Sunday, November 8, 2015
We have just returned from a memorable trip to France. It began with a few days spent in a most delightful little hotel in the Cognac region, a part of the country previously unknown to us. It was a complete revelation and in the warmest Autumn on record, was perfect for enjoying the beautiful scenery where harvest was in full swing. What a place for re-winding. We arrived as total strangers and yet on departure felt that we were leaving old friends.
From there we went to spend a few days with Rachel and David (our ‘Best Man’ of forever ago!) probably our oldest friends. In the well-trodden region of Quercy we explored the markets, drank in the sun soaked views, sampled the local wines and put the world to rights. Strange how a short trip in a neighbouring country can add up to so much more than the sum of its parts!
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 followed by an event at the Stalbridge Library - which turned out to be a delightful event - both went well. There the members had brought wine and delicious canapés and and there were flowers on my table which they insisted I should take home. I was very touched by all their kindness.
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.
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.