Helen Walmsley-Johnson Speaks Out About Domestic Abuse

Photo credit: Anna Gordon for Guardian

Photo credit: Anna Gordon for Guardian

After listening to the story of Helen Tichener’s abusive relationship on The Archers, Helen Walmsley Johnson has written about her own similar story in the New Statesman. The piece has been widely shared and a fund was set up to raise money for Refuge, to help women in situations like those of the Helens. They’ve now had contributions amounting to £11,685 and still growing. For anyone able to donate, Refuge, Paul and Helen deeply appreciate all contributions to this important cause. 

Helen, writing as The Invisible Woman, is a freelance writer and author of the popular column The Vintage Years, which she wrote for the Guardian. She has spoken out against ageism on Woman's Hour and BBC radio and now writes for various publications, including regular articles for Standard Issue

Her book on ageing, THE INVISIBLE WOMAN, was published by Icon Books in June 2015. Funny and frank, Helen discusses what it is to reach your fifties, look both backwards and forwards, and how to continue pursuing adventures in later life even when it seems your brain and your body are working against you. 

Praise for Helen Walmsley Johnson:

‘We love the way Helen writes. She tells it as it is because she KNOWS how it is.’ – Gransnet

‘THE INVISIBLE WOMAN always speaks to me, and for me. It's about saying up yours to the cult of youth, but also about seeing the life of the 50 + as hilariously funny’ – Professor Mary Beard

The Invisible Woman on Twitter 


The UK theatre tour of Peter James' THE PERFECT MURDER kicks off today at the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre. The production stars award-winning actors Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace.

Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for a long time. But their marriage has reached crisis point and Victor has decided that there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever... but he’s about to get a nasty surprise. As a young Detective Roy Grace starts to investigate his very first homicide case, dark forces intervene and he begins to realise that nothing is quite as it seems…

Have you ever wondered how to commit the perfect murder? This highly entertaining dark comedy thriller, directed by Olivier Award-winner Ian Talbot, might just be your answer!

Television and stage stars Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace have famously appeared together in EASTENDERS for more than a decade. Their magnetic partnership has won them both critical acclaim and multiple awards including ‘Best On-Screen Partnership’ at the British Soap Awards.




You can buy tickets  following this link: 


Dates and locations of the tour are listed below: 

Tuesday 2 - Saturday 6 February
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre
Box Office: 01242 572573

Monday 8 - Saturday 13 February
Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Box office: 08448 717 620

Monday 15 - Saturday 20 February
Bord Gais Theatre, Dublin
Box Office: +353 (1) 677 7999

Monday 22 - Saturday 27 February
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Box office: 08448 11 21 21

Monday 29 February - Saturday 5 March
Kings Theatre, Edinburgh
Box office: 0131 529 6000

Monday 7 - Saturday 12 March
Theatre Royal, Brighton
Box office: 0844 871 7650

Monday 14 - Saturday 19 March
Northampton Derngate
Box office: 01604 624811

Mon 21 - Sat 26 March
Cambridge Arts Theatre
Box Office: 01223 503333

Mon 28 March – Sat 2 April
Coventry Belgrade Theatre
Box Office: 024 7655 305


Acclaimed British writer Peter James is awarded the highest Crime Writers’ Association reward, the CWA Diamond Dagger. This prestigious prize is awarded every year to a deserving writer with a past career marked by excellence and success.

CWA chair Len Tyler said that Peter James is able to combine up-to-the-minute accuracy with tight plotting and a fast pace in his books. He considers James to be the King of the Police Procedural.

Peter has had an exceptionally successful 2015 with his 11th novel in the best-selling Roy Grace series, YOU ARE DEAD, spending a total of 5 weeks at No. 1 in the bestseller chart, and many more weeks in the top 5. YOU ARE DEAD was awarded the Dr. Lector Award for Scariest Villain at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Festival in Harrogate.

Peter’s standalone THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL was published in hardback in October 2015 and went straight to number 9 on the bestseller chart. His 30 year old novel, BILLIONAIRE, was republished this month and went straight into the chart at number 8.

Peter James has been twice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and has won many literary awards: as popular internationally as in the UK. He won the US Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel in 2012.  Last year he was voted by WH Smith readers as The Best Crime Author Of All Time. He is published in more than 3 dozen languages.

Praise for Peter James:

'Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business.' – Karin Slaughter

'Exceptional, knock-your-socks-off.' – Washington Post

‘Sinister and riveting… Peter James is one of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world.’ – Lee Child

Find out more about Peter James at Blake Friedmann's, Pan Macmillan's and Peter’s websites and follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.


The upcoming film adaptation of Nathalie Abi-Ezzi’s acclaimed novel A GIRL MADE OF DUST is among the “200 most anticipated films for 2017” list on the Ion Cinema Website.  

A GIRL MADE OF DUST is produced by Alliance de production Cinématographique,  and the screenplay is written by Steve Hawes and Monica Solon.  The film is directed by Hiam Abbass. Abbass is a criticially-acclaimed actress who made her directorial debut with INHERITANCE, which competed at Venice and Karlovy Vary.

 The film is also among the 25 projects selected for the 7th edition of Les Arcs European Film Festival’s Coproduction Village.

In the novel eight-year-old Ruba lives in a village near Beirut, in 1980s Lebanon, as civil war divides her country. Her father’s depression threatens their livelihood, and her brother runs wild with boys with guns. As Ruba decides she has to save her family, Israeli troops invade and danger comes ever closer, but in the end love and family prevail.


Zakes Mda’s LITTLE SUNS on the rise in South Africa

Zakes Mda will be in South Africa in February to talk about his striking new novel LITTLE SUNS.  Among other events, he’ll take part in a discussion with Nakhane Touré as part of the Literary Crossroads series at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg on 9 February, sure to be a fascinating and lively evening.

 LITTLE SUNS begins in 1903. A lame and frail Malangana – 'Little Suns' – searches for his beloved Mthwakazi after many lonely years spent in Lesotho. Mthwakazi was the young woman he had fallen in love with twenty years earlier, before the assassination of Hamilton Hope ripped the two of them apart.

Intertwined with Malangana's story, is the account of Hamilton Hope – a colonial magistrate who, in the late nineteenth century, was undermining the local kingdoms of the Eastern Cape in order to bring them under the control of the British. It was he who wanted to coerce Malangana’s king and his people, the amaMpondomise, into joining his battle – a scheme Malangana’s conscience could not allow.

Zakes Mda's fine new novel LITTLE SUNS weaves the true events surrounding the death of Magistrate Hope into a memorable story of love and perseverance that transcends exile and strife. 

Penguin Random House’s Umuzi imprint won a heated auction for Southern African rights to LITTLE SUNS, and have produced a beautiful edition. You can read an extract from the novel here.

Zakes Mda’s previous novel RACHEL’S BLUE won the University of Johannesburg Prize 2014, and you can learn more about that and read the first chapter of the novel here.  It is published in South Africa by Kwela, and Seagull Press will bring out an edition for the UK and the US in February.

Zakes Mda was born Zanemvula Kizito Gatyeni Mda in the Eastern Cape in 1948. He spent his early childhood in Soweto and finished his school education in Lesotho, where he joined his father in exile. His forebears were also exiled from Qumbu to Lesotho after the assassination of Hamilton Hope. Mda has studied and worked in South Africa, Lesotho, the United Kingdom and the United States, and is a prolific writer of plays, novels, poems, and articles for academic journals and newspapers. His creative work includes paintings, and theatre and film productions and several of his novels like WAYS OF DYING and THE HEART OF REDNESS are much-loved South African classics. His memoir SOMETIMES THERE IS A VOID was published by FSG in the US and Penguin in South Africa in 2011.

Zakes Mda is a recipient of South Africa’s Order of Ikhamanga and is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Ohio University’s Department of English.

Zakes also has a great following on social media – you can join his +77,000 followers here.