Talks & Workshops
I am an experienced public speaker and regularly address groups such as the WI, U3A, Probus, book groups, writers’ circles and conferences on a variety of topics related both to my writing and my former career as a technical consultant. As well as in-person events, I am happy to present my talks via Zoom or Skype.
Some of the topics on which I speak are as follows:
Bringing It All Home: the Coombesford Story
Why I stopped writing about my travels and experiences in exotic places and brought it all home to Devon. The invention of Coombesford, a typical English village in which murder and mayhem are the order of the day. (Think Midsomer Murders in the Haldon Hills.)
A Broad Abroad
Working in Russia and the Former Soviet Union countries; Africa; and Latin America over a twenty five year period. What was it like to work in such different cultures, especially as a woman; and what did both sides learn from the experience? How did these experiences impact on my writing of Counterfeit!, Deception!, and Corruption!, the Suzanne Jones thrillers set in the world of international pharmaceuticals?
A Woman In the Snow
Working in Russia in the 1990s, immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union. What could a woman from Western Europe offer a country in the midst of economic, political and cultural flux; and what did both sides learn from the experience? How did this experience lead to the writing of Gorgito’s Ice Rink?
A Long Time Coming: a Writer’s Journey
After a lifetime as a scientist and thirty years in industry, making the transition to full-time writing, and creative writing at that, was no mean feat. Come with me on my journey from teenage poetry to my debut novel, Gorgito’s Ice Rink, published in my sixties, and beyond.
As co-founder and editor of the Chudleigh Phoenix Community Magazine, a monthly electronic newsletter written by, and for, the people of Chudleigh, I’ve learned a lot about local journalism since our first edition in 2009. How does it differ from national and international journalism? How has journalism changed over the years? And what will the future of journalism look like?
Snapshots of Russia
Based on nearly twenty years’ experience of travelling to Russia and the Former Soviet Union countries, I will take you on a sightseeing trip around some of the major cities and towns in Russia: Moscow, St Petersburg; Chelyabinsk, Vladivostok and more, merging the public and the private.
Music and Me
Music in one form or another has always been part of my life and is associated with so many memories. I invite you to join me on this meander through the different types of music that have influenced me throughout my life, both as a performer and as a member of the audience.
Seven Ages of Books
Books have been a huge part of my life since I was very small, when my parents read to me each night before I went to bed. Over the decades, my tastes have changed. I invite you to join me on a stroll through the books and their authors which have influenced me throughout my life.
Seven Decades of Song
From the early days of request programmes on the radio through to the twenty-first century, singers and songwriters have been important to so many people. It’s often easier to remember the words to a song we learned as a child than it is to remember our times tables, or indeed, what happened yesterday. Come with me as I wander through seven decades of popular music.
Whether it’s the latest blockbusters at the local picture house; or an old favourite for the umpteenth time on television, most people watch films at some point. Join me as I examine the top movies of the past seven decades to see what memories they invoke.
The Business of Writing
For many years, I have written about, and lectured on, business skills for writers. What do they need to know to run simple, effective systems as a small business owner? All this material found its way into The Business of Writing Parts 1-3.
Since 2011, I have been an independent publisher, and now have around 20 titles to my name in a variety of formats. The experiences of being an indie, and the lessons I have learned along the way, helped me write The Business of Writing Part 4 Independent Publishing.
Any or all of this material can be shaped into a talk, a workshop, or a seminar, as appropriate to the audience. If you think this is what you need for your organisation, talk to me and we will put together a plan tailored to your needs.