Friday, 16 March 2012

Test Post

This is a test post because my blogs went missing.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Death in Spigg's Wood Free

Death in Spigg's Wood will be free to download on 22nd and 23rd February.

Reviews welcome.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Virtual Book Launch

You are cordially invited to my virtual book launch weekend of 13th January 2012 to 15th January 2012, where I will be launching my full length crime novel set in Essex, “Death in Spigg’s Wood” and my anthology of short stories, “Wargeld & Other Stories”. This is a collection of some of my favourite short stories, including Wargeld, which was Highly Commended in The Yellow Room Competition Spring 2010

During the weekend “Wargeld & Other Stories” will be free to download.

Linda Gruchy on Facebook

Death in Spigg’s Wood by Linda Gruchy

Wargeld & Other Stories By Linda Gruchy

Look forward to seeing you. Linda

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Death in Spigg's Wood

As you can see from my other blog, Death in Spigg's Wood is available to download on Kindle, at last. Very pleased.

Friday, 28 October 2011


How do you write? People have different ways of writing. I’m quite obsessive when I put my mind do it. I think a lot about the plot, rehearse scenes in my head, let my subconscious go to work, then splurge it all out into the computer. I don’t bother about typos (and there are many because I can’t touch type.) I don’t worry about minor technical details, I just write to the exclusion of almost anything else. Then I take a break and tidy up what I’ve written. It’s almost as if I’m scared I’ll lose the flow. This is nothing new; I was the same at university when writing essays, staying up ‘til the early hours, just getting it down. Those days, we didn’t have the luxury of a computer or word processor, though, just my very scruffy handwriting.

My first published piece was written in two hours when waiting for the AA man. I did type that up on the computer, and I printed it out on a dot printer. How technology has advanced over the last twenty-five years since that first paid-for piece.

I have always been an obsessive gardener too, though as a child the chickens put paid to my early efforts, and nearly put me off. My garden, as I think I have explained before, consists of a fairly sunny back garden and a rather shady side garden, which is devoted to clutter and vegetables. My greenhouse is in the side garden, occupying the sunniest part, but two trees which were saplings when we arrived have grown into thirty foot monsters. (The labels lied.) One is a plum, the other a cherry, so they are worth keeping. Besides, the cost of removing them would far outweigh any crops I might subsequently grow in the greenhouse. It just isn’t worth it.

This year I tried growing tomatoes in pots next to the greenhouse, and courgettes in the bed next to the greenhouse. The courgettes got powdery mildew, and the tomatoes got blight, basically because I was too busy and too mean to water them daily. I have come to the conclusion that, since Next Door have built an massive extension and the trees have grown up, the poor vegetable plot is now a hopeless one. I’m more successful growing things in big tubs near the back door.

The raised beds I built when we arrived 11 years ago have disintegrated (so much for preserved timber) and the arch that was already here has also succumbed to rot, so I have started to remodel the side garden. The first thing I have done is to install a metal arch in place of the wooden one. I have put it side-on so that I can’t sit on the patio and look directly onto the untidiness in the side garden (It’s the compost and grunge area as well as the veg plot). I will still grow runner beans and probably courgettes in the sunniest part by the greenhouse, and in tubs, but the rest of that space I will turn into a tropical garden once I have sorted out the beds and sheds. I have my Musa basjoo in the back garden, and they look very good at the moment, but last year the frosts cut them right down. Last year was the first year since planting them out that I have not put a greenhouse or straw round them. I cut the leaves down, tied them in, then wrapped them in fleece, and it wasn’t enough. They grew back from the base, though.

I’m torn this year. Should I put the greenhouse up over them? I could put the Brugmansias in with them. I have been a bit peeved over the Brugmansias this year. They have spent all summer looking scruffy and one has only just deigned to flower. It has wonderful tangerine flowers. But as plants they are extremely toxic and I wonder if they are worth it if they’re going to be mean with flowers.

Talking of toxic plants, I have a nicotiana which survived last winter in a dustbin of compost in the side garden. Yet I have found frozen water there when the rest of the garden has been OK, so I don’t think it’s that sheltered. Perhaps it’s tougher than it looks.

So, it’s all change in the garden so that I can spend blocks of time writing.

Vegetables which have been successful this year are purple flowered mangetout peas, cucumbers (sort of), beans (sort of), small toms in tubs, blackberries (in abundance) and grapes. The blackbirds and starlings nicked the cherries, the plum was “resting”, and the courgettes, as usual, stopped doing well as soon as the summer solstice had passed. (This contrasts with my old allotment where I would still be picking them in November.)

I tried growing aubergines got the first time, and though mine were sown early, they haven’t produced. I bought a plant, which has done better, though those fruit had set in the nursery. I have brought them under cover as they are perennials. I’m going to see if I can bring them out next year. The biggest problem, I suspect, will be red spider mite. I’m doing the same with peppers.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Exciting News

Well, what a busy time I’ve had, too busy to keep this up, especially with the recognition problems mentioned in the previous post.
The reason I was excited (and am still excited) is that an agent likes my crime novels and is trying to find a publisher for my latest. So I’m very hopeful.

I am now doubly excited because as well as some successes with short stories, I have a My Weekly Pocket Novel out. These, at 50,000 words, are only a little shorter than some mainstream novels. So this feels like a real novel to me. I am so thrilled.

Mind you, I don’t think I can bear to read it. Not yet anyway.

Saturday, 25 June 2011


I seem to be having problems leaving comments elsewhere. I tried to leave a comment on Elizabeth Lord's blog, but kept being sent to the login page. Weird.

Anyway, welcome to the world of the Blog, Elizabeth.