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.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Madeira was beautiful - full of flowers even as early in the year as this - and full of colour. Moreover we were fortunate enough to be there for the Carnival, which takes place every year during the week of Mardi Gras. It was spectacular and vibrant - but even so it could not eclipse the floral splendour of the island. The gardens were a riot of colour and the trees in full blossom, Spring had definitely arrived there.
But on our return it was waiting here too. In just one week daffodils filled our garden, alongside prunus blossom and hostas in subtle shades of pink, with the first signs of hyacinths beginning to show. What a transformation. Moreover the sun was at last high enough to invade our kitchen - the surest sign of all that winter is passing. Of course you cannot compare one with the other but in my mind it was no contest. England has to be the best place in the world at this time of the year!
Sunday, February 9, 2014
We have just had a series of visits from the local Vernacular Society wishing to examine our old collage. We have been here for over thirty years and have always loved its rustic (rather shabby!) charm. But the importance of its antiquity and smoke-blackened timbers has now been revealed. It originates back in the late fifteenth century, when it was built as part of the ancient Manor of Marston, itself now just a moated ruin in the field opposite. It was once part of a considerable estate dating back almost a thousand years. In the light of this it is intriguing to imagine the lives that have been woven into such a long history. But sadly little evidence of any has come to light - not so much as the shadow a ghost. So far that is. Maybe these investigations will have stirred one or two ghosts from the past - and then perhaps I shall be obliged to turn supposition and hypothesis into fiction - or the other way about! Watch this space…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.