I’m Stephanie Dagg, married to Chris for nearly 25 years and mum to Benj (19), Caiti (17) and Ruadhri (9). We live on a 75 acre farm in rural Creuse with llamas, alpacas and three lakes full of carp. We run a fishery and gite, and also a llama trekking business. We moved here in 2006 from Ireland, where we’d lived for 15 years. Before that we lived in England.

I’m an English graduate (Somerville College, Oxford) and Publishing Studies postgraduate (Stirling). I began a career in publishing in 1985 as a desk editor with Hodder and Stoughton, then I deviated from the path to become a sales rep for a couple of years for some academic presses and then an accountant. This is what meeting and marrying a guy who has a job in Newcastle does for you! Anyway, in 1992 I got back on track by becoming a freelance editor and indexer, working from home part-time around the kids. The same year we moved to Ireland.

Ruadhri, Caiti and Benj in 2002 - when I was a busy children's author

I began to write stories for Benj, and then Caiti, and I won second prize in a contest in a magazine with one of my tales. That prompted me to begin contacting publishers. I got plenty of rejections but finally hit the right place at the right time with Mentor Press and O’Brien Press in Ireland 1n 1998. For the next eight years I wrote prolifically and spent many happy hours visiting schools and libraries to do workshops with kids.

Then we moved to France and I stopped writing due to sheer exhaustion. Renovating a 200 year old farm that is falling apart takes a lot of effort. But I kept a blog and diaries and I’m using those experiences now in my book about moving to and living in France. I decided late last year (2010) to relaunch my writing career, this time in the adult market. This blog is about my journey to getting published again, with a look at other books about France, the Kindle and electronic publishing and where to find good advice on the Web.

Stick with me for the ride!

I blog daily about life in France on my other website: http://www.bloginfrance.com. Check that out to see what’s going on chez nous!

 

31 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi Stephanie! Hope you are well! You might remember me from reviewing “Stay Tuned” … I would love for you to consider reviewing my new novel, Dancing Naked in Dixie (Southern Fiction/Light Romance- no erotica despite the title). I can send more information (media sheet, description, etc) as well.

    The ebook ARC should be ready by May 1st / paperback ARC May 15. Release date is targeted for May 21st. Of course, with your busy schedule, reading and posting anything (timeframe) is up to you!!!

    Please email me if you are interested with your preference of ebook or paperback and your preferred email or physical address! Merci :) Lauren

    Reply
  2. Hi my name is Kyle Spraker, and I am creating a photography book called “EuroStache.” My project is currently on http://www.kickstarter.com and I really need some help with promotion. My book “EuroStache” is all about the finest mustaches in Europe. I know it might sound silly but it is really quite cool, you can check it out here – http://kck.st/IT13LK . It would be absolutely fantastic if you could post something about my project on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, tell your friends, anything would be awesome. I just really need some help getting the word out about this project. I would appreciate it to the moon and back. And if you do me this gigantic favor, I will gladly give you a free copy of the book once my project on KickStarter gets 100% funded. “EuroStache” would make a great story or post for the day, to add content to your pages with. I will also happily tweet to my 22k twitter followers about your site, you can find me @Sprak_. The photos for EuroStache are being taken in 6 different countries, 21 different cities, all in 45 days. I really hope you will post a story about my project, it would help me out tremendous amounts, that I couldn’t even begin to explain. Thank you for you time, and i can’t wait for your reply.

    Sincerely
    - Kyle Spraker
    Cheers!

    * Contact me personally (Feel free anytime.)
    [email protected]

    * I really hope you decide to publish a story about my book, Thank you so much and God Bless.

    Reply
  3. Hi Stephanie
    I am an expat author in France like yourself.
    We are currently setting up an ebook portal for books with countryside interest at http://www.countryword.com
    I have listed you Best of Blog in France book and would like to list others that may be suitable.
    We are looking for free books to give away to our registered users on a monthly basis. Is there any chance we could use this book for say a couple of weeks? I see it is FREE on Smashwords.
    I can track the amount of downloads and hits its gets. There will obviously be some free publicity in it for you in our authors section.
    Please contact me on [email protected] or please register on countryword.com
    cheers
    Andy

    Reply
  4. Very cool bio! And llamas? Are those llamas, or alpacas? Either way, are they yours, and can I have one?

    The fact that you have returned to writing — something that seems to be a lifelong passion for you — is awesome. I know when I take a break from writing, it feels like a tiny part of my soul dies.

    Best of luck with the resurgence. I’ll be stopping by to check up.

    -A.M.

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by. I have llamas and alpacas, and also cross breeds, called huarizos. And I have plenty going spare!

      Reply
  5. Hey Stephanie,

    Love the website, and I agree, blovels are great! I recently started one myself and wondered if you could offer me any advice. It’s a travel/adventure story that looks to explore a range of topics. Like you, I’m an English graduate, I finished a couple of months ago.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Reply
  6. Hi Stephanie,

    My name is David Lawlor and I was wondering if you’d be interested in reviewing my historical fiction novel, Tan, set during the Irish War of Independence in 1920.

    The book deals with a notorious type of British soldier at that time, known as a Black and Tan. Below is the synopsis for the book, which is on Amazon and Smashwords.

    I understand if you do not have the time to read it. Looking forward to hearing from you anyway,

    Regards,

    David

    ‘Peelers have a knack for hitting you where it hurts; broken nose, bruised ribs, a few loosened teeth…no more than a rapist deserved, Sergeant Coveney and District Inspector Webber had said. Proper order, too – except the lad was no rapist, and Webber knew it.’

    It’s 1914 and Liam Mannion is forced into exile for a crime he didn’t commit. He flees Balbriggan, the only home he has ever known and travels to England, where he enlists and endures the torment of trench warfare in France. Five years later he’s back in England, a changed man, living in the shadow of his battlefield memories. Liam finds work in a Manchester cotton mill but prejudice and illness soon see him destitute. Starving and desperate, he enlists in a new military force heading to Ireland – the Black and Tans – and is posted to the very town he fled as a youth.

    While he has been away Liam’s childhood friends have joined the republican cause, while his brother has allied himself to the Crown forces. Liam must wrestle with his own conflicted feelings about duty to the ruthless Tans and loyalty to his friends. The potent combination of ambition, patriotism and betrayal collide, forcing him to act as he comes face to face with the man who spread lies about him all those years before.

    Reply
  7. Dear Stephanie,

    I obtained your name from the list of reviewers on the “booktweetingservice” website. I’ve written a book, “The Mind Man” (crime/paranormal thriller, 92k) which you might be interested in reading and reviewing. It is set in many exotic locations around the globe and boasts a cast of international characters.

    This absorbing story is about ordinary people confronted by an extraordinary reality and the ordeals associated with their individual responses.

    The timeline commences in 1984 when a unique, but purely coincidental, series of events leaves a young boy, Adam Henderson, convinced he has telepathic ability. The story then moves to the present and follows the lives of Ted Farrell, a reluctant cop, and Laura Taylor, an ambitious journalist, who each become aware of Adam’s (now) lavish but felonious lifestyle but who, upon further investigation, become entangled with a complex individual still consumed and unknowingly manipulated by an adolescent infatuation.

    The work has been professionally appraised, edited and designed.

    If you think you might be interested then I’ll gladly supply you with either a complimentary copy, if you’ll reply with your postal mailing address, or one of a variety of ebook formats. There is no obligation, of course.

    This title can be sampled at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/112295 to gauge suitability.

    I’ve included the following brief blurb for your interest as well:

    Do your thoughts stay your thoughts or do they affect other people?
    What if they do and what if those people end up dead?
    Could your mind be used as a lethal weapon?
    What if it can…?

    Sergeant Teddy Farrell is a reluctant cop in the Sacramento Police Department. He mistakenly risks everything, including his long term marriage to his college sweetheart, to uncover a fiendish world of unprecedented greed and thwarted love. What he inadvertently discovers is a town full of secrets and an obsession with a fluffy rabbit.

    A spine-tingling, emotional rollercoaster with a sumptuous dusting of romantic intrigue.

    Publication Date: March 2012

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Best regards,

    Peter

    Reply
  8. Hi

    I love your blog and I would be thrilled if you would consider reviewing my first novel “Heaven Is Not Like Carnoustie”.

    I published the book on Amazon for the Kindle in August and, as an unknown author, I’m still finding my way around things but plan to publish it through Smashwords next month for other platforms. So far I’ve had just one review here in the UK, it read:

    I started reading this book last night and just finished it today! I really enjoyed it – it was funny but also had some quite deep moments that caused a little welling up – but that may just be me! Reminded me very much of Good Omens, another fun apocalyptic read!

    If this is the author’s first attempt at writing a book then it’s a bloody good one! I will be looking out for more Bruce Taylor Novels and look forward to the next adventure (I hope this isn’t a one off!)

    So read the book, have a giggle and above all, BE NICE.

    The book is a comedy about the end of the world and, to give you a taste, it is about Colin Kelly who is a stationery salesman and self-appointed Arbroath Smokie expert who receives a visitation from the Archangel Gabriel; or, as he is now known due to recent modernisation, the Archagent Gabriel. He is to be the prophet for the third millennium, the Vice President of Corporeal Communications.

    God – now The Certain Eternal One (CEO) – hopes that mankind will heed his final warning and listen to the Word of Colin before it’s too late.

    Meanwhile, in Norwich, plans are being made for a ground-breaking television programme. Philip Menzies has the fantastic idea of solving old crimes by using a medium to get the viewpoint of both the victim and the murderer and he might just have the right man to present the programme in psychical investigator Bruce Taylor.

    And so, the television phenomenon that is Dead Guilty is born.

    Bruce Taylor and medium Justin Troy are also hired by His Honour Judge John Lott to investigate the disappearance of his wife, just where all the salt came from and why a council worker called Stan should take it all away.

    Colin’s wife, Sheila, convinces him to seek professional help when he reveals his new mission not only to her but also to everyone at the annual Stationers’ Ball. She is less than enamoured by both his loss of gainful employment and his new found notoriety, even if the sex is great.

    Gabriel is cast out of Heaven due mainly to his inability to stay “on message” and journeys to the Other Place where he becomes re-acquainted with the Devil and meets his three demonic servants; the brothers Hans, Neaz and groom Zidazy.

    The Devil stalks the earth, assured of victory now that all of mankind knows the mobile telephone number of the beast.

    Colin’s Guardian Angel, Clarence, is left with the job of guiding him and helping him in the final battle for his sanity and mankind which takes place just outside Stowmarket, off the B1115.

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are approaching and they are quite damp, noticeably peckish, a little bit late and extremely pissed off.

    Colin’s initial reluctance to fight the Four Horsemen and forethought at having brought tea and Hob-Nobs for everyone results in their lives returning almost to normal and Bruce’s bill never being paid.

    Colin Kelly is our only hope. Can he save the planet? Are estate agents evil incarnate? Does the duck-billed platypus have a sense of humour?

    And do we have enough Hob-Nobs?

    I hope that you’ll really enjoy it and be able to review it. I can send a copy of the Kindle e-book and a PDF of the novel for you to read. It is also available for others to download at

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heaven-Carnoustie-Taylor-Novels-ebook/dp/B0093MGK46/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350553855&sr=8-1

    Thank you

    Max Robberts

    Reply
  9. Howdy! I’m B.C. Johnson, and I was hoping you might be interested in reviewing my YA Supernatural novel, Deadgirl.

    “Deadgirl follows the story of Lucy Day, a girl who dies on her first date but refuses to take it lying down. She disappears for an entire day, freaking her parents, her date, pretty much everyone before returning whole and alive. She has no craving for blood, brains, or spooky hauntings, and crosses “Vampire,” “Zombie,” and “Ghost” off her list. Lucy tries to put her normal life back together, reconnect with her parents and her would-be boyfriend, and avoid her own personal Grim Reaper that’s been sent to right the wrong that put her back in the spongy flesh of a living girl.

    Can she hold on to the life that’s been ripped from her? Can she accept the devastating price of coming back from the dead?”

    I’ve can provide a copy for Kindle or Nook version, if you’re interested. Just shoot me an email at [email protected]

    Here’s the Amazon Link, where you can also check out the first chapter or so: http://www.amazon.com/Deadgirl-ebook/dp/B007UIOIJE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1350935226&sr=8-2&keywords=deadgirl+b.c.+johnson

    Thanks for your time and your ear!

    Reply
  10. Hello, my name is Charles Franklin and I am a freelance copywriter, reviewer, and (hopefully) published writer who stumbled into the book promotion business after doing some copy writing for some of my clients. I saw your profile on BookTweetingService.com and thought you might be a good fit for what I am trying to do. I am contacting you because I have a couple of authors who would be interested in getting reviews/beta readers for some of their publications and I wanted to see if you would be interested in possible receiving a book that matches what you currently review.

    If you are interested, I would like to ask a few questions so I can ensure that I provide books that are worth your while to review. When you have the time, please feel free to respond to the below questions. If the information is available on your blog or other site, you can just say ” Available on blog/site” and I will get it myself.

    1. What formats do you accept (pdf or mobi accept)?
    2. How often do you accept or conduct reviews?
    3. Anything else I should know about you or how you conduct reviews

    In closing, I want to state that I believe in “returning karma”, so if you have a book that you would like me to review, I would be more than happy to provide a review on Amazon, GoodReads, and LibraryThing as well my still-indevelopment blog (thiscollegedropout.wordpress.com). If I can help you in any other ways, feel free to contact me.

    Reply
  11. Greetings Stephanie,

    My name is Matt Bower. I stumbled upon your blurb on Booktweetingservice. I was hoping that you would be interested in reviewing a recently published ebook I have written. The title is Save Me, Rip Orion. The Smashwords link is:
    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/233114

    If you would like to review, please contact me at my email address. I can provide you with a free copy for whatever ereading device you own.

    Thanks,
    Matt

    Reply
  12. Hi there. My 9 year old son has written and published a 2500 story on Amazon (complimentary copy available if you email me back).

    James has a learning disability. (Please do not mention this in any reviews posted on Amazon. It is ok to mention this on other sites, blogs, twitter etc though). He can hardly write a sentence with a pen and paper. However, give him a computer and his imagination pours onto the page!

    We have had to take him out of school because of all the teasing that he is “stupid” and a “retard”. I am hoping that publishing this book will help restore his confidence.

    Please post a review on amazon if you like this book (please limit negative comments, if possible. He has already had enough of those from school!).

    If you like the book and would like to encourage James, please spend the 99 cents to buy this book (every purchase increases the books rankings, so every purchase helps to encourage him). A free copy of the book is attached. Please use this book for your own reading pleasure only (if others want copies, please encourage them to buy their own).

    James has already started work on a sequel. He says he “needs” to write!

    You can find the Amazon copy of the book at:
    http://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Bloods-Quest-Greek-ebook/dp/B00A92YC2G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1353634095&sr=8-3&keywords=jake+johnson

    Thank you for taking the time to read this email and James’ attached book.

    Kind regards
    Cathryn

    Reply
  13. Hello

    I found your details through a post on the ALLi (Alliance of Independant Authors) webpage. I’ve just released my second indie-published book. Both my novels are thrillers, with cross genre elements. I’m looking for a few reviews of my latest, Closure to kick start interest in the book, and would be happy to send you a free e-book in return for a review.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Closure-ebook/dp/B00A6DL1RW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354726713&sr=8-1

    If you think it’s something that would be of interest to you, please let me know.

    Best

    Gillian

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Blog Year of 2012: Giddiness from Success and Exhaustion | Grigory Ryzhakov

  15. Hi Stephanie. What an impressive bio… I found your blog thanks to my online friend Grigory Ryzhakov
    http://www.ryzhakov.co.uk/blog-year-of-2012-giddiness-from-success-and-exhaustion/
    I am a fascinated self-published author from Russia. 7 books of fiction (for the present), 2 books of essays, 2 books of poetry. My historical fiction A Handful of Blossoms is listed among the Best Gay Historical-2012
    http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1816909.html
    and as an author, I’d love the book to be reviewed by you.
    Contact me personally, anytime:
    [email protected]
    Kind regards
    Lara
    P. S.
    …interview at Roy Eynhallow’s Creative World (at my online friend’s)
    http://www.eynhallowbooks.com/2012/09/19/lara-biyuts-writers-like-me-read-dictionaries-and-wikipedia-interview-with-a-russian-speaking-author-who-writes-in-english/

    Reply
  16. Hello Stephanie!

    Hope you’re doing well this holiday season!

    I’m contacting you today to give you a short video invitation to review my debut fiction novel, The Forever Saga: Flash.

    After watching the video at the link below and visiting http://www.theforeversaga.com, would you consider reviewing my book, or pass it along to other reviewers you think would be interested? I would greatly appreciate the support.

    Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you regarding a review! – Sean C. Sousa | http://www.theforeversaga.com

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8EYd-lK7CiY

    Reply
  17. Stephanie,

    Would you be interested in reviewing my book:
    Coming to Astoria: An Immigrants Tale
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Astoria-Immigrants-Tale-ebook/dp/B00ALWXGGM/
    http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Astoria-Immigrants-Tale-ebook/dp/B00ALWXGGM/

    Coming to Astoria is about a boys journey from the Middle East to America. The story begins with the grandparents, a Palestinian family whose simple lifestyle is turned upside down by the Arab-Israeli wars. Forced to leave their home, they search for a safe environment, only to end up in the refugee camps of Jordan. Their eldest son and his family find peace and safety in America, settling in Astoria, New York. The story continues with the grandson, who struggles to fit in, and his experiences as he moves across the United States. Coming to Astoria is at times amusing, sad and informative, as the Arab culture is brought to life through the eyes of Omar, when he goes back to Jordan, hoping to reconcile with his family after the death of his father, only to drift further away.

    If interested I can send you a link to download from Smashwords.

    Regards,
    Omar

    Reply
  18. Hi Stephanie,

    Great blogs. It looks you are having fun.

    I am wondering if you would be interested in reviewing my new book, Lotto’s Super-Awesome Unbelievable Park Adventure. Fantasy meets travelogue in a middle grade adventure novel.

    If you are interested, it will be available for free on Kindle on Sunday, January 6 for a promo day.
    http://www.amazon.com/Lottos-Super-Awesome-Unbelievable-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A9WGYKE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357320201&sr=8-1&keywords=lotto%27s+super-awesome

    Best et merci beaucoup,
    Jan

    Reply
  19. Hi Stephanie,
    I resubmitted my file for “Live and Let Die.” If it didn’t come through, I can gift it to you at Amazon, if that’s easier. Just let me know.

    Thanks again for your time!

    Reply
  20. Hi Stephanie :-) I filled out the request review form, and received an email with the upload password, but every time I try and enter it, I get an invalid code message back. Is there another way I can send you my book for review please? :-) Thanks, Tammy

    Reply
  21. Hi Stephanie!

    I have had a couple of attempts at upoading my recently released novel Horse Country for review but fear my internet connection hasn’t been successful!

    I wonder if you may email me so that I can send it through via email or let me know if it was received?

    Kind regards

    Reply
  22. Dear Stephanie and Chris
    We have had a maison secondaire at St Dizier in the commune of St Dizier la Tour near Chénérailles since 1994. I have just discovered you, through your blog, and have bought your book about your move to France.
    We have an enormous amount in common (except for the llamas and carp) in that I am a former journalist, newspaper editor and book publisher and my husband, Jack was a research chemist with ICI. Since he retired we have worked together on the publishing and are currently turning our backlist of 66 titles into e-books.
    We have started with my accounts about our early days at St Dizier, called the St Paradis Trilogy (“A Bull by the Back Door”, “The Duck with a Dirty Laugh” and “The Bells of St Paradis”) , which are doing really well as Kindle e-books on Amazon.com. (You might like to look at our website http://www.leoniepress.com). They have been out as paperbacks for a long time in England and the take-up there on Amazon.co.uk has been slow, which we expected.
    We spend six months a year at St Dizier where we are completely integrated into the community.
    I write as “Annik” on the Creuse anglophone website, http://www.pontnoir.com, where I did about 75 in-depth features until the administrator recently redesigned the site and downgraded the features because the various feature writers, including me, had begun to run out of steam. By the way I congratulate you on keeping going for 700+ episodes of your blog.
    Jack and I are now back in England for the winter but if you agree we’d love to meet you when we return to France in the Spring.
    Best wishes
    Anne (and Jack)

    Reply
  23. Hi Stephanie. I just sent in a request for a review but as I also just bought your book on Amazon, two things occurred to me. One, that it is really weird that I can only buy the Kindle edition of your book on Amazon. com where I am registered, and two, that Amazon does not seem to have a way (or a desire) to let reviews in English, show up on both sites. Thus you have 29 on amazon.co.uk but only five on amazon.com and I have 26 on amazon.com and only one on amazon.co.uk. I wrote to them recently to ask why this is so, as having the reviews on both sites would benefit everyone. But so far no answer.
    Anyway, the name of my book as you’ll see on the review request is “My Home Sweet Rome: Living (and Loving) in the Eternal City”.

    All best,

    Sari Gilbert
    Rome

    Reply
    • I always post reviews on Amazon.com, .co.uk and .fr separately, but I think most people only think to put one up. It does seem odd that Amazon won’t combine them on the sites. Looking forward to reading your book!

      Reply
  24. Hi Stephanie,

    A few minutes ago, I sent you a PDF copy of my latest novel. It seems strange to contact you electronically when we live in adjacent Départements (Creuse & Haute Vienne)!
    I hope you find time to read ‘Something Old, Something New’ as it reflects my perception of how the WWII occupation of France by the Germans still affects life in this region of the country.
    I will be holding a book-signing event in April in the Creuse at La Souterraine. The date TBA in Creuse News & The Bugle. I would be delighted to meet you there…whatever feedback you include in your review!
    Kind regards, James.

    Reply

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