A special friend

Six years ago, I was the editor of a celebrity website which was the number 1 site for Robert Pattinson and Twilight news. Every day I wrote around six articles on Rob and the rest of the cast. One day, I decided to run a competition to find the number 1 Robert Pattinson fan in the world.

sarah barry williamsI can’t remember who won but after the closing date a woman called Sarah Barry Williams emailed me. She wanted to put her daughter Chariss forward but alas she’d missed the deadline. She told me that she’d written a song about her daughter’s love for Rob called She Wants to be Mrs Robert Pattinson. I thought the song was great and asked Sarah for her permission to write an article on her song. She agreed, not knowing that my article would bring her thousands of fans and change her life.

After my article was published, Sarah was inundated with requests from Rob’s fans wanting her to release the track and so she did. It did really well worldwide with thousands of people downloading She Wants to Be Mrs Robert Pattinson and she was inspired to write more Twilight inspired songs.

One of my favourites was the New Moon fan song:

Making Chariss’ dreams come true

Meeting Rob for the first time back in November 2009 was amazing and when I was invited to meet him again at the Remember Me press conference and premiere I was really excited. I wanted to see him again but I wanted to make Chariss’ dreams come true more. I emailed Sarah as soon as I could to tell her that I was giving up my place so that her daughter could meet the man of her dreams. Sarah couldn’t believe it.

I made Chariss a special badge, as she was representing my magazine and she tried to look older than her years as she was only sixteen and had to look at least eighteen to get past security. I needn’t have worried as Chariss was tall for her age and actually looked more grown up than me!

Even though I couldn’t go onto the red carpet because I’d given my pass to Chariss, I still made the trip from Widnes to London because I was eager to meet Sarah and Chariss, face to face. As soon as we saw each other we ran over and started hugging. We only chatted for a few minutes but it was worth the long trip.

It feels like only a year or so since I met Sarah and Chariss but it was actually 5 and a half years ago. We met on the 17th March 2010 and we’ve been friends ever since. We mightn’t speak very often but even if years pass between our emails it doesn’t matter. I support her and she supports me. We’re just two women, living our dreams.

Sarah’s just released her first book – A Shooting Star is not a Star and I’m so happy for her. It’s a wonderful book and I’m so glad Sarah sent me a copy. It’s part 1 of sarah barry williams 2a series called The Crystal Bloodline and I can’t wait to read part 2. You should definitely check it out, why not download it onto your Kindle?

Reading Sarah’s book has made me even more keen to write and release a children’s fiction book in 2016. I can’t wait to get started!

 

A Marvellous book!

If you’re looking for a present to buy your Dad this Christmas then I can highly recommend the biography Marvellous – Neil Baldwin, My Story. I read the book in August and I couldn’t put it down.

I’d been keen to get my hands on a copy as I’d watched the Marvellous film on BBC 2 last year. It was one of the best things I’ve ever watched. The story was so compelling, I cried quite a few times and it left me smiling from ear to ear too. If you didn’t see it, then check out the trailer below:

Here’s a brief summary of the book (and Neil’s life):

Bishops and archbishops, top footballers, politicians and actors…they all count him as their friend. Prime Ministers and senior royals stop and listen to his opinions. He’s got an honorary degree and his very own football club. There was even a movie about him on national television. But who is Neil Baldwin? At Keele University they hold regular celebrations and chapel services for the decades he’s been the friend of students, academics and vice-chancellors. But he’s never been a student, or a teacher, or had any formal connection with the place. At Stoke City Football Club, he’s ‘more famous than the players.’ He’s even got a dialogue going with the Queen, though that one’s still a little one-sided. But who is he, and what’s he famous for? When he was a boy in a working-class part of the Potteries in the fifties and sixties, the education system wrote him off. But Neil thinks ‘you can get things by asking for them.’ He also thinks his late Mum wanted him to have a happy life, and it’s his duty to her to have one. So he does. This is the inspiring and, at times, hysterically funny story of Neil’s extraordinary life.

My view:

I loved the book, it was interesting to hear stories from Neil perspective and his famous friends too. I think Neil’s attitude to life is something we should all admire:

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The world be a much better place if we all “put nasty things” behind us. Neil’s story is remarkable and this book is a must-read. At the start of this blog post I said it was ideal for dads but really anybody would enjoy reading this book. I hope I get to meet Neil one day and shake his hand… maybe I need to take a trip to Keele University!

 

B is for… Books

I’ve always been a book worm and I used to sit in the corner of the playground reading when I was six years old. I used to devour books, I would read a whole book in a couple of hours. My mum and dad would send me to bed each night and I’d secretly read, even though there was no light on in my room and I had to rely on the light on the landing. If I heard them walking up the stairs I’d quickly put my book on the floor and pretend to be asleep. Reading in the dark is never a good idea (however good the book is!) and I think I strained my eyes doing it. I ended up needing glasses by the time I was seven.

widnes-libraryI used to love going to my local library with my mum and sister. Choosing books at Widnes library was lots of fun and I thought the place was magical. I had no idea that I would end up working in the library when I was nineteen. (When I went to my interview for a library assistant position one of the ladies who interviewed me recognised me because I’d been the library so many times as a child. Wendy would become the best boss I ever had and a good friend.)

I love how books transport you to new places. I’ve always had an active imagination and I think books have played a big part. When I worked at the library one of my main tasks was to put away the books that had been returned. I used to love walking around with a big pile of books and putting them back in the right place. I quickly learnt where books by different authors went, I could have done it blindfold by the time I left to move to Cornwall to do my Masters degree in 2006. I wasn’t the best library assistant in the world, I often found myself reading the blurbs on the back of books and having a sneaky peak at the first few pages!

My own books

bumpI might have written over twenty books now but all of them are special to me in different ways. Nothing beats holding the first copy in my hand and I really love seeing my books in book stores and libraries. I love thinking that people all around the world are reading my books.

To find out more about my books please click here >

Giving author talks in my local library and running writing workshops for the young people in my borough has been one of the highlights of being a published author. I wrote a Twilight inspired script for a special event with a group of teenagers and it was such a good project. I hope to do another project with them again soon.

(I don’t have many photos of me pregnant but here is one at a special One Direction event at Halton Lea library with a cut-out of Harry Styles. Pic credit: Widnes Weekly News)

My favourite books

I’ve loved so many books over the years that it’s hard to choose my favourites but here goes…

In primary school my favourite authors were Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson. I was a huge fan of the Secret Seven series and used to pretend I had my own Secret Seven in my garden. If my friends wanted to go into my playhouse they had to remember the password. My favourite book was I Am David by Anne Holm.

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In high school, my favourite books was To Kill A Mocking-bird. Wow, what a book!

At college, I started to like girly books that allowed me to escape from my studies. Melissa Nathan is an author that not many people have heard of but I really enjoyed her books. Sadly she passed away but her books The Nanny and The Waitress are great. I also liked PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern (before it became a smash hit and the movie with Gerard Butler came out).

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I became a Christian when I was eighteen and since then my favourite book has been the Bible. I try and read it every day. It is the best book in the world, without question. I like reading Christian biographies and I really like 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. It gives me goose pimples.

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