hemos quedado en que cuando vuelva a Inglaterra y después de alguna sesión para recordarme cómo funciona todo con Steve Dobson, me pondrán a cargo de mi propio programa. Os pondré al corriente tan pronto como esté todo confirmado, ya que espero que me deis una mano con ideas sobre contenidos, y si entendéis inglés, que me escuchéis también (aunque sea a través de internet).

¿Qué he aprendido? Lo que se disfruta al probar algo nuevo. La cantidad de eventos que tienen lugar en la localidad y que se me habían pasado por alto. El entusiasmo de la comunidad local. La importancia de estar al tanto del tiempo, de ser flexible y siempre tener algo en reserva, y de asegurarse que se llegará a tiempo a las noticias (pase lo que pase). La necesidad de pensar antes de hablar (y/o tener una muy buena excusa preparada). Y la dedicación de todos los que participan. Tengo que agradecerles a todos los miembros del equipo de Penistone FM el que me hayan hecho sentir tan bienvenida.

Como menciono en el post que sigue a este, la emisora la llevan voluntarios, y aunque eso quiere decir que no nos pagan, sigue habiendo gastos por los proyectos que se llevan a cabo y el día a día de mantener la emisora funcionando, que tienen que salir de algún sitio. Los anunciantes son una de las rutas, pero siempre se están explorando opciones para conseguir fondos. Y este año, Penistone FM participa en the People’s Project (El proyecto de la gente) de la cadena televisiva ITV. Aunque solo podréis votar si tenéis dirección en el Reino Unido, decidí compartirlo con vosotros porque es una gran iniciativa y si leéis inglés podéis ver la gran variedad de proyectos que participan.

Este es la introducción oficial de Penistone FM (como yo estoy en España ahora mismo no puedo ver el video, pero si vosotros sí, ya me contaréis. ¡Y no os preocupéis, que yo no salgo!)

Penistone FM y nuestro proyecto “Evolve” es uno de solo cinco grupos en South Yorkshire que han sido seleccionados para competir por el voto público y el dinero de la lotería en el concurso The Peoples Project de ITV. El proyecto Evolve de formación de Penistone FM aspira a hacer la radio comunitaria más accesible a la gente de la localidad y aportar nuevas técnicas de comunicación e intereses a pueblos rurales aislados. Queremos ser capaces de ofrecer las mismas oportunidades a la gente local de adquirir nuevos conocimientos, disfrutar una actividad social divertida y hacer nuevos amigos. Por favor visitad haced clic en el enlace y votad por nosotros.

También podéis ver el video ahí (creo que solo si estáis en el UK)

Y si queréis visitar el sitio web de Peoples’ Project, aquí está (Evolve es uno de los proyectos de South Yorkshire)

Y aquí os dejo el primer artículo por si os lo perdisteis.
Habéis pensado en hacer de #voluntarios? Salgo en la radio! @PenistoneFM

Hola a todos:

Como ya sabéis, la vida da muchas vueltas de camino adónde sea que nos lleve. Yo no sé vosotros, pero yo me he encontrado a veces como flotando entre varios proyectos. Las cosas van desarrollándose pero no están aún del todo listas para el siguiente paso o uno necesita un poco de tiempo para pensar y hacer nuevos planes.

Y en ese punto estaba (estoy) yo. Como supongo que os debe pasar a muchos de vosotros, yo recibo notificaciones de muchos sitios. LinkedIn me envía correos periódicamente con sugerencias de trabajos en las cercanías de donde vivo. Como no he pasado mucho tiempo en casa en los últimos meses no les había hecho mucho caso, pero justo antes de irme de vacaciones me dí cuent de que había ofertas de trabajos de voluntariado en la zona donde vivo. Siempre había pensado en hacer de voluntaria alguna vez ‘cuanto tuviera más tiempo’ pero recientemente decidí no dejar las cosas pendientes porque nunca tendremos suficiente tiempo a menos que lo saquemos de algún sitio. Visité Do It organisation y encontré varias cosas que me interesaban, algunas muy locales. Como hasta hace poco siempre había trabajado lejos de Penistone (South Yorkshire, UK), donde vivo, pensé que ésta era una excelente oportunidad para contribuir más localmente.

The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio

El logo of Penistone FM in situ, dentro del estudio

Envié una solicitud para hacer de voluntaria en Penistone FM, fui a visitar a Martin Sugden que accedió a dejarme probar, y ahora voy una vez por semana, los martes de 5 a 8 de la tarde, me siento al micrófono, bajo la mirada atenta de Andy Riley, a quien se le da muy bien enseñar y sabe como hacer que la gente se sienta relajada y como en casa.

This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter... Éste es Andy, que tiene que estar al tanto del tiempo, el tráfico, Facebook, Twitter, los teléfonos

Penistone FM (si leéis en inglés también podéis encontrarla en Wikipedia) fue creada en 2005 como una emisora de radio no comercial para transmitir en Penistone y sus alrededores en el 95.7 FM. La obtención de la licencia y organizarlo todo llevó algo de tiempo, y la emisora finalmente empezó a retransmitir, en directo, el 6 de Junio de 2006. Todos los que trabajan en la emisora son voluntarios, y aunque sospecho que muchos de vosotros no estaréis en la zona, si habláis inglés simper podéis escucharla en el internet, aquí e incluso hay un App que podéis descargar gratuitamente.

Si queréis que os diga qué me ha parecido hasta ahora (llevo muy poco tiempo allí)… La gente es fantástica, me gusta todo (los anuncios de eventos locales, y por fin sé qué pasa en los alrededores, la selección de noticias raras y el Quiz maldito de Andy), estoy impresionada por lo bien que hay que organizar el tiempo para dar cabida a todo y llegar a las noticias en el momento oportuno, y espero que la gente disfrute escuchando el programa (a pesar de mi acento).


It's like NASA but smaller! ¡Es como la NASA, pero en pequeño!

Andy me dice que voy bien, y con un poco de suerte iré haciendo más y más cosas con el tiempo (incluso empecé a apretar teclas la semana pasada), así que, ¡quién sabe!

Aún estoy conociendo a gente, pero de momento, me encanta.

It's me on the radio! ¡Soy yo en la radio!

No os olvidéis de seguir a la emisora en Facebook:

Y Twitter:


Os mantendré informados. Vamos, animaos a echar un vistazo. Y, ¿por qué no os planteáis hacer de voluntarios?Estoy segura de que hay muchas buenas causas a las que podríais contribuir, incluso si solo tenéis un poco de tiempo cada semana. Y puede que aprendáis algo, os divirtáis, y lo que es más importante, ayudéis.

Muchas gracias a Penistone FM, y en particular a Andy Riley por su paciencia, gracias a todos vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis qué hacer, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC! ¡Y pensad en hacer de VOLUNTARIOS!



@PenistoneFM is participating in the ITV’s the #Peoples’Project. Come and support!

Yes, I've been in charge of this. Photo from Unsplash
Yes, I’ve been in charge of this. Photo from Unsplash

Hi all:

Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember that a few months back I wrote a post about volunteering and how I’d started working at the local radio station (Penistone FM). Just in case, and as the post was in the previous blog, I’ve added it to the end of this one so you can read it if you fancy a reminder or want to know how I felt at the time.

Although some things have got in the way of my training there at times, Andy Riley, my mentor, has been a star showing me the ropes. I’ve also joined Jo Ruston on Sunday nights for her ‘Country Routes’ programme (from 8 to 10 pm, a must for all country music lovers), and more recently I started having some training sessions with Steve Dobson, who’s been going through some technical information and we’ve been talking about interviews. It’s good to see the diverse styles of the presenters as this will help create my own in the future.

Under Andy’s and the rest of the team’s guidance, the last week of January and in February I was facilitating the three hour programme (Tuesday 5 to 8 pm) on my own (at least live on air, although with plenty of technical support). The 16th of February was my last official day under Andy’s supervision, as he is off to train more volunteers and we’ve agreed that once I’m back in the UK and after some reminder sessions with Steve Dobson, I might be taking over my own programme. I’ll update you on that as soon as it is confirmed, as I hope you’ll give me a hand with content for the programmes and you’ll listen (even if it has to be on-line).

What have I learned? The joy of trying something new. How many things are going on locally that had gone unnoticed under my radar before. The enthusiasm of the local community. The importance of keeping an eye on the clock, thinking quick on your feet and making sure that you’re there in time for the news (no matter what). The need to think before you talk (and/or have a good excuse). And how dedicated people are  to the project. Thanks to the whole Penistone FM team for making me feel so welcome.

As I mentioned in the article I attach, the radio station is run by volunteers, and although that means we don’t get paid, the expenses for any projects and for the everyday running of the place have to come from somewhere. Advertising is a route but they’re always exploring funding options. And this year, Penistone FM is participating in ITV’s the Peoples’ Project. Although you’ll only be able to vote if you have an address in the UK, I thought I’d share as it is a great initiative and you can check the variety of projects there are.

This is the official write-up for Penistone FM (unfortunately I can’t watch the video here in Spain but if you do, tell me what it’s like. And don’t worry, I’m not in it!)

Penistone FM and our project “Evolve” is one of only five groups in South Yorkshire that have been shortlisted to compete for the public vote and the Big Lottery cash in ITV’s The Peoples Projects TV competition. Evolve training project at Penistone FM aims to make community radio more accessible to local people and give new communication skills and interests to rural isolated villages. We want to be able to offer local people the same chances to learn new skills, enjoy a fun social activity and make new friends. Please visit

 – click on the link and vote for us.

And you can watch the film there too.

And if you want to visit the site for Peoples’ Project, here it is (Evolve is one of South Yorkshire projects)

And here, the original post:
Have you thought about #volunteering? I’m on the radio! @PenistoneFM
Hi all:

As you all know, life can take some funny detours on the way to wherever it is taking us. I don’t know you, but I have found myself at times at an impasse, in between things. Things are moving but not quite ready yet for the next step or one needs to regroup and rework ones plans.

And there I was. As I suppose many of you, I receive notifications from quite a few places. LinkedIn regularly sends me e-mails suggesting jobs nearby. As I haven’t been at home very much in the last few months I hadn’t paid them that much attention, but just before I went on my holiday I realised they were suggesting volunteering jobs in the area where I live. I’d always thought I’d volunteer at some point ‘when I had more time’ but recently I’ve decided not to put off things because there’s never enough time unless we make the time. I checked Do It organisation and there were quite a few things I was interested in, some very local. As so far I’d always worked away from Penistone (South Yorkshire, UK), where I live, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to get more involved.

The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio
The logo of Penistone FM in situ, inside of the studio

I applied for a job in Penistone FM, went to visit and meet Martin Sugden who agreed to let me try, and now I’m going once a week, on Tuesdays from 5 pm to 8 pm, and sit at a desk under the watchful eye of Andy Riley, who is a fantastic trainer and knows well how to make people feel at ease.

This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter...
This is Andy, who needs to keep an eye on weather, traffic, Facebook, Twitter…

Penistone FM (you can check also in Wikipedia) was formed in 2005 as a non-for-profit community radio station to broadcast around the Penistone and surrounding area on 95.7 FM. The process of obtaining the licence and setting up took some time, and the station finally went on air, live, on the 6th of June 2009. It is entirely run by volunteers, and although I imagine many of you won’t be in the area, you can always check online, here, and there’s even an App you can download.

If you want to know how I’ve found it so far (it’s very early days)…People are great, I love everything (the community ads [I’m now finally up to date with what is happening], the selection of weird news and the Quiz of Doom by Andy), I’m in awe of the time management skills necessary to fit everything in, of the technology, and I hope people enjoy listening to the programme (despite my accent).

It's like NASA but smaller!
It’s like NASA but smaller!

Andy tells me I’m doing OK, and hopefully I’ll be doing more and more things as I go along (I started pressing buttons and things last week), so who knows!

I’m still getting to know the people working there, but so far, loving it.

It's me on the radio!
It’s me on the radio!

Don’t forget to follow in Facebook:

And Twitter:


I’ll keep you posted. Go on, check us out! And, why don’t you have a go at volunteering? I’m sure there are many good causes you might be able to contribute to, even if you only have a bit of time every week. And you might learn something, have fun, and what’s more important, help.

Thanks so much to Penistone FM, and Andy Riley in particular for his patience, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, comment, share and CLICK! And consider VOLUNTEERING!

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