I have been following (and sometimes participating in) this ongoing debate on social media for a while now.  As with all conversations on social media, it becomes fractious from time to time, and it is a sad fact that many people (not just women) do not understand what many women who were born in the 1950’s are upset about.

To clarify:

SPA” = State Pension Age – the age at which you can claim your state pension.

“WASPI” =  WOMEN AGAINST STATE PENSION INEQUALITY” – a voluntary UK-based organisation founded in 2015 that campaigns against the way in which the state pension age for men and women was equalised. They call for the millions of women affected by the change to receive compensation.

Some participants express incredulity that women are complaining that they now have to work as long as men (FACT: the SPA age will equalise next year, with both men and women who were born in the 1950’s having to work until we are 66 (and 8 months in my case) before we can claim our State Pension.

Some participants express incredulity that many women did not know that they would no longer recieve their state pension until they were 66 (an example – the SPA varies according to the year you were born) – the primary reason being that many women born between January 1954 and December 1959 did not recieve a letter informing them of the change in their SPA from 60 to 66.  I am one of them.

Often (but not always) those same participants in the conversation seem to find it hard to believe that, even though many women didn’t get a letter, they still didn’t know about the change to their SPA, even going so far as to accuse these women of “living under a rock”.  There may well have been articles in the tabloids and features on the radio, but it is a fact that not everyone reads tabloids (I don’t) or listens to the radio (very rarely) – nor do they belong to a union (never have). And if they heard anything about it via friends and family, that is patently not the same as hearing it officially, as should have happened.

The DWP (or whatever it was called back in t

When the SPA issue started to come up on social media, I talked about it with friends and work colleagues, and the number of women who, like me, had not received a letter was considerable.



On Creating a Book Trailer…

As I write this, my good friend Susan Turner of is close to the final edit on the crowdfunding trailer for my graphic novel, ‘Minding Mama’.

Here’s the lovely Kate Davies-Speak as Mama, lead character in my post-apocalyptic tale of life on Earth after decades of intense solar flare activity has severely damaged the ozone layer and sent humanity underground.  The fragile community is facing starvation as their aged hydroponic equipment starts to fail. Desperate to save her son, Bully, Mama and her trusty FarmBot Cyril (voiced by ‘The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ actor David Learner)  set out to find other survivors.

image by Stephen R Cox
Mama prepares to make a broadcast for help

image by Stephen R Cox
Cyril is a FarmBot – immune to UV radiation, he can safely venture onto the surface in order to raise UV-resistant food plants for his human charges.


Creating a live-action trailer (complete with a set, props, and limited green screen effects) has been a real challenge – and, I should add, a lot of fun!  From the original short story, to first concept art by Amanda Fullwood

to the first sample pages from  Dan Schaefer  (who has worked for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse Comics, and more recently as storyboard artist on NBC’s ‘Grimm’) , it has been an interesting journey!  There is a saying that one should not work with children or animals – should we add robots to that list, I wonder?  Filming Cyril wasn’t without its challenges!  And it’s not over yet…

art: Dan Schaefer,  coloring: Grant Kempster

Now I’m working on the details for the crowdfunding campaign which, if successful, will allow us to produce Issue 1 later this year. We’ll be offering some fabulous rewards to our patrons, including signed canvas prints, signed scripts, photos and more.

You can find out more on

WIP -Minding Mama – from a short story by EJ Jackson, art: Dan Schaefer, colouring: Grant Kempster