Blog

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 intensely and enjoyably for over three hours, mostly about writing. He writes film scripts not books, thus facing the same dilemmas but having to solve them in different ways. We were in the shade of a…

Sunday 1st April, 2012 | undefined 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 power of the written word.  To me no thrill can ever replace the beauty of a smooth, plump hand-addressed envelope landing on my door mat: running one's finger under the flap, relishing the knowledge…

Sunday 28th October, 2012 | undefined 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 different thing). Anyway, the point is, yesterday I went to the Olympics where I found myself wearing a large plastic Union Jack - a gift from the nice British Airways people hanging round the final turning…

Friday 3rd August, 2012 | undefined 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's Go To The Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller, 'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett, 'At Mrs Lippincote's' by Elizabeth Taylor and 'Stoner' by John Williams.  I recommend all four unreservedly.  They are…

Friday 14th September, 2012 | undefined 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.  I am a writer, not a salesperson.  If I had wanted to be a salesperson I would have gone into Sales and Marketing.  I get stressed out about what to wear and what to say.   Of course I think the story…

Thursday 6th December, 2012 | undefined 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 season _ loom _; not letting it become the deadline for absolutely everything, quite apart from the mandatory production of cooked turkeys and wrapped gifts.  But loom it does.  Deadlines abound.   And…

Sunday 23rd December, 2012 | undefined 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 Newcastle and Carlisle). Six days following the impressive, snaking stone remains of wall, forts, towers and milestones made it impossible not to want to bury one's nose in a guide book to soak up…

Sunday 1st July, 2012 | undefined min read