Monday, November 30, 2009

WIN a free book! 24 Hours London by Marsha Moore

Marsha Moore is the author of 24 Hours London, a new book all about what you can do in London, hour by hour.  She's a former teacher and recruiter as well as a fabulous blogger, so I figured you might like to know a bit more about her. To win a free book, just read this Coffee Time and see the contest details at the end of this entry.  Good luck!

Coffee Time with an Author

Name: Marsha Moore

Educational Background: BA, English Literature (Dalhousie University); Masters of Journalism (Carleton University); Bachelor of Education (University of Ottawa)

Book: 24 Hours London

Publisher: Prospera Publishing

Congratulations on publishing your book. Can you tell us a little bit about it in a few sentences?
There's so much to do in London that it's hard to know where to begin! '24 Hours London' is an hour-by-hour guide to what's on, day or night, in one of the world's most diverse cities. From naked discos to an underground loo-turned-pub, just flip to the hour you're free and take your pick of the best London has to offer - both on and off the tourist track.

What made you decide to write this particular book?
I love London and I love to explore, so it just made sense to write about my adopted city! I wanted to show there's so much more to the city than Big Ben and St Paul's, and I wanted to make it easy for locals and tourists to find out what's happening without having to flip through lots of information, like in traditional guides. By breaking the book into hourly chapters, people can hit the places they want without worrying about whether they're still open. It's kind of like having a ready-made itinerary with lots of things to choose from. And it was a ton of fun to research!
How long have you been in London for?
I arrived in May 2004, just after I graduated with my Bachelor of Education.
It's hard to believe it's been five years! I met my husband here, got married here, and it's definitely home. I do miss Canada, though (but not the winters!).
Your background is really interesting, and actually, quite similar to mine.  Can you take us through your journey from teacher to recruiter to author?

With two parents as teachers, I grew up always wanting to teach. But I also loved writing, and at the last minute I decided to do a Masters of Journalism. I worked as an editor and then in PR for awhile, but the teaching (and travel) bug refused to die! So I packed in my corporate career and headed off to Poland to teach English. It was an incredible experience, and it definitely convinced me that I wanted to teach. I returned to Ottawa to complete my teacher training... and this time the travel bug wouldn't let me be! England needed teachers, so as soon as the school-year finished I moved to London.

I knew right away I'd made the right decision. I loved the city; I was constantly in awe of all there was to do. Supply teaching was challenging but I looked it as a good introduction to London's different boroughs. I found a full-time job in a secondary school for the following year and taught there for two years. Like any job, it had a variety of highs and lows but it was a great experience. I think teaching gives you unique cultural insight that no other position allows. After a couple years I wanted to try something that would combine my corporate skills with education, and recruitment seemed a natural choice. It was really rewarding helping teachers get settled in a new life overseas.

All of this time, I'd been trying to write but getting side-tracked by my job commitments (and generally being lazy!). I got to the point where I knew I really had to give myself the chance to have a go at writing. I'm extremely lucky that my husband was willing and able to support us in the meantime. So I quit my job (scary!) and hunkered down in my flat to try! Two years - and six books - later, I finally got published.
So, now that you're a published author, do you have any advice for our readers who might be considering making the same leap?

It is very hard to make a living as a writer, so unless you have someone who can support you I wouldn't recommend giving up your day job! In fact, I recently read an article that you'd have to write one New York Times best-selling book a year just to stay above the poverty line. If you do want to get published, you have to be persistent. Keep trying - and be prepared to get a lot of rejection letters! Write every day and set yourself a target. Don't just wait for 'inspiration' to strike. Writing is something that can be improved with practice, and you really need to be prepared to work at it. Even if the rejections keep rolling in, when you see how much you've improved it's hard to get depressed.
Okay, it's 2:00pm. What can I do in London right now? What about 2:00am?

If you're around Buckingham Palace, trot over to St James's Park to watch five pelicans have their daily fish feed. The park's pelican tradition was first introduced in 1664 when the Russian ambassador presented Charles II with the birds. Fancy some food for yourself? Head to Time for Tease for a 'dollop of burlesque' with your scones. If the weather's not great, take a tour of the BBC or see where old sewing machines are laid to rest at the London Sewing Machine Museum.

The night's no less interesting: you can get steamy at Club Aquarium, the only club in the UK with a pool; eat some tardy Turkish at Somine; hit the dance floor to Bollywood beats at Mango's; or club with an eco-conscience at Surya.
What's next for you? Any plans for writing and publishing another book?
'24 Hours Paris' is due out in Spring 2010, and we're planning more in the series! I've also just finished a young adult novel and I have my fingers crossed it may actually see the light of day!
Anything else you'd like to add for our readers?

If you do get the chance to travel - whether it's for a week or a year - take it! It'll definitely be a worthwhile experience. And the marketing spiel: my book is available on Amazon or through my publisher ( with free shipping and delivery to Canada. I blog about my ups and downs in the publishing world at if anyone would like to follow along!

Thanks to Victoria for hosting me here!

Contest Details:
To win one of 3 copies of 24 Hours London, email me (victoria at classroomcanada dot com) with the answer to this question:
"How High is the London Eye?"
You have until Friday morning at 7am Pacific Time and I will then announce the winners on this blog and on my second blog about moving to London.  The contest is open to residents around the world.
The first three people to answer correctly win!  Good luck!  Questions? Comments? Please share below.
If you would like to become one of our outstanding teachers or teaching assistants in London, just apply through our website. Also, be sure to read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians. Sign up for our newsletters and help spread the word to your friends and colleagues.


  1. 135m/443 feet!!

    this looks like a really interesting book! i'd love to find more fun things to do (besides the obvious touristy things)

  2. oh man I would love this book! and yes, as Amie said...135m/443 feet!

  3. oh snap! serves me right for not reading directions!


Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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