Who Would I choose?


Some writers know from the start not only what their characters look like, but who they would like to play them in a film, or TV adaptation. As part of their character building, they find pictures in magazines and make character boards, on Pinterest, or paste photos on noticeboards.

I don’t work like that. Liz, Bernie and Elsa in “Picking up the Pieces” all came as ready made images.Picking Up The Pieces I could see Liz striding along The Downs with her long hair escaping from its pins and her flowing hippy type skirt, while Elsa in matching coat and dress, perfect hair do, nails and rings was waiting for her at The Grand. Bernie too came fully formed, in her slightly too tight best dress and uncomfortable shoes.

Poppy, Liz’s actress daughter, is based on my daughter Posy and I’ve taken the photograph of her clutching her cat from real life.

If I had to cast my characters in a film, however.

Kristin_Scott_Thomas_Cabourg_2013Kristin Scott-Thomas would play serious and self-analysing, Liz

Miranda Richardson, the fluffy, materialistic Elsa.Miranda Richardson

And Olivia Coleman, responsible and caring, Bernie.Olivia Coleman

Though if I could manipulate time, Zaza Gabor would be perfect for Elsa.

As for Ed. Well there is only one choice. George Clooney.George-Clooney

The Tigress’ Invitation to Tea

A lovely twist on a classic tale.


The Tigress? Invitation to Tea

Once there was a little girl called Sophie, and she was having breakfast with her mummy in the kitchen.

Suddenly there was the sound of a letter dropping onto the doormat.

Sophie?s mummy?s name was Lena. Lena said, ?I wonder what that can be. It can?t be the postman, because he came earlier. And it can?t be the newspaper, because today isn?t Sunday.?

Sophie went to the door. On the doormat there was a big, stripy, orange and gold envelope.

She took it to Lena. Sophie and Lena opened it together.

Inside there was a card. It said:

?I?m very sorry that my son the tiger ate all your food and drank all your drinks. He is just out of cubhood and is still very naughty sometimes. I would like to invite you both for tea tomorrow at my home to thank you for being…

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This made my mouth water.

An Englishwoman in Algeria

Nous ne sommes pas paresseux. Nous prenons le temps de vivre, ce qui n’est pas le cas des occidentaux. Pour eux, le temps, c’est de l’argent. Pour nous, le temps n’a pas de prix. Un verre de thé suffit à notre bonheur, alors qu’aucun bonheur ne leur suffit. Toute la différence est là, mon garçon..

We are not lazy.  We take time out to live our lives, unlike Westerners. For them time is money. For us, time is priceless. A glass of tea is enough to make us happy, whilst no amount of happiness is enough for them. That makes all the difference, my boy…

Yasmina Khadra —  Ce que le jour doit à la nuit (What the Day Owes to the Night)

Teatime  seems to have become a quaint anachronistic habit in Britain. Foreign visitors are probably the only ones carrying out this time-honoured ritual in the many Olde Tea Shoppes scattered around the…

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Posy Miller: Juliet in Jamaica


Posy JulietToday is Posy’s forty-sixth, birthday. Or rather should I say, would have been. The exact terminology is difficult here. Although she died in 2001, in so many ways she is still part of us and definitely part of our lives. So although she is not here to celebrate with us, we will be raising a glass to her and reminiscing. What will make this celebration extra special is that that we will be sharing it with her great friend and companion in devilment, Jonathan Clarkson.

The stories he can tell, I will leave up to him, what I’ve been remembering, is how Pose achieved her ambition to play Juliet.

It began with a conversation. She was visiting us in Jamaica and we had been to Port Royale, once the pirate capital of the Caribbean only the ruined citadel remains, but she saw it as the perfect setting for “Romeo and Juliet”. At the time Pose had no funding, no company and only a couple of actors she knew she could call on for her project. Nothing daunted she allied herself with Jim Malcolm, the deputy High Commissioner, and a good friend of ours, and together they hatched a cunning plan.

The upshot of which was a tour of the island by In Cahoots, Posy’s newly formed theatre company. While she went back to the UK to audition fellow actors, Jim set about funding from the Arts Council and finding venues and accommodation for the company.

They arrived on a hot, steamy Jamaican night, on the ten o’clock flight from London. As well as their luggage, they had a box of swords, which Jonathan insisted looked like a coffin for a dwarf. Special clearance had to be given to bring these dangerous weapons into what was at the time the murder capital of the world. Once safely through customs, the tour could begin.

There were performances in schools, hotels and the Edna Manley Theatre in Kingston, which was an open air amphitheatre. This was my first experience of Shakespeare in Jamaica and I loved the way the audience was totally involved. They cheered, they clapped, they called out warnings and advice to the characters.

Down Town Kingston was another experience altogether. Because at the time there was much violence between rival political factions, the actors were driven there in convoy, guarded by police. As we reached the boundary between New Kingston and Down Town, the lead car stopped, the driver got out and fixed a Union Jack on the bonnet. Being British we could pass safely through the worst areas, but even so, the route was lined with armed police and half way through the play the Inspector came in with his AK47 to check that all was well.

Once again the audience was brilliant and the headmistress and staff so grateful that the actors had come to their school. Not that a little matter like gang violence would have stopped Pose. If it was at all possible then she would do it.

Half MoonIn direct contrast was the performance at Half Moon Hotel, where the actors had their own villa, plus maids and a cook and butler. The house had its own pool and there was skinny dipping at midnight and horse riding along the beach at dawn.

The most magical evening, for me however, was at the High Commission where on a balmy tropic night the tragedy of the two young lovers was played out on the veranda of the old colonial mansion.

Posy Juliet 1

There will be no more outdoor Shakespeare, no strange plays in little theatres, or appearances at the Edinburgh Festival.

But Pose being Pose, this is not the end of the story. After she died, her friend Guy made a film using clips for a project that was to be pitched to the BBC.

Sam Jackson’s Video Diary, is out still out there and has recently been re-mastered. If you want to see her again, or just get a flavour of the woman she was.  Click HERE.




A Day in the Life of Mary Mae Lewis

Thank you to my latest guest Mary Mae Lewis.

Mary Lewis.

First of all I want to say I only consider myself a writer now I have a book published! “Where there’s a Will, There’s a Woman” is my new release and I can hardly believe that it’s out there for everyone to read.

Although I am a writer I am also a wife, mother and grand mother so my writing has to fit around other peoples’ needs!

Also we have  big house and garden to attend to in the Uk ,and  another to think about in Spain .

I don’t sit at my computer and write everyday, when I am home , but what I do do, nearly everyday , is make notes in my Bright Ideas book, which I carry around  in my handbag.Daily Scribble book (1) I also  often write  in my scribble book and I do keep a diary of events, and amusing incidents , which I seem to get involved in frequently !!

I  read a lot, besides newspapers, I like novels and I do have a kindle . I usually make  a note of  interesting facts or people and later Google them and makes notes for my file, which badly needs updating ! I have no shortage of material to use in my writing I just need to find the time to use it !

I can only seriously write when I am in Spain with no distractions ! Luckily I spend 6 months of the year now in Almeria Southern  Spain , ( in two month chunks ) and write at a desk  by a window with a view of the Mediterranean and  only  the sound of the waves to keep me company !View from ground floor. Sol y Mar Spain

See my web page for more Info:

See my web page for more Info;https://www.author-marymaelewis.co.uk/

BookCover; Where There's a Will, There's a Woman (1)

Where there ‘s a Will, There’s a Woman   is  available on Amazon : links below .

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Where-Theres-Will-Woman/dp/154898082X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Kindle e-Book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Where-Theres-Will-Woman-ebook/dp/B0742DHVBM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Woman eBook: Mary Mae Lewis: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store


Where There’s A Will, There’s A Woman eBook: Mary Mae Lewis: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store


Winter Downs reprise : Nelli Rees – the Casting #winterdowns #crime #reading

Jan Edwards

Continuing my reprise of the Winter Downs blog tour  here is the posting hosted by the writer and jazz singer Nelli Rees – originally posted here.


Jan Edwards has had her new novel “Winter Downs” published (Penkhull Press). Find below more information about the book and the writer, as well as what Jan said when asked, who would be playing the main parts if her book were made into a film or a TV series (you all know my passion for movies!).

This is the reply I got from Jan to my question, who she would like to play the parts if the book were dramatised:

When Nelli asked me who I would cast for Winter Downs as a film or TV series I have to admit to a slight panic; not least because I can never remember names! After a monster Googling session I have come up…

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Anuk Naumann:Guest Blog

Anuk 4Blog

  • Tell us something about yourself. I am an artist living and working in the Cotswolds. I split my time between working for exhibitions and working in my large garden.I love cooking, so try to process the fruit and vegetables which we grow organically.
  • How long have you been painting? I have painted for as long as I can remember, and as I am now 66 years old, that’s a long time.
  • How and when did you start. I can’t really remember not painting and drawing, so at school and at home I painted whenever I could.
  • Did any one artist/teacher inspire or influence you? I have always loved the strong colours and brushstrokes of Van Gogh
  • Where do you work? I am very lucky to have a studio in my garden; easy to access but away from the house. I also hold exhibitions there during our annual Artweeks festival.
  • Tell us something about the different styles in which you work/have worked. I work only in water based media, so have painted exclusively in watercolour in the past, but now use mixed media: a combination of collage, gesso and acrylic paint. I aim to move away from a representationl style of painting toward more of a fee abstract style; still working on it!
  • Is any particular style a favourite?
  • goldenpearsandpi2A loose, free semi abstract style, with some elements that the viewer can recognise. Not too challenging.
  • Where do you get your inspiration? Depending on my mood a number of things inspire me. I love still life painting, so a collection of personal objects can be the start of a painting. If I am out walking, certain landscapes can sow a germ of inspiration, or a particular area of the country, i.e the coast.
  • edgeofthewoods
  • When we had cats, I used to paint them and still include them in some of my garden or interior picturesAnuk's Cat 1.
  • What do you listen to when you work? Radio 4
  • Recently your work has been used in cover designs for books, did this pose any challenges/problems? Not really; the copyright rest with me as an artist. It is lovely to see my work on the cover of books.
  • Picking Up The Pieces
  • Thank you Anuk. If you want to see more of Anuk’s work her website is
  • http://www.anuknaumann.co.uk/landscapes.html

PS Picking up the Pieces is now on special offer  on Kindle at 99p