Thursday, February 19, 2015
The old adage that travel broadens the mind came into sharp focus when my trip across the Atlantic took me to the Azores. I had not expected such a landscape - beautiful, incredibly tidy and utterly unique. Our taxi driver did not speak a word of English, but his pride was palpable. Raymond tried to convey our delight in what we saw by suggesting it was ‘immaculato’. The taxi driver, after a moment of confusion, clutched his crucifix pendant and nodded delightedly. ‘Ah si’ he agreed. ‘La Santa Maria’. Sometimes words don’t matter! What a wonderful world!
Thursday, November 27, 2014
A curious thing happened when friends of mine took a river cruise on the Danube and noticed a lady sitting on deck reading The Cilento Dove. They approached her and told her that they knew the author. ‘So do I,’ she replied, ‘although we haven’t been in contact for forty years.’ Well, we have now! Many years and miles away in Northumberland when we were neighbours and our children the best of friends we saw a great deal of each other. But we moved down to Somerset and they to the Borders and life being what it is contact was lost. So via our daughters we are now back in touch - and all because of a novel taken on holiday. And that is very nearly as strange as fiction!
Friday, April 4, 2014
Abbey104 is a local radio station and this morning I was interviewed by Jenny Devitt on the ‘Jam and Toast’ morning programme. It was quite an experience which, despite the previous restless night, I thoroughly enjoyed. Authorship brings with it no end of surprises and this is certainly one for the records!
You can hear the interview by visiting my home page on Facebook and clicking on the Abbey104 YouTube entry.
Monday, October 21, 2013
The Cilento Dove has now been published and my talk at the Sherborne Literary Festival seemed to go well, although atrocious weather kept a lot of people away, which was a pity. We returned to Digby Hall later on to listen to Kate Adie which was thoroughly enjoyable. Oh, to be able to speak for an hour with such ease and be so entertaining!
Next came my talk last Tuesday at the Stalbridge Library - which turned out to be a delightful event. The members had brought delicious canapés and go with the generous provision of wine and there were flowers on my table which they insisted I should take home. I was very touched by all their kindness - and I think - hope - that it all went well.
The event at Winstone’s Book Shop in Sherborne was excellent too - wine and canapés (by Raymond) - and a real party atmosphere. I had thought I was meant to be playing the leading roll of the evening, but Raymond’s cheese straws definitely won the day! Huge thanks to everyone. It was a great evening.
I can of course be contacted through this website at email@example.com or via my Facebook and Twitter pages - and always welcome your comments!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
I’m often asked why I wanted to write fiction - and I’m still struggling to find a definitive answer. The desire to tell a story - to delve into the realms of the imagination - is hard to define. It simply exists.
The first seeds of Anya Paris were sown many years ago when I landed as a newly-wed in the far northeast of England. Coming from a small seaside town in Sussex, a classic never-been-north-of-Watford girl - or more accurately beyond the Wembley television studios from which my ITV company transmitted - I found myself in a very different world. But beyond the immediate industrial landscape of coal mines and shipyards which initially shocked my system, I discovered the windswept wide-open spaces of Northumberland. I was captivated by its wild contours, its colourful history and border legends, and I think perhaps from that moment writing fiction was practically inevitable.
Anya Paris is in many ways a testament to my affection for the area. Predominantly it is a love story, with the added dimension of a mystery involving an art scam - not so much a whodunnit as a did-she-do-it, which I hope keeps the pages turning. It is quite simply the novel I promised myself I’d write when I first set foot on the Roman Wall.