Archive for the ‘She Writes Forum’ Category


Today, I’m pleased and delighted to welcome Carol Hedges as my Guest Blogger. Carol is the  the successful author of 11 books for children and YA, and her  writing has received much critical acclaim. Her YA book ‘Jigsaw Pieces’ has recently been released as an e-book. Carol has a BA (Hons) in English and Archaeology. She has worked variously as a librarian, a children’s clothes designer, a dinner lady, a classroom assistant at a special needs school, and a teacher. She has one grown up daughter, a husband, a pink 2CV, (Pink 2CV envy here!) 2 cats and a lot of fish.

Over to you, Carol!

First, I’d like to thank Juliet for her generosity in allowing me loose on her blog. I promise I will be on my best behaviour, and not spill cake crumbs everywhere. Well, I’ll try.

I write YA fiction, probably because I work with teenagers. When you spend all day in the company of 16 -18 year olds, they kind of permeate your brain, and then sift into your writing. I love them dearly – funny, heartbreakingly honest, they never fail to surprise.


Jigsaw Pieces, my first ebook, is so chockfull of personal stuff that I had to put the line “Not all the characters and events in this story are fictitious” at the beginning. The inner story tells of the suicide of a 16 year old boy, and the determination of two fellow students to unravel the events that lead up to his death.

I was on my first teaching practice when a similar event took place. I remember clearly what it was like as the news spread round the school. When you read the first few chapters of Jigsaw Pieces, you are experiencing exactly what I felt and saw. Maybe you think this is not a subject for a novel, but I have had a lot of feedback indicating that sadly, it happens far more than people realise.

The story is narrated by 18 year old Annie, a feisty, trenchant observer of life. She is a mash-up of numerous teenage girls I taught over the years. I decided to give her a Norwegian background as it resonates with the current interest in ‘Scandi-crime’, and accentuates her outsider status amongst her contemporaries – something I experienced myself, growing up in the 1950’s and 60’s as the daughter of German Jewish parents.

Finally, one of my favourite teaching topics is the First World War poets. I never fail to be moved by the tragic waste of young lives. The opportunity to turn myself into a First World War poet was therefore irresistible – and so I became (spoiler alert) Noel Clarke, the haunted young poet who dies, age 19. I wrote all the poems too.

I uploaded Jigsaw Pieces at the beginning of August. It has some 5 star reviews, and I am thoroughly enjoying meeting loads of lovely people, like you, as I go round blogging about it.


‘He had been part of my everyday life. I hadn’t liked him much, nobody had liked him much, but he’d been there. Now, I’d never see him again.’

Annie Skjaerstad had been searching for her identity since being uprooted from her native country of Norway. With a spiky personality winning her no friends, and family members suddenly torn out of her life, she is left seeking comfort from a growing intrigue into the stories of fallen war heroes.

But one day, a boy from her school unexpectedly commits suicide, changing things forever. Confused by the tragic tale of someone she knew, Annie soon finds herself conducting her own investigation into his death. 

What she uncovers will bring her to a dark and dangerous place, as suddenly – her own life is put at risk.

A tense, coming of age crime thriller by the author of ‘Dead Man Talking’.

You can download a copy of ‘Jigsaw Pieces’  here

You  follow Carol at her blog: http://carolhedges.blogspot.co.uk/

Or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carol.hedges.779?ref=ts

Twitter @carolJhedges

http://www.Facebook Carol Hedges;

www. Shewrites.com (American).

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Thank you to Samantha Stacia for inviting me to be her guest blogger for her Blooming Late Journal. Those were some great questions and I had a great time answering them!

You can read all about the first piece I ever wrote, plus all the things I feel I’ve learnt over the past year about becoming a better writer and finding a publisher for ‘Eden’s Garden’  here .

Or click on the link at the side.




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Now that’s a way to wake up a girl on a Monday morning! I’ve been tagged by the awesome Allie Wild: http://alliewilde.blogspot.com/. And now I’ve tagged three bloggers in return – just look below my random facts for their wonderfulness. (I’d love to tag lots more, but that might take all day.)

Right, I’ve fixed the coffee to get the brain awake, and down to business: ten random facts about me.

1. I’m almost-a-neighbour to a prince. Good place to start, eh? (Okay, Prince William and Kate live just across the water on the romantic island of Anglesey, but his helicopter flies over my cottage on the way to rescue damsels and other assorted walkers in distress, that’s good enough for me)

2. I have a dog. This is her as a puppy, looking all sweet and innocent. Hmmm ….. (she still strikes a good pose for the camera)

3. I once owned a Romahome (mini campervan) called Emily. Sadly departed this life through age and rust – but still the coolest thing on 4 wheels! Here’s to the memories …

4. My favourite book is still ‘Jane Eyre’. All independent-minded women who are not born rich and gorgeous, but know they are neither the poorer nor the lesser for the fact, unite. Can’t wait to see the new film.

5. I write under two names, which are both my own. I was born Heather Juliet, and since I was two weeks old I’ve been Juliet Heather. So I write novels as Juliet Greenwood, and for magazines as Heather Pardoe. The Pardoe is from my (slightly scary) grandmother.

6. I once stayed overnight at Portmeirion. I’m trying to think of a book to set there so I can stay there again. Magical!

7. I am the proud owner of a polytunnel. Growing salad and grapes.

8. I love Devon and Cornwall.

9. My favourite holiday destination in Europe is Venice.

10. I love coffee. And red wine. And gin. (The sloes are a cover story …)

And so to my tags:  Samantha Stacia, the amazing setter-up of the Blooming Late group on She Writes:  http://samantha-stacia.blogspot.com/

Gwendolyn Rhodes  http://rhodesidemusings.blogspot.com/ Check out the wisest post on aging gracefully.

Margaret James http://www.margaretjames.com/ Supportive writing tutor, and great give of information on all things writing related. And author of the un-put-downable ‘The Silver Locket’. I’m still attempting to catch up with sleep!

Go on, ladies! Tag. You’re it.

May you have just as much fun (and procrastination) as I did.

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