Tag Archives: christmas

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Candice and Phil

And don’t forget, if you get a new Kindle or similar, you can buy our book from Amazon to try it out!

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So here it is …

XmasDecCandice: There have been many conversations on this blog over the years about Christmas. There is the well referenced fact that I used to have Noddy Holder’s mobile number. For those of you living on another planet he wrote and performed the biggest Christmas record in history.

There is also my role in ‘Nativity‘, a Christmas film that came out a few years ago, featuring yours truly, right behind Pam Ferris playing drunk.

And if you look along the left hand side of this blog you will see some short stories Phil and I have written including a Christmas themed one.

So, I think you will find that Christmas is important in the Nolan Parker world. Unfortunately, this year the Nolan part of that team has been laid up for the last week with the leurgy. It’s a bit annoying because I paid for a flu jab a month or so ago to try to stop this happening.

So the pre-Christmas celebrations have been paused, as well as the ability to do some book promotion.

But hopefully this week will start to get things back on track. It’s my team Xmas party on Thursday so I’m planning to make this horrible blocked nose disappear by then so I won’t be on the dance floor having to stop to blow my nose all the time.

Tomorrow I am off to do some Christmas present wrapping for a children’s charity, wearing my Christmas jumper and singing along to Christmas songs.

Then on Friday, Phil and I will be meeting for our last get together of this year. I suspect to talk about books, sign some copies to circulate and finally get those pictures taken. I’m planning to make sure I can cover the sore, snotty nose with makeup by then !

So enjoy that build up to Christmas and I hope you feel better than I do !

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If you are making a Christmas list…

FestivePhilPhil: When the Nolan is away*, the Phil will play.

Christmas has been on my mind this week. I spent a day surrounded by fake trees on Tuesday. There was even an opportunity to wear my elf hat.

The festive season approaches fast and so I need to pull my finger out on the publishing front. We are determined that Kate vs The Dirtboffins is going to be available in some form by the time you are decking the halls with boughs of holly. It’s ready to go and just needs some technical formatting issues sorting out before Candice can launch a multi-million penny advertising campaign to see it on every Kindle out there.

The ability to say, “I’m going to publish” no matter what happens is one of the joys of the modern age. Recent train and tube trips show that e-publishing is freeing authors from the shackles of the big publishing houses. Yes, a paperback is very nice, but the ability to distribute electronic copies takes away all that complicated printing and the need to persuade a bookshop to give space over to your work. No need to drive a van full of paper around either, although I quite like driving vans but then I bet Dan Brown doesn’t do his own deliveries.

So, watch this space. We have a brilliant new cover to show off very soon for a start. In the meantime, if you are looking for something to while away a few hours with some tea and cake then I have another bookazine out, and with the Nolan out of the country I can mention it here without the eye-rolling admonishment at my nerdiness.

The British Railway Modelling guide to building your first model railway will hit WH Smiths magazine racks on October 12th. If you can’t wait (I know you are keen) then it’s available on-line now. I’ve already signed and wrapped a copy for my friend. She’s going to be so pleased. Don’t anyone tell her and spoilt the surprise.

The BRM Guide to Building Your First Model Railway

*apparently it’s easier to write when you are somewhere sunny near a swimming pool, or so I’m told…

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My Christmas 2014

IMG-20141228-00189Candice: The Christmas break isn’t over yet but we’ve moved from the pre-christmas to post Christmas bit very quickly, as you always do.

Its been a different one this year with the addition of an extra person in the family, and there is Erin too!  Seriously, Christmas will now be more about her than us, but that’s not a bad thing as it is our chance to go and be big kids again.

It was also the time for Facebook to do one of its clever marketing ploys and get everyone to drown their wall with ‘Their year’. Now that’s lovely and all, but I looked at my version and didn’t post it because it just didn’t represent what I wanted, and also my year didn’t really start until the 4th Jan.  I’ll be doing a revised version then.  But it did make me think about representing things as images and I had all these plans to do that as my post today, but as it always the way I didn’t have time.  So my representation is this.

Food and books.  Both of those have been a big feature in the last week, let alone the last year.  I have actually got to the point this morning, after three Quality Street for breakfast, that it is time for a chocolate break and its not even the new year yet! Even my other half is suffering with indigestion and he can eat anything.

And so books, I’ve been working my way through one this break, and my little one has been bought a few to help get her on the reading path.  Phil has been great on that front, though he has tried to throw in a train influence here or there.  But there is one she won’t be reading until she is older – both the parody shown her and the real one!

Fifty Sheds has kept the whole family amused this christmas, and I’ve even been using my creative head to come up with my own versions. I was doing some painting yesterday, working round some areas that had been missed due to poor lighting in the house and I had some inspiration.  So here is my Fifty sheds thought:

She surveyed the room and then looked him in the eye.  “I think its time for you to touch me up.” He gulped and said, “I’d best go get my paint brushes.”

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Merry Christmas!

Card

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by | December 25, 2014 · 8:22 am

Cashing in on Christmas

Candice: I watched an interesting program last night on Christmas singles.  There is a big thing in the UK about getting a Christmas number one.  Some have been very successful with it over the years and managed to record a Christmas hit which is still being bought and played 30 years plus later.

A few years ago a had the pleasure of meeting Noddy Holder, the man behind “It’s Christmas” in of the most well-known and well sold Christmas records ever ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’.  Noddy had been presented with a star on the Walk of Stars in Birmingham, the West Midlands equivalent to Hollywood Boulevard (though with less hookers).  We coupled his celebration with one of the Christmas events happening in the city, and nearly caused a riot.  Noddy knew exactly what that record had done for him, he called it his ‘retirement fund’.  And he was happy to pose for photos and shout that famous line as many times as we wanted him to.

Watching this show it demonstrated how the Christmas single had actually been a very clever ploy for certain bands and record companies. This is before the days of X Factor where Simon Cowell just uses it to line his pockets.  Jona Lewie’s ‘Stop the Calvary’ wasn’t written to be a Christmas song but by including that one line about, “…wish I could be home for Christmas”. tipped it into that favoured slot.

The same can be said for films, ‘Elf’, ‘Home Alone’, even ‘Die Hard’ have a Christmas connection, meaning they get bought year on year.

Our book finishes at the Christmas party, with a spectacular entrance by the KOD team and spiked punch.  Should this ever make it into a film I can see the pounds rolling in as it gets shown on ITV7 (or some other obscure channel) every year for time immemorial. Not that this was planned at all…

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The loneliness of the long distance writer

BeerPhil: OK, so the Nolan has outed me. I do have a newish job that has been eating up my time. It’s not exactly “fancy” but at it pays the bills and I’m chuffed to have it.

Some of you will know that I have moved from being the nerdy guy in IT when I met Candice, to being a really nerdy writer for British Railway Modelling Magazine as well as editing an on-line mag 3 times a week in the same field. Quite frankly, I’m such an anorak I’m amazed she still talks to me…

Anyway, that’s my excuse for being a bit rubbish on the book front. No new house, apart from a miniature one, and any bump I have is all doughnuts and not baby.

The problem with all this is that I work from home. No office for me. Colleagues are on the end of a phone or e-mail. I drive 70 miles to the office once a month for an editorial meeting. Apart from that, unless we meet up at an exhibition, then I’m on my own.

Which is why, despite crazy deadlines hanging over me, an editor champing at the bit to push files in the direction of the designer, and the Christmas break driving everyone nuts as everything has to be at the press a week earlier, by the time some of you are reading this, I hope to be in London. Drinking beer.

Us home workers don’t get a Christmas “do”. I’m not complaining, as I’ve explained in the past, I’m not a great fan of enforced office jollity. I’m not the one wearing flashing reindeer and throwing shapes on the photocopiers. I can deal with meeting colleagues from my own and even rival publications for a drink while enjoying the capitals festive ambiance. It’s a small world I work in and the chance to catch up with the gossip isn’t to be missed.

More to the point, while working from home allows the worker to choose their own hours – as long as my copy goes in on time no one worries when I wrote it – sometimes those hours are well outside the normal office ones. I need a day off and I need it badly. Even writing about a hobby can be hard work and there’s a lot more keyboard hammering to do yet! The hours I’ll be chosing to work will include this weekend.

Which brings me back to The Book.

You might think that The Book would be the last thing on my mind. Far from it; I am really looking forward to getting back in to a world populated by the characters who are in our heads. It might still be typing on a screen but it’s a very different beast. OK, there’s no publisher (yet) sitting waiting for copy but that might come. Self-publishing actually sounds exciting, a whole new world to experience. Yes, there will be setbacks but I can’t let this thing go now, so as soon as Madam puts down the roller we’ll be back at it I hope.

Something to look forward to in the new year.

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