Blog

Writing 'Good Girls'

The best thing about writing novels is that the starting point for a story is invariably many miles away from where it ends up taking you. In the case of ‘Good Girls’ my initial intention was to…

Mon 7th Oct, 2019 | 2 min read

Keeping Up-to-Date

I love my desktop computer. (I am typing at it now, so very happily, click click click). It has facilitated the birth of three novels and a memoir. It has a wide screen and a sleek shiny look as good…

Sat 27th Apr, 2019 | 2 min read

BOOK LAUNCH

On November 1st my new book, For the Love of a Dog, will be officially launched into the world. I shall have a party, open some fizz, say a few words. Milestones must me marked or they slip through…

Mon 6th Aug, 2018 | 1 min read

Memoirs vs Fiction

I never thought I would be one of those novelists who wrote a memoir.  Here are some of the reasons why: Making up stuff is much more freeing and fun Fiction is satisfyingly infused with the private…

Thu 5th Apr, 2018 | 2 min read

My Sixteenth Novel

I had hoped that by now, Spring 2017, I would be posting a blog about the launch of my latest novel, 'Good Girls'.  It has been finished for many months.  Indeed, I am already well into that enjoyable…

Wed 26th Apr, 2017 | 3 min read

Getting A Dog

Once upon a time, a million years ago, in answer to the question 'What do you want to be when you grow up', I would always reply - without hesitation, and certainly no trace of irony - "a kennel maid…

Thu 29th Sep, 2016 | 3 min read

Human Endeavour

So.  We are in the thick of the Olympics, and no, I didn't think I would get sucked in, because how could I ever care as much as I did four years ago, and besides, I am having a busy summer - places…

Fri 12th Aug, 2016 | 1 min read

Ernest Hemingway: Genius has its drawbacks

What does it take to win the Nobel Prize for Literature for heaven's sake. I mean, to WIN THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE!!!!! It makes the Man Booker, or the Orange, or the Costa Award - or indeed…

Sat 26th Mar, 2016 | 3 min read

The New Year

"Time" is a man-made construct.  As far back as the Neolithic period apparently, our ancestors were looking at the moon and devising 'calendars' to mark the phases of the periods they were living…

Tue 19th Jan, 2016 | 2 min read

Why I Write

As many people know by now, I have finished my novel.  My 16th.  It is called 'The Distance Between Us' and has taken THREE YEARS to write, FOUR if you count the year before that when I was 'charging…

Mon 14th Sep, 2015 | 3 min read

Milestones Matter

My son is leaving home.  Cue a chorus of jeers and "about-time-toos".  Forgive me if I don't join in. They take their time to go, this lot, not like us oldsters, who packed our bags for a first job or…

Fri 12th Jun, 2015 | 2 min read

Writing vs Living

My mother died last week.  She was eighty one, and had had an amazing life, and was getting frail, so it was a blessedly sudden and speedy release for her, but a terrible shock for the rest of us…

Wed 4th Feb, 2015 | 1 min read

Endings etc

A good ending is the hardest thing for a writer to pull off.  Readers can be swept along by fabulous narratives, full of twist and turn, but it is the final chapter  - the lingering taste in the mouth…

Mon 22nd Dec, 2014 | 1 min read

Creative Frictions

We all need something to push against.  It takes a few decades to realise this.  Growing up, our lives are structured by authority: 'Time to go to bed!' 'Time to wake up!' 'Time to get dressed!' 'Time…

Sun 19th Oct, 2014 | 2 min read

The Value of Words

My novel A Family Man, which took a year to write, is currently available to purchase for 99p.  This is thanks to an Amazon Summer Promotion and I couldn't be more pleased.  Last month, due to…

Sun 27th Jul, 2014 | 2 min read

Everyone has a novel in them... on't they?

Yes, of course Everyone 'has a novel in them'.  Because the lives of each and every one of us are 'stories' - narrative blends of the ordinary and the extraordinary, with happy bits and sad bits, and…

Fri 9th May, 2014 | 2 min read

Choosing Books

My current "house-mate" (aka: Job-hunting Graduate Son) recently remarked that I always 'rave' about whatever book I happen to be reading.  He did not intend the observation as a complimen... t was…

Sun 9th Mar, 2014 | 3 min read

Machine Love

I have fallen in love.  With a car.  This is not something I would have expected of myself, not just because I am an unabashed, problematical, die-hard Romantic, in the most conventional 'human' sense…

Sat 25th Jan, 2014 | 1 min read

December Digital LAUNCH News!

December 6th: Digital Publication Day for my novels 'Relative Love' and 'A Family Man': I can dimly - very dimly - remember when I thought 'digital publishing' wasn't going to be something that would…

Fri 6th Dec, 2013 | 1 min read

Halloween Confession

I am not a fan of Halloween.  Sorry.  But there it is. To be specific, what I am really not a fan of is the dubious tradition of 'Trick or Treating'.  I first came across it while living in America in…

Wed 30th Oct, 2013 | 2 min read

September & Dickens

My summer reading bonanza produced two stand-out favourites: Elizabeth Strout's The Burgess Boys and Colum McCann's Transatlantic.  (I am glancing at them now, sitting in the books-I-have-loved bit of…

Mon 9th Sep, 2013 | 2 min read

If you are struggling in the July heat

I make a point never to complain about hot weather in the UK.  EVER. For those who may be struggling to stay positive, here are 10 of my reasons why the heatwave is a Wonderful Thing: The faint but…

Tue 16th Jul, 2013 | 1 min read

The Fox Cub

I first spotted the cub about a month ago.  I know, I know, urban foxes are disease-carrying vermin (and they terrorize my cats), but it looked irresistibly dear, curled up into a glossy ball in the…

Thu 20th Jun, 2013 | 2 min read

One Great (Virtual) Leap Forward

I have decided that the British seasons are like one of those fairground Big Dipper rides... antalisingly sluggish to the top of a steep climb (that's winter), then whizzing down the slope on the…

Fri 10th May, 2013 | 2 min read

It's not so bad!

It is hard not to be gloomy at the moment, don't you find?  For Brits it is always hard, but what with the "triple-dip recession" imminent (does that mean the double-dip is finished....???!!), dumps…

Mon 25th Mar, 2013 | 2 min read

Love Matters

Every so often (not just on Valentines Day) I am struck, all over again, by the astonishing reach and drive of human love.  The Technological Revolution, Wars, Famines, Rockets On The Moon and Melting…

Thu 14th Feb, 2013 | 1 min read

THE LOVE CHILD

Today sees the publication of my new novel, The Love Child.  It makes me happy to write that, happier still to see my labours bound so beautifully and available for public consumption.  But there are…

Thu 17th Jan, 2013 | 1 min read

December Deliberations

Each December I resolve to stay healthy and relaxed  in the run-up to Christmas.  It is just a case - I tell myself - of maintaining the right attitude, keeping perspective, not letting the festive…

Sun 23rd Dec, 2012 | 2 min read

Author talks

Having a new book to promote means leaving one's desk to go to places and talk to people.  Writing stories is not enough.  These days authors have to help 'sell' them.  Part of me wants to complain…

Thu 6th Dec, 2012 | 1 min read

October Post

I am an 'old-fashioned' author, not anti-technology (I love my Sony Vaio... it has a BIG screen!), but in the sense of being deeply committed both to books as objects for treasuring and to the tactile…

Sun 28th Oct, 2012 | 2 min read

September Blues

Part of me is still on my Greek Island.  It rained for five minutes in seven days.  My skin is full of sun, my brain rested and still refusing to come to heel.  I read four stunning books: 'Don't Let…

Fri 14th Sep, 2012 | 1 min read

August 3rd - Olympic Note

I am not an attention-seeker. (Cue scoffs from people who think they know me well. To which I reply, I am someone who loves attention while often being too shy to seek it out, which is quite a…

Fri 3rd Aug, 2012 | 1 min read

Summer Newsletter 2012

At the moment I am something of an expert on Roman Britain. It is a bulge of unlikely knowledge, acquired thanks to a week spent walking Hadrian's Wall (the middle stretch of 40 miles or so, between…

Sun 1st Jul, 2012 | 3 min read

Spring Newsletter 2012

It is March and I am sunburnt. This is not from a skiing holiday or a Caribbean jaunt, but because I sat outside having a sandwich lunch in Soho Square yesterday with a writing friend. We talked…

Sun 1st Apr, 2012 | 2 min read

Autumn Newsletter 2011

For me there are very distinct cycles in the production of a novel: the thinking bit, the scribbling a few notes bit, the grab-it-by-the-throat-and-start bit, the press-on-even-though-it-feels…

Tue 11th Oct, 2011 | 2 min read

Winter Newsletter 2011

Each year I am struck by the way Christmas is 'made' to happen. An act of collective, steely determination by a species determined to find something to help it through the winter. Each year I resist…

Sat 1st Jan, 2011 | 2 min read