12 November, 2023.

Dear Readers,

A New Video Series

This week witnessed the birth of a new video series. How did this come about?

I had decided that this video would be the last in the Fabulous Foreigners in Fiction series, and one dramatic sweep cover all of the nitty gritty of converting a heard accent into a written one, whether in a cozy mystery or other genre. However, as I worked on the script, it was revealed to me that this was a bigger and more complex subject that I had at first glibly imagined and deserved its very own series. So, this week’s offering is a brief summary of the reader insights and author tips coming your way.

The Finale


Woman smiling, holding a script in a sunny room with a camera on a tripodI’m Beginning to See The Light

I recorded this and next week’s series, and the take-home was that artificial light is rather less forgiving than natural light, which I had been taking advantage of hitherto. At the moment, we have excellent craftsmen making improvements to the exterior of the building. Consequently, I can choose between the anvil chorus of hammering, drilling, sawing and communication or the rain, which stops play. Fat rain makes recording unfeasible, and soft rain or between showers works, except the light is dim, necessitating the assistance of light bulbs. No problem for the under-25s; however, I will readily admit to having exceeded that number of years.

However, the work will be completed at some point, the rain will stop (we are reliably assured by the Met (MeteorologicalOffice) again, at some point, the sun will come out, and filming will resume with more gratifying results. Meanwhile, I am investigating ring lights.

What It’s All Been In Aid Of

Nevertheless, I hope that you have enjoyed the series of Fabulous Foreigners in Fiction and revelled in the revelations of the workings of the author’s mind when it comes to including international characters in their books. If it entertained you, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe. Little things mean a lot. Don’t worry if you missed all or some of the episodes. A handy catchup is coming your way.

With these insights, it is my hope to entertain and inform you but also to inspire you to consider creating your own stories. Everyone has one. If you’re human, you’re a storyteller. It’s what we do. We simply can’t help it. I’m planning a video about that, by the way.

This Week’s Puzzle and Last Week’s!

The character in this is secondary to the location. Can you take a guess at where this might be? Once you’ve got all of the pieces in place, click on the link below to take you to the character biographies page, which also expands on the where’s where as well as the who’s who.

Click to go to Puzzle 7, for 12th November 2023


Apologies for last week when the both the puzzle and two character biography for the person in the puzzle were missing. That has now been remedied and normal service resumed. ‘But how could this have happened?’ I hear you ask. I was, I must admit, distracted by the Guy Fawkes Night festivities. The least I can do is share a taste with you here:

Click to go to short fireworks display


Sequel Update – A Significant Landmark

Yes, the first 10,000 words of the new Amanda Cadabra cozy paranormal mystery are down on the page or up on the screen, depending on your point of view. Either way, a cause for celebration. As you can see, I wanted to offer you a beautiful image in honour of this event. Which brings me to this week’s …

Author AI Adventures

As you know, MJ, as I have named the Midjourney AI bot, has yet to master numbers. Dall-E 3 over on bing.com is a few grades ahead and has a better, though not perfect, grasp of the subject. But heigh ho, MJ will never learn if I don’t let it practice. Both bots give you four offerings, by the way.

So … ‘The number 10000 coming out of a book,’ I prompted it. MJ gave me three images with 10s on and one with two giant golden doors. All-righty. I went straight to Dall-E 3. Two of Dall-E’s attempts had 1000, and the other two had the correct number of zeros but rather close together. I did try adding a comma after the first two digits, but that sent it into meltdown, and it carved the number of a series of stone books, then went to lie down in a darkened room. I settled for the image here. As for the milestone … don’t get me started. However, I set to work with Adobe Fireworks and produced a result that I hope you like.

Oh and when I tried to get MJ to produce the image of the woman with the script in the sunny room, it once again amused by demonstrating its confusion over what a camera is, how legs work, how many fingers on the average human hand, and the powers of levitation to found in a script. But persistance prevailed as you see above.

Coming Up Next Week

The entire series of Fabulous Foreigners in Fiction will be combined into a single video, and there will be a quiz so you can see what titbits you have gathered over the past weeks of videos. I hope to bring you a sequel update and, of course, a new puzzle.

Happy November,



PS If you want to start the series now:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

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About the Author

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Cat adorer and chocolate lover. Holly Bell's life changed in a day. A best-selling author friend telephoned and convinced her, that after years of penning non-fiction, she could write cozy paranormal mysteries. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Holly lives in the UK and is a photographer and video maker when not writing. Her favourite cat is called Bobby. He is black. Like her favourite hat. Purely coincidental.