My April 2021 Newsletter

Thank goodness the clocks have changed and the evenings are getting lighter. Even if we are still restricted in our social lives because of the Coronavirus, at least the weather is improving and it will be easier to meet outside. It’s been a long winter in more ways than one. My husband is glad to get back to playing golf and, although the club house is not open for a coffee afterwards, at least it is a return to some normality. We both like walking, so during the lockdown we have done so on most days. Luckily in North Devon it’s not difficult to find somewhere pleasant for a stroll.  We recently did a short walk near the village of Filleigh and you can read a description of our walk here: Filleigh Walk

The birds have also noticed it’s spring and we have sparrows nesting in a box on the front of our bungalow.  The nice thing is I can watch them going in and out with nesting material from my armchair. However, we have a bit of a conundrum this year. For the last few weeks, one sparrow has taken to sitting on the part of the car wing mirror that attaches to the car and looking at itself in the mirror.  This goes on pretty much all day long and I think it is in love with its reflection.  The problem is that it makes a real mess down both sides of the car which is not good for the paintwork.  This has got to the point where we have tied carrier bags onto the wing mirrors to stop it, because turning them in makes no difference. We suspect the neighbours are fearing for our mental health! If anyone can throw any light on this behaviour, or suggest a cure, I’d love to hear from you.

So, onto my writing news!

The Best Way to Sell (!) Books

My ebooks are available on Amazon and once in every three month period, I’m allowed to offer my books for free, or at a reduced price. I usually reduce the price to 99p, but this time I offered the “The Mazzard Tree” for free for a weekend. I chose “The Mazzard Tree” because it’s the first book in “The Hartford Manor Series”. I was amazed to “sell” 282 books in a couple of days – and yes, that is far more than usual. Obviously I made no profit, but 20 more people are following my Facebook author page so a reasonable success. Maybe they will all write me a lovely review and go on to buy “The Angel Maker”.

Interview with Sophy Layzell

An author called Sophy Layzell recently asked if I would be interested in doing a blog exchange.  We have now interviewed each other and this is a link to her blog about me: 

Welcome to my March 2021 guest author Marcia Clayton (

Sophy has written a dystopian novel called “Measure of Days” which has quite a dark plot, and I will be posting my blog about Sophy on my website during April.

Exeter Authors Association

I joined the EAA last month and have now attended two zoom meetings which are enjoyable.  Thanks to another member of the group who helped me with the technical side of things, I now have an author page on their website, which you can view here:  Exeter Authors Association Marcia Clayton

Third Book in Hartford Manor Series

Nothing too exciting to report on progress with my latest book.  I’ve finished the first edit, but it will take a few more yet to make sure it’s as good as I can make it. Watch this space as they say! If nothing else my writing has kept me busy during the last year and that has been a godsend in these difficult times.

My books are now available in bookshops!

This is the exciting news (well for me anyway).  Just over a year ago I visited RHS Rosemoor in Torrington and, following a walk in the lovely gardens, I browsed around the shop. I noticed the shop offers books by local authors, whereas most shops stock only well-known authors and best-selling books. I asked if they might be interested in my books, as they are both set in Devon. I was told if the books were available from Gardners it might be possible. I have to confess that at the time, I had no idea who Gardners were, and my books were only available as print on demand from Amazon.  However, following some research into the matter, I uploaded my books to Ingram Spark, a wholesalers who supply Gardners. It wasn’t terribly straightforward (for someone who had no idea what they were doing), but I got there in the end, and since mid-February, shops can now order my books for people even if they don’t stock them.  The good news is that the RHS Rosemoor shop has now ordered my books and they will be on sale there soon.  I’m looking forward to my next visit and hopefully seeing them on the shelves.

I first came across Lee Child’s books several years ago when I was looking for something to read on a holiday abroad. I was hastily reading the blurb on the back of paperbacks, attempting to select a few books before my parking ticket ran out.  Luckily, I chanced on the first Jack Reacher book.  I was completely hooked from the first page and thoroughly enjoyed the book. I raved about it so much that my husband and eldest son also read it.  It has become quite a ritual in our family that one or the other of us, usually my son, pre-orders the next book for the day it is published and we squabble over who will read it first. Jack Reacher is an ex-army drifter and he possesses a strong sense of right and wrong. When he comes across an injustice it soon becomes personal. He owns virtually nothing and spends his time travelling around hitching lifts and catching buses. Jack is a man of few words and this is reflected in the book with most sentences being very short. I loved the character and I always think he was modelled on John Wayne. My dad was a farmer, which meant working seven days a week, but on a Sunday afternoon he liked to watch a film. Usually a western, and often John Wayne, so I saw quite a few.  If you like action adventure thrillers, this is definitely a book you would enjoy.

I hope you all have a great Easter and the weather is kind to us.  Please do all you can to keep safe.


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