Greetings Earthlings! It’s lovely to “see” you all again. And thank you, Sharmishtha, for inviting me back for a second interview week! I am so honoured!
My journey since my last interview here has been eventful to say the least; two deaths in my immediate family, 4 books published and a beautiful greyhound that my soulmate and I share with a member of our family.
I have started writing again properly. It took a LONG time to get my creativity back and it took a lot of hard work in writing something daily, even just one line in my journal. I’m currently working on something that is vaguely romantic set in one of the worlds I visit often. I can’t say anymore than that; I don’t want to jinx it!
Meantime, I’ve been polishing and finalising manuscripts in order to get them published. When I discovered I had cancer in 2014, I vowed that if I survived, I would stop waiting on other people to accept my work for publication, and do it all myself. So, that’s what I’ve been doing!
Today I’m going to tell you about 3 of the books I’ve had published this year.
The Essence of Thyme
An oblique re-telling of Sleeping Beauty.
The Essence of Thyme allows Parsley the limelight (for once) as she pursues her dream of finding a handsome prince and true love.
But messages from Merlin come in the form of riddles. Just who is this mysterious Nimue? Why has an enchanted forest suddenly appeared before Castle Thyme?
Parsley veers between absolute determination and terror in her quest to find her true love. Can she and Dracomagan solve the riddle? Can they break the spell that holds Castle Thyme in its insidious grip?
The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories
Five tales encompassing human emotion; disappointed expectations, self-sacrificing love for the unlovable, will power that overcomes dark enchantment, bravery in the face of evil and fear of the unknown in a hum-drum life …
Five tales from Freya’s fertile imagination to delight and intrigue you; a western setting, a tragic story, a twisted faerie tale, a sword and sorcery romp and a warning about checking your car brakes …
Five narrative voices ranging from; a young child, a murderer, a strong-willed young woman, damsels awaiting rescue and a retired banker …
Five tales set in fantastic locations; an arid canyon, a smoke-wreathed ale house, a moonlit sea, a haunted inn and a golf course …
Five tales about Dracomagan; mysterious guide, ruiner of emotional moods, overcomer of dark enchantment, shatterer of faerie spells and a golfer’s nightmare …
Freya’s novel, Dragonscale Leggings, is a parody of the genre she loves best; fantasy. In it, she gently pokes fun at the Arthurian legends, the common concepts of dragon slayers and dragons and how they should (or shouldn’t) behave. Think Alice in Wonderland meets Bridget Jones…
What would you do if you woke up in a place you did not recognise, with no memory of who you are? Would you fall asleep again and hope to remember when you woke up next? Would you hide yourself away, giving into self-pity? Or would you walk out and explore this strange new world, hoping to recover your memory on the way?
Join the narrator of Dragonscale Leggings as she sets out to discover where she is, why she is there and how or if she can return home. Accompanied by Tygar, a white stallion who appoints himself her guardian and armed with a giant potato peeler, Dracomagan travels through a lush and dreamlike Otherworld.
Who will help her find her true identity? Will it be Sama, the gorgeous harpist who gives her a name? Will it be aggravating Agravaine, a knight who prefers fashion to fighting? Can Gatus, the goat herder help her? Or will the mysterious retired Pirate King show her the path to her real memories?
OK, today we’ll talk about my videos.
This is something I’ve only got into recently. In April I signed up to http://www.patreon.com in order to try and raise money to enable me to self-publish. That was the first video I ever created; goodness, it was scary to do! But, I got the bug and decided to release a short video every time I launched a new book. And, more recently, I’ve started making teasers and really short (up to 1 minute) videos just for fun!
The videos are updated as and when they are released on the Klaw Klips page on my main blog at https://dragonscaleclippings.wordpress.com/klaw-klips/
Alternatively, you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQEB3_wlAGM0_FY9w5NTrmQ
and receive immediate updates when a new video is launched.
I made this very short video as my take on Halloween. It’s not really scary, more sinister… English country gardens are full of sunshine and flowers… But, what if there was something horrid lurking in the compost at the bottom of the garden…?
This was an extremely emotional video to make. You can hear the tension and emotion in my voice. Because cancer is such a personal thing to endure, it is very hard to express easily how you really feel to those who have not experienced the touch of death… (The greyhound in the last slide before I start talking is the one I mentioned on Day One – isn’t he gorgeous?)
This has to be my favourite video so far! It sums me up (quirky and maybe slightly insane) as well as capturing the flippant, tongue-in-cheek feel of the novel. I really enjoyed reading the extract, pretending to be both the scared dragon and the aggressive dragon slayer!
The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories
This video was fun to make too! Dracomagan is such a weird character, it’s nice to be able to enact her role; she is a very strong force and presence in all 5 stories.
The Essence of Thyme
I was surprised at how relaxed I felt in this, my 2nd video, after the nervous tension of the first one. I discovered, for the first time, that I actually love reading my own work!
This is the first video I ever made. It’s short. I was nervous. But I got 4 supporters from it!!!
Today I want to tell you about my most recent publication. I wrote the poetry contained within it as I went through a colostomy, bowel cancer, open surgery, chemotherapy and the long drawn out process of recovery. It helped me at the time to embrace the terrible things I had to endure.
Insides – Poetry Collection
Insides is mixture of short form poetry blended with my “clippings”.
To tell the tale of my darkest nightmare, I use blank verse, haiku, tanka, cinquain, elfje, lantune, cherita and my very own freyan verse.
The poetry ebbs and flows from despair and fear to determination and sheer grit to get me through to recovery.
But, as I find and express through my journal notes which find their way into short form poems, recovery happens in many stages and isn’t as immediate as I hoped or wished.
This collection will bring comfort and renewed determination to anyone dealing with a life-threatening illness. And, it is hoped, that those on the edges, watching from afar, will be enabled to identify more with the sufferers of cancer.
Here’s new video for you about me and my books!
Coming soon ….
Here’s a bit about me, just in case you are new to me and my works!
I live in England and enjoy walking beside the sea, when I’m not busy writing or publishing.
I don’t write about imaginary worlds; I write about imaginative ones. These are worlds that could be real in a parallel universe or another time dimension. I don’t promote escapism; instead I take my readers into a refreshing place so that they return to their normal lives feeling strengthened and renewed.
A cancer survivor, I am inspired by my garden, a variety of music and beautifully written books. I am the author of four books at Amazon and my free quarterly newsletter features serialised short stories about one of my characters, Dracomagan.
My favourite writers include CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Jane Dougherty, Elizabeth Baxter, Frank Herbert and Anne McCaffrey.
Social Media links
To receive my free, quarterly newsletter (get one free short story a year plus insights into the new short form poems I am experimenting with) simply send an email to me at
with “Request Clippings” in the subject line.
Farewell for now! Thank you for reading, watching and listening. I hope you enjoy my books!
Extra treat from Indie Adda, Freya’s new book:
VINTRIG’S KINGDOM by Freya Pickard
When Isu Magan, heir to Vintrig’s Throne, finds the journal of a vanished Scriber, her perceptions of history and the truth are challenged. A growing distrust of her loyal and powerful Counsellor initiates rebellious and frightening thoughts within her heart. Adding to this disruption of her ordered life, Isu finds herself attracted to the itinerant musician, Sama Conn. As the endless winter thaws, and a brief summer returns to the Castle, Isu longs to learn to dance, but fears her feelings towards Sama. Knowing she cannot love a mortal, the princess struggles with an increasing infatuation that could lose her the throne, and possibly her life.
Everyone in this tale is challenged and empowered by the arrival of Sama Conn and his travelling musicians. But Jya, the Counsellor, appears set against them and the change they bring to Vintrig’s Castle. The balance of power is threatened, and each person has to decide which party they will ally themselves with. Against this backdrop of scheming and fear, rises the question, again and again; what is the importance of Throne Peak?
Told from five viewpoints; Isu Magan, her maid, her steward, an elderly traveller and the anonymous Scriber, Vintrig’s Kingdom is a tale of romance, intrigue and dark history.
This tale is set within the mountainous, winter-bound walls of Vintrig’s Kingdom. Instead of the usual “quest”, the journey each person treads is a journey of the soul, into the innermost recesses of their fear to question the validity of the history they think they know …
Freya Talks about her novel, Vintrig’s Kingdom at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2eOzmBrNTI
Freya reads an extract from Vintrig’s Kingdom at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeqP8DG612s
Poem written by Isu Magan, the central character in Vintrig’s Kingdom at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v–N8n-uS8Q
More info at https://dragonscaleclippings.wordpress.com/dragonscale-leggings/
The whole week in a pretty package: https://wingofdreams.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/tfnf-19-1-17-freya-week.pdf