24 December 2015

Best Wishes of The Season

Best Wishes for the 2015 Winter Holiday Season - whichever festival you choose (or do not choose) to celebrate - and all the best for 2016, which is going to contain the launch of "Years Ago You Coloured Me", my new poetry collection. Needless to say, I'm rather excited about it.

Here's to 2016!



17 December 2015

A Christmas Story

The second part of the Midwinter Special 2015, published by Three Drops From a Cauldron, is now live and available to read online. It features poetry and flash fiction from, amongst others: Jackie Briggs, Bethany Rivers, Mary Franklin, Chris Hemingway, Gareth Writer-Davies, Paul Tristram and J.S.Watts.

J.S.Watts' flash fiction is a dark look at one historical aspect of Christmas and is called "A Christmas Story - For The Children", but you might not want to let your children read it...

You can find part II of the Midwinter Special here

14 December 2015

Christmas - Written (A Giftmas Blog Tour Post)

The second of J.S.Watts' blog posts within Rhonda Parrish's Giftmas Blog tour has now been published. Whilst the first of the two posts reflected J.S.'s real life experiences of Christmas, this second post looks at how those experiences have infiltrated and coloured her writing, including her most recent novel, Witchlight.

Rhonda Parrish herself is hosting the second post, "Christmas-Written", which you can read by clicking here.

If you missed it, you can still read the first post, "Christmas-Real Life", hosted by the writer Jaylee James, by clicking here.

10 December 2015

Voices For Peace

Literary magazine, A New Ulster, has responded to this year's violent events by producing an anthology, "Voices for Peace".

The anthology includes poems by, amongst others, Amos Grieg, Michael Whelan, Marion Clarke and J.S.Watts. Two poems by J.S. are included: Broken Parts March Past (which was first published in the "Poems For Peace Anthology") and Replacing Helicopters with Buzzards (a brand new, previously unpublished poem)

You can read the online version of the anthology for free by clicking here

5 December 2015

Christmas - Real Life (A Giftmas Blog Tour Post)

As noted previously, this year J.S.Watts is participating in Rhonda Parrish's Giftmas Blog tour. J.S.'s first post, Christmas - Real Life, has now been posted on the writer Jaylee James' blog.

Thank you, Jaylee, for being such an hospitable host.

If you want to know how J.S. spent her childhood Christmases or what Christmas means to J.S. now, click on the above link or here.

The Fortune Teller - Mirror Dance

J.S. Watts is delighted that her poem The Fortune Teller is featured in the Winter 2015 issue of the rather superb online magazine Mirror Dance. You can read J.S.'s poem and explore the whole magazine by clicking on the above links.

27 November 2015

Giftmas Blog Tour - December 2015

This December (starting just next week) sees the month long Giftmas Blog Tour with Christmas/ Mid-Winter themed posts and raffle giveaways.

You can see a list of the generous prizes over at Rhonda Parrish's blog. The contest and tour start on 1st December on Rhonda's blog and J.S.Watts will be contributing two blog posts to the tour. One is due to appear on the blog of the writer Jaylee James and the other will be hosted by Rhonda Parrish herself.

Visit Rhonda's blog on 1st December for more details or call back here on or around 5th December for details of J.S.'s first post of the tour.

21 November 2015

Giftmas Blog Tour - Coming Soon...

This Christmas, J.S.Watts is participating in a "Giftmas Blog Tour". Check back over the next two weeks for further details...

13 November 2015

Coming Soon...

There is going to be news of new poems, stories and books... soon. Keep an eye on this website in the coming months for further news.

30 October 2015

'Twas The Nite Afore Guy Fawks Nite

The Blake Society of Downing College is hosting a poetry and spoken word night on Wednesday 4th November in Downing College JCR. It is open to everyone. Mark McGivern will be compering the evening and introducing featured performances by J.S.Watts, Abi Palmer, Lulu Agate and Callum Church and encouraging everyone else to share their work via the open mic.

7.30pm at Downing College JCR, Downing College, Regent Street, Cambridge on Wednesday 4th November.

20 October 2015

Blog Hopping with Paranormal Love Wednesdays

There is a blog hop dedicated to the paranormal romance lover (or lovers of paranormal with romantic elements, or romance with paranormal elements, or any other combination). It's called Paranormal Love Wednesdays and you can read more about the hop over at the blog, but, basically, in four paragraphs or less a participating writer gives the reader a peek into their story or novel.

As my latest novel Witchlight definitely fits the category of paranormal with romantic elements, I thought I'd give it a go:

The blurb: Holly has been mortal all her life. Now at thirty-eight, her fairy godfather arrives to tell her she’s a witch, and suddenly she's having to come to terms with the uncertainties of an alarmingly magic-fuelled world. Magic is not like it is in the books and films, and Holly starts to doubt whether her fairy godfather, Partridge Mayflower, is the fey, avuncular charmer he appears.When appearances are magically deceptive, Holly cannot afford to trust those closest to her, including herself. Accidents start to happen, people die, Old Magic is on the hunt, but in the age-old game of cat and mouse, just who is the feline and who is the rodent?

A Review: "Witchlight is an enchanting read that will tickle the reader with its humor and adventure." San Francisco Book Review

An Excerpt:    Twenty seconds after the cat vacated its spot in the darkest and most secluded part of the field, a blob of pale turquoise light appeared a metre or so above the grass, expanded in volume and brightness, and then disappeared with a barely audible poof! leaving in its place a short, dapper man in well-washed blue jeans and an extremely bright and ever-so-slightly twinkly turquoise shirt. He patted himself down, smoothed his already immaculate auburn hair, and walked across the closely cropped combination of grass, thistles, and nettles towards the back of the houses overlooking the field. His intended destination was the somewhat rampant looking garden at the back of number sixty-six Basingfield Lane in which Holly Jepps, the owner, was currently attempting to tame some long-untended grass.
                         Holly remained unaware of her impending visitor until he leaned over the back fence, coughed politely, and in distinctly over-emphatic tones said, “Hi Holly, good to meet you. How’s it going?” 

1 October 2015

Aren't You Just A Wee Bit Curious?

J.S. is mightily chuffed to have a brand new poem in the Curious Issue of Popshot Magazine. Moreover, "Blue Eggshell Moment" (the poem in question) has been sumptuously illustrated by the rather talented Karolina Burdon. Popshot Magazine has this to say on the matter,

"Our brand new issue, neatly packed with short stories, poems and illustrations exploring the theme of 'Curious', is fresh off the press and out now. Available to buy as a single issue or through a Popshot subscription.

Find out more at http://www.popshotpopshot.com/posts/20151001-out-now-the-new-issue-of-popshot"

So you're going to have a little look, aren't you, because you must, by now, be just a wee bit curious...

Go on - let your curiosity get the best of you. You just have to click here

20 September 2015

Poetry Unplugged Vol II

Following the huge success of their first Poetry Unplugged evening, Rhode Island Cafe are in full
swing for round two of a fun and creative evening filled with poetry readings and open mic, hosted
once again by none other than the fantastic Jonathan Totman, current Fenland Poet Laureate. The event will be taking place on Wednesday, 30th September.

The two headlining poets are J.S. Watts and Robin Lamboll.

There'll also be open-mic slots. Pop in beforehand for a chance to enjoy some excellent food and drink. Last orders for food will be 7.30pm, with poetry starting at 8pm. Bar open until 9.30pm with the restaurant closing at 9.45pm/10pm.

Entry is £3.00 on the door. Rhode Island is at 15 High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge.

14 September 2015

Yeovil Literary Prize For Poetry 2015

Much excitement as J.S.Watts' poem "View from Sheep Field Barn, Much Hadham" wins Third Prize in this year's Yeovil Literary Prize for poetry!

For those interested in the detail of things, Sheep Field Barn is part of the Much Hadham estate of the renowned sculptor Henry Moore.

Second prize went to Peter Marshall for his poem "Primary School Hall" and the coveted first prize went to Stephanie Conn for "Making Butter".

You can read the full results and the judge's comments here.

6 September 2015

So Which Ones Are Your Favourites?

J.S.Watts' poetry collection, Cats and Other Myths features in this Sunday's blog post by Jennie Byrne of the literary magazine, Under The Fable.

Byrne found the collection to be "a thoroughly enjoyable read" and highlighted both "All Hallows" and "Mirror" as her two favourite poems. She's invited readers of Under The Fable's blog to respond with their own favourites.

5 September 2015

A Darker Moon in Video

Following on from the video readings of the first chapter of her paranormal novel, "Witchlight", J.S.Watts has recorded chapters one and two of her literary, dark fiction novel, "A Darker Moon".

The videos are available for your viewing and listening pleasure on YouTube and to make matters even easier still, they are gathered here together on this post.

Just click to watch and listen.

3 September 2015

Sex and Scrapyards

Under The Fable, a newly launched literary magazine that has just celebrated the publication of its second issue (N.B. they are now seeking submissions for their third issue), has recently concluded a UK reading tour. Adam Ward, the magazine's Creative Editor, has blogged about his top ten highlights from the tour, which includes, at number 4, sex, scrapyards and J.S.Watts...

On which note, you are just going to have to read the blog post to find out more. Click here to read it in full.

30 August 2015

Poetry in Covent Garden

J.S.Watts will be reading her poetry, live, in Covent Garden on Wednesday, 2nd September. You can catch her set, along with readings from a host of other poets, from 7pm at the Adventure Bar, 20 Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9HP.

It would be great to see you there.

25 August 2015

Orbis Summer Edition #172

Issue 172 of the quarterly international literary journal Orbis is about to go on sale.

Its very readable contents include both a poem, "Lessons From The Pattern Book" and a short piece of prose, "Target Setting", by J.S.Watts, alongside work by featured poet Owain Lewis and poems by Allen Ashley, Yuko Minamikawa Adams and Angela Topping, to name but a few of the many contributors.

20 August 2015

Books in a Bookshop - well I never!

If you haven't got your copy of J.S.'s new novel "Witchlight" yet and you live within shopping distance of Cambridge (the UK one, that is), you may want to note that paperback copies of "Witchlight" are now stocked by Heffers in Cambridge City Centre. That's Heffers, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TB. "Witchlight" is waiting for you there...

"Witchlight is an enchanting read that will tickle the reader with its humor and adventure." San Francisco Book Review

"I was captured by the book from the first chapter... The author really knows how to write!" TMBA Corbett Tries to Write

20 July 2015

Morpheus Tales Supplement - July 2015

The new Morpheus Tales Supplement is out, which means that, for FREE and for gratis you can read J.S.Watts' reviews of "Ghosts" by Paul Kane and "The Bones of Willow Lake" by Rhiannon Mills. Great stuff, but even more exciting is the full length article by J.S. on the subject of her recent novel "Witchlight". So, if you are after insights into "Witchlight" or want to know what J.S. thinks about the writing of her fellow dark-fiction writers, go check out the FREE Morpheus Tales Supplement

30 June 2015

The Literary Commune

Issue 5 of the Literary Commune is a Britlit special. As you can see, it includes poetry from J.S.Watts. For further details see The Literary Commune blogspot

14 June 2015

Shades of Witchlight - The Photo-blog

Did you miss last month's launch party for J.S.Watts' new paranormal novel, "Witchlight"?

Were you at the party and would like the chance to reminisce?

Would you like to see photos of some of the locations within "Witchlight"?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, or if you just like photographs, your luck is in. Over on her photo-blog, Random Acts of Would-be Photography, J.S. has gathered together some of the photographs from the launch party, plus a few new ones which also relate to the plot of "Witchlight" and constructed a brand new photo-blog post around then. Hopefully they provide a flavour of both the party and the novel.

Check them out here.

2 June 2015

Strawberries Down By The River

This coming Saturday, 6th June, is Cambridge's very own Strawberry Fair and the theme this year is "Down By The River"

J.S. is proud to be performing her poetry at the 41st Strawberry Fair and at approximately 3:45pm will take to the Wild Strawberries Stage on Midsummer Common to perform a ten minute set of sweetly ripened poetry and gently flowing lyricism.

Strawberry Fair is a FREE event, so please drop by to listen. You can find the Wild Strawberries Stage in the Eastern Bloco section of the fair.

1 June 2015

The Kiss and Beyond

The June edition of Beyond Science Fiction is out and available on Amazon.com

In it you can find "The Kiss", thought provoking flash fiction from J.S.Watts, and all the following wonderful words:

Amid The Steep Sky’s Commotion: A Tale of the Airship Ozymandias - Written by Josh Roseman
Captain Bartholomew Quasar and the Runaway Train on Zeta Moon 3 - Written by Milo James Fowler
The Spectatre - Written by L. Jo Trostle
7 Days to Die - Minecraft Meets the Zombie Apocalypse - Written by Ethan                                                    Cunningham
Facets - Written by Joe Jablonski
The Definition of Johnny - Written by Damien Krsteski
A Time Travel Surprise - Written by Jesse Rebock
The Hole - Written by Dylan Otto Krider
The Kiss - Written by J.S.Watts
A Review of Starship Troopers - Written by Seth A. Frederiksen
The Time has Come - Written by Elise Morin
Tomorrow's Fast Food - Written by John A. Frochio
When Good Men Do Nothing - Written by Seth Frederiksen
Waveson - Written by Diana Rohlman

29 May 2015

Witchlight on Cambridge 105

Last week, J.S.Watts appeared on Leigh Chamber's Mid Morning Show on Cambridge 105 to talk about her new novel, "Witchlight".

This week, the podcast of Cambridge 105's Best of the Guests from last week includes Leigh Chambers hearing from author JS Watts who chats about her new fantasy and paranormal novel, Witchlight, set in South Cambridgeshire. 

There are lots of interesting people on this podcast and it is well worth a listen all the way through, but if you want to cut to the chase, you can find J.S.'s section at 1hour, 21minutes and 30 seconds. 

Go here to listen to all or part of the podcast.

28 May 2015

Witchlight in Video

Would you like someone to read the first chapter of Witchlight out loud to you? Happens you're in luck.

To celebrate the launch of her paranormal novel, Witchlight, J.S.Watts recorded a series of five short videos of her reading the opening chapter of Witchlight. The videos are available for your viewing and listening pleasure on YouTube and to make matters even easier still, they are gathered here together on this post.


Video One

Video Two

Video Three

Video Four

Video Five (Final one)

23 May 2015

End of The Line, End of the Blog-Tour

The eighth and final post has now gone up on J.S.Watts' Goodreads Blog. You can read the post in its entirety here:

Well that was the week and what a week it was!

The Witchlight blog-tour started here on Goodreads last Saturday. From here we went to Bristol in the UK with Bristol Book Blog (BRSBKBLOG), then to Brook Cottage Books, Portugal with Susan Roebuck, Coffee with friends and Ute Carbone in The States. We stayed in The States For Candy's Raves and Battered Suitcase and now here we are back at Goodreads. We’ve considered how life can change in a moment, what can happen when past and present meet, the delights of cross-genre writing, the writing journey and met two key characters from Witchlight. Even Dickens the cat managed to turn his paw to blogging, (brilliantly, he says) and I got to show you, I hope, my novel Witchlight from many different angles.

In the middle of this week’s tour, Witchlight was officially launched in both paperback and e-formats and we managed to party virtually and simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to Facebook and the video-link marvels of Google Hangouts. We even managed some giveaways during the party and now there are further Witchlight giveaways over on Susan Roebuck’s website. (Catch them while you can. They finish on 31st May).

Oh yes, somewhere in the midst of all that there was a radio interview about Witchlight and an amazing book-launch celebration cake.


Some videos of me reading the opening chapter of Witchlight also found their way onto You Tube. You can watch the first video in the sequence here:

That doesn’t seem too shabby for the launch week of Witchlight and, I have to say, I’ve been very pleased with some of the nice comments people have made about Witchlight:

"if you're looking for a cast of lovely characters, an interesting plot, and the story that will reel you in right from the start, then this is it"

"Not to use a witch term, but I was enchanted by Witchlight. I was a fan of Holly from the first page and the writing kept me interested enough to keep turning the page.

I would recommend this book to Paranormal fiction lovers. It's full of witchy goodness, dark and light."

"The scenery and characters were brought to life in exquisite detail."

"This is paranormal at its best, what a truly well written, informative, extraordinary book."

“I reviewed this book and it is FAB!!!”

"Witchlight is a great read"

“I loved it.”

And now we are at the end of the line, which, if you have read Witchlight, you will know has dark significance within the Witchlight story. If you came along for the ride, I hope you enjoyed the trip. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to sample some of the highlights of the tour, they are still out there in the ether, ready and waiting for you to view and read. Please feel free. Of course, Witchlight itself is out there and hoping to be read. Just saying…

22 May 2015

Present and Past

Present and past come together in a variety of ways today.

In the immediate present, the seventh and penultimate blog post in the week-long Witchlight Blog-Tour has been published. The Battered Suitcase Press Blog is kindly hosting J.S.Watts' contemplations on the subject of present and past.

In the recent past, author Susan Roebuck hosted the fourth blog post in the Witchlight Blog Tour, Travelling Across and Up and Down The Page. Susan's own novel, Rising Tide, has also been launched this week and to celebrate the launch of both Witchlight and Rising Tide there is an opportunity to enter a free online raffle giveaway to win copies of the books. The rafflecopter event begins tomorrow (which is in the future at the time of writing this) and runs until 31st May. See Susan's website and blog for further details.

Back to the present, though, and here is the beginning of J.S.'s post on Present and Past:

I am really pleased that this current stage of the blog tour celebrating the May launch of my paranormal novel, “Witchlight”, is being hosted by the Battered Suitcase Press blog of my publisher, Vagabondage Press.

Vagabondage are the people who, in the past, have had sufficient faith in me and my writing to publish two of my novels, first “A Darker Moon” and now, in the present, “Witchlight”. It gives me the opportunity, in the here and now, to thank them for their past trust and the mammoth and ongoing effort involved in designing, publishing and promoting a book and to say, “Thank you, guys. You rock!”

I love the way present and past so often come together, sometimes positively, sometimes not, but inevitably in an intriguing and fascinating way. Two sections of existence’s timeline, separated by months, decades or centuries, but influencing one another and combining to create and shape new events and occurrences.

Writing, whether a letter, a blog post or a novel, is a way of capturing the present and fixing it so that, however long ago something was written, it will always seem the present for someone reading it for the first time. My present thanks to Vagabondage for their past efforts will be available for you to read in your present for as long as this blog remains on line, even when this moment, as I am experiencing it, has long since faded into the past.

There is a coming together of past and present in “Witchlight”. The novel’s lead character, Holly, is content with her present at the start of the novel, but it turns out her past has been holding out on her...

To see the whole of the post and read the conclusion, go to Battered Suitcase Press 

The eighth and final post of the tour will be published tomorrow, when we return to J.S.'s Goodreads Blog, the starting point of the tour a week ago.

21 May 2015

The Witch's Cat

J.S.Watts was unavoidably called away from her computer when the sixth blog post in the Witchlight blog-tour was due to go live. Fortunately a rather special blogger stepped in to the breach to save J.S. and thus the sixth blog post has been published on Candy's Raves on the agreed date.

The post introduces us to Barny, the witch's cat from "Witchlight"... Sorry I've just been instructed to change that to read, the main character from "Witchlight" and a cat with his own witch. Read on and all will become clear...

My human, who writes as J.S.Watts (though I just call her Yiaow), is having a busy time writing posts for the blog tour to promote her new novel, “Witchlight”. Yesterday I tried to help by bringing her a delicately chewed mouse. For some reason, she didn’t seem to appreciate the gesture. Today, I’m going to try a different approach and write a blog post for her while she’s out buying carpet cleaner. She’s bound to be grateful.

Before we get much further in to this post, though, I’ve got to say that I don’t think much of the accuracy of its title. Cats have witches. Witches don’t, per se, have cats, in the same way that humans don’t have cats. Though, of course, according to Yiaow’s novel, witches are humans born with the “abracadabra gene”, so it’s all a bit complicated. Oh well, I guess it gives me the opportunity to tell you about the most important character in her new novel, Barny the cat (though I do feel she should have given him a properly respectful feline name).

First, however, and to put important things into context, I need to tell you about me.

I was only a kitten when I chose Yiaow for myself from amongst the supply of human helpers I was proffered at my temporary residence. Even as a youngster I could detect talent. I don’t mean she’s a good writer, I have no idea, but I knew she was right for me and, if she was going to waste time writing, at least she would be writing about appropriate things.

Yiaow proved her worth and my judgement almost immediately by incorporating me into several of her poems. When she picked the one I thought did me most justice, “Cats and Other Mythical Creatures”, to be the almost title poem of her poetry collection, “Cats and Other Myths”, I knew I was in the cat-as-muse stage of my career.

Next, she started on the artwork for the collection’s cover. She wanted a picture of a cat-dragon, but,
even with the help of a human friend, she couldn’t capture the image exactly as she wanted it. I just sashayed up to her and pointed out that a photograph of me was what the image needed and everything was concluded most satisfactorily. This was the cover-model stage of my career.

Then she wrote me a walk-on part in her novel, “A Darker Moon”. Technically the role was for a female kitten, but in written fiction anything is possible and the little black and white Evie wrung hearts during her brief scene.

Yiaow, however, was to let me down badly...

To see the whole of the post and read the conclusion, go to Candy's Raves

The seventh post of the tour called "Past and Present" is due to be published on Friday on the Battered Suitcase Blog and J.S.Watts will be back in her writing chair..

20 May 2015

Say Hello To Holly

The fifth blog post in the week-long Witchlight Blog Tour has been published. Goodreads author Ute Carbone has generously hosted it on her website. Thank you, Ute.

The post is called "Say Hello To Holly" and it introduces Holly Jepps, the lead character of J.S.'s new paranormal novel Witchlight. The beginning of the post is as follows:

I’m over the moon that the wonderfully generous Ute Carbone has invited me back to her superb blog to talk about (or should that be write about?) my new paranormal novel, Witchlight.

Witchlight is being published this week by Vagabondage Press in both paperback and e-format and Ute’s kind invitation provides me with a brilliant opportunity to introduce you to my novel’s lead character, Holly Jepps. I become very attached to all my characters, but there’s something about Holly that has made her especially special to me and I hope readers of Witchlight are going to like her as much as I do.

Witchlight is a paranormal tale, with a touch of romance. Like Harry Potter, Holly discovers she has previously unknown magic powers, but as she is thirty-eight rather than eleven, all similarities end there. Holly lives on her own with her much-loved pet cat, Barny. She’s a talented personal counsellor, hasn’t had a smooth-run, romantically speaking, and leads a normal, unexceptional life, until one day, and without warning, her fairy godfather turns up to tell her that she’s a witch with inherited magic powers. Needless to say, this comes as something of a shock to Holly, who suddenly has a lot of adjusting to do.

They say that writers always put a little bit of themselves in their characters. To a greater or lesser degree, I agree and that partially explains why I feel such a close affinity for Holly. Whilst I have never been gifted with even the slightest hint of magical powers, I am aware that there is probably more of me in Holly than in most of my other characters. Admittedly I’m not going to see thirty-eight again anytime soon, but Holly is a short, independent woman living on her own in Cambridgeshire, England: a description that pretty much fits me too. Holly lives with Barny, her beloved black and white cat. My life is ruled with a paw of iron by Dickens, a black and white lad who is proudly feline to the tips of his very fine whiskers...

To see the whole of the post and read the second half, along with Ute's introduction, go to Ute's Blog, "Coffee With Friends" http://www.utecarbone.com/coffee-with...

The sixth post of the tour is due to be published on Thursday on the Candy Raves website. It's called "The Witch's Cat" and it has been written by a very special blogger.

19 May 2015

Travelling Across and Up and Down The Page

Today is the official launch day of J.S.Watts' new novel Witchlight in paperback and e-versions. The online launch party is taking place this evening (UK time) and the fourth of her blog posts in the week-long Witchlight blog tour has been published. Author Susan Roebuck has generously hosted it and has also published a wonderfully positive review of Witchlight at the same time.

The post is called "Travelling Across and Up and Down the Page" and a little flavour of it is provided here, but you really need to go to Susan's Blog to read the entire piece and her wonderful review of Witchlight.

When Susan generously invited me to write a guest post for this blog I naturally asked if there was a particular subject she’d like me to write about. “How about your journey to date as a writer?” Fair enough, I thought and so here I am, pen in hand (I invariably write first drafts of anything long hand), wondering where I should begin this summary of what is, in effect, a lifetime’s journey.

I’ve always been an avid reader and writer. I used to say that my earliest significant writing moment was when I was roughly seven or eight and a poem I had written was placed (second, I think, but I may be wrong) in a cross-borough poetry competition. My mother, however, claims to have physical proof that my first poetry success was at the earlier age of four or five, when a poem I wrote about the beauty of nature was one of two chosen to be read out in school morning assembly. Apparently, for blackmail purposes, she has the original poem in question written in my infant scrawl.

Needless to say, I wrote a number of poems and short stories (and a play, if I remember correctly) during my school days and some even won some prizes. There was a brief lull in my writing activity when I went to university and the pressure of late night essay crises and analysing others’ writing won out over my own creative processes. By the time I graduated, however, my writing was once more on the up and I was back to writing poetry again.

For a while I was doing quite well in terms of the publication of my poems in UK literary magazines, but then, as my non-writing career took off, paid work got in the way. Indeed, the further my career progressed, the less writing I did. I never stopped writing poetry altogether, but the time and commitment needed to keep sending the poems out to magazines (and deal with the hundreds of rejections that come back, as well as the occasional joyous acceptance) weren’t there. Writing became, for me, a totally private pursuit. I always told myself, though, that “one of these days” I was going to see if anyone would publish a poetry collection by me and, maybe, whether I’d got a novel in me...

You can see the post in its entirety and read its conclusion at Susan Roebuck http://www.susanroebuck.com/2015/05/t...

Wednesday's post (the fifth in the Witchlight Blog Tour) will be hosted by author Ute Carbone over at her blog, Coffee With Friends: http://www.utecarbone.com/coffee-with... It will be a wonderful opportunity for people to get to meet Holly, the lead character of Witchhlight.

18 May 2015

Pigeonholes Are For Pigeons: the delights of cross-genre writing

The third post in the Witchlight Blog Tour is generously hosted by Brook Cottage Books. In it J.S.Watts talks about cross-genre writing. Read the opening paragraphs here...

As a reader, I enjoy reading genre books of all varieties, but I always get a little thrill when I come across a book that strays beyond traditional genre boundaries, or merges two or more genres. Margaret Atwood’s wonderful novel “Alias Grace” comes to mind: a book that simultaneously manages to be historical fiction, literary fiction, a mystery novel and an insightful piece of writing on human romantic and sexual relationships. Or there is Marcus Zusak’s “The Book Thief”, with its blend of history, emotion and magical-realism. It keeps me, the reader, on my toes, makes me think harder and often manages to deliver the unexpected.

As a writer, therefore, it is perhaps not surprising that my writing tends to be somewhat fluid when it comes to genre boundaries. For example, my poetry, whilst literary in style, frequently has mythical or science fiction themes. My short stories often straddle two or more genres: fantasy and horror, horror and crime, science fiction and fantasy, fantasy and literary fiction, and my first novel, “A Darker Moon” has variously been described as horror, gothic romance, dark fantasy, mythical fantasy, magic-realism, literary fiction and dark fiction. At least everyone agrees that it is dark. I guess I write what I want to read and try not to limit myself to pre-imagined boundaries.

Guess what! My new novel, “Witchlight”, ploughs its own furrow as well. It’s definitely fantasy/ paranormal, as it’s a story of witches and magic in modern-day England, but there’s also humour and a touch of romance, as well as some dark undercurrents. Like Harry Potter, my main character, Holly, discovers she has previously unknown magic powers, but as she is thirty-eight rather than eleven, similarities end there...

You can see the post in its entirety and read its conclusion at Brook Cottage Books

Tuesday's post (the fourth in the Witchlight Blog Tour) will be hosted by the author Susan Roebuck over at her blog http://www.susanroebuck.com/index.html. Tuesday is, of course, the day that Witchlight is officially launched in paperback and e-editions, so there may well be some books up for grabs on Susan's blog! There is also, of course, the online launch party to look forward to on Tuesday as well. It's going to be a busy, but very exciting day.

17 May 2015

A Moment of Change

The second post in the Witchlight Blog Tour is generously hosted by the Bristol Book Blog (BRSBKBLOG). This is how the post begins...

I was about to write that there are two things which fascinate me, but that would be wrong. Many, many things fascinate me and find their way into my writing, but for the purposes of this post there are two things I am going to focus on: the way life can change (for better or worse) in a moment (a blink of an eye, a beat of a heart, the ring of a phone, the ping of an email) and how the things that fascinate me in life invariably end up in my writing, even though my life is pretty mundane and I frequently write about fantasy, science fiction and horror.

So there I was today, working away at something I had planned to do (I have quite a lot on my to do list at present. My new paranormal novel Witchlight comes out in paperback and e-book formats on 19th May) and suddenly my email pings and there is a message from my publisher saying there’s a last minute opportunity to do a guest post to help with the promotion of Witchlight. Will I respond to it? Of course I will. I’ve committed months of my life and untold emotion to the creation of my new book and I want to do right by it and the characters I have created: see it, and them, on their way out into the big bad and uncertain world as best I can. Then I realise that the deadline is very, very close. The piece has to be submitted before 1st May and today is the last day of April and it’s already almost 5pm. I have less than seven hours in which to write this piece and submit it, cook and eat some dinner, go to Thursday band practice (I’m a French Horn player and no, don’t ask), finish what I am currently working on, sort out the cat, prepare for tomorrow’s three back to back events and go to bed at a reasonable time because I’m up early tomorrow morning.

So here I now am, at my keyboard, original work on hold, this evening’s plans interestingly shaken up in the cocktail mixer of life (and no, I doubt that I’ll have time for a real cocktail when 6pm comes round) typing away at this piece. Half a day of plans thrown up in the air at the ping of an email.

Life was ever thus. I’ve always worked in environments where plans can change in a moment and have long recognised that life itself can change dramatically when the phone rings with good (or bad) news, you make eye contact with someone you did not expect to, your number comes up (in the lottery or in a not so good way)...

You can see the post in its entirety and read its conclusion at BRSBKBLOG http://brsbkblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/...

Monday's post (the third in the Witchlight Blog Tour) will be hosted by Brook Cottage Books over at http://www.brookcottagebooks.blogspot...

16 May 2015

First Blog Of The Witchlight Tour

The first blog post on J.S.Watts' eight day Witchlight blog-tour has gone up on J.S.'s Goodreads Blog! Here it is in full:

"Welcome to the first post of the trans-Atlantic Witchlight blog-tour.

If you have been anywhere near my website or Facebook page (or my Goodreads profile, or anyone that’s read one of the special pre-release e-copies, or indeed just me) you will have probably realised that I have a shiny new novel coming out on Tuesday 19th May. It’s called Witchlight. It’s a paranormal story of witchcraft and witchery and it’s going to be available in both the UK and the US in paperback and e-formats from my publisher, Vagabondage Press (and Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, and ibooks and…and…). Needless to say, I’m very excited.

Much of my excitement will inevitably be unleashed at the online launch party that’s taking place on 19th May via Facebook, but before then, and starting with this post, there is an eight day blog tour to promote the novel. Various kind and generous people have agreed to publish an assortment of guest posts from me, each one exploring a different aspect of Witchlight and my writing. The itinerary for the tour has already been published on this blog and on my website here, but you may want to note that the post on Goodreads author Sue Roebuck’s blog, scheduled for launch day itself, will involve a giveaway or two. Similarly, there will probably be some prizes on offer during the online launch party and, if that isn’t exciting enough, e-copies of Witchlight are currently available at an extra special pre-launch sale price (get your copy before 19th May).

Witchlight has been described as “Harry Potter for grown ups, with all the magic and all the humor, plus a cocktail hour and some romantic intrigue. J.S. Watts' lyrical prose, British wit, and irrepressible protagonist make WITCHLIGHT a rollicking read”. It’s a wonderful (and generous) summary, but it is just that – a summary.

In their way, the guest posts on the blog tour are all summaries as well, snapshots of Witchlight in different poses, but I’m hoping that the accumulated impact of the blog tour will provide people with a real taste of Witchlight as a whole, as well as my growing excitement, which I really am having difficulty controlling. Then again, I’m the author. The book’s my baby. I’m allowed to be excited. I would love it, though, if you could come to share my excitement with me.


The second post of the tour is called "A Moment of Change" and will be posted tomorrow, 17th May, on The Bristol Book Blog, otherwise known as BRSBKBLOG, which you can find at http://brsbkblog.blogspot.co.uk "

8 May 2015

Announcing The Witchlight Blog Tour

To celebrate the official launch of her new paranormal novel, "Witchlight", on 19th May, J.S.Watts is embarking on a week-long, non-stop, whistle-tooting blog tour across the UK and the States, starting on Saturday 16th May and finishing on Saturday 23rd May.

The tour timetable looks like this:

J.S.Watts' Goodreads Blog              Commencement of Witchlight Blog Tour                           16/5/15

Bristol Book Blog                              A Moment of Change                                                        17/5/15

Brook Cottage Books                       Pigeon Holes Are For Pigeons                                          18/5/15

Susan Roebuck Blog                        Travelling Across, And Up and Down the Page                19/5/15

Ute Carbone: Coffee With Friends            Say Hello To Holly                                                     20/5/15

Candy Raves                                    The Witch's Cat                                                                 21/5/15

Battered Suitcase Blog                     Past and Present                                                               22/5/15

 J.S.Watts' Goodreads Blog             Conclusion of Witchlight Blog Tour                                    23/5/15

Links to each blog post will be published on this website on as near to a daily basis as can be managed, so please do start checking back from 16th May onwards to join the Witchlight Blog Tour.