Giving Abused Children a Voice. The Abattoir of Dreams.

My third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, was inspired by news that a high-profile figure had been named by a man in his forties as his abuser in a children’s home. Subsequently, the man said he’d made a mistake – no one leaning on him there, then– the whole case was dropped. This made my blood boil. This poor guy had obviously been through hell as a child, and all these years later, the authorities still slammed the door in his face.

There are so many cases of both historical and current child abuse. The case of the Haut de la Garenne children’s home on Jersey, brought to light a catalogue of abuse – sexual, physical and psychological, stretching back to the end of the second world war. Eight people have been prosecuted for 145 offences and seven men and women have been convicted. Many more alleged offenders, some now dead, have been identified by almost 200 former residents.

A forensics tent at the former Haut de la Garenne children’s home in St Martin, Jersey, in 2008. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

The investigation also found there was a culture of fear on Jersey. Residents were afraid to come forward with criticism or information because they were living so closely to those they were accusing. Bob Hill, a former member of the states assembly – Jersey’s parliament, said people had long been afraid to report the abuse because they did not trust that any allegations would be treated in confidence. Continue reading

Tilbury Talks To… Claire Knight

Firstly, thank you for agreeing to take part today Claire. Please would you introduce yourself?

Hi I’m Claire and my blog is A Knight’s Reads. I’m quite a new solo blogger as I only started my blog in February 2018. Saying that, before that I was a guest reviewer for the fabulous crimebookjunkie book blog. My main choice of read is crime fiction. I’ll read police procedurals, psychological thrillers, cozy crime, murder mysteries. I do dabble in other genres but crime fiction is my passion. Outside of reading, I’m a mum of two gorgeous boys and I work in the very exciting world of pension administration.  I’ve been adopted by the great county of Yorkshire, having been brought up in the East Midlands.

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
My first thought was how do I tell Noelle! I’d been guest reviewing for Crimebookjunkie for two years and I’d always said that I would be setting up my own blog but until my youngest was at school, it wasn’t going to happen. But then he got a place at preschool and I got my day off to myself!! Noelle was great when I told her that I was flying the nest, in fact she was very excited about it. She’s been my cheerleader from day one!

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
The best thing is being about to shout about the fantastic books alongside making some amazing friends within the blogging community. Worst thing….I hate having to say no, I want to read all the books but unfortunately with work and family life, it’s just not possible! Continue reading

Tilbury Talks To… Sandra ‘abookaday’ Jones

 

Today, Tilbury Talks To… Sandra Jones. Sandra lives in New Zealand and as her blog name hints at, she tries to read a book a day. When not reading she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and being close to the sea. Thank you for taking part today Sandra, lets begin.

 

 

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
I often wonder that……

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
I was reading a book a day when I started my blog. I wasn’t working, and not expecting things to change so thought a blog would be a good way to get a bit of intellectual stimulation. Then life changed suddenly, as it seems to do when you think you’ve got it all sussed, and I found myself back in the workforce. I find the pressures of trying to blog every day a bit much at times. …. But I love that I am in contact with so many wonderful people, like you Mark, that I would never have otherwise ‘met’.

How soon after finishing reading a book do you write a review?
Immediately.

Continue reading

Tilbury Talks To… Jen Lucas

Today, Tilbury talks to… Jen Lucas. Thank you for agreeing to visit the blog today Jen. Please introduce yourself.

I am a late bloom blogger, having been at this for just about two and a half years but at ‘life’ for considerably longer. I am a former Transport Manager currently looking for something new to entertain me until I retire and so my focus is all on books and blogging. I have two cats, love travel and love reading (obviously). Crime is my go to genre but I do experiment with the odd bit of chic-lit and the like. In a former life I was a qualified Track Judge and Timekeeper for athletics and once share a bag of jelly babies with Linford Christie (which goes to show just how old I am …)

 

What went through your head when you first decided to start your book blog?
I’d like to say a speeding bullet but nothing quite so dramatic as that. I was at Crimefest in Bristol and fairly oblivious to the whole blogging phenomena at this time. I’d seen a few bloggers about at the conference, seen a few on Twitter and during the course of the weekend gave some thought as to how it might work and if I could do it. I’ve always been technophobic to a degree so the idea of creating my own website gave me kittens, but I figured if I didn’t give it a go, I’d never know. And here I am.

 

What are the best and worst things about being a book blogger?
Best things – the camaraderie with other bloggers. It is wonderful being part of such a great community and the way we support each other can be really special. Yes’ it’s nice to get the opportunity to read some truly fabulous books and to expand my reading horizons which I have since blogging, but the people can make or break and experience and I’ve made some wonderful cyber & real life friends.

Worst things – putting too much pressure on myself. I want to help everyone as much as I can and even now I find myself overcommitting to reads just to not let people down. That and not having enough hours in the day as real life stuff can be a terrible burden. Continue reading

Near-Death Experiences – Fact or Fiction?

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are profound psychic experiences commonly occurring in life-threatening conditions. They include feeling a sense of peace, of seeing a bright light, encountering deceased relatives or religious figures, and of transcending space and time. NDEs may occur in adults or children, have been reported from the time of Plato, and in a variety of cultures around the world. They are one part of a spectrum of significant human spiritual experiences.  An experience can be deeply significant and meaningful to the person going through it, without meeting the strict definition of NDE.  Such experiences may be referred to as “NDE-like experiences”.

In my fifth novel, The Key to Death’s Door, 14 year old Lee Hunter drowns and has a NDE. Here’s a small extract:

I tried to call out to Charlie. Tell him what was happening, but the words were washed down my throat with another mouthful of the river. Then I sank. No more sky. No more riverbank. No more Charlie. Just greenish-brown slimy water everywhere. My mind screamed at my legs to work, demanded one last push, but all my legs delivered was an excruciating pain that reached right up into my groin and squeezed my balls.

       Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it, my mind chanted. I tried to use my hands to pull upwards, but you can’t grip water, even when your life depends on it. My heart thumped in my throat. Continue reading