Five tips for writing around a day job…

Mark Stay Writes

Writing while holding down a full-time job can be a bit of a ‘mare at the best of times. Some authors write late into the evening, some get up at the crack of dawn. I’m lucky enough to be able to weave into my working week, and I thought you might want to see what my typical writing week looks like, followed by five tips that you might find useful. Firstly, here’s what this past week looked like…

I live out in the sticks now, so on a weekday the whole family is up at 6, out the door by 7, and on our various busses and trains by 7:30. My commute into London takes about an hour and forty minutes. Plenty of time for writing! I’m fed and caffiened by this point, and raring to go. I generally get my best stuff done on the morning commute.

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How to grow Broad Beans

Have you ever wanted to know how to grow your own Broad Beans, but were too afraid to ask?

Well worry no longer. My latest ebook has all the information you need to know about growing your own broad beans. From choosing the correct variety for your growing space, when the best time to sow them, how to look after them as they grow, any little pests to watch out for, when to harvest your crop, and my own little recipe at the very end.

It’s available for just 99p, so click HERE to buy your very own copy.

Don’t forget I also have lots of other ebooks available and am writing lots more throughout the year.

Happy gardening!!

Claire xxxx

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January sale at Victoriana Nursery

January sales are brilliant, you can pick up all sorts of bargains.

So why not start the 2018 gardening year off will a bang, and check out the latest sale at Victoriana Nursery. Hurry up, as it’s not on for long.

20% off all Vegetable Seeds & Flower Seeds

15% off all Tree Fruit, Soft Fruit, and Nuts !

To claim these fantastic discounts simply use the offer code JAN18 between now and the 14th January.

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Grow your own strawberries

It’s a new year, so that means it’s time to start planning your garden. Time to sit down with some books and read up on what you want to grow this year.

This year I’ll be continuing with my ebooks. I hope you’ve been enjoying them so far. There will be many more to come over the course of this year, and into the next few years. I’ll keep writing them until I’ve run out of fruits and vegetables.

My latest one is out now and it’s all about Strawberries.

So if you’ve ever wanted to know how to grow those wonderful sweet gems of the summer months, all the information you need is in my latest book. It’s a bargain at 99p.

Don’t forget, I have plenty other ebooks available. Click HERE to find out more.

Happy gardening!!


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My plans for 2018, and your favourite episode of the Bestseller Experiment revealed…

It great when you can tick off things from your list….

Mark Stay Writes

Okay, maybe the answer to the latter is obvious as it’s the one episode that we go on about more than any other, but I think you’ll enjoy the countdown of our top five as it contains some of my favourite moments. Have a listen here.

And there’s a little mini episode introduced by our editor Dave (who has a great trailer voice!), where you can hear clips from the Deep Dive extras for Patreon supporters. Me and Mr. D talk about New Year’s Resolutions, which I don’t really do, but last year I did make a list in my diary of the things I wanted to achieve with my writing in 2017. They were…


BOOM! Managed to get a tick on all of those… There might be something in this list making stuff after all…? The smudge is a top secret film project that I’m working on…

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How to cook the perfect Brussels sprouts!

’Tis the season to be farting, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

I love Christmas, don’t you? Not just the presents, the tree, the lights, the tinsel, spending time with the whole family, and most people generally being nicer to each other. But it’s also the time of the year when we can eat Brussels sprouts and fart ’til your hearts content.

Look, if you can’t fart freely around your family at Christmas, then something is wrong. Everyone does it, even the Queen!

Because Brussels are only around, usually at Christmas, many people get worried about how to cook them properly.

There are many different ways, but this is how I cook mine. And even if I do say so myself, they are amazingly delicious, just ask the kids and Mark.

The perfect Brussels sprouts

You’ll need:

Brussels sprouts, olive oil, pancetta, chestnuts (vacuum packed)

Firstly, cut the very bottom off your sprouts, and remove any damaged leaves. Then place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Put the pan on the hob and bring to the boil. Boil for exactly 5 minutes. Then drain and put the Brussels in a clean bowl.

In a large frying pan heat a little olive oil, and while it’s heating up cut your pancetta into small cubes.

When the oil is hot, put in the pancetta and cook until it’s golden brown.

Once the pancetta is cooked, add the Brussels to the frying pan and mix together with the pancetta. This will warm the Brussels through and cook them a little more.

Crumble into the frying pan the chestnuts and mix again. Leave to cook for another couple of minutes.

These will be the best Brussels sprouts you’ve ever tasted, and even those who say they don’t like them, really will.

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How to cook perfect parsnips

Parsnips are a staple of Christmas dinner. They have been growing all year in the soil and you’ve had to wait until they’ve had a least one decent frost before you can dig them up. Parsnips, like Brussels sprouts, are a very misunderstood vegetable, but we love them and this is how I cook mine.

You’ll need:

Parsnips, plain flour, semolina, salt and pepper, olive oil, parmesan

Peel your parsnips and cut off the tops and the bottoms. Cut your parsnips into pieces about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide (this is only a rough size). Once they are cut, place them in a large sauce pan, and cover with cold water. Put on the heat, and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then drain, and lay them on a clean tea towel to dry.

In a dish put a mixture of plain flour, semolina, and salt & pepper. Mix it to combine.

Get a baking tray, and put some olive oil on it, and put it in the oven, at about gas mark 6 for about 5-10 minutes.

While the oil is heating up, get each parsnip piece, and dredge them in the flour mixture.

When they are are all done, take the tray out of the oven, and carefully put the parsnips in the oil. Be very careful as the oil will be very hot. Put them back in the oven and roast for about 30-40 minutes, turning each parsnip over half way through the cooking time.

When the parsnips are a lovely golden brown, place them on a serving plate, and scatter some grated parmesan over the top.



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