Guest Feature – M S Evans

My guest today comes all the way from Montana. It is with delight that I introduce M S Evans to Patricia’s Pen to blog about inspiration. Without further ado, it’s over to M S Evans.

Inspiration in Writing

M S Evans

Most of my inspiration seems to come when I’m out walking. Something about movement makes connections in my mind. My inspiration could be a phrase, an observation of color, relationships, an emotion. I carry those impressions with me until I can write them down. Once I do, I usually leave them for a while.

Writing and editing a poem can take me weeks, sometimes months. Once I think I have a complete poem, I let it sit again. I find the process of having refined it also refines me, and sometimes it’s necessary to allow myself time to catch up, so I can view the poem with new eyes.

Nights on the Line

In my collection Nights on the Line, I touch on many aspects of my life, from growing up in the Pacific Northwest, to travelling, activism, lineage, and motherhood.

My pieces on lineage and motherhood explore the long-term effect of immigration on my family: what was lost when we left our communities? Could it ever be replaced? And what am I able to pass down as a mother?

There’s an algebra I’m aware of: missing patterns, lost rhythms of connectivity and tradition. I suppose poetry is my way of trying to give shape and sound to these. Among the pieces in the book that touch on this theme are: Llennyrch, and Polish Mother Bones.

Travelling and activism were a part of my life in my teens and early twenties. There was a thriving activist scene then in the Northwest, centered on grassroot social justice and environmental campaigns. That community was the inheritor of an American traveler tradition of train hopping, itinerant work, and radical history. Besides technical knowledge – where and how to hop a train – there was an intrinsic code of ethics. You had to prove your worth before someone would chance taking you on the road with them. An untrustworthy person could get you hurt or killed. Integrity and a degree of toughness were prerequisites.  

In one poem, Crew Change, I talk about the care one takes in keeping vulnerable friends safe. In another, Straight-Track Jack, I recall a friend’s uncanny connection with trains, and highlight the humor which made hard times easier. 

About M S Evans

M.S. Evans is a Pushcart nominated poet, and visual artist. Originally from Seattle, she currently lives in Butte, Montana. Her work has appeared in Ice Floe Press, Green Ink Poetry, Feral and Anti-Heroin Chic, among others. Her collection, Nights on the Line was released October 31st, 2022, by Black Bough Poetry.





Guest Feature – Joy Wood

It is a delight to invite my lovely friend and talented author, Joy Wood, back to Patricia’s Pen. Congratulations to Joy on the launch of her brand new novel Secrets and Lies. Joy has come along to tell my readers a little about it. Without further ado it’s over to Joy.

Writing is my Passion

Joy Wood

Writing books is the “easy” bit – I come up with a story but then need to make it desirable for my readers. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by people who want me to succeed, including my brilliant, insightful editor, and talented cover designer.

I strive with each novel to create a narrative that invites the reader into a captivating, engaging and menacing world. My previous five independently published books fall into the crime category and use twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages well into the night.

My latest novel Secrets and Lives is a story of intrigue, deceit and rage – packed full of tension to the very last page.

The story is about three women –

Jenna, the beautiful yet fragile wife of the heir to the Montgomery fortune,

Bridget, the wily housekeeper who carries out her duties with diligence and guile,

and Lucy, the jewellery designer living an almost reclusive life.

All three women are bound together by secrets and lies.

Oak Ridge is the mansion where the heinous Montgomery family reside. A place where subterfuge, blackmail and murder have become the order of the day. Challenging the Montgomery family is never an option – defeating them impossible.

All three women are forced to take the family on. However, only one of them is confident of victory because she’s watched and learned from the masters themselves. But she is hiding an almighty secret that she’s never dared speak to anyone about. A monstrous act that is so evil, it’s better left unsaid . . . or could vocalising it, finally free her?

Buy a copy of Secrets and Lies

About Joy Wood

Joy Wood is an independent author and has self-published seven novels. She resides in the quaint seaside town of Cleethorpes in North East Lincolnshire.

Joy is a registered public speaker and has developed a humorous talk about the transition she made from nurse to author (From Bedpan to Pen!) She speaks at WI’s, luncheon clubs, after dinner speaker, book clubs and author events where she also sells signed copies of her paperbacks.

Social Media and website Links





All Joy Wood’s books may be ordered from her Amazon author page HERE

For signed paperbacks (UK Delivery only) email Joy on

Guest Feature Flashback 2

Guest Features on Patricia’s Pen – April 2022 – July 2022

Last week I invited you to read some of the previous guest features on Patricia’s Pen from this year. This week check out these further twelve guest features that ran from April 2022 – July 2022 (inclusive).

Martin Lott, fantasy author, kicked off April with his new novel Aldred. Definitely worth a visit and check out the book if you haven’t already. You can read Martin’s Blog HERE

Next up came author, Angela Fish, blogging about The Fractured Globe. Read more HERE

May brought fellow Swanwick writer, Angela Johnson, with Arianwen. Find out more about Angela and Arianwen HERE

Next up in May was the lovely and talented poet, Karen Mooney with Missing Pieces and Penned In. If you haven’t read these pamphlets read more about them HERE and contact Karen to order a copy.

My final guest for May was another talented poet, Peter A, blogging about Art of Insomnia. Read more HERE

Joy M Lilley kicked off June with blogging about her recent cruise and inspiration in her writing. Find out more HERE

Next up in June was another talented poet, Kerry Derbishire who blogged about inspiration behind her poetry collection Jardinière. You can read Kerry’s blog HERE

The third week in June brough The Birth of Symbiosis – my own collaborative pamphlet with my poetry buddy Brian McManus – check it out HERE

My final guest in June was the lovely, talented author, Judith Barrow. Judith came along to blog about her writing journey. Pop over HERE to find out more.

Kicking off July was the lovely, talented poet, Gaynor Kane, who returned to Patricia’s Pen to blog about the inspiration behind her wonderful poetry collection Eight Different Types of Love. Find out more HERE and also how to order a copy of this gorgeous book.

Next up in July was the lovely talented poet, Mary Ford Neal reflecting on her poetry collection Relativism – Check out HERE

Finishing off July was dystopian author Lydia Baker blogging about AVA – Read More HERE

And that’s it for today – watch out for more guest feature flashbacks before the end of the year.


Next week 22nd November 2022 we have a special blog with lovely author Joy Wood as she launches her latest novel Secret Lives

and on the 29th November 2022 M S Evans blogs about her debut poetry collection Nights on the Line. Don’t miss these blogs!

Children in Read – Auction

For those of you who aren’t on Twitter you may have missed that a signed copy of House of Grace and a poetry bundle consisting of (limited edition) signed copies of Taxus Baccata, Symbiosis, and Spirit Mother are up for auction in Children in Read to raise money for Children in Need.

The auction ends in six days. My LOTS are 534 and 535.

Pop over if you fancy a bid. Signed copies. FREE DELIVERY (UK Only).


Guest Features – Flash Back

Guest Features on Patricia’s Pen – January 2022 – March 2022

Over the next couple of weeks why not revisit some of the guest features on Patricia’s Pen during 2022?

January kicked off with crime fiction author Val Penny – you can read her blog HERE

Author, Mary Schmidt, followed with her children’s book Davy’s Dragon Castle – you can read what Mary had to say HERE

Next up was one of my favourite poets –

Damien B Donnelly who joined forces with the lovely Eilín de Paor to write their poetry conversation In the Jitterfritz of Neon

If you missed it – you can catch up HERE

Romantic Author, Liz Martinson, started us off in February – you can read what Liz had to say HERE

Author, Camilla Downs followed, blogging about how her walks proved inspirational in writing – read how inspiration helps Camilla HERE

Carmen Radtke, author, was my final guest in February. Read Carmen’s blog about her writing HERE

Family saga, author, Mick Arnold, kicked off March for Patricia’s Pen – read about Mick and his books HERE

One of my favourite poets, Ankh Spice from New Zealand followed. You can find out more about Ankh and his poetry HERE

There will be more catch up features next week. Don’t miss them.

Book Launch News – M S Evans

Launch of Nights on the Line

M S Evans

Please join me in congratulating M S Evans on the launch of Nights on the Line published today by Black Bough Poetry.

Patricia’s Pen will feature M S Evans on 29th November 2022 when you can learn about this poet’s writing in detail.

In the meantime why not pop over to Black Bough Poetry and find out more about this poetry collection, check out the early reviews, and find links to purchase a copy of this fabulous pamphlet. Readers are in for a treat.


Guest Feature – Kerry Darbishire and Kelly Davis

Something a little different today. I have two poets discussing their poet collaboration Glory Days. I was drawn to this wonderful collection after hearing the ladies read the poems on an Open Mic evening. And of course you know how much I love collaborative projects after working on Sherry & Sparkly and Symbiosis. Without further ado, it’s over to Kerry and Kelly to tell you what inspired them to write this wonderful pamphlet.

Glory Days

Kelly Davis

Kerry and I both live in Cumbria and we met several years ago, at Geraldine Green’s Write on the Farm Poetry Workshops. After the Covid pandemic started, we both attended Angela Locke’s Zoom poetry workshops and got to know each other’s work. Kerry kindly invited me to collaborate with her on a pamphlet for a Hedgehog Poetry Press competition. Our submission, on the theme of motherhood and the different stages in a woman’s life, wasn’t selected. However, Kerry then showed the manuscript to Joy Howard, at Grey Hen Press, who liked it and offered to publish it under her Hen Run imprint.

I really enjoyed collaborating with Kerry on Glory Days. We communicated by email and found ourselves in agreement on everything, from choice and arrangement of poems to cover design. We have very different poetic styles and voices but many similar concerns, as women. I think that’s partly why people enjoy reading our pamphlet – one poem answers another, and it’s like listening to two poets having a conversation. Our mothers are both colourful, charismatic characters and several of our poems pay tribute to them. (My mother is still living – and she’s delighted to be a cover girl at last!) We’ve had some very positive responses to the pamphlet, from male as well as female readers. Sam Smith, at The Journal, called it a ‘time machine’ and said readers could ‘open it to step into [their] own memories.’

About Kelly Davis

Kelly Davis lives in West Cumbria and works as a freelance editor. Her poems have been widely anthologised and published in magazines including Mslexia, Magma and Shooter. In 2021 she came second in the Borderlines Poetry Competition and she has twice been shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.

Glory Days

Kerry Darbishire

Asking a poet to collaborate is something I’d never attempted before and wasn’t sure how it would work, but having met Kelly at various workshops and with reading her work on Write on the Farm workshops and Angela Locke’s online course, I instinctively felt we could work well together and bring our pamphlet idea to fruition.

Our project began with the idea of ‘motherhood’, both of us becoming mothers, our children growing up, and remembering our mothers (mine having died in 2005). It seemed very natural the way we initially discussed our experiences and began the exchange. Our email poetry conversation continued, both of us able to feedback honestly on each other’s poems. I wrote about times and events I might never have approached without this incentive. I loved how our writing styles differed but worked so well together. Some poems we thought didn’t fit, others fell easily into place. We bounced title ideas between us but finally both knew that Glory Days (from Kelly’s poem, ‘Walking in the Languedoc’) was perfect.

As soon as we were happy with our ‘conversation’, I approached Joy Howard of Grey Hen Press with our final manuscript. Joy responded immediately and after slight adjustments and ordering, Glory Days was published in 2021. This collection is a tribute to our mothers, and was a privilege and a pleasure to write. The feedback has been very positive, with readers recognising and identifying with the content of our poems.

About Kerry Darbishire

Kerry Darbishire songwriter, author and poet lives in remote farmhouse in Cumbria where most of her poetry is rooted. Her first collection A Lift of Wings, 2014, her second, Distance Sweet on my Tongue, 2018, both with Indigo Dreams Publishing. Kay’s Ark, the story of her mother, published by Handstand Press in 2016. Her pamphlet A Window of Passing Light published by Dempsey and Windle in 2021, also Glory Days, a collaboration with poet Kelly Davis was published in 2021 by Grey Hen Press.

Her poems appear widely in magazines and anthologies including: Artemis, Mslexia, Birmingham Journal, Finished Creatures, The Alchemy Spoon, Envoi, Atrium. She has won or been shortlisted in several prizes including Bridport 2017.

Links to social media

Kerry DarbishireTwitter

Kelly Davis Facebook Instagram Website



Guest Feature – Paul Brookes

Poet, Paul Brookes, is a great supporter to other poets and features them frequently on his website The Wombwell Rainbow. Therefore it gives me great pleasure to welcome him back to Patricia’s Pen.

Today Paul has come along to chat about his brand new pamphlet, As FolkTaleTeller, published by Impspired. I for one can’t wait to get hold of my signed copy. Without further ado, it’s over to Paul.

Othernesses of “As Folktaleteller”

Paul Brookes

I set myself writing challenges. Like a lot of folk I am fascinated by folklore. What fascinates me? The dark, mysterious, quirky and unusual. I plump all those together under the heading “Othernesses”. And I want to know what it is like to be that otherness. How would they speak? How would they see the world around them? So when I saw this hashtag #Folktober, I wanted to know more.

#Folktober is a monthly challenge for artworkers. They are challenged to create an artwork a day in October. Some folk on their create lists of folklore/mythological characters. I challenged myself to take one of these lists as a writing prompt.

Now I take a left swerve with this. For a forthcoming collection called “Othernesses”, which is out to possible publishers at the moment, I researched Les Murray’s zoopoetics. A fancy term basically meaning how he wrote “about” animals.  He didn’t write “about” them as that suggests a “looking at” as opposed to “looking from”. He wrote from their point of view. Out of their eyes, using their senses to explore the world. “Othernesses” takes the point of view of insects, arachnids and so on.

This is what I wanted to do with the characters in my collection “As FolkTaleTeller”. Dangerous territory. Like getting into the mind of paedophiles and serial killers. A point of view that could alienate a lot of readers. Getting into the minds of what folk call “monsters”.

How do you inhabit the mind of someone or something else? The fancy term for it is “personification”. Getting into another’s headspace, more than that. Their sense spaces. What would they touch, taste, hear, see, smell? How would they process it? I know this can get gross, but illuminating, too. I believe all have a unique perspective on the world. We love to know what makes folk act the way they do. Is it through reasoning, out of impulse, or a combination? It fascinates me.

What form would the writing take? Well, ever since Ian McMillan asked me to write an advent sonnet a few Christmases ago, I write a sonnet a day. See it, as like a five-finger exercise for a pianist. I settled into writing Shakesperean sonnets because that was the form I chose originally. The strict form of ten syllables per line, 14 lines, three quatrains and a couplet exercises my mind. I admit I am crap at metre. I read it aloud, and if it sounds right, I keep it. And it is useful to break the ten syllable lines into five syllable phrases. After a while some of the phrases in my head, automatically were ten syllables long. That was a surprise!

In a sense, writing first person is like an actor getting into character. I hope you, dear readers, can feel yourselves taken in by these figures, no matter how monstrous.

Thank you to wonderful Tricia for giving me this opportunity to spout about my latest collection.


It was a delight to feature you again, Paul, and I’m excited to read your brand new pamphlet. Writing in first person, as you know, is always my prime point of view. There’s nothing like stepping into character whether it be a person, tree or bird. Good luck with your new collection.

If readers fancy finding out more about Paul Brooke’s brand new pamphlet, and want to know how to order a copy, pop over to Amazon here.

About Paul Brookes

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews, book reviews and challenges. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and, videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions. Most recent is a poetry collaboration with artworker Jane Cornwell: “Wonderland in Alice, plus other ways of seeing”, (JCStudio Press, 2021). Forthcoming: “These Random Acts of Wildness”, Glass Head Press, 2022.