Browsing articles from "May, 2013"

Write What You Know! But don’t be afraid. You know more than you think you do. ;-)

It is said that we should ‘write what we know’, and in my mind that is the only way to write. But don’t despair if you haven’t lived an exciting life in the ‘big city’ and want to write about it in your novel!

On hearing those four small words I have seen peoples  faces fill with dread. This short phrase can be misleading, build walls and barriers as well as impose limitations on the imagination and breed uncertainty.

The good news for all writers is that we all know a lot more than we think we do. Funny, it took  years for me to realise that ‘nugget of gold’!

What we ‘know’ isn’t just what we see around us. Our everyday material life we live. It is so much more…  

For instance, we all know what scares us and what being frightened feels like. How we react if we touch something hot or smell something rancid and it’s that we have to draw upon to make our stories believable to others. Your fear of the dark, pain and the unknown are other people’s fears too. You know what prompts these feelings just as much as other primal emotions of happiness, sadness, anger. These are a range of feelings that as a writer or a reader we all share. Remember that when you are penning a story as it will make the written word of the emotions and reactions of the characters real to your readers too. We all feel more than just emotions… Think of our other senses. What do you hear? What do you see? What’s it like to the touch?

Everyone knows what it feels like to have the sun on your back, to sit in front of a nice warm fire and feel snuggled, warm, safe; to fall over and scrape your knee – you probably did that hundreds of times as a child. You know how you and have seen others react to a loud bang! You know what your body does when you touch something hot.  Or what reaction you have when when you put something tart in your mouth. By sharing those sensations the reader will immediately know how your character reacts too.  For example, Daisy put a slice of lemon in her mouth and pulled a sour face. We don’t even need to add, she recoiled and cringed at the tangy taste because we can imagine it!

So, do you see by drawing upon what you and everyone else knows you’ve instantly created a rapport between you, your reader and your character and this trigger in turn will help share emotions. 

Now, you can move on. You will begin to realise that the situations that you are writing about,‘know’, does not necessarily have to happen where it actually happened. This experience could happen anywhere you want – even in another time or fictional world. Now is the time for you to filter your knowledge into your imagination.

Create a character that people will remember whether they will love, hate or feel indifferent towards. Give them a look, a trait, a catch-phrase that is unforgettable – for instance, do you remember Kojak the big, bald, hard-nosed detective with a lollipop addiction who constantly said, ‘Who Loves Ya Baby’? See what I mean?

To make characters in stories in the past or the future come a live use research to find out the fashion, transport, technology of the time for instance. Research is another form of knowing! Now you need to know how to make them real today.

Remember that people are people, no matter where or when they live(d). They will all have experienced love, hate and curiosity, just like you. Even if your characters are from another planet, live on another galaxy, or exist in some futuristic land in your story, you are going to have to give them traits that your readers can identify with here and now so the story will work.

So, taking what you have and what you know from your own personal experiences and research you can now make-believe.

A tip: Remember the 5, W, H rule of the investigative, interviewer -  Who, When, Where, What, How – you can’t go wrong. ;-)  

A story’s success is only waiting to be shaped by your imagination.

Now what are you waiting for?




Amazing 2013 Book Tour Personified. ‘The Dylan Series’ reached No.1 in Waterstones store! Meeting Maisy & holding a BAFTA!


 DI Dylan’s tour 2013 for the launch of ‘White Lilies’!

Book signing tours are a great way of getting to see our readers in their home towns but it is very humbling when they also travel miles across the country to get the latest novel signed.

It’s lovely to see familiar faces at the events as well as new ones and to discuss the storylines and the readers perception of real life crime investigation and court procedure. Through Bob’s vast reservoir of knowledge our readers are ensured that our books are totally authentic in policing, tone, observation and investigative procedures. The unique and gritty realism of Dylan & Jen’s homelife crushes the myth of the maverick detective and shows the reality of the women and men who stand quietly but solidly behind their policing partners which is brought to the fore through Carol’s insight of the supportive partner.

Most, like our family never knew what Bob actually did as an SIO, had no idea  what he saw, what he felt, but now they can see, feel and get to know through our fictional character Dylan, who is loosely based on Bob. His feelings, thoughts and actions are now played out in our fictional tales.

I know most of our family & some of our friends thought at times we were ‘party poopers’ when we turned down invites to events and get togethers, especially in the latter years of Bob’s police service. Often Bob was too tired or ‘on call’, he was also an on call force hostage negotiator for kidnap, suicide intervention, terrorism and extortion cases as well as the day job. He was frightened as any conscientious human being would be, that one day he would make that slip up on an inquiry or be unable to give his best and that meant total commitment. How does anyone remember all the details of more than one murder investigations at once if they’re not ‘on the ball’? Bob was once giving evidence in Leeds Crown Court, as the man in charge to three different murder cases in one day! The Huddersfield fire for example had eight victims and at least four perpertrators. All of these had names that were not only difficult to spell, but also to say for a born and bred Yorkshireman. How would he live with himself or the family forgive him if he had got them wrong?

Work and Bobs health had to come first at this point, but now we are able to enjoy our life together and write about those times with the poetic licence of  fiction.

The launch of ‘White Lilies’ was a lovely affair at Waterstones in Newport on the Isle of  Wight. Thank you to Paul and all his staff – you’re brilliant!

Thank you also to Karen Ebdon for the beautiful bunch of  White Lilies you brought all the way from Portsmouth for us, via Hovercraft & bus!


                                               The Isle of Wight County Press announces DI Dylan’s latest outing!

‘White Lilies’ was now No. 1 in the charts in Waterstones Newport Isle of Wight!


Mum & Dad came to help us celebrate!

Vectis radio did an outside broadcast from the book signing with us at Waterstones Isle of Wight – - with Presenter Kelvin Currie

The Sun Newspaper featured us – with Natasha Harding!

Tracey Edges @ Estuary Radio featured ‘White Lilies’ as her book of the week!

Listen again @

We were asked on the Tom Stroud Show on Isle of Wight Radio!

Here is the link to listen again –

And we were signing copies of our books in the County Press Office Shop.  All before we left the Island!

 The Manager of the County Press Shop Gloria with assistant Tom & Bob

Many of you will have seen a lovely note that we received some time ago from Clare Duddigan who chose us for her school project about people that inspired her. Here is she is with us at the County Press Office.

 The County Press


 With Professer Robin McInnes OBE – A Dylan fan!

And now our tour begins with a sneeky pampering session for me  from Vicky @ Amore Beauty!

Tel: 01983 5293111 9-13 The Mews, Scarrots Lane, Newport, IOW :-)  

 And hair @ Envy Hair & Beauty Salon

 Tel: 01983 532113 71, Wellington Road, Newport, IOW

Much appreciated girls!


It’s Sunday 28th April and we’re off!

Living on an Island means a journey by boat!  If you’re visiting the Isle of Wight our favourite crossing is the Yarmouth to Lymington (or visa versa if you’re coming from the mainland) with Wightlink Ferries

The Solent was like a mill pond that particular day. Here we are passing another Wightlink ferry heading for the IOW – We’ll be back soon! The crossing on this route takes about half an hour.

Arriving on the mainland we have approx 300 miles to travel, and rather than do that by the way of motorways, we choose the scenic route. This means a crafty stop over at the Millers Inn, Sibson. We have stayed here before and the staff are lovely, the meals delicious and the ensuite rooms comfortable. What more could we want?

Monday 29th April was to be a long day. We rose early as we had long journey ahead of us. Before lunch we were due to attend St Joseph’s School, Brighouse to talk to the 240 pupils and judge a  drawing and writing competition. We took along with us the ‘Nosey Paca’s', Peter Paca & The Mystery of the Missing Scarecrow to read to the children who were all too young to read our books. The winners of the competitions were presented with certificates, signed copies of the childrens books donated by Phil & Deb Capon and a £10 Waterstones voucher for the winner of the writing competition. Millie Wood’s winning story will  be published in full by Editor Melanie Hill in The Scally Mag Magazine in Halifax – Here is the link to April/May issue


Below is what Maggie Woods the Editor of The Brighouse Echo wrote about our visit!


It’s very important for us to teach crime prevention to the children and how better than making learning fun!


With our grand daughter Hermione.

Not only did we get to meet the Head Teacher Mrs Hodges but also Mrs Bonner, the staff, and the very well behaved children. Our grand daughter Hermione attends the school and so we were were lucky enough to be able to take her home and spend some time with her and our nine month old grand daughter Annabelle Rene (Bella)! Ahhh…

Tuesday 30th April and we set off early from Shelf where we were staying courtesy of Ian and Janet Beckwith, to Leeds – the financial city of the north.

The town was buzzing by the time we got into the city although it looks pretty quite outside the BBC Yorkshire building doesn’t it?

Bob is often heard commenting on issues on BBC Radio Leeds and it was lovely to meet up with our old friends Katy, Layla and Wes who tucked into Isle of Wight biscuits.  A sneak look into BBC Radio Leeds studio. ;-)

Katy in the outside offices to the studio.

Bob, Carol & Producer Layla! 

Wes Butters in his ‘Bubble’ and in two minutes we will be in those chairs being interviewed for the show. :-)

When old friends meet! What a lovely guy. Bob, Carol & Wes!

Listen again to our interview on our website & our publishers website

By 11.00am we were on our way to Waterstones in Albison Street Leeds to sign books and meet the winner of last years competition to be character named in the fifth DI Dylan novel. And here she is, nominated by her mum Angela, Fearne Robinson who will be featured as PC Fearne Robinson in ‘Reprobates’! Calendar TV aimed to catch up with us today but serious events in the Yorkshire TV area took over sadly.

I did manage to capture a little chat with Fearne who had travelled all the way from Brighouse with her mum Angela and you can see it here @

Wednesday saw us in the Waterstones in the Ridings Centre in Wakefield. Before we had arrived there had been a note left from retired Detective Chief Superintendent John Holt… were we in trouble? No, he just wanted a couple of copies of the book before heading off for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to work on a policing project for the Ministry of the Interior. ‘Love ’em,’ he said. ‘Love the character of DI Dylan. It’s just as it is…’ What better compliment could we have?

 Bob & John – Just like the old days!

And today we have a little surprise for you because you will all have heard about the birth of Maisy Dylan by now, but here is the real life Maisy Murphy whose mums pregnancy we followed for Jen’s fictional birth. From this day forward you will see Maisy Dylan grow in the Dylan series with all her little antidotes!

Maisy Murphy (Maisy Dylan) looking for her name in the book!

Maisy and her real mum Emily Murphy!

 The Dylan series characters are loosely based on Bob and I, so here is Jen, Maisy and Dylan together for the first time!

And straight onto see Producer Jo Kenyon and the team for our interview on bcbradio where we bumped into Mark Burns-Williamson the Crime Commissioner of West Yorkshire.

We had a lovely reception from the staff at Prego’s and as always the meal was delicious. If you haven’t dined here you are missing a real Italian treat

What was wonderful about that evening was meeting two little girls who we had talked to in the assembly at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Brighouse on Monday. Both Grace and Gabby came up to our table to introduce themselves, told us how we had inspired them to write and spoke to us about their writing projects since our visit to the school. Great news girls!

The Dewsbury & Mirfield Reporter did a great piece on our visit.


 Thursday and we are in Halifax  WH Smiths!

Terrific turn out in Calderdale as usual – great to see all the Dylan fans at the venue.

 Here I am with our grand daughter Bella, and you may have read about these two ladies in the Dylan novels. Dorothy ‘the duties clerk’ & Janet ‘Hugo Watkins Secretary’? ;-) Character named after two ladies we worked with who did the job in real life.

From WH Smith we went directly to Dean Clough Mills to meet up with Megan Longworth for an interview on Pheonix Radio. Megan has just finished reading ‘White Lilies’ and put out a ’tissue alert’ on it to all her listeners.

Great to see you again Megan!

Now onto our favourite restaurant in West Yorkshire which is Pregos in Brighouse for a meeting with the guys at Reel Solutions in Halifax! - the people in the film industry. There was lots to talk about with Executive Director Bill Lawrence. ;-)

Friday takes us back to Bradford Woolshops to see our friends at the Waterstones store. This store has got to be the most beautiful bookstore in the world.

Bob with DI Dylan fan Gillian Dunce whom we met in Poole Waterstones last year. She had come to Bradford to buy the latest novel in the series ‘White Lilies’ and bought the audio book of ‘Deadly Focus’ for her husband Gavin. What a nice lady!

The statue of Richard Cobden in the main hall in Waterstones Woolshops Bradford . The inscription is, “FREE TRADE PEACE GOODWILL AMONG NATIONS”.

Inside Waterstones main hall Bradford.

 Carol with Crime Correspondent Steve Wright of the Telegraph & Argus and Author in his own right of ‘Run With Your Heart’ a wonderful, heartwarming story about the bond between a man and his horse.

And here is his write up in the T&A

 From Bradford we headed back to Brighouse to meet up with the girls of the media! THE Women of West Yorkshire! A great night was had by all, and since it was our last night we had to say goodbye to the lovely staff at Prego’s too. Thank you Lidia and Vittorio we WILL be back – your restaurant, service, food and the atmosphere in Prego’s is second to none. Would you believe Bob had the same main course three nights running? Prego’s Tagliatelle Forttore is to die for!

 Saturday – it may be our last book signing in West Yorkshire for ‘White Lilies’ but it definately wasn’t the least! We hit the No. 1 spot with the ‘Dylan’ series this week!


Andy Wormald and his daughter Joanna travelled all the way from Scarborough to catch up with us. You might just see Andy and Simon Clegg (and his son Nathaniel) seen here with us ‘character named’ in the next Dylan novel – watch this space, as they say!

The staff helped us celebrate our success!

As did Tracy Petterson who you might remember character named in ‘Consequences’.


We’re starting our readership young!

Carol, Bella and Isabelle Pickles

And head down signing books.

The Huddersfield Examiner write up!


Sunday morning we left the sweeping hills and valleys of  West Yorkshire in beautiful sunshine and head towards Stratford Upon Avon, where we will be book signing tomorrow in Waterstones. The hotel in Stratford is ‘ The Swan’ and is situated directly across the bridge from the Royal Shakespear Company building. The weather’s beautiful and the place buzzing when we arrive on Sunday afternoon. Our room was called the ‘Wryneck’!

The RCS in Stratford Upon Avon

As we were only staying one night in Stratford it was up early Monday morning (May Bank Holiday), all the bags back in the car and we headed for the Waterstones store. Here, waiting for us was another Dylan fan, Richard Pauley who had travelled down from Birmingham to see us. Thank you for the lovely White Lilies card Richard – by Batlik Artist Sarah Jones!

It was a very warm day and getting out of Stratford for the crowds at the end of our book signing was no mean feat! But we were off by half past three and very excited as we were on our way to Oxford to see Sally Wainwright to discuss our latest adventure with her – ‘Happy Valley’ BBC 1 6 x 60 mins kidnap drama series.

Sally met us and we went back to her house for afternoon tea, where there was a lovely surprise waiting for us – we got to hold the, very heavy, BAFTA award that she had been presented with in April for ’Last Tango in Halifax’.

Actress Anne Reid, Scriptwriter Sally Wainwright and her husband Austin at the BAFTA’s 

Sally Wainwright also comes from Halifax and and her and Carol went to the same school, Sowerby Bridges Grammar School, and even had the same teachers would you believe - although Sally is a few years younger than Carol, so although Carol knew of Sally they did not get to know each other until last year. Meeting her was a total revelation for them both and the were soon reminising and also found they had not only teachers in common but also friends! It’s a small world.

We feel very lucky and proud to be working with Sally and Red Productions on ‘Happy Valley’ and we are scheduled to begin filming later this year. You will all know of Sally & Red Productions for their work on  ’At Home With The Braithewaites’, ’Jane Hall’, ‘Unforgiven’, ’Scott & Bailey’ and now ’Last Tango In Halifax’ which she has now won two BAFTA’s. Sally is about much more than just these popular TV series, as you can see here -

We stayed at a lovely place called ‘The Bear’ in Woodstock and had a lovely meal with Sally talking over storylines and plans for the future.

The dining room and bar at The Bear in Woodstock

And now we’re home and our publishers Caffeine Nights Publishers – - tell us that ‘Snow Kills’ the fourth in the DI Dylan series is scheduled for later this year so we’ve lots to do and lots to look forward to yet in 2013.

I’ll keep you updated, as they say ;-)

Contact us @

Twitter @rcbridgestock

Facebook – RC Bridgestock

‘Life Happens’ by Life Coach Maggie Currie. How do I know if I have low self esteem? And how can I change that?


Maggie Currie – Life Coach!


How do I know I have low self-esteem? And how can I change that?


Low self-esteem manifests itself in a variety of ways, and I should know I have been there.  For me the following was very true:


  • I didn’t think I was good enough.
  • I thought everyone else thought they were good enough.
  • I didn’t look after myself, I put others first.
  • I let people manipulate me.
  • I was in a bad relationship.
  • I felt sad and thought there must be more to life than this.
  • I constantly asked other people for their opinion, I didn’t think I knew anything.
  • I was verbally and emotionally abused and never felt I was worthy.


I started out with the intention of being happy when I got married at age 19, but soon discovered that the marriage was not working as I was constantly treated like an idiot, not allowed to develop as me, told I was worthless and became a possession.  This situation went on for 12 years and my self-esteem nose-dived.


Getting out of that relationship led me to become a single parent, living in a small flat with three small children, no money, no job, no prospects and I felt there was no hope.  My self-esteem went down even further.


Does anything resonate with you yet? Can you see the likenesses in your life at the moment? Well there is hope.


It took me a while, some years, but I found the answers to rebuilding my self-esteem and my life to such an extent that I run a successful business that I set up and I am a published author. I married again and have been very happily married for 29 years to a wonderful man who loves me.  I have retrained as a life coach and work with people who have no self-esteem and help them to re-build it and I love every minute of it. I know how it feels, I know it hurts and that’s why I can help so many people.  I am still learning, life is a school and I attend every day.


So what can you do right now to begin to change your situation and start to re-build your self-esteem? 


  • Stop thinking that you are not good enough.  You most definitely are.
  • Begin to look after yourself, put yourself first. It is not selfish – it is essential.
  • Before you think that you don’t have the answer stop, really think about the question, the answer is there, you just have to find it deep down inside yourself.
  • There is more to life than you have now, it is out there waiting for you. What is it that you want? Picture it in your head, write it down, look for it and you will attract it to you.
  • Listen to your intuition. Really listen. It is telling you what is right for you.

By changing your attitude towards yourself other people will change their attitudes towards you, it will take time, but it will happen.

Begin today to change your life. You deserve to be happy and to be yourself. You deserve to have high self-esteem.