Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Day in the Life of… Gilly Fraser

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A Day in the Life of.....

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!


Gilly fireworks Gilly Fraser is - in no particular order - a Writer, Reader, Horse-Rider, Animal-Lover, Columnist, PR person, DVD maker, Media Studies Tutor - oh yes, and a totally abysmal housekeeper.  She learned her craft as a Journalist on newspapers and radio before moving on to Border Television in Cumbria (in the north of England) where she spent most of her career. When she decided to go Freelance, she hit the ground running and hasn’t really stopped since.  Gilly had nine books published by Harlequin Mills and Boon under the pen-name of Rachel Elliot, but is now self-publishing under her own name. Her first self-published book ‘Forbidden Love and other stories’ is available for download from Amazon and Smashwords - and she has a second book ‘The Best Afternoon Ever!’ just waiting in the wings.

Forbidden Love is a collection of four romantic short stories, all containing a generous dash of spice - while Best Afternoon Ever is also romantic in tone, but could safely be read to your Grandmother - or granddaughter!

Gilly’s currently working on two new books. One is a memoir of her time at Border TV, the other is contemporary fiction and a little bit darker than her normal style.


Much like the aspiring Actor who will assure an interested Director ‘yes of course I can do sword fighting/martial arts/horse-riding/crochet’, I find being a Freelance means never saying no to any assignment that comes my way - even if I have to trawl Google for instructions on how to do it! Consequently my days don’t really have a pattern - especially since I have horses, dogs and cats, so everything has to be fitted in a round them. I also have a husband but fortunately he’s pretty good at fending for himself…This is what you might call a Rough Guide to a day in my life:

Gilly & Dixie The day begins at whatever time my cat Buffet decides to wake me - and that can be anywhere from 6am onwards. He’s a persistent chap when his tummy’s empty, so there’s little chance of ignoring him. First task of the day is to feed him and my other cat Cash, then the three dogs, Dixie, Zara and Fraser.  I’ll grab a slice of toast and the first of many cups of coffee, then head up to my field to see to my horses. At this time of year, the weather can be distinctly chilly, so I have evolved a very fetching outfit. I don’t think it will ever earn me a place in Vogue magazine - but it keeps me cosy.

We currently have six horses - far too many of course, but to me a horse is for life, so I can never bear to part with them. Four are ex-racehorses, which is ironic as I have no love of speed in any form. Go figure.

Bounce at the beach Gilly & Seth

Back from the stables, there’s just enough time for a swift shower and change of clothes, before heading to  Winter day at the stablesthe office of our local veterinary practice Paragon. I do part-time PR for them, which involves compiling their monthly equine, small animal and staff newsletters, producing informational dvd’s and sending interesting stories to the local media. Recently a client’s dog swallowed four horse-shoe nails following the farrier’s visit and needed major surgery. Happily he survived and the story was picked up by the local and national media - a very timely warning to other owners who have both horses and dogs. 

In the afternoon, daylight hours permitting, I generally try to exercise a couple of horses. We are very fortunate in having an all-weather arena, so even when the roads are bad it’s usually possible to do a bit of flatwork and jumping in there. We live just a few miles from a terrific beach with sand-dunes which gives us a wonderful natural exercise area - and quite often we have the place to ourselves apart from the odd hardy dog-walker.

I write for several different newspapers and magazines and teach at the Scottish Media Academy so the latter part of the afternoon will often see me at the computer, chasing deadlines or creating new lectures.  I never really pictured myself in a teaching role, but it’s turning out to be really enjoyable - maybe because I’m learning just as much from the students as they are from me.

Gilly & Malcolm My husband Malcolm and I run a dvd production company called Borderway Productions, so if we’ve got a project on the go, that could also mean I’m busy filming or editing. We do a wide variety of subjects - anything from music videos, to YouTube adverts, to sporting events, to family celebrations.

Our biggest project to date was ‘The Great Clydesdale Migration’ when I was lucky enough to ride Clydesdale horses from the Isle of Skye to the south of Cumbria - a distance of 450 miles - over a six week period. It was the greatest adventure of my life and the footage was extraordinary, with beautiful scenery, fantastic horses, fascinating people and a few hair-raising adventures along the way. Wish I could do it all over again!

If Malcolm’s doing the evening shift at the stables, cooking dinner gives me a chance to chill out in the kitchen, listen to the radio and indulge in a glass of dry white wine. I can’t say I’m a brilliant cook, but I do enjoy pottering about and trying new recipes. Mal’s not always so keen - he doesn’t seem to enjoy being the guinea pig for my culinary experiments - can’t imagine why…

The evening’s my time for writing. I’m not a big TV fan and in any case I suspect Mal has it locked on the sports channels, so I’m happy to retire to my office with at least one cat for company. I’ve just done NaNoWriMo for the second year and am disgustingly proud of the fact that I managed to write more than 50,000 words both times. However - that’s really just the start of things, and I intend to spend the next few months concentrating hard on turning both NaNo efforts into actual books. In between the horses, dogs, cats, PR, filming, editing etc.  No wonder the dishes never get washed in my house!


  1. Hi Aislynn - Just wanted to say thank you very much for having me as a guest on your blog. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about a day in my life - and it's great to see my post in such highly esteemed company!
    Hope you have a great Christmas and thanks again for giving writers this chance to reach out to a new audience. Much appreciated! Gilly x

    1. Glad to have you Gilly! You'll have to come back again sometime!


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