Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

So what are you up to this fine Halloween? On previous nights we have had green mash, sausages and beans for dinner, followed by mud pie and jelly worms. Even the dog joined in by drinking 'blood' - coloured water. Tonight is a quiet one, but we will be indulging in pumpkin beer and dark cider as well as some spooky chocs.

Have a good one and stay safe!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

More research...

More St George and the Dragon...


This work is part of a set of four drawings attributed to Rosa Corder after stained glass windows by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1861-62).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What sends shivers up YOUR spine?

Salem's Lot did it for me. This particular scene is the stuff of nightmares - well, it was back then. I wasn't a writer in those days, but I can see where the paranormal ideas now stem from.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


When writing about dragons, you'd think there'd be little to research, but I'm finding myself looking at so many things. I found out that St George's sword was called Ascalon and that he was around about 800 years ago - depending on which source you look at! Did you know? - 'Traditionally, the sword with which St. George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, a name recalling the city of Ashkelon, Israel. From this tradition, the name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II, since St. George is the Patron Saint of England.'

This is one of my favourite paintings by Edward Burne-Jones

One of the seven studies for the painting
Edward Burne-Jones, ‘The Legend of St George and the Dragon, VI: St George Kills the Dragon’, 1866

Monday, September 29, 2014

The story so far...

The Iron City has reached over 43,000 words so I'm well into the story now. It's a lot different from Marvin's Curse in so many ways and new challenges arise every day when I'm thinking or writing. This is the first time I've had to orchestrate a real on-the-lips kiss which might seem strange, but it does require careful planning to get it right. Books and films are so useful for this.
    I also have a vile character who I think I actually dislike to the extreme. Some of the things he does in the story have had me on the brink of tears. Yet, I invented him and make him do these things. That's the joy of writing.
    I'm writing about a betrayal at this point in the story and doing it in such a way that the reader sees both sides of it. It feels exciting to write like that and I hope it enhances the reading experience.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Monday, September 08, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A lovely 5 star review from Melly at Oddity Reviews.

'So when I saw this book II was a bit hesitant because the book while its paranormal sounded like it was something that a young child would enjoy which typically isn't my cup of tea. However, after reading Marvins Curse I actually really liked it. The book puts a new spin on teenage angst and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The book follows this young boy who is cursed with the ability to see the dead which allows him to see his dad after he dies but its not a "gift" that Marvin wants. In addition to losing his dad he is forced to move to an old house that sits near a graveyard all thanks to his new stepdad. In addition to being pestered by his dead dad he does come in contact with a girl who will forever change the way he sees his "Curse". That is all the informaton that you are getting out of me so if you want to know more you must read this amazing book! If you have yet to get your copy of Marvins Curse you should definitely do so now!!!'

Grab a copy at Amazon for just £1.99!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

It's always great to be asked for an interview for a blog and this is one I did for Oddity reviews just recently.

Is the book Marvin's Curse a standalone or will it be a part of a series?

It could be either. I have left the book with a few loose ends that could most definitely lead into a second book. I have actually written a few pages which could well be the sequel and have even played with a title, Marvin's Gift. At the moment though, I'm focusing on another book which I am hoping to finish later this year.

I know that Marvin's Curse is about ghosts so is this an area that you are partial to in the paranormal world or what would you say your favorite thing to write about is?

I'm a great fan of all areas of the paranormal and have always loved reading books about vampires, werewolves, ghosts, shape shifters etc. But, I am partial to the ghostly element. Having watched things like The Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Sixth Sense, American Horror, Poltergeist etc, I have been heavily influenced by this side of the paranormal. I'm still into the whole vampire/werewolf thing too, but as so much has been written already, it's not something I can see myself branching into. Famous last words...

Do you have a favorite author and how have they inspired the writer that you are today?

Tolkein is a favourite author and has been a huge influence on me as a fantasy writer, The way he created his world for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings reminds me of how detailed my own worlds must be to enhance the readers' experience. I am immensely proud of 'Moghador', the underground world I have created for Marvin's Curse. The detail is often referred to in reviews I receive which suggests to me that I did a good job which is reassuring.

Do you have any other books that you would like to share with us?

I have three middle grade fantasy books in both print and as e-books on Amazon, Aggie Lichen; Pilp Collector. These are stories about stroppy teenage tooth fairies for 8-12 year olds.

The book I am currently working on is The Iron City - Rae Gandos; Dragon Slayer. The tagline is Buffy the Dragon Slayer V The Hunger Games. It's set in a time when dragon DNA has been discovered and used to clone dragons.

(This is a mock-up of the cover)

Here's a snippet:

   ‘You, Raelyer Gandos, are the… slayer, er, the Dragon Slayer as in you are the chosen one, kinda thing.’
   ‘Shut the hell up!’ was the best Rae could muster.
   ‘It’s true, Rae. Can’t you feel it, like, inside?’
   ‘George, what I feel inside is hunger, that’s all.’
   ‘Hunger, that’s good, hunger for the fight.’
   Rae punched his arm hard. ‘Pack it in George. We have enough to contend with without you trying to screw with my head too.’
   George took both of Rae’s hands in his and looked deeply into her eyes. "Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the, insert dragons, and the forces of darkness…’
   Rae shook her hands away. ‘Don’t go all Buffy the Vampire Slayer on me!’ she said. ‘These are not vampires.’
   ‘But it’s the same principal,’ said George.  ‘‘To stop the spread of their evil and the swell of number. She…’’
   ‘'…is the slayer.’ Look, I’m no Buffy! You’ve got the wrong girl.’
   ‘Oh, seriously! Have you never looked at your name?’ said George, wearily. ‘It’s an anagram, for crying out loud. Did you never do that, not even in primary school? How sad.’
   ‘I was at school to learn, George, not mess about like some people.’
   ‘Okay, well humour me,’ said George, handing her a bag of stones with letters scratched on them. ‘They spell your name.  Move the letters around.’
   ‘I will not!’ said Rae. ‘What am I, eight?’
   ‘Just move them, Raelyer – please,’ said George, stroking her hand softly.
   ‘Okay!’ she snapped, tipping the stones onto the ground.
   ‘Now move them around. See what you come up with.’
    Rae rolled her eyes again, but shifted the stones around as George asked. At first she couldn’t find anything that even looked remotely sensible. ‘Lardy oranges?’
   ‘Oh, please! I’m going to all this trouble for lardy oranges?’ said George. ‘Try again.’
   Muttering under her breath, Rae pushed the stones around again. They felt cold against her fingers. ‘Found it!’ she cried after a few minutes. ‘Nasal dry ergo?’ She fell back laughing.
   ‘You’re just not taking this seriously enough,’ said George, flicking her hand away from the word ‘Nasal’. ‘Put the ‘d’ first, Rae.’
   Rae sat up and pushed the ‘d’ into a new line.
   George placed the ‘r’ next to it then the ‘a’.
   She stared at him unbelievingly then pulled the other letters into position until two words glared out at her. ‘Dragon Slayer?’ Rae inched backwards, her mouth open.
   ‘I know it’s a shock,’ said George, crawling towards her. ‘Perhaps I should have told you earlier, but there never seemed to be a right moment.’ He knelt in front of her patting her knee. He tried to meet her eyes, but Rae stared at the ground, picking at her fingers.
   ‘Say something, Rae, even if it’s ‘go away, George.’’
   ‘Go away, George,’ said Rae, her eyes still glued to the floor.
   ‘Er, I can’t. I have to stay here… with you.’ He took his hands away from her knees. ‘It’s my job.’

How long did it take you to write Marvin's Curse?

Marvin's Curse is my first YA book and took around 18 months to write. It wasn't published for another six months or so as it had to be edited by an external editor. The script went back and forth between us as I worked on areas that could be tightened up or improved in some way. I truly believe this is a vital part of the writing process and improves the quality of the reading experience for the reader.

Have you ever had anything strange encounters with ghosts in real life?

Personally, no, although those around me seem too. My husband insists that he was 'tapped' on the shoulder by a ghostly hand at Canterbury Cathedral, UK. On turning round, no one was there... My son-in-law has also had a ghostly experience, but in the very house I live in which is over 120 years old. He said that on waking up during the night, the face of a women greeted him, making him scream... Whoooooo!

What do you find to be the perfect setting to allow you to open your mind and write on current projects?

I'm lucky that I have a study which is where I do most of my writing. For inspiration though, I might just sit in the garden or doodle in a coffee shop. One thing I do like is peace and quiet. I can't seem to get my thoughts together if a place is too noisy.

Are you self published or do you use a publisher and what do you find to be the pros and cons of your current situation?

I am an Indie writer and very proud of that. Pros are that I am in charge of all I do. I make all the decisions and no one tells me what I should write, when I should write, how my book should look etc. And I get to meet all sorts of other Indie writers on Facebook where we can discuss and solve any issues that come up with writing and publishing. I also get to keep all the money! Cons, well, it means I have to do not just the writing, but the promoting and marketing of the books. sort out covers, arrange school visits and book store signings and just about everything else, which takes up so much of my time.

What advice would you give to new authors that are just starting out?

1. Keep at it! No matter what hits you, get up and get started again.
2. Get your writing professionally edited. It will cost a bit, but it is so important if you are to be taken seriously as a writer.
3. Keep at it!
4. Don't rush to finish your novel. Take your time and let it breathe.
5. Keep at it!
6. Read all around your genre as if your very life depended on it. What's in? What's out? Who is your audience?
7. Keep at it!

Debra J Edwards

Marvin's Curse can be found at:

Follow or like:



Thursday, June 12, 2014

New venture


So trying something new! I've signed up to this new YA site which I'm hoping will drive more readers my way for Marvin's Curse. There are lots of great YA books on there already, but this site allows indie authors to list their own titles too.

It's a site where readers can go online to submit reviews themselves which is a great idea. Reviewers can also enter giveaways for books. So far, 74 people have looked at my page, but still waiting for the first review to be submitted. 

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Reviews - Are they important?


I received another review for Marvin's Curse yesterday from Jada Ryker from Kentucky who awarded it 5 stars on Amazon and Goodreads. Obviously I was thrilled with this, but you might ask why. Are reviews really important to authors? Well, I have to a big YES to that. And not only important to authors, but to readers as well.

As an author, receiving any review provides me with:

- acknowledgement that someone has actually read the book
- feedback on what worked for the reader
- a star rating which could bring in another reader
- support for my work and encouragement to continue

For the reader, reviews provide:
- a glimpse into what the book is about in someone elses view
- a way of deciding whether to buy/read the book
- a way of expressing how they feel about the book (writing a review)

Not an exhaustive list, but you get the picture. Reviews are so helpful which is why I love to receive them, good or bad. If you read, please leave a review, even just a short one helps.

Here's Jada's:

'Marvin's life couldn't get much worse. He lost his father. He gained a stepfather. His stepfather has forced the family to move. The house is hideous, located next to a graveyard, and it smells. Of old, dead people.

Marvin's father still visits him as a ghost. He encourages his son to use his inherited ability to see ghosts. Marvin just wants to be a normal boy.

Debra Edwards' Marvin's Curse is a great paranormal/horror book for young adults. The characters are engaging. Ms. Edwards captures teenage angst, and adds her own brand of the paranormal.'

If you like this review, why not pop over to the Amazon site and click on the 'yes' helpful button.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Marketing Books


One of the things I have learnt with having printed and e-books is the importance of printed books when marketing. When I go into schools for author talks and workshops, it's the printed books that I promote, hoping to get the e-books sold off their backs. It's the same at school fairs or craft fairs and I can sell lots of printed books at these events. What I also do, though, is to have my netbook on with the trailer for the e-books, plus I give out little leaflets with the details on them.

I am toying with having Marvin's Curse printed this year, but as always it's the printing cost. I also still have a rather large book mountain to move from my dining room. Yet, far from really put me off, I know that for my e-books to sell they have got to somehow be noticed or picked up and in this digital age with more and more self-published e-books, that's becoming less likely. So, I probably need to get on to my lovely printers in York and get the ball rolling.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

New 5 Star Review for Marvin's Curse

Bittersweet Book Reviews   *****

'In this story we follow Marvin a young man who has a special gift. He can see and talk to spirits. I could relate to Marvin with some of the emotions he deals with after losing his father. With each turn of the page we watch Marvin grow from a boy into a young man. The characters and story are all very well developed and believable. The only downfall for me was it was over too quickly. I look forward to reading more from Edwards.'

 Just £1.99 from Amazon

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Great feedback from school

Just received feedback from my recent school visit to All Saints Benhilton in Surrey. So pleased they all enjoyed it.

Workshop and author talk

Feedback from teachers:

It was fantastic; Debbie had the children completely engaged. We started to read the first ‘Aggie Lichen’ book and the children are keen to continue reading the rest of the series.

The workshop made the children think about characters in a story and how to build information about them so that they were a 3D creation. It inspired the class to write.

The author talk helped the children to understand the process of writing a book and the many stages that it involved. The children heard how even published authors needed to edit and re-write texts to improve them.

Feedback from children:

My teacher is reading the first book and I really like the story; I’ve bought the second book so that I can carry on reading.

The talk was good because I learnt all about getting a book published. We heard about ways to get ideas for writing.

She wasn’t boring but had lots of energy and I wanted to listen. It was good hearing an author read from their own book.

I liked creating a character from the different objects. We had lots of discussion in our group about what the character could be like. It was hard to begin with but the more we talked about the objects the character became more real.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Great School Visit

I had a great time visiting All Saints Primary School, Benhilton in Sutton, both yesterday and today. I delivered four character workshops and two author talks to some really bright and receptive Key Stage 2 pupils. There was lots of laughter and fooling about - from me, not the children - when I gave the animated author talks which included some terrible tales of my childhood. They were genuinely happy to take part in the workshops and produced some fantastic characters from the clues I gave them.
It was also good to have some different questions during the Q & A sessions; What would you have done if you hadn't been a writer? Would you think about writing a fourth Aggie Lichen book?
Teachers had been reading the first book to their classes which resulted in lots of books being sold which is also a bonus. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rae Gandos - Dragon Slayer

A little more revealed of Dragon Slayer:

‘Damn it, Rae. Will you quit with the sighing?’ said George, turning round. ‘It’s loud enough to…’
   ‘George!’ interrupted Rae. She gestured to her left. A bush about 30 metres away was moving, but there was little wind. Suspicion rose noisily in Rae’s stomach. Fear flowed through her throat. Terror sucked the saliva from her mouth.
   A grinning face appeared.
  ‘Run!’ cried George, his arms swinging wildly.
   Rae was rooted to the stop. Panic had set in. Her heart pounded, nausea now rose in her throat.
   Aware of her absence, George came to a stop and looked back.
   The hunters had left the bush behind and were heading straight for her.
   Her bulging eyes were fixed ahead, non-blinking. Her mouth had dropped open, fighting against the gagging sensation rearing its head.
   ‘Freakin’ hell! Move now, Raelyer… or die!’ shouted George, gesturing towards the trees.
   The word ‘die’ swung it. She flew to catch him, following his impeccable sense of direction. Her feet barely touched the ground as she leapt over roots and pushed through the undergrowth. Her breath quickened as the fight for more oxygen began. A banging in her chest resounded loudly in her head, reminding her of what was at stake.
   George stormed ahead, pushing through the greenery. His heavy feet crushed branches and twigs noisily making a ready made pathway for Rae to follow. The trees scratched spitefully at his arms and face, blood oozing as he ploughed through. He stole a glance behind, making sure she was keeping up. He tried a reassuring smile, but was met with a face filled with stark terror and fear.
   ‘Keep going,’ he called softly, pushing further in front. ‘I know where we are.’
   Rae couldn’t manage any kind of response. It was all she could do to move let alone talk. She scrambled through after George, painfully aware that he was pulling further and further ahead with each step. Her breath quickened. Sweat dripped down her back. She couldn’t go on much more.
   ‘George,’ she gasped. ‘Stop! I can’t…’
   George stopped, turning around in disbelief. ‘You can, Rae! Come on.’ He rushed off again, holding out his hand before disappearing into yet another band of trees.
   Seeing the back of him vanish, Rae came to an abrupt halt, bending over to catch her breath. As her rapid panting slowed, she suddenly became aware of other noises not far behind. Crashing sounds of broken branches startled her back into action. The chase was back on again. She had to move, and fast!
   Ploughing through the undergrowth, Rae found a new burst of energy and pushed the pain behind her. She sprinted as never before, her feet pressing hard against the ground with each step. Before long, she had caught up to George, tugging at his shirt as she passed.
   ‘Wait! Listen!’ he call-whispered. He stopped still. ‘I think we’ve lost them.’
   Rae slid to a halt, grabbing a high up branch to slow her down.
   ‘You sure?’ she whispered, her hands curled tightly round the bark.
   George looked around for a moment taking in the lack of noise and movement. The trees were almost still, just a light breeze blew through the leaves making them shimmer in the afternoon light. He tilted his head, listening cautiously, his eyes darting around wildly. Then he nodded.
   Collapsing onto her knees, Rae gasped, catching her breath. Her hands fell to the ground as she bent forward and took in a large lungful of air. She wiped an arm across her forehead, mopping the sweat which was dripping into her eyes.
   ‘You okay?’ said George, placing a hand across her back. He knelt slightly, watching her closely.
   ‘I think I’m going to…’ She retched as the meagre contents of her stomach spilled out before her. ‘Sorry,’ she said, wiping some drool from her mouth.
   ‘Hey, no need for sorry,’ said George, patting her reassuringly on the back. ‘Feel a bit like that myself.’
   Rae retched again though little more than bile spewed out now. Shakily, she reached up to George, taking his arm for balance.
   ‘I hate to say it, but we really need to keep moving,’ he said, steadying her. ‘Take my hand, Rae.’
   Clinging onto George, she let herself be pulled through the trees, her other hand clutching at her stomach. After a while she began to feel a little better, colour returning to her cheeks and enough to walk on her own.
   They clambered deeper into the mass of trees. All around them, branches hung low, sweeping out like fingers, waiting to trip them up. Vines trawled in front like string curtains, blocking out the view of what lay ahead. They never saw the rope on the ground as they strode through a small clearing.
   The net swallowed them up instantly, leaving them hanging far above the ground helpless.
   ‘What the hell?’ whispered Rae, her right leg stuck right through a gap up to her thigh. She held on to the net, looking like a prisoner through rope bars. ‘I thought you knew where you were going!’
   George was squashed in behind her, his face pressed up so close to the net that his cheeks were pushed out like marshmallows. One of his arms was trapped at his side.
   ‘I do, I mean, I did. I just didn’t expect to find a rope trap there, did I?’ snapped George. ‘And stop jiggling about! You’re giving me cramp in my arm.’
   Rae looked down. The ground seemed a long way beneath them.
   ‘The hunters!’ she said. ‘They’ll be here any minute. We have to get out.’ She thrashed about around, catching George’s arm in the process.
   ‘Arrggh! Just stay still,’ said George. ‘There’s nothing we can do...’
   ‘Hey! How’s it hanging?’ said a voice from below.

So this is the cover I've been playing with. Not set in stone, but I like the font of the title and the colour. Going with the steampunk theme, I've brought in some cogs and wheels with a metal dragon overlay. Just a draft, but I do really like it. What do you think?

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Dragon Slayer progress

Happy New Year everyone! I also hope you had a wonderful holiday period.

Dragon Slayer is moving along nicely although I am hoping to try and blast through some of the next few chapters to get to the dragon/human fighting section near the middle. I'm finding imagining the fighting scene a little tricky. I think this comes down to my fairy tale idea of dragons sweeping across the sky, softly blowing fire through the air. I need to toughen my dragons up, make them thugs although they are victims just as much as the humans they are fighting. Oh dear!