From me to you





Here is my gift to you:

For 5 days of each month this year, I am going to offer a different book of mine free for kindle download. Look out for posts about this promotion. If you would like to return the gesture, then a review on Amazon would be wonderful. Thank you. x



Light Bites*

*Details below


Glass Dreams


Peace and Disquiet


Martha and Mitch


Minor Discord


Mr Charlie Chumpkins and The Further Mishaps of Charlie Chumpkins




Song of the Moon


Mandrake’s Plot


A Mouthful of Chuckles


The Secret of Pooks Wood


The Secret of Pooks Wood

January 27th – 31st

FREE BOOK: Light Bites 


Take a pinch of humour, a touch of light-heartedness and a drop of whimsy and you have the perfect recipe to be savoured any time, anywhere. Light Bites – a collection of satisfying and uplifting tales.




‘The author writes so well, in such a ‘real’ way that I found myself immersed in each tale.’

‘Her characters are easy to relate to and there is lots of humour that keeps you entertained.’

‘I thoroughly enjoyed every story and would definitely recommend it.’

‘There is certainly something for everyone here.’

‘A very good read.’

‘Utterly delicious’

‘Dahl-esque delight – ridiculously funny, yet intelligent. Weird and wonderful characters – a chocolate box of surprises.’

‘When you read a collection of short stories and come away thinking “I wish each of those was a book in its own right” then you know the writing is good. Ms Laycock makes the absurd seem real. In one of the stories, Harry Potter could have waltzed straight in. Written with a light touch and a dry sense of humour. I loved it.’

‘If you like your stories short, wickedly funny, more than a little twisted and unexpectedly sentimental in places – then this is definitely for you.’

‘Perfect length for a work break or with coffee and biscuits, care needed to not laugh out loud or choke!’

‘The true-life tale of Yiscah (formerly Jeffrey) Smith may serve as the inspiration for UK author Helen Laycock’s knock-about comedy, ‘Occupational Therapy’, a tale from her short story collection, ‘Light Bites’, in which fairy Lily Blue becomes a goblin and lives happily ever after.’

‘This mirthful collection of a dozen cheery tales makes clear that she revels in her present work and causes me to wonder how much her school students must miss her — even now.’

‘I would recommend this collection to anyone who is looking for some “Light Bites” to entertain them.’






Collecting thoughts…

There’s never really been a pigeon-hole large enough to accommodate me and all my writing baggage. A pigeon loft might be better suited.

*sinks into fuzzy daydream*

~I could compartmentalise it and have a corner for children’s books, another for children’s poetry, one for short stories for adults, one for flash, one for… oh, I seem to have run out of corners. ‘Grown up’ poetry can sit in the middle~

*slaps own cheeks and returns to reality*

But even then I’d need sub-categories. Where does it stop?

So, that bit of introductory waffle brings me back to my point: putting together a short story collection; how should it be done?

Do readers like:

  • a true mix of stories?
  • a theme?
  • to be scared witless all the way through?
  • to laugh until they choke to death?

Many writers stick to one genre, so putting together a collection is easy. I don’t dip my toes into a huge range, but my short stories seem to roughly divide into light-hearted, humorous tales to tingle your taste buds (see Light Bites ) or darker stories where characters – living or dead – live on the periphery of society and their issues are not as simple as deciding whether or not to have another slice of chocolate cake (see Peace and Disquiet ).

I don’t seem to visit anything between – romance, for instance.

It’s a straightforward choice. As I write, I file under ‘Adult’ / ‘Short Stories’ / ‘Serious’ or ‘Humorous’.

It’s very tempting to grab a handful from each category and pop them into a short story collection, but I think readers need to ‘get into the zone’ when they sit down with a collection. They need to be prepared to an extent for what they are about to encounter. Having to adjust from funny to heart-wrenching in a matter of minutes can take its toll on the emotions.

And so it is that I have recently channelled all my energy into my latest collection, ‘Minor Discord’, which takes the reader to a variety of dark places through a range of characters and settings and does, incidentally, contain a soupcon of black humour. It’s quite a large collection with about forty entries, and I have included, too, pieces of flash fiction which have been written in the same vein. Some of these have been written in response to competition requirements, details of which follow those stories which were entered.

Here’s the blurb:

Dare to visit the dark places at the edges of the map, places where you will feel unsettled and from where characters will follow you, whether you want them to, or not.

This collection of stories and flash fiction will take you into the shadows.

 Don’t get left behind…

As yet, this collection is unseen by human eyes (apart from those of my proofreaders). Next, I shall turn my attention to completing another contrasting collection. I have quite a few completed already – and a title in mind.

If you ‘enjoy’ – is that the right word?- Minor Discord, I would be delighted to read a review. If you don’t, keep it to yourself, eh?

The Return (long overdue, but a return nevertheless)

OK, blog, I have returned… and bearing gifts at that!

I have been a very busy bee of late – *shakes tail and wiggles wings* – because I have been in direct combat with technology. Yes, I grabbed it by the horns, had a bit of a scuffle where it rudely threw me around and left me disorientated, but I came out triumphant and victorious, wearing a laurel wreath emblazoned with the words ‘By Jove, she did it’.

Let me show you what I’ve been up to:

*rummages through Internet, comes up for breath and dives back in briefly*


I have been using what can only be described as magic to make what can only be described as paperbacks.

I’m still only two-thirds along the rocky path that lies ahead of me, complete with deviously camouflaged trapdoors and things with sharp teeth which are prone to nibbling a small writer’s ankles, but here’s the booty so far:



*takes a deep bow and skips off happily*