Monday, 28 July 2014

Busy but very happy...



What can I say, other than WOW, thank you. Thank you for your fabulous reaction to last week’s blog. I am touched that people have taken the time to offer their support and discuss their unfortunate encounters on social media. It proves that talking about these things can make a huge difference to peoples’ lives. It is truly amazing how much your goodwill and comments have lifted my spirit and boosted my confidence. Don’t EVER suffer in silence.
  
(For free advice you can go to @StopWebBullying (twitter), @bullyinguk (twitter) or their website - http://www.bullying.co.uk/. The local police station also have free advice.)

It’s been a very busy but productive week. 

Both my twitter accounts are doing exceptionally well. @charlespR2D2 I have 825 followers now and the book @BeyondthePast1 has over 700, which is fabulous. My google plus account has had nearly 45,000 viewings – sorry I am a geek when it comes to numbers, stems from my Insurance Broking days! I just find it mind boggling how you can reach people internationally at a click of a button. I am still getting to grips with Instagram though – pam.charles.

Tuesday evening I attended Wetherbyhour, a live local business networking group. It was held at the Fox & Hounds in Walton, North Yorkshire. It was a great evening and I met some wonderful people working hard to build their businesses up. We had some taster food from the menu including pigeon and chocolate brownies (not at the same time!). The food was amazing and we will be going back for a meal at some point. I highly recommend it. I really enjoyed the event and will be attending the next live event armed with my book and lots of information.Big shout out to Olley and Olley.

And as always to Jo Maltby who does a fabulous job in organising these events. Thank you Jo, who incidentally won Town Person of the Year in Wetherby - honoured to be in such company x

Wednesday morning I gave myself a morning off and guess what? YES, I was wide awake at 4am! Boy it’s unbelievable how quickly your brain becomes trained into a routine. So instead, I finished the re-write of the first thirteen chapters of Beyond the Lies, the sequel to Beyond the Past. I’d previously written the 100,000+ words but it didn’t get to me. So, I decided to redo it. It has taken a while and has set back the completion deadline again but I am so happy with the outcome and am now confident the first draft will be finished shortly, school holidays permitting. My sister now has what I have written so far and she will give me her honest opinion. I have also been busy writing some outlines for new novels which have come to me in the last few days.


Thursday evening I had a lovely night out with my Mum, sister and my sister’s friend. Yes, Alison Pam Charles Author is Lisa’s sister LOL. The Phil Collins Tribute night at my favourite little piece of Italy in Wetherby, was as fabulous as ever. Great food, great company and great music.

Don't just take my word for it, check out Trip Advisor.

When I got home, Lucas asked me when I would be going out again as he’d had a super time with his older brother and ‘no offence Mum but we’d like to do it again!’ Well, way to go Wes and now I know I can go out without feeling guilty! If I had the money I would be at Sant Angelos every week!! I am of course, on my children's orders, organising some more nights out. After all, I don't want to disappoint them!

Isn’t it funny how certain songs bring back lots of memories, good and bad but most of them very good? With the weather being so amazing here (long may it continue!), I’ve been able to set up my office outdoors and have had music to listen to too. I have renewed my love for Paul Heaton and the Beautiful South, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Motown and lots of others. It is really funny how, most of the time the music is on in the background and I couldn’t even tell you what had just played but now and again one song would play and it would take me back to a memory. It’s great how the mind works.

Yesterday I spent the day with Wes and we went to see Sheffield Eagles play Batley Bulldogs at the Owlerton Stadium. The result wasn’t what we wanted but we enjoyed the rugby league and both of us are people watchers. We had great fun watching fans going through every emotion possible during eighty minutes. Both of us then rushed home to watch the F1 race – social media kept us up to date. I have never been in favour of team orders and I don’t like lazy racing drivers who expect people to just get out of the way. I’m not a Lewis fan either but I am glad he stood his ground and he did show, even to a Ferrari fan, what an incredibly talented driver he is. He won’t be at Mercedes next season, probably McLaren. Then we saw Phil Taylor back to his epic best followed by Liverpool beating Olypiakos, even though all the commentators wrote us off without Suarez – get over it, he’s gone and Liverpool have a strong squad – typical press!!! Sunday was a perfect day with Wes whilst Lucas had a great time out too.

With confidence riding high again, I am working on finishing the draft of Beyond the Lies, an updated marketing plan for Beyond the Past and some books signings. Yes, I am busy but I am loving every bit of it and I truly am … Living the Dream.

Have a great week everyone and be kind… it makes you feel so much happier xx

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US
Kindle

OR ORDER FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSHOP.


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Facebook
www.pamcharles.com
LinkedIn

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…




It’s been another exciting week in our crazy world but I have a feeling the best is yet to come.


On Wednesday 23rd July, Beyond the Past will have been a published book for a whole six months and what a period it has been. The year started with a very harsh lesson. Whilst people were being super supportive to my face, they were ripping me apart online and printing some very vile and nasty stuff, which other people have believed in spite of them never knowing or getting to know me. Calling them out led to a backlash of being accused of stalking even though the police and Bullying UK advice is to take screenshots for evidence. It got much worse until it reached the point where I had to contact Twitter and the Police.

All this contributed to a prolonged episode of Menieres, the longest I have ever had to endure and trying to go about normal business like school runs, school activities and promote the book was very difficult at times. It was the darkest hell that anyone could experience. You do start to think you have done something to deserve the backlash. However, it is only recently when I went through the evidence with a third party that a pattern formed of ‘nice, friendly’ emails, followed by vile messages online. It is then I realised the enormity of what I had been through.  When it all happened, my first reaction was to become a recluse, more out of self-preservation but as my very wise son pointed out, they would have won and that was, I believe, their ulterior motive. Instead we stood firmly together and whilst it still resulted in Wes being bullied out of Wetherby (just FOUR days before the start of his GCSEs), it proved to us how strong we actually were. The lowest point for me was not them discussing online whether I'd told DVLA about my illness but when they contacted the Sheffield Eagles scholarship, not once but twice in an attempt to blacken Wes's name but we'd already taken their advice. 

It takes a lot to get over what we went through believing people were friends when really they weren’t but we are much stronger because of it, or is it in spite of it? DON’T let bullies ruin your life! Talk to someone, get help!!

(For free advice you can go to @StopWebBullying (twitter), @bullyinguk (twitter) or their website - http://www.bullying.co.uk/. The local police station also have free advice.)

 

I am very proud of who I am and how we are as a family. I am more confident than ever to move forward. It’s amazing what you can learn from adversity. Setting aside the problems forced on us, this period has truly been a life changing six months. In fact, we smile now that the sadness of having to leave Wetherby has been far outweighed by Wes now playing for a Division Two side and we have met some lovely, genuine people. He has slotted straight into the side and it’s lovely to see a beaming smile on his face. It has taken some time to get used to four trips to Sheffield and driving past Hillsborough but I’m getting there!

  Finally, I actually feel I have achieved my ultimate career change and I couldn’t be happier – well I could be I suppose if a certain knight in shining armour rode into my life offering kindness, peace and a whole lot of loving. Maybe, maybe not but either way it won’t stop me in my quest to write.

Anyway, back to the writing. I am overwhelmed with the response for my first novel. Every day I remind myself how lucky I am to have had my very first, ever novel published especially when I read about so many famous authors having their first book turned down. I had my first work published and no one can ever change that. I did that, little old me! Beyond the Past is my legacy to my children and their children, if they have any. 



Embedded in that is my eternal support for the #JFT96, whom I have dedicated this work to. I have also dedicated to anyone who dares to have a go at anything just like I have. You can do anything if you have will power, determination and a great work ethic.


Book Signing

How ironic that on Wednesday I am hopefully meeting to discuss a book signing in Wetherby, the town is the base for DCI Fisher and DS Davies in the book. I am really excited about this event, mainly due to its venue. All will be revealed next week…

Wetherby High School – Things Literary!




As most of you probably know, I spoke to 125 Year 8 pupils and staff at Wetherby High School about life as an author and my journey so far. I am really pleased with the feedback to my first ever talk.

Unfortunately there was a technical issue with the photographs, probably just as well if I was in them!
Although nerve-racking at the time, I look back with pride and relief that it went so well.




On the 14th October 2014 I will be talking again in Wetherby at the library between 6pm and 7pm. I’d love to see lots of you there.


All this positive feedback and the fact that my Dad loves the book has given me bouts of goose bumps this week and I am really loving life. 

After the success of Wes securing his Academy place, we have a break from rugby league for three weeks and I’m missing it already after week one! Then again I am not the one having my body battered week in, week out. Mind you, I know Wes relishes it, which is a little concerning really.

School’s out…


Speaking to parents in the playground, it appears I am the only one genuinely excited to have the boys at home but I am, GENUINELY excited. School holidays for me consists of 4am or 5am starts and I’ve actually done a days work before the boys even surface from their pits. We then have the day together, which has to be the greatest perk of the job. Yes, the job is lonely at times ; yes, it is hard work for very little immediate reward BUT, and it is a huge BUT. I get to spend time bringing the boys up, creating fabulous memories that will stay with us forever. That is PRICELESS.



My favourite tweet this week was: 



Have a great week and enjoy every moment you have to positively influence your children and the people around you. This evening I am going to WetherbyHour to enjoy networking with the finest businessmen and women. I have a feeling it might be hot one!!

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US
Kindle

OR ORDER FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSHOP.


Twitter
Facebook
www.pamcharles.com
LinkedIn




Friday, 11 July 2014

Very proud parent today…and every day…





I am dedicating this blog to my two children, Wes and Lucas. Read on and you will see why…

So we will start in July 2004. I treated Wesley to a meal at his then restaurant of choice, the Aagrah in Garforth, Leeds. He was six years old. My parents were with us. After the meal, Wes sat with his elbows resting on the table and his chin resting on his hands, looking me straight in the eye with such a loving and cute smile on his face. He was desperately trying to persuade me to let him play rugby league. You see, earlier that day I received a phone call at work from a very excited and happy little Wes who had been inspired by Jonny Wainhouse at the Leeds Rugby Foundation. Wes had taken part in a summer rugby camp and on the last day was awarded the match ball for his excellent attitude, ability and good manners. I almost cried at my desk when I heard his happy and proud voice. At this point he was already in the Huddersfield Town Football Academy but whilst he loved it, he’d never displayed this level of excitement.

As an Insurance Broker, I’d dealt with injury claims for rugby players and although I’d been an avid fan since the early 1980s, I really wanted to protect my baby from injury. So, on that very evening, at that very table in Garforth, Wes begged me to let him play. He had an ally in my Dad who had been with Wes on the touchline watching my nephews play. Wes would discuss what moves they should do and always be thinking. The final plea was, and I will never forget it, “Mum, I could be really good at rugby, please, please let me try.” Six years old! Needless to say my heart melted and I relented. He had to wear a scrum hat and gum shield of course, which I feel should be compulsory for young players in amateur clubs but that’s a debate for another day.

What can I say? In his first ever game, he was a bulldozer, the poor kids didn’t know what had hit them! Week in week out he was picked out by opposition coaches.

Over the years he has faced bullying, nepotism, prejudice and abuse from parents but he kept going. Only once did he think of giving up when he had a bad experience at one professional club which coincided with lots of players leaving his amateur club. I have always told him to do what he feels is right for him. During this period, he spent some time with Jamie Field of Five Star Fitness in Boston Spa. The timing of the sessions could not have been more perfect. I paid for him to have eight sessions with Jamie discussing nutrition and fitness. They sorted out a diet and exercise regime that Wes followed to the very letter. I knew then he had his drive and motivation back. Whilst his friends were out eating burgers and pasties, Wes was sticking to his proteins. I don’t think I will ever get used to the smell of steak first thing on a morning! But you do what you need to do.

Within eight weeks he was leaner, fitter and brimming with confidence both on and off the field.

One afternoon, sitting outside Lucas’s school, I received a phone call from Sheffield Eagles inviting him onto their scholarship programme. In spite of being told by his amateur coaches he was only an average player, he set out to approach this new opportunity with the highest level of motivation and commitment. Clearly my philosophy of only doing something if you can commit 100% had rubbed off. The moment he stepped into Don Valley I knew it was his place to be. He never stopped smiling, not once. Not even when the Strength and Conditioning coaches gave them hard sessions.

Every session he would be ready. Every game he would be up and ready. He thrived on the challenge. The most satisfying part of being a parent is seeing a child happy in what they are doing and knowing that you helped them on their way. We have had unbelievable support from my parents, Sheffield Eagles and friends.

All his hard work and motivation paid off today when he was asked to stay on at the Sheffield Eagles and he will join their academy team in August. 

The trip to Sheffield this morning was probably the hardest we have done because we didn’t know whether it would be a positive outcome. It was such a relief when we were told the great news.  I also know that come August his exam results will be fine too because a proviso of playing rugby was that he worked hard at school and he has done just that. It was probably the best clause I ever negotiated in a contract!

It just shows you, one decision can take you on a unforgettable journey and take you to places you dream of. If you want it badly enough, you will work for it and go that extra mile to get it. Wes missed his prom, preferring to go training instead. His choice, his life and I am immensely proud of his work ethic. 

Lucas, my youngest has had a fabulous day today too. Three achievements awards at school in swimming, handwriting and research work. Also a school report that confirms he is a year ahead in his English and Maths.  I tell you I feel ten feet tall today. I must be doing something right.

We know the journey ahead of Wes is long but I also know he will work hard and listen to the professionals. I will be there to support him every step of the way, in the background, probably writing. To me he will always be that little boy sat at the table in Aagrah.

Late August we start pre-season training and in the words of one of our heroes, “We go again!”

You can purchase my debut novel, Beyond the Past from 
Pegasus Publishers  
Amazon UK  
Amazon US
Kindle

OR ORDER FROM YOUR LOCAL BOOKSHOP.


Twitter
Facebook
www.pamcharles.com
LinkedIn