My Writing

The Alliance of Independent Authors - Author Member

Besides reading, I love to write creatively, and have just finished my debut novel.

People, my observations, reading and even films have shaped and inspired my writing.  However, without my constant affair with books, I would not have had the inspiration to write.

My debut novel, ‘You Can’t Go It Alone’ is on Kindle and in the Amazon store as a paperback. It is a contemporary woman’s fiction novel.

Click to buy from Amazon

Love, laughter, music and secrets are woven together in this intricate, heart-warming narrative.

Sophie and Jack begin a new life in a charming Welsh village but everything is not as it seems.

As the inhabitants confront their secrets and fears, they discover that their lives are linked in the past.  Can they find the happiness that has been buried in their hearts?

How will Sophie and Jack manage to fix their shattered dreams, when Jack’s family insist on gate-crashing their new beginning?

Expect to laugh and to cry with these enchanting characters; step inside their world and you will not be alone.


Amazon Reviews – click here to read on Amazon

***** 5 Stars

Funny, tragic and full of unexpected twists and turns, this is a story with plenty to entertain and also to leave you thinking. Phoebe Mcleod.

***** 4 Stars

Poignant and Funny

This is the tale of a bunch of engaging characters, all with entertaining stories of their own, who live in the village of Tintern. In one way or another, they all need each other. As one character is told: “…stop thinking that you have to go it alone…” The Olive Tree Café, run by fiery, jealous Italian Matteo and his wife, Rosa is a central location in the book. We meet their young daughter, Olivia, who helps out there and we live through her coming of age adventure. She is a talented singer and the haunting refrain of “Pearl’s a singer” weaves its magic and history through the plot. Who is her father? No spoilers… but there is intrigue in this story as well.
I could visualise this book being used as a new “soap” series. There is something to please everyone: humour, poignancy, family problems, food, nostalgia, music and relationships. I love the way that Pearl’s story threads itself throughout and impacts on most of the villagers’ lives. A brilliant touch is The Bloke’s Fertility Blog, where we hear the young father’s pov (Jack) in the heartbreaking process of fertility treatment. This was touchingly done. His young wife, Sophie, has a restless night – “She kept on dreaming that Jack was trying to make a website that would create a baby.”
Beautiful lines are peppered through this debut novel: “And so they slept as the light faded and cast simple shadows on their skin, and each detail was like a careful brushstroke in a painting.”
Congratulations to Jessie Cahalin on her sensitive debut novel. Petch author


Inspiration for “You Can’t Go It Alone

Set in Tintern 

Tintern Abbey

I live in Wales and have visited Tintern Abbey. It has a beautiful spiritual quality, particularly when the light is shining through the ruins.  I knew that this setting would be a perfect escape for Sophie and Jack and I could use the landscape to reflect the mood.

On the walks, I have seen various cottages that are rather close together and these ancient dwellings, with their small windows, seem to tantalise the passer-by with secrets. This inspired me to create a community that spanned across the generations and to unveil the secrets of the past and present.  I enjoyed weaving the lives together and it simply happened, as the characters took on their lives.


Penarth Pier

Penarth Pier is a retorted Art Deco Pavilion and it has great charm. When sitting in the pier café, I imagined my characters there and they started to come to life.

Sadly the independent cinema in Penarth Pier is under threat and there is an online petition.


Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales

I was raised in this part of the world.  The rugged and varied landscape of Yorkshire reflects the characteristics of the Yorkshire folk. Sophie and Jack are originally from Yorkshire and Jack’s parents hopefully capture some of the spirit.

The Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay and Millennium Centre

I have visited this theatre on many occasions.  Despite, being new it has great atmosphere. It feels as if you are watching a production inside of a spaceship.  The building is covered in Welsh slate and has a wonderful bronze quality in certain lights.  It looks as if it has landed on a Doctor Who Set.

Cardiff Bay is a great example of how a to renovate an area.  The Bay has a combination of old and new buildings that seem to sit together very comfortably.  I love the idea that people are enjoying leisure time in a former working dock.  There are pictures of the docks in Customs House and this gives a clear scale of the numbers that would have worked there.


Field of Sunflowers

I saw fields and fields of these flowers in France and was completed overawed by their simplicity and the way they shone and danced in the fields.

Sunflowers are such simple, happy flowers that grow and grow.  My characters want to be happy, bright and enjoy the simple things in life.

Pearl’s a Singer

When I listened to Elkie Brooks’s CDs her haunting voice affected me and this song became imprinted on my mind. The story of Pearl fascinated me.


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