Guest Feature – Karen Mooney

Today I’m delighted to feature poet, Karen Mooney, who is a fellow poet with The Hedgehog Poetry Press. Karen has come along to Patricia’s Pen to talk about her pamphlet, Missing Pieces.

Thank you, Patricia, for the opportunity to provide an insight into Missing Pieces

Missing Pieces

Karen Mooney

I was equally delighted and terrified when Mark Davidson, Editor of The Hedgehog Poetry Press, offered me the opportunity to have a poetry pamphlet. I confess to having dragged my feet through a lack of confidence, and it may never have happened but for the repeated interventions and encouragement of Gaynor Kane, with whom I co-wrote Penned In, which was published in 2020. 

I’m a latecomer to this writing thing without any formal training unless, of course, I go back to English classes at school, but that’s in the dim and distant past. And on leaving school, I entered local government as a clerical officer; took advantage of part-time education in business studies and human resources, only to retire early due to ill health in 2013 after 32 years of memo, policy and report writing. Not an ideal foundation for creative writing triggered by a life-changing event; my father’s death.

In coming to terms with his death, I reflected on the past, realising that growing up in the era of children being seen and not heard, other circumstances of loss hadn’t actually been addressed. Some had never been spoken of, but stiff upper lips can soften in time. In essence, the pamphlet marks some stepping stones of my life, many of which may resonate with others.

It deals with loss; a baby sister, a school chum, my mother, marriage, miscarriage, father, love, but it has a happy ending. It’s also a recognition that there is a beginning with every end.

I’m delighted to have had some compliments on the book cover as I designed it myself. It’s based on a photograph I took of the sun setting over Strangford Lough. I manipulated the image to represent kintsugi’s gold lustre, which happens to be the final poem.

All proceeds from signed copies will be donated to Marie Curie, the UK’s leading end of life charity. Why? Because endings matter.

Fancy a signed copy and helping Marie Curie – a little taster of what you can expect from Missing Pieces. This is one of the most poignant poetry pamphlets I have read. Have your tissues ready.

Still not convinced? Read Damien B Donnelly’s review on Eat the Storms – if I didn’t already have a copy I’d be racing to get one. A great gift – a great keepsake – and not only that you will be helping Karen’s most deserving charity – Marie Curie.

Order your signed copy from Karen NOW – via Twitter or Facebooksee details below

Order your signed copy from Karen via Twitter or Facebook and help raise money for Marie Curie



Guest Feature – Angela Johnson

It is a delight to introduce author, Angela Johnson, a fellow Swanwick writer, to Patricia’s Pen for the first time. Angela has come along to chat about her novel, Arianwen. Without further ado, it’s over to Angela.


Angela Johnson

I believe that when we write we search conscious and unconscious memory as well as freeing the imagination to wander the byways of human existence, I was encouraged to write from a very early age, compelled by a belief in the huge power of language. I come from a community with a strong tradition of story-telling, and poetry was everyday as breathing, and ordinary working men were experts at the traditional form of cynghanedd: a strict verse form.

Arianwen published by Black Bee Books is the story of a woman who deems herself very ordinary, yet through the turbulent course of her life we see that she is a remarkable woman ,a woman whose life ends prematurely in the most violent and cruel fashion,. Brought up in relative comfort in the secret valley of dark trees and the beautiful old mill, she spends her formative years lodging in two very different households, then trains to be a teacher and goes to work in a North Pembrokeshire village. Her first marriage ends in tragedy and, ultimately, through the power of music, community and friendship she learns to live again.

We see how others depend on her quiet strength and pragmatism, her kindness and her empathy, and her gradual questioning of women’s place in society. The novel is also a portrayal of a changing society where the age-old certainties are threatened by new ideas, and communities are evolving in unexpected ways, and the Welsh language is under siege.

The novel is a tribute to those whose lives were enslaved by the demands of the agricultural life, the resilience of the human spirit, and the way in which human contact and friendship sustains us.

Not all my writing is set in Wales. I live close to the North Kent marshes, bleak and beautiful, where Dickens set Great Expectations. The marshes are inspirational with always changing colours and diffused light, the water reflecting the moods of the seasons. I am inspired by Nature and love to watch birds, mystified by their strange freedom. I like wild flowers and looking for rare orchids on the Kent Downs in Spring and Summer. All these are nourishment for the writer’s imagination, as are faces and actions and conversation, and the infinite complexity of human nature.

About Angela Johnson

Angela Johnson was born in West Wales, and grew up in Newcastle Emlyn, a small market town on the banks of the River Teifi. Welsh was her first language, and the language of her family, and in her writing about Wales there is a  conscious  echo of the rhythms of her language even though she writes in English. The landscape of her childhood is portrayed in  ‘Arianwen’.as  are the memories of the stories she heard in an enclosed commnuity.

She attended the local grammar school, and was encouraged to write by an inspirational English teacher, and in turn became an English teacher herself after studying in Swansea, and later in London. Her experiences as a teacher play an important role in a recently completed novel.

After teaching in colleges and schools in North Kent she chose to study Creative Writing at the University of Kent and was awarded a Distinction.

Her novel ‘Harriet and her Women’ was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for Fiction and she was also shortlisted for the H.E. Bates Memorial Short Story Prize for her story ’George and the Dragon’  She has also won poetry competitions.

Links to buy book


Links to social media




House of Grace – first book in the enthralling family saga trilogy

House of Grace is on a Kindle Countdown Promotion. If you haven’t read it yet then this is the perfect time to give it a go and see if the trilogy is for you.

What one recent reader said

“I was completely captivated by House of Grace by Patricia M Osborne. The characters really resonated with me – they were so real! The story itself is beautifully plotted and flows seamlessly. I was immediately drawn in to Grace’s story, and her emotional journey. Grace and Jack and their trials and tribulations made my heart hurt!! I couldn’t put this book down – I had to keep reading, and for me, that is the sign of a great story. The satisfying ending left me wanting to know more – so part II is a must-read for me! Highly recommended.”

Read more reviews and order via Amazon Kindle for 99p/99c – Limited offer. Grab a bargain while you can.

Click HERE to download for 99p/99c – FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Also available in paperback.

Line up for the Summer Season

Patricia’s Pen has been taking a short break but we’re back next week for a Summer Season of fun with lots of guest features.

Kicking off from next week:

Novelist – Angela Johnson

Poet – Peter A

Novelist -Joy Gerkin

Novelist – Judith Barrow

Poet – Mary Ford Neal

Poet – Pratibha Castle

Poets – Kerry Derbishire and Kelly Davis

Poet – Lucy Heuschen

Poet – Anna Saunders

and more guest features to follow


If you are a writer, either novelist or poet, with a published book and would like to be considered for a slot on Patricia’s Pen from October 2022 onwards, please contact me via the online contact form HERE

Requirements for Guest Feature:

300-500 words on writing in first person (writing can be writing in general or specifically about a book/series)

50-100 words author bio in third person

Jpg pic of books

jpg pic of you

links to buy books

links to find you on social media/website

this all needs to be provided at least two weeks prior to your given slot.

Why not follow the blog so you never miss a feature?


Sherry & Sparkly raises money for Cancer Research UK

Cancer touches us all in one form or another and it is for this reason that Maureen Cullen and I decided to use our sale proceeds from Sherry & Sparkly (published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press) to donate to Cancer Research UK. We started fundraising in January 2022 and to date we have donated £385 to the charity in memory of our sisters, Heather and Bernie, who lost their battle to cancer.

We still have a few copies left. Proceeds from any future copies sold (via this website) will go to Cancer Research UK.

READ Nigel Kent’s review HERE – and if you fancy ordering a limited edition copy use the link below and order safely via PayPal.


Sherry & Sparkly makes a perfect keepsake

Please note that proceeds to Cancer Research only apply to copies sold via Maureen Cullen or myself – not orders on Amazon.

Guest Feature – Angela Fish

Today I’m delighted to introduce author, Angela Fish, to Patricia’s Pen. Angela has popped over to chat about her writing journey. Without further ado it’s over to Angela.

My Writing Journey

Angela Fish

Thank you so much for inviting me to visit your blog today to share my writing motivation and journey with you.

As a baby and young child I was badly asthmatic and I needed to be kept as quiet as possible! My mother read to me constantly and by the time I was four, I was able to read simple words. Once I could manage on my own I would read everything I could lay my hands on. At age seven I began writing simple rhyming poetry (possible influenced by my Rupert the Bear Annuals!) then short stories, usually full of clever kids undertaking seemingly impossible tasks, and I also tried writing a few plays. One of my teachers was kind enough to allow some of my friends and I to perform a play for the rest of the class. I remember a lot of running around!

From eleven to eighteen, my main creative outpourings were largely reserved for English essays but I never lost my love of reading. After that, life took over and there was little time for writing. I used to make up stories for my boys when they were younger, but only remember writing down one or two, and never really considered publication.

Fast forward some years and I decided to enter university as a mature student, studying Humanities with Creative Writing. This was where I developed my interest in human psychology, of myths and legends from around the world, and I also began writing poetry, almost exclusively. I then completed an MPhil Literature focussing on Images of Welsh Women in the Fiction of Welsh Women Writers 1850-1950. After that I joined the university teaching staff and later specialised in intergenerational work, so my main writing was academic, with some literary articles, as well as poetry. I had a number of magazine/journal articles and poems published but I just couldn’t/wouldn’t commit to writing anything of length.

Fast forward another fifteen years and I took early retirement which allowed me the time to join a number of interest groups such as Family History and Creative Writing, where I returned to writing  prose and also found my feet in the world of Flash Fiction. The Fractured Globe started life as a short story, in response to a writers’ prompt. Several of my group suggested that I write a second story from another character’s point-of-view – not of the same situation, but something to complement  the first. After that I decided to compile a series of stories that would interlink but when I tried writing the third character’s piece, it just didn’t work, so I abandoned it as I had been offered publication for a children’s book.

That book turned into a series of three, followed by a picture book so The Globe didn’t receive any attention for a long time. I had the idea to pull apart the short stories and to try to reform them as a novel. I received some positive feedback at a conference, from a literary agent and a publisher, so went ahead. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but once my characters were properly formed they wouldn’t let me give up and I knew I had to finish it. It’s a fairly dark tale which reflects my interest in nature/nurture, and is told through the lives of two single mums. If pressed, I’d probably liken it to a cross between Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the film, Sliding Doors. Another influence from some time back was the powerful docudrama, Cathy Come Home, which has stayed with me for many years. I was delighted when DarkStroke Books accepted the novel in August 2020 and it was published in December of that year.

While I tend to write in fits and starts, once a storyline or certain characters have ensnared me, I have to complete that particular journey. I’ve recently submitted another children’s book to a publisher and at the moment I’m undecided whether to continue writing for children, or to develop another novel which I sketched out while I was sitting around in court (as a juror, I hasten to add!) I’m sure the answer will present itself soon.

About Angela Fish

Angela has lived all of her life in Wales and has worked in Medical Research, Electrical Engineering, and Education.  The Fractured Globe is her first novel. She has previously had four children’s books published, as well as poetry, critical, and academic work.

Angela loves books and cats, probably in equal measure. She also shamelessly eavesdrops, particularly on public transport, or in queues – for research purposes only, of course.


BUY Amazon
BUY Direct from Angela’s Website





Amazon Author Page


Guest Feature – Martin Lott

I’m delighted to welcome back author, Martin Lott, to Patricia’s Pen. Martin has returned to chat about his latest release, Aldred. Without further ado, it’s over to Martin.


Martin Lott

The world can never be different; the world will never be the same again.

Aldred is my third novel, and although it is a standalone book, it continues the fantasy theme of my previous publications, The Witchetty Men and Ethereal Wood. It needed to both appeal, and challenge me as a writer. The idea was driven initially by a prologue, which further suggested the plot, central characters and various settings.

The main storyline is the safeguarding, and pursuit, of two powerful books, which if ever brought together will bring about the end of days. However, there is a significant sub-plot which, as it unravels, adds a potent mix of historical references and a questioning of long upheld beliefs.

I hope Aldred appeals to readers who enjoy not just the fantasy genre, but to whom plot twists, imagery and originality are important factors when choosing a book. The writing of Aldred took place mainly during the Covid lock down, so it may well have come from a darker place than originally intended! I have an almost restless need to be creative, and continually develop and improve as a writer, and I hope that with Aldred I have managed to raise my personal bar.

I don’t have a target readership. Perhaps I should, but in all honesty I write for myself in the hope that others may enjoy what I do. I am privileged to know other authors who have been extremely encouraging, and I am indebted to the many readers who have also shown their support.

Writing, by its very nature, can be a solitary affair, but I do find it to be enjoyable (otherwise I would not do it!) and cathartic. Aldred really grew from a desire to challenge the accepted, and to push boundaries within the fantasy genre.

Than you so much for inviting me back, Tricia.

Always a pleasure, Martin. Good luck with Aldred.

Buy a copy of Aldred

About Martin Lott

Martin is originally from Horley in Surrey. He moved to Perth in Western Australia, before returning to the U.K. and settling in Littlehampton, West Sussex. From Monday to Friday he works as a payroll officer, trapped in the body of an author!

In addition to writing books, he is a musician and songwriter, having composed music for two plays; an independent production called Sometimes We Dance and Shout, and Oedipus, both performed in Perth. His play, The Condemned, was performed at the Courtyard Theatre, London in 2019.

Aldred is available via Amazon initially as a paperback, with a Kindle edition to follow shortly. Martin’s previous books, The Witchetty Men and Ethereal Wood are available in both formats.

His fourth novel Snow Rollers is a sequel to The Witchetty Men and is currently a work in progress.

Buy Books


Guest Feature – Ankh Spice

Today is a real treat for Patricia’s Pen with my special guest, Ankh Spice, all the way from New Zealand. Ankh’s come along to chat about writing so without further ado, it’s over to Ankh.

About Writing

Ankh Spice

Sitting down to ‘write about writing’ and all I can think about is how defiant an act it is to create. How weirdly human it is to unspool visions out of a black box balanced on a spine. How lucky we are, if we find our thing and take up our tools of conveyance: words, paint, sound, movement, and out the other end, new art coalesces and converses with other people’s visions, a sort of chorus of those-who-persist-in-hope through their time. And I include in that chorus those who make to observe, document, witness, creations driven by even the most cynical academic commentary, by trauma, or sprung from what appears to be the depths of absolute not-hope. I can’t help thinking that daring to add to the world in such a conscious, vulnerable way while you’re smack bang in the mess of it – means to gather up a sense of self as something more than a complicated tube existing to subtract and consume. To say some stuff persists. We are not yet lost.

And I know, I know, we keep on proving we’re a selfish, divisive species. My own work shoulders deep consciousness of our evolutionary roots as ape-troupes, constantly figuring out who is the Us and who is the Them, always using each other for social currency in one way or another. I’m not saying no-one is creating for the pure I was here that goes with all this, but it’s also an offering, a sharing, a grasp at common threads. Even selfish art is bigger than itself.

I’m sorry-not-sorry to get so diverted – here’s where I say I’m a poet, not an essayist. This probably should have been a tidy vignette about why I write, a once-upon-a-time, but the world‘s quivering from hit after hit, this pandemic, a hundred wars, climate disaster and ever-growing rifts between us all. Time is so short, and personal history laid out that neatly feels too pat, so this is for you in the same way that my own acts of creation, even the really personal ones, mean to extend beyond the envelope. I put all of this, and all of that, into my collection, and will be grateful for the rest of my time here to have found a publisher in Femme Salvé who understood why.

The Water Engine is my defiance and my offering, and my appeal to you to find your way of seeing, and your way of adding, maybe by recognising where we all converge. Its pages are open hands full of what I’ve managed to learn and translate – from ape-awareness, from the black-box; feeling, witness, observation, trauma, healing, mess and just plain awe that we keep doing what we do. I’ve spent my life so far trying to give voice to the mesh of internal and external world we all move inside, that convergence that drops a million dazzling secrets a second in plain sight, but which we each see uniquely. All our fountains take from the source. Keep making of that what you will – just keep making. Float whatever you create past your blockages and up into the air, saying: in your face, darkness. Even if we’re wrong, all this hope thing? It was worth it.

In this comprehensive and mighty debut collection, Ankh Spice stands shoulder to shoulder with poets, such as Les Murray, e.e. cummings, Hart Crane, and Dylan Thomas in breaking and remaking language to transport the reader to visionary emotional territories. (Matthew M Smith – Black Bough Poetry)


About Ankh Spice

Ankh Spice is a queer, sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa New Zealand, and the author of The Water Engine (Femme Salvé Books, 2021). His work is widely published in online and print journals, with eight of his poems nominated for the Pushcart Prize and/or Best of the Net. His poem ‘New Cloth’ was joint winner of the Poetry Archive’s WorldView2020 competition. He co-edits at IceFloe Press, and is a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine.

He’s usually found out on the coast of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, but you can catch him online at:




Guest Feature – Mick Arnold

It gives me great delight to introduce author Mick Arnold to Patricia’s Pen. Mick is here to chat about his writing. Without further ado, it’s over to Mick.

My Writing

Mick Arnold

First, my confession, I have not always wanted to write. Phew, I feel so much better for getting that off my chest, I only hope you’re still reading this!

After I’d recovered from this illness, I became interested in writing after I’d read the book, ‘the Xmas Factor’ by Annie Sanders. This was the first ‘chick-lit’ book I’d ever read, as before I’d been into sci-fi and/or fantasy, though not hard-core. My first love was and still is, the late and unsurpassed, Terry Pratchett. He’s still the one author I’ll go to if I need to get into a good place. Anyway, I only read that book after being urged to by my lady wife. After reading this, I got up the next day and before I knew what was happening, I’d begun to type.

I didn’t know what I was doing and certainly I had no intention of beginning to write a book. Somehow, I was still sat there at midnight and by the same time the next day, somehow, I had the first few chapters of what ended up as my first completed book done. That’s still in the bottom of a metaphorical drawer.

I then took a few years off, and was convinced to take up the laptop again by a friend who advised me to try something new. When she told me this, I was watching a documentary on the women of the WW2 Air Transport Auxiliary service. This led into an afternoon of research on the internet and the bare-bones of what became, ‘A Wing and a Prayer’ began to take shape.

After I managed to get this published came the panic. Oh heck! What do I do for a follow up? Fortunately, I’m a bit of a history buff and there’re plenty of stories out there which I need to tell about these girls. Family comes in strange packages and these girls are now mine.


About Mick Arnold

Mick spent sixteen years roaming around the world, courtesy of HM Queen Elizabeth II – gawd bless her – in the RAF.

He loves traveling, and the music of the Beach Boys, Queen, Muse, and Bon Jovi. Books play a large part in his life, not only writing, but also reading and reviewing, as well as supporting his many author friends.

He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Were-Cats bent on world domination, and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Man Utd-supporting wife.






You Tube Channel

Guest Feature – Carmen Radtke

My guest today is author, Carmen Radtke who has come along to Patricia’s Pen to chat about her writing, so without further ado, it’s over to Carmen.

My Writing

Carmen Radtke

I’ve always written, since I discovered that I could use a pen and paper to make up poems (when
you’re seven, any rhyme will do) and stories (the hamster and the stolen diamonds could’ve become a classic had I but known about the concept of a second draft).

Then I became a newspaper journalist, sticking to facts and deadlines so tight I rarely got to explore the concept of a second draft. I covered police beat and politics, small town scandals and serious affairs, feel-good human interest and history, sometimes all on the same day.

Most reporter want to write a novel one day, lavishing time on crafting one immaculate sentence after another and following in the literary footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. Me too. Which is why, with impeccable timing, my first novel was partly written under my desk, while I typed away like a woman obsessed between earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Case of the Missing Bride is set in 1862 and tells the story of a group of young, impoverished
Australian women, travelling half-way across the world, to marry prosperous Canadian miners. When one of the brides is missing after a stormy night, it’s thought of as an accident, but one girl knows better and embarks on a secret mission to find a killer.

These women really existed – I found a short paragraph online, during an idle research into imported brides while looking for a story idea for the local paper I wrote for then. The brides set out in high hopes from Melbourne, but when they reached San Francisco for a stopover, they vanished without a trace. I can’t imagine a world where this would have ended well for them. Maybe that is why I couldn’t let it go.

In the next book, Glittering Death (soon to be re-titled The Prospect of Death), I give them some of the happiness the real life did not hold in store for them.
Because I’m endlessly fascinated by history, my other series is set in Australia in the early 1930s,
during the Great Depression and comes complete with a plucky heroine, a dashing nightclub-owner, artists and crooks.

I’ve only recently taken the plunge and dived into contemporary mystery. It’s fun, it takes a lot less research, but then I do love discovering quirky or astonishing details about the past. As a reader I’m polygamous, voracious and insatiable. I love historical fiction, mysteries, grittier crime, comedy, romcom, thriller, some fantasy and science-fiction … After moving half-way around the world twice, I still have the complete works of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout, Ngaio Marsh, plus Janet Evanovich, Dick Francis, Terry Pratchett, Tony Hillerman, Elizabeth Peters, and many more. Life changes, but we’ll always have stories. Including poetry, although I no longer write it. It’s for the best; believe me.

Dig your own Grave will be published on 8th March 2022 but is available for preorder now – Click HERE to read the blurb and preorder your copy.

About Carmen Radtke

Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side. She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter. Her debut novel, The Case Of The Missing Bride, was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition in a year without a winner. Since then she has penned several more cozy mysteries, including the Jack and Frances series set in the 1930s. Carmen now lives in York, UK, with her human and her four-legged family.





Buy Books