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Updates on all things relative!

19 December 2014:

I’ve just been approached to give some lectures/workshops next year to college students studying Creative Writing. It’ll be my first time teaching a formal academic group, and I’m really looking forward to it!

12-17 May 2014:


At the Writing Buddies 5th Anniversary Exhibition – photo by Tessa Warburg

I attended the opening ceremony of the 5th Anniversary Exhibition by Southampton Writing Buddies at the Central Library in Southampton Civic Centre, a technical support and knowledge-sharing group for writers run by Penny Legg, who meet on the first Friday of every month at the Mercure Dolphin, Southampton, Hampshire. I joined in 2010, when they were just celebrating their first anniversary. The Buddies have shared their career progress and lessons learned over the years, some progressing from traditional publishing into self-publishing and others reaching out into working with charities supporting arts accessibility for the disabled. They’re an amazing group with lots of warmth and humour, and I’m very proud to be part of their journey.


Anniversary cake courtesy of Rubery Book Award winner Christine Donovan

I’ve also been submitting more work – I drafted a series script based on my popular blog posts/book The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum, and sent it in to the BBC Writersroom when their comedy script room was open for submissions at the start of the month.

January 2014: Happy New Year!

Mills & Boon 'Tempted To Write' January 2014 contest

Winner of the first round of the Mills & Boon ‘Tempted To Write’ contest 🙂

I submitted an entry to the Dark Crystal Author Quest at the end of last month. I heard about the contest from my sister on Christmas Eve, and the closing date was New Year’s Eve, so I came up with an idea and wrote an opening chapter in about three days. It was a good challenge to undertake, and the winner will get a contract to write a Dark Crystal prequel. According to the site’s official Facebook page, nearly 500 entries were received, so there’s a good chance they’ll be able to read all of them by the shortlist decision date of March 1st. It was a bizarre feeling, as when I was 17 years old I had a job interview at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop when it was based in Hampstead, North London. I’d been referred by Stuart Freeborn, a creature design and make-up artist expert, who had telephoned to give me advice after I wrote him a fan letter.

November 2013:

I’ve recently submitted a FULL MS on request by an editor at Harlequin Mills & Boon. The full was requested only two weeks after my initial three-chapter submission this time, under a new pen-name. So it could be third time lucky. I’ve sent it out for feedback to a couple of other sources, and already working on the next – a tie-in to the first story. There’ll be at least three more stories developed from characters and threads I introduced in the first, so regardless of the final decision from the publishers, I’ll have plenty to work with for a series.

Sadly, it’s also au revoir and bon voyage to our very special grandma, who passed away at home peacefully on November 5th. As a young woman, she’d had consultations and treatment and advice for ‘fertility issues’ at one of the first specialist clinics in London in the 1940s when she and my grandfather were originally trying to conceive – without their persistence, the most amazing family just wouldn’t exist now. Extraordinary to think about… she remained very much with it, witty and talkative right up until the end, and certainly raised the bar for my expectations of later life! She’s much missed by the dozens of young people who wouldn’t be here today without her.

Some of Grandma Di's favourite flowers

October 2013:


Dragon Spirit 10 as Hermione Granger Zombie, with friends at 1066 Walk of the Dead, Hastings, visiting the TARDIS Police Box for Hastings Police on site at Priory Meadow

Summer 2013: Hastings Pirate Day

Lisa Scullard and Dragon Spirit 10 at Hastings Pirate Day 2013

Snapped by Oliver McNeil of Legend Photography UK

April 2013: London Book Fair

Photo by Kobo Writing Life

Caroline and Penny (two of the Jeffrey Archer/Kobo/Curtis Brown Short Story Challenge semi-finalists) with Lord Jeffrey Archer, and me 🙂

(photo by Kobo Writing Life)

Free on Kobo!

Click the cover image above to download a free copy of The Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge Collection from Kobo for your e-reader or free Kobo reading app

Living Hell, on SmashwordsMarch: I’ve received an Honourable Mention in a writing contest! 🙂 It means I’ll have a short story published in a free Kobo anthology next month, along with two other Honourable Mentions, and 20 finalists. I’ll post more about it soon, but in the meantime I’ve celebrated by working on a couple of my older ebook covers, which are visible here and here now:

I can now add credits for sales on Sony, Kobo and Barnes & Noble ebooks – thank you Smashwords for such a great publishing platform! And the iBookstore for my Terrible Zombie of Oz, via Lulu – another very efficient platform. I feel very lucky for even getting noticed in those e-stores, up against such giants of writing and publishing.

February: I’ve just been extremely humble and nominated The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum for the Guardian search for new sci-fi and weirdness in novels. Not just up my street, but virtually rummaging through my bins already 🙂

January 2013: Happy New Year!

ValentineI’m working on my new project hopefully for Mills & Boon, and submitting the first three chapters after following their prompts and advice. Watch this space 🙂

It’s not been so hard to put the zombies to one side – literally, I just have them open on another file parallel and whenever I feel like a bit of zombie-mashing, I just switch over… Oh, I see you have noticed that already. How embarrassing 🙂 Just passing the time, honest 😉

December 2012: Happy Christmas!

The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum

Yes – it’s out! A few weeks earlier than I expected 🙂 135,000 words of mindless mayhem. No movie franchise left un-mashed – in 83 chapters of stuff I made up as I went along, starting back in April, blogging every chapter as I wrote it (until this last week, when I was writing two or three chapters a day while recovering from a successful eye op!) and turned out to make a coherent story. I know. It shocked me too 🙂 Also on Smashwords for all other devices and online reading.

And news from Mills&Boon… saying encouraging things about my writing (You have a very accessible writing voice and your passion certainly comes through in your work), but mainly to focus on the chemistry, and to streamline my interests as regards their imprints (Think carefully about which series you think would be best for you – is it the more paranormal side you’re interested in, or the more intense romance?). Lots to think about and plan for over the New Year – if I can suppress the zombies for a moment, I’ll see what I can do for them 😉

August: Has been a busy year – working on more projects for Sophie Neville (publishing Ride the Wings of Morning, her sequel to Funnily Enough, and formatting abbreviated colour anecdote versions of them as well). No news yet from Mills&Boon re. Neptune’s Island, and no luck with the pilot script! 🙂 But as you know, most of my work has been on The Zombie Adventures of Sarah Bellum here on WordPress this summer, which will also go in for further development soon.

Just this last week, I was lucky to be invited by Sophie to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, where members gathered one hot sunny afternoon to greet and congratulate the 4x Olympic Gold Medallist (and local sailor!) – Ben Ainslie. I got an autograph (yay!) but was too shy to ask for  picture with him (not kicking myself at all, no!!). So here’s a few Sophie and I took between us – Sophie’s journalistic eye having monochromed hers afterwards to remove her, um, ‘blushing’ 🙂

Ben Ainslie with Sophie Neville at Royal Lymington Yacht Club, August 2012 (photo: me)

Me visiting the locals’ tribute to Ben Ainslie in Lymington High Street! (photo: Sophie Neville)

Ben signing autographs (and shirts!) at RLYC (photo: me)

February: Submitted a pilot script for a TV comedy/drama to the BBC writersroom. Fingers crossed for this one! Also been given a Hodder book to read by a friend of the author, with a view to possibly writing a feature screenplay based on it.

LULU.COM OFFERS REGULAR DISCOUNTS ON HARDCOVERS AND PAPERBACKS: Check the homepage for promotional codes and dates when listed. Each code is valid once per customer on a single transaction. You can visit my Lulu bookshelf here.

January 2012: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Pete Marchetto has initiated a one-word story for various authonomy authors to contribute to, which he then edits laboriously, makes some semblance of sense out of, and records as an audiobook. Available to download and listen for free, it’s an amazing, complex, entertaining, Pythonesque web of fun.

I joined in somewhere in the second or third chapter – check back in for updates as new chapters are added!

December 2011:

Here’s how the latest live events went, plus the free Kindle promotion announcement, Amazon freebie dates, and excerpts: ALL BOOKS GREAT AND SMALL

Happy holidays everyone! 🙂 xx

November 2011: My first live reading will be at the Steampunk Christmas book event in Oxford next month!

October 2011: Two excerpts from books in my new paranormal series appear as 416-word flash fiction chapters in “416” – a collection of horror shorts by various authors on Authonomy, edited by Splinker, Esq. Check out Hellbait and Lady Chatterley’s Zombie by yours truly. But don’t stop there – it’s a great collection, just in time for Halloween. And don’t skip the Introduction and the Intermission – the whole thing is to die for…

Available to download for FREE on Smashwords, in all e-reader formats.

You can now read the first six sample chapters of Neptune’s Island on the HarperCollins website (no registration required).

If you like chick-lit, holiday-read style romance, this could be for you.

Zombie-free guarantee, for those with an undead allergy.

You can also read the first five chapters of Hellbait, now on my Authonomy profile. Yes, it does contain Zombies… This is written as a Young Adult+ novel, some infrequent use of language – but if in the later drafts the sex gets in the way, it might be listed as Paranormal/Romance instead, to separate it from inclusion in Children’s books. (Dark romance, as the section in Waterstones describes it). If you can imagine a romantic comedy adventure about undeads, this is it.

September 2011: Entered in the Mills & Boon New Voices contest – first chapter of a romance novel (chick-lit/Warm & Cosy category). The first six chapters of my entry Neptune’s Island are now available to read on the HarperCollins Authonomy website (see above, in the updates for October).

If you’re a Mills & Boon fan, and on Facebook, find all the latest here.

If you are an author interested in editing and formatting your own books for self-publishing, getting internet-wise to raise your profile, or have been waiting over six months for responses to your work and just need advice on what else to try, contact Lisa in the comments section below.

Lisa Scullard is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

3 thoughts on “Related News

    • Thanks, Sophie – I’m sure it’s not that worthy of mention 🙂

      I don’t think I know 15 bloggers to nominate, but everyone should check out another Sophie, – if you’re interested in what it was like growing up in an eccentric family who all worked in film and television, her blog and books are great reads xxx

      • Lol! Of course you’re worthy of mention!!! Don’t worry about the 15, it is rather a lot isn’t it?

        Thanks for the tip honey, will definitely check out Sophie Neville! 😀 xxx

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