Bears Books

The strange musings of Hayley Coulson

Shameless… 18 November 2011

Filed under: Best of Friends?,Blogs,Books — Bear75 @ 4:21 pm

Am I really shamelessly plugging my book ‘Best of Friends?’ as a great Christmas present?  You bet your yule log I am!

‘Best of Friends?’ is fundamentally a story about friendship and the daily trials and tribulations we face in trying to establish and maintain relationships that mean something to us.  While not to be considered among the literary masterpieces of Austen or the Brontë sisters; ‘Best of Friends?’ does have a certain charm to it… though I do say so myself :0)

The setting is modern day with an upcoming milestone that has our protagonist looking back at her life and the friendships that shaped her, growing up in a small village with a large group of pals.  The venues, occasions and dialogue may seem all too familiar; hopefully stirring memories of your own misspent youth as you follow Nicky and her merry band of drinking buddies through the past decades.

I couldn’t believe my mince pies when I saw the feedback, as I’ve been lucky enough to receive some pretty amazing 5* reviews so far, including “Addictively written you’ll love every minute of it”, “Laugh out loud funny!!!!”, “A fantastically funny book that you will not be able to put down” and “I laughed so hard, a little bit of wee came out…”  hmm, that last one’s maybe not so good if you’re wearing some festive white, but appreciated none-the-less!

I realised since writing ‘Best of Friends?’ that these characters really did become my best friends and I miss them every day I’m not with them.  I also miss the necessary research I put in regarding the drinking of shots and really bad nightclubs but ’tis the season to be trollied, so I’m sure this will be rectified soon.  I only hope that you’ll pop Nicky et al, in to your stockings to become your very own ‘Best of Friends?’ this Christmas.

Hayley x


Tardy… 20 March 2011

Filed under: Blogs,Understanding Miffy — Bear75 @ 4:57 pm

I know, I know… tardy doesn’t even begin to cover it!  Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been immersed in work…  Shoddy excuse? = absolutely!  Genuine? = I promise!

After lots of helpful guidance and some hair pulling moments (I’ve told people it’s alopecia so they’ll be more sympathetic…) the screenplay for ‘Understanding Miffy’ is well underway and shaping up to be even better than I’d anticipated.  I’ll admit, converting my own ‘baby’ into something else (meaning harsh cuts and strong compromises while holding dear to its integrity) is much harder than I could have dreamed but the overall strength of the piece is surprising even me.  I knew that I had a great character in Miffy when I found myself intrigued and wanting to meet her but her lasting effect on me has been the real eye-opener as I find myself pining for her company now that the book is finished.  Although much darker than I’ve delved before in my storytelling, Miffy’s overall depth feels like an achievement that I can’t take credit for, as she took on a life of her own.  The screenplay has given me the chance to re-visit some of Miffy’s memorable and perhaps more comedy moments along the path that created her, as well as enjoying again, the seed of hope that was planted.  I can’t wait to share it with you  :0) x


Hello world! 2 December 2010

Filed under: Best of Friends?,Blogs,Introduction,Understanding Miffy — Bear75 @ 9:39 pm

Well, I guess I should start by telling you a bit out me.  I grew up in Essex under the cloud of stiletto jokes, knowing that the only way to make it through life was to laugh at it (walking through it would have killed in those heels!)

After a year and a half of living in Portugal in my early 20’s, I moved to the beautiful realms of Cambridgeshire, from where I sit in a darkened room writing away until my fingers bleed (well, chafe anyway).   I travel back to my native Essex as frequently as I hear the jungle drums of a night on the town with my girlies or the border control and quarantine will let me through.

I previously worked in Communications for a big, multi-national company, where I learnt the importance of reaching an audience and sharing stories, so it felt like an organic transition into writing when I became redundant in the credit crunch of 2008.   It was also extremely cathartic as I happily typed out a list of curse words only truckers on a cocktail of Babycham/nitrous oxide would use…

An idea had been floating around in my head for some time, but I ignored it when I found out that someone else had tried putting a cat on roller skates, so I reached for the other idea that had been occupying a small percentage of my brain just behind the occipital lobe and right above the cerebellum…  I had an idea for a story.  It wasn’t the most original idea in the world and it wasn’t about to win a Pulitzer but it was one that started to really make me laugh.

I began to write my first novel ‘Best of Friends?’, which is about a girl who’s about to turn 30 and begins to reflect back on her life and the friends she grew up with.  ‘BoF?’ became a very personal book and proved the adage that an author’s first book is almost an autobiography (as much as I hated to admit it at the time!)  It was published in July 2009 and I’m immensely proud of the positive feedback I’ve received.  Mainly that it made people laugh.

My second novel is completed, and I hope on its way to you soon – but for now, thanks for reading…  :0) x