Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Disney Illustration Study: Captain Hook

This weeks sketch for my Disney Illustration Study is Captain Hook. 

Disney Illustration Study: Captain Hook, #Disney #sketch #Sketching

For more illustrations please follow my board at

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Join me at #PD15 for webinar "Visual Content for Authors"

Preparation is all go for this years Promo Day event. I can't wait! Saturday 30th May is going to be awesome!

This year I'll be giving a webinar about "Visual Content for Authors".

Join me at #PD15 for webinar "Visual Content for Authors"

Presentation outline:
I will show you how to take advantage of the power of visual content. Along the way you'll learn about why authors should be creating visual content, how to use images, video, and more, to build your author brand and connect more with your audience. Plus loads of tools, tips, and advice to get you creating visual content for the best results. 

Register now at for access to this free webinar!

I look forward to seeing you there :)

Friday, 20 March 2015

How To Increase Writing Productivity

I recently had the pleasure of being quoted in this fab article at along with 10 other World-Class writers and leading experts on how to increase writing productivity.

How To Increase Writing Productivity
screenshot from The Creative Copywriter

You can check me out at n.3 ;)

How To Increase Writing Productivity
screenshot from The Creative Copywriter
It's quite special to be called a "World-Class Writer" and "Leading Expert" all in the one article, and an honour to be listed in such good company.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Disney Illustration Study: Ursula

Disney Illustration Study: Ursula #Disney #Artist #Art

Disney Illustration Study

This week I have another Disney villain for you. My Disney Study this week is dedicated to Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid. Another one of my all time favourites.

Disney Study: Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid, #Disney #Sketches
Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid
Who is your favourite Disney villain?

You can check out more of my illustrations on my Pinterest board at

Friday, 13 March 2015

My Crazy Life: How I Get So Much Done

My crazy life: How I get so much done,

As I often get asked about how I manage to get so much done, I thought I'd share with you a little insight into my often productive, nearly always crazy life.

As most of you know by now, I do a lot of different things. I have two other blogs (in addition to this one), where I post most days. which is for, you guessed it, writers and authors. The site is all about/for people in the publishing industry. Posts cover a bit of everything from how to write to how to sell more books. As well as all the articles, I interview authors about their books, post excerpts, and sometimes post book reviews. which is for, you guessed it, mums (my website urls are pretty clear about who the sites are for aren't they? ;)). This is a new site that I launched at the end of January this year. The aim of the site is to inspire, motivate, and give mums ideas for how they can look after themselves. The end of last year was tough for me and so this site also serves as a tool to help me focus on myself as well as everything else.

Then, of course, there's my books. I write multiple genres and so I'm often hopping between children's books and non fiction. Sometimes I mix it up and work on women's fiction too. Variety is the spice of life!

I also work as an illustrator. I illustrate my own books, but also work for hire on projects for clients. 

At the moment I'm organising and preparing everything for this years Promo Day. Promo Day is an annual online event I organise that takes place at This years event will be on Saturday 30th May. With over 10 presenters, and several publishers doing pitch sessions during the event, there is a lot to coordinate. People need to know about the event too, so a lot of marketing and promoting goes on too.

Not enough? I'm also working on some ecourses that I hope to launch in the near future. Filming, editing, graphics, downloads.... 

My days are filled with much more than the work you see and hear about online though. I'm a mum of two little boys... and man do they keep me busy! 

Then there's the house work. Washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, tidying up... that's all part of my day too.

So how do I manage to get it all done? Good question! Sometimes I surprise myself.

Week days officially start at 7:30 am (although I sometimes get up before then). Breakfast, prepare kids for school, and get them out of the house by 8:10 am. Luckily for me, my husband does the school run.

Once they're off, I get washed and dressed and start tidying up and cleaning the house. I usually put a load of washing on first. Then hoover, dust, etc... I also make sure I prepare things I'll need later during the day like the kids swimming bag so I'm good to go when the time comes. I have a good routine now and can usually manage to get most housework done before 10 am.

By that point I deserve a cup of tea! I put the kettle on to boil and turn on my computer. 

I usually start by checking Facebook and Twitter (the two main social media channels I use). I go to notifications and make sure I reply, retweet, like, etc. I then give myself 10-15 minutes to browse my newsfeeds, whilst I drink my tea. I'll share/tweet a few posts, leave a comment or two, and share some like/retweet love.

Next it's on to blogging. I keep editorial calendars for all my blogs and try to schedule posts in advance when possible. This gives me a cushion for those days when I'm ill, just too tired, not feeling it, or life gets in the way. 

I usually tackle each blog separately. I'll do a session on Writers and Authors, then The Mum Club, and then on this blog. 

Once I've managed to get a few blog posts sorted, replied to emails (I have separate email accounts for each to keep things organised), I then share/program a few social media posts for each. I do this directly via the Facebook pages, and then use Hootsuite for Twitter and Google+. I then make sure I've pinned all published posts to my Pinterest boards. 

Next I check the emails for Promo Day and send out some invites to the event to publishers and writer groups. I also send some invites via Facebook and Twitter. I try to make at least some of the graphics as I go so that I have some materials ready to use and available on the media page. I like to be organised and hate the feeling of having to rush everything at the last minute so little tings like that are important to me. Again, I try to program at least some blog posts in advance. These are usually the evergreen type of posts like "How to register", "FAQs about Promo Day", and stuff like "How the forums work" or "How the pitch sessions work". It's a bit different from a normal blog as I don't always have all the information straight away. I have to wait to confirm presenters and publishers for the event, and then wait for them to send me their photos/logos, bios, etc... The same for sponsors. Some decide to be a sponsor at the last minute. 

By this point it's usually around noon, or just after, and time to start thinking about lunch. 

After lunch I usually try to step away from my computer to give my eyes a rest. I also get bad back ache if I'm on the computer too long. Early afternoon is therefore when I go for coffee with friends, or sit out on my balcony in the sunshine (weather allowing). A bit of relax and then I do the current fitness challenge for The Mum Club. I'll sometimes do some sketching, brainstorm for my books, work on illustrations for clients, or work on writing books up until 4 pm. This is when I have to get ready for the kids coming back from school and mum duties start up again.

Depending on how much energy I have after the afternoon/evening activities, I sometimes work on my books or projects for clients for an hour or two in the evening (after 9:30 pm when the kids are in bed asleep). 

As you can see I'm pretty busy most of the time. I do try to keep a balance though and make sure I do have some time off to relax through out the day. Whether it's watching a film with my family, coffee with a friend, or lunch with my husband.

I think my secret to productivity is being organised, and having a routine.

How do you manage to get everything done?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Disney Study: Jafar

This week I'm moving on to look at Disney villains. My Disney Study this week is dedicated to Jafar from Aladdin. One of my favourites.

Disney Study: Jafar from Aladdin, #Disney #Sketches
Jafar from Aladdin

Who is your favourite Disney villain?

You can check out more of my illustrations on my Pinterest board at

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Latest Interview: Author, Illustrator, Blogger, Mum, and more...

This week I was interviewed by +Maria Rochelle for her blog at In the interview we chat about a whole bunch of stuff from how I ended up in Italy to how many books I've illustrated. I also share some of my top tips for aspiring writers and illustrators.

Screenshot from

Click to tweets from the interview:

"Two weeks later I was on a plane wondering if I was brave or stupid." #CrazyButTrue

I hope you'll drop by and read the interview, and welcome any comments, feedback, or questions.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Disney Study: Some of my Favourite Disney Animal Characters

This week my Disney Study is dedicated to some of my favourite animal characters.

Disney Study, Gus from Cinderella, #Disney #Sketches #Illustrating
Gus from Cinderella

Disney Study, Dumbo, #Disney #Sketches #Illustrating

Disney Study, Aboo from Aladdin, #Disney #Sketches #Illustrating
Aboo from Aladdin
You can check out more of my illustrations on my Pinterest board at 

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