“The Story Trap” is launched!

I pushed the final button and my book, The Story Trap, is published at last.  What a rush! This is the e-book version.  The print version should be ready some time in late May, if all goes according to plan.

What is this book about?  Here is the low down:

The Story Trap is an illustrated contemporary fantasy novel set in Cape Town, South Africa.

Book description
Rebecca stared out of the train window. How could it be dark already? She had been on the train home, reading in the familiar crush of the rush hour commute. Now the carriage was empty and outside impossibly tall buildings stretched up towards the night sky.
She was alone in a strange world.–Somewhere close by, an old woman watched, and waited. The trap had worked and her quarry was caught. Now all she had to do was keep Rebecca dreaming.

Now all I have to do is write the sequel…

If you are not already on my e-mail list and want to be notified when the print version  is published, please sign up using this formI will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.

The Story Trap cover finally finished

I’ve finally finished the cover for my book “The Story Trap”.  I changed her eyebrows and ears, added more chains and leaves, and changed the background to the lettering as well as some changes to the colours used.  I’m done now.  What a process!

There is going to be a print edition this time so I had to do the spine and back cover as well 🙂

If you would like to be notified when this book is launched, you can join my “new release” mailing list at this link.

I will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like 🙂

Grey roses, shadows and chains

This might be it: the cover for my new book The Story Trap.  Is it finished?  Not sure. I’ve been working on it all day and can no longer see it.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll look at it and start changing things again…

The big change from previous version is the pattern in the mirror, the roses are completely redone and no longer pink, and I’ve inserted more shadows.

The Story Trap will be available as a  print – as well as e-book. If you would like a notification when it gets launched, please leave me your name and e-mail address in the form below.  Would love to hear from you!

To be notified when I release a new book please sign up using this form.

I will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.



Pippa gets a digital haircut

I trimmed Pippa’s hair.

She used to look like this:

In the story, this is the moment when she’s just climbed over a gate into somebody’s backyard and is about to try and break into their house.  She’s wondering why they have no burglar bars…

Pippa with lavender

OK – so this is a drawing of a character in my story called Pippa.  Except that I imagined her with short hair when I wrote her. Whoops.  Will probably have to give her a digital haircut.

Mirror in hand

This is an important moment in my story: The main character looks at a small mirror.

Strangled in plastic

One of the more difficult things to research for my book was plastic pollution in the sea.  So grim.  The images of birds, fish and seals strangling in plastic are so unbearably sad.

Here are some illustrations.  If you go down to the Waterfront here in Cape Town, you can see seals with plastic bags cutting into their necks just like this one:


Sun branches moon roots

This is a bit of an experiment – not sure if it works.  Another image from the book I’ve almost finished writing.

Locket and rose

Some more drawings for my book.  The chain was quite tricky – had to redraw it many times.


Teapot with dragon.

There’s something satisfying in drawing a teapot 🙂  Another illustration for my book: done.

A witch’s tea-set, a hare and so on

More drawings for my book: I plan to insert small drawings in the scene breaks and at the end of some of the chapters.  Here are some rough pencil sketches of a hare, a witch’s tea set, a washing up glove and so on.





Enter Mistress Mouse

Another drawing of characters from my book: Miss Mouse against a backdrop of burnt protea bushes.   Miss Mouse was not planned.  She just appeared and took over in her gentle but insistent way.

Rough Helens in Black and White

I scanned in the rough drawings I did yesterday and started working on them in Photoshop.  As always, cropping conceals a multitude of flaws…

Here are two versions of Helen considering a bee.  These are intended for display on a black and white Kindle screen, which is an interesting limitation to work with.




This was the original sketch:

Rough drawings for my new book

I’ve been drawing again (yay!) and struggling a bit to get going.  Yesterday I did some very rough drawings  for my new book.  Here is Miss Mouse:

…and Helen, a witch:

The book itself is very nearly finished.  Need to work through it one more time to smooth out the rough bits.  The working title is “Dark Sister” but I’m going to have to find something else.  Too many other books with that title already!

The witch of witches: Baba Yaga

Another area I’ve been researching for my book: Baba Yaga.  She’s fascinating.  In some stories she is the child-eating ogress, in some she is in charge of the world of the dead, or will show you the way to the world of the spirits, as long as you can prove that you are not intimidated by her.

There are many amazing images of her online.  These first two are on many websites, but so far I have not been able to find out where they are originally from.  Baba Yaga riding her pestle and mortar, sweeping up her tracks with a broom.


This one is by Rima Staines – see more of her wonderful images here.

Baa Yaga’s hut on chicken legs. According to some, it has no windows or doors, very like a coffin, and it has a palisade of human bones.  And you can also see her iron teeth:

And another Baba Yaga image, this one by Isabellart

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