I’ve just published a heartwarming and humorous yarn set in a fictional West Cumbrian coastal town, and I think you’ll love it. ‘THE MAD PIT PLAYERS’ is a fresh, funny Cumbrian novel, available in both ebook and paperback.

The Story in a Sentence

“This uplifting tale of a West Cumbrian seaside town with a storied past pitches politician against community in the fight to save the much loved Madeleine Pit library, an institution powered by tea, cupcakes and ill-gotten gains.”

You can buy it here –


Why buy it?

  • It’s the perfect antidote to troubled times.
  • It’s full of funny characters that’ll make you nod and say: ‘I know someone just like that.”
  • You’ll chuckle with and cheer on the good guys.
  • You’ll boo the bad guys.
  • It’ll make you want to stick the kettle on and eat a slab of Victoria sponge cake.
  • You’ll love West Cumbria even MORE after reading it.

A la’al reminder of where you can purchase my book:


I’d like to credit the amazingly talented Drew Campbell, voiceover artist extraordinaire, for taking my vision of Seatown and using it to create a wonderful book cover.

Why Did I Write ‘The Mad Pit Players’?

For many years I worked in community development, back in N Ireland, where I’m originally from. Community Development aims to empower people to work together and take collective action on issues that are important to them. I was once involved in a ‘Save Our Library’ campaign and was inspired by how people with very little in common happily pulled together to fight for their small village library.

Yes, The Mad Pit Players is heavily influenced by this colourful and rather frantic period of my life.

After moving over to Cumbria in 2016, I continued to work in the community field until, for health reasons, I set up my copywriting business in 2019. I have a number of chronic conditions, none of which were impressed by my long days, evenings and weekends knocking about Cumbria in all kinds of weather. A drastic change of pace was needed.

2020 arrives – My small business, Shipshape Copywriting is doing well and my body is thanking me for its vastly improved working conditions.

Then *you know what* happened and my lockdown project was, you guessed it, to write a novel. And finish a novel. (I am not a finisher!).

Why pen a book about a fictional West Cumbrian library? Easy. I love libraries and I love West Cumbria and wanted to write an homage to all of the quirky, caring and hilarious people I’ve met since moving here.

While I was inventing Janet, Ernie and the rest of the Mad Pit Players, my other half, Phil, was toiling in that gorgeous early-Covid spring sunshine making fences, gates and raised beds for veggies.

I was lucky enough to continue my copywriting work at a reasonable pace, allowing me to commit my spare time to developing the Mad Pit library story.

New Year’s Day, 2021 Covid entered our home so January was a wash-out, writing-wise.

Then finally, in late summer, I finished the book! I took a little break, then revisited it to edit, edit, edit, edit, invite some spectacular beta readers to give me their honest feedback, edit some more and then pull my hair out trying to make sense of the self-publishing process. It was a steep and enjoyable learning curve (minus a few clumps of hair).

P.S. Remember that ‘Save Our Library’ campaign I mentioned, ooh, about 2 years ago? We lost. Our beloved library closed. This is why I wrote ‘The Mad Pit Players’.


I couldn’t end this blog without another link to my book. Overkill? Yes.


Thanks to everyone who has supported me on this journey and for buying my happy little tale.